Veteran broadcaster Ted Farr has passed away just days after going public with an esophageal cancer diagnosis.
Already a throat cancer survivor, Farr wrote in a post to his social media channels on Sept. 29 that treatment options were being investigated, but that the cure rate was quite low.
“It drops even lower when you eliminate surgery from the treatment options,” wrote Farr. “Given the location of the tumor, the surgery would be radical, traumatic and lifestyle altering. Not recommended for a person of my age.”
He passed away Friday. Farr and his wife Terrie had just celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary.
He began his radio career in 1969 after leaving Phys. Ed studies at Vancouver Community College to pursue broadcasting. He made his debut as a news and sports announcer on CKLG Vancouver using the on-air handle “John Edwards.” In 1974, Farr joined CKY Radio in Winnipeg, quickly rising to the position of News Director. He returned to CKLG in 1977 to hold the same position there, contributing as morning news reader “Tall Ted” on the Doc Harris Show. From there, he joined the predominant country station in the market, CKWX, where he had a decade-long run as Program Director. He went on to hold management and programming roles at CJOB Winnipeg; CHQR and Power 107 (CFGQ-FM) Calgary, where he served as Operations Manager and concurrently National Program Coordinator, News Talk Radio for Western International Communications (WIC); and Rawlco Radio’s Newstalk 650 (CKOM-AM) Saskatoon and Newstalk 980 (CJME-AM) Regina where he held the title of Vice-President, News and Talk Programming.
Farr went into consulting in 2008, working with Bohn & Associates, talent coaching at Vista Radio, and working in broadcaster relations with radio solutions provider, Mega Music Canada. After 37 years behind-the-scenes, he made his on-air return in 2018 as News Director and Midday News Anchor at iHeartRadio’s AM 1150 (CKFR-AM) Kelowna, a position he still held at the time of his passing.
Farr was inducted into the B.C. Country Music Association Hall of Fame in 2011. A former vice-president of the association, he helped B.C. artists like Lisa Brokop, Ron Irving, Larry Wayne Clark and Patricia Conroy advance their careers and created the CKWX Songwriters Competition, which established a link between West Coast songwriting talent and Nashville.
Sad to report the passing of long time friend and broadcaster @TedFarrMedia yesterday. Ted and I go back to Moffat Broadcasting radio nearly 50 years ago. He was the one who got me in to Vancouver radio. A true leader in News/Talk radio in Canada. A loss of a great friend.
— Marty Forbes (@MJForbes) October 7, 2023
He’s being remembered as a mentor and leader by former colleagues, including Nesta Matthews, who called him “a great teacher and a wonderful man.”
Mannie Buzunis, who Farr hired at KY58 in Winnipeg, proclaimed the late broadcaster “a true legend.”
“What a Newsroom under his direction,” wrote Buzunis, in a tribute on the Radiowest.ca forum. “Writing was one of Ted’s primary skills, and in the days of 20/20 News, you better get it right every time, all the time. Ted was a genuinely a nice person…he cared about those under his direction. Thanks to Ted and his mentorship, I moved up the ladder quickly, and took over as ND when he departed. In subsequent years, we occasionally kept in touch. I was so pleased to see him return to his roots…writing and reading great Newscasts, and I know along his career route, he impacted positively hundreds of broadcasters. A true legend, and for me, an unsung hero.”
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