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CKMP Radio Announcers Made The Difference

CKMP Radio Announcers Made The Difference

It has been estimated since CKMP Radio Midland, first came on the air back in 1959, between 100-200 announcers with stars in  their eyes sat behind 1230 AM microphones before it changed owners from the Armstrong family.

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Long time listeners will remember Tommy Shields, who later became a long time mayor in a BC town. Douglas Johnston was another popular announcer who passed away sometime later from a single car crash on this way home from a Metro area FM station where he was a top rated broadcaster. Ken Trew a Midland resident got his start at CKMP….  He passed away not long ago. Brian Henderson who ended up at CHUM got his start in Midland. Most of the Armstrong siblings got into the game here  and made their parents proud.

CKMP in Midland and CKOX in Woodstock were stations where broadcasters, wet behind their ears, got their start. Al Jensen was by far the best ever sales manager at CkMP ever had….he could easily “sell ice to inuit”. There was a time when CKMP was trying to keep its head above the water, to make the station sound busy, Bruce Armstrong told his announcers for every paid commercial, feel free to read it once or twice more per hour. It worked as coffers started to fill and staff were
paid on time.
One recalls one local announcer who moved to CHUM to do traffic  reports from the station’s ‘copter  was sacked after they tried to land the news helicopter on an Etobicoke hotel’s picnic table after having a few wobbly pops to keep warm just before they started their 6 AM shift. Ian Brownlea  was the announcer. We did hear the broadcaster went on to teach  broadcasting and was called to the great studio in the sky some years ago. John McCullough the station’s first PD, later became sales manager at CKVR TV in Barrie.
Fred Hacker, Red  Nicholls, Bobby Scott, John Power all cut their broadcasting teeth at CKMP.  McCullough still  is a busy guy as is tireless Hacker. Carey Nieuwhof later studied for the Bar and did the news at a Toronto radio station, called to the ministry, he is pastor of two successful churches in Barrie and Orillia both attracting more than 1,500 members apiece. There are still a few still in the game. Others ended up  eventually selling real estate, cars and holiday trips.
You can be certain every radio announcer who walked through the station’s Dominion Avenue door for the first time  still remember the great days they truly enjoyed and the fun they had……you can add this writer’s name to  that long list of characters.


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CKMP Radio Announcers Made The Difference

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