Signing off: Bill Good Reflects on 50 Years in Broadcasting


by MARSHA LEDERMAN, The Globe and Mail


Bill Good didn’t want to make his last few weeks at CKNW all about his goodbye. He wanted to continue to do what’s made him a broadcasting legend in this town: discuss the issues. But callers to his talk show haven’t been able to help themselves.

“First I’d like to congratulate you on a fantastic career. You’ve been a huge inspiration for me,” one caller began during a segment last week, before launching into his thoughts on an MLA’s proposal to bring in a guaranteed minimum income.

Mr. Good hosts his final show on CKNW on Friday, signing off after 50 years in broadcasting – 26 of them at ‘NW, and all of them based in B.C.

The Globe and Mail spoke with Mr. Good, now 68, in the green room next to his studio, after a busy show.

Your dad [Bill Good Sr.] was a broadcaster. Was that what made you interested in this field?

Yes. As a youngster, I watched my dad, who was a very prominent sports broadcaster, travel the world, meet interesting people, always seeming to be having a good time and being well compensated for it. My mother says when I was four years old I was speaking into a spoon pretending it was a microphone, so there was never any doubt in my mind what I wanted to do. The funny thing is I swore I would not do sports, and I happened to join the CBC at about the time the Vancouver Canucks were coming into the market. They wanted me to audition for Hockey Night in Canada, which I did, and I spent 10 wonderful years there, and did two Olympics and the Soviet-Canada hockey series. So some of the highlights of my life came from doing what I swore I wasn’t going to do. So I tell young journalists: Don’t get too fixed on what you’re going to do when and where; take the opportunities as they come along.

What was your first job in broadcasting?

My first job was a short one; I was a summer relief announcer at CFPR in Prince Rupert. But that summer, a private station was opening in Prince Rupert, CHTK, so I went right from the summer relief job at the CBC to a full-time position at CHTK in Prince Rupert. I was there for a year. I was doing everything: I was doing news, I was a disc jockey, I did play-by-play of high school basketball, I did play-by-play of curling, and I did commercial remotes on the weekend.

After a year he went to CFAX in Victoria and joined the CBC in 1967, first doing radio before moving to TV news. In 1988, he left CBC for CKNW. He also anchored the news on BCTV and then CTV before leaving at the end of 2010.

I know it’s an impossible question but are there any interviews from over the years that really stand out for you?

I’ve had so many. One of my first interviews with a senior politician was with Pierre Trudeau the morning after the constitution was repatriated. At that time, I was a pretty young news anchor and I was pretty intimidated by him. And when he died, I was terrified that the CBC was going to run that interview again, which they did, and it turned out I did pretty well. But here he was still intimidating me after he was dead.




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