Booming voice of Jim Yount Silenced – Tribute by Brian Antonson



Photos of Jim Yount
Courtesy of


By Brian Antonson

December the 2nd, 2014

A huge voice in BC broadcasting has been silenced. Reports say Jim Yount passed away suddenly on Sunday evening, November 30th, in Kaslo. He’d faced a number of health challenges in recent years with his usual combination of humour and sarcasm.

Jim started his broadcast career as he’d barely entered his teenage years and his booming voice, housed in a slight physical frame, soon found its place on the air and he became a solid news presence in various newsrooms. He trod the halls in stations in Vernon (CJIB), Kelowna (CKOV and CKIQ), Calgary (CFAC), Salmon Arm (CKXR), Revelstoke (CKCR), and Vancouver (CKNW, CKVN, and CKST). In the mid-80s, Jim was an instructor, then program head, in the Broadcast Journalism Program at BCIT, where he introduced hundreds of students to the industry. For a couple of years after BCIT, he was with the international division of Radio Nederlands.

He left the industry after he returned to Canada, and dabbled in several businesses, finally engaging with “semi-retirement” in Kaslo. He made quite the mark with his observations on community affairs and politics in Kaslo, published and distributed as “The Sidewalk Superintendent”. More recently, Jim was a very proud grandparent, and was planning a trip in January to see his daughter and granddaughter in the eastern U.S. when he passed away.

With a career spanning decades, having touched down in so many markets, and being involved with so many people in local and provincial politics, Jim was well known to many, and one of the true “characters” in our industry. If there is an afterlife, no doubt he’s poured himself a scotch already, and is musing about writing a short tome about his recent experiences for all to share. Rest well, Yount. And as he would often sign off, “Red Network, over and out.”


 Brian Antonson  Bio from Vancouver – BCIT Broadcast Program graduate; production and on-air CKNW New Westminster 1967-77 (Production Director 1974-77); Production Director CJOB Winnipeg 1970; Radio Instructor British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby 1977-82; Radio Program Head BCIT 1982-85; Associate Dean, Broadcast BCIT 1985-90; General Manager CFVR Abbotsford 1990-92; Associate Dean, Broadcast and Media Communications BCIT 1992-2010; retired 2010; president 2014 BC Winter Games 2012-current



  1. So sad and shocking to hear. I worked with Jim during his many (Lost track of how many) stints at CJIB since I started there in the early 70’s. Amazing how such a huge voice could come from such a small man….and as Brian mentioned…he was indeed a character. Jim also served on Vernon city council at one time… in peace Gentleman Jim

  2. I’m very sorry to learn of Jim’s death. I was a kid in Calgary when my dad hired Jim at CFAC — he lived briefly at our house while he got set up. Our paths would cross again at CKXR and later during his BCIT years. A great broadcaster and one of the good guys.

  3. Jim was one of the legends when I joined CKIQ. In the last few years we chatted several times about his frustration with some of the housing societies in Kaslo where he was advocating for more seniors housing.

  4. Very well written, Brian. I had the pleasure of knowing Jim as a tyke in Vernon, as he and my sister were good friends, so he was at our house quite often. He would always ask me later in life about her and our family. I had the privilege once of driving him to Salmon Arm when he and I both worked there. He was a nice man and he will be sorely missed.

  5. Sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I think we were both wandering the BC radio wilderness about the same time – but that voice was much more likely to draw attention. Sincere condolences to his family – hopefully the stories help to keep him alive for the grandkids.

  6. This is very, very sad news. I was a student of his back in the day. And though I ultimately went into the PR and advertising side of things, his impact on me in terms of defining and presenting news/content lasts to this day. The master of the “knowing” look, the sideways glance, the sly smile and the dominating presence. He touched all of us in the Broadcast Journalism program. Rest in peace, my friend.

  7. Had the pleasure of working with Jim at CKIQ radio in Kelowna.
    A booming voice from a body that was five foot nothing.
    A fun and interesting fellow, smart and with a quick opinion ( and of course he was always right! ) .
    We had been in touch just recently on face book.
    Rest well Mr. Yount.

  8. Wow. Jim had just posted on my Facebook as only he could only a few days ago. More a character I never knew, but a truer friend I never knew either. Have a strawberry milkshake (he knows what’s really in it) wherever you are Jim. Over and out.

  9. I am one of Jimmy’s recent friends and am very sorry to know that I will not be talking to him again or receiving emails from him. It would seem now that word is out to many and I worried abouthis family not being notified. Does anyone leave a paper with the names of who should be notified? I haven’t. But it makes one think as we never know which day will be our last. Here Jim was known as the Man in the Hat and even called himself that . I hope he has found peace now,

  10. Very sad to lose a great friend of 30 years. I met Instructor Jim with the big voice during BCIT Broadcast Journalism (Grad ’84).
    Along with the late / great Brian Hyde and many others, we had thousands of laughs, stories and beverages in the subsequent years.
    I am forever grateful to Jim for his support at the beginning of my media career; when he personally called Robbie Dunn at CHNL. His other big call and investment in me was calling George Madden at Expo86.
    Great friends who believe in you are huge assets.
    Our thoughts are with your family. RIP James.

  11. Thanks, Brian for a great obit.
    Jim was such a smart guy, with a very sharp quick wit, and amazing pipes.
    So sorry to hear of his passing. Maybe now, he can finally relax,

  12. For years and years, the illustrious ‘Barkerfan’ (a.k.a. Jim Yount) brought many a ‘straight in your face comment’ here at PSR and we will sorely miss him !

    I, too, remember hearing Yount at the CKNW studios of WIN, one Sunday evening back in the mid 1980’s.


    Wow, what a voice !

    Rest in peace, Jim.

  13. Back in th 70’s when CKIQ Kelowna, CHNL Kamloops and CJCI Prince George were starting out as the ‘second’ stations in their markets, we all worked together to build the eventual success of each station. Jim was always a big contributor to the plans we formed on music, news and promotions, at our meetings. I know he was an integral part of the local success of CKIQ. He had such presence on air. All my time with Jim was productive, interesting and Fun. Jim was dedicated to his craft, his talent envied by many and he will be missed by all who knew him.
    Best wishes to the family.

  14. I swapped many emails over the last few years with Jim, mostly about Kaslo politics, but only met him for the first — and last time — in early October when we went together to the centennial celebration of the Argenta post office. I learned more about him on that ride than I ever did in the previous years combined. I’m ashamed to say I had no idea how much he had accomplished in the business. His death came as a great surprise. He was actually mulling running for mayor of Kaslo this fall until his doctor advised him against it.

  15. Shocked at the news about Younster…last time we talked he kidded me about being 20 years older. I think it was 1983 when our mutual friend Peter Munoz had to leave BCIT for health reasons and he recommended Jimmy as a replacement for the announcing course. Can you think of anyone better? Many funny stories going through my head but one of the funniest goes like this; He and Bob Harrison were having a cool one at the Capri in Kelowna when they got into a spat and left. Once outside, big Bob picked up Yount stuffed him into a shopping cart and shoved it full speed across the parking lot…Amen….and there are many more.

  16. Wow. So shocked. Jim accepted me into BCIT in 1989 and we became good friends for several years. He got me my first job at AM 1040 and taught me so much. I’ve thought of him many times over the years, but as is so often the case, our paths diverged. I can hear him now, easily, with his “40 pound voice”. A small man, a huge voice, and a life lived to its fullest. Goodbye Jim.

  17. Just 2 days before his untimely passing, “Gentleman Jim” sent me a Facebook message to wish me well after learning that I’d been in hospital. The day after I got home I learned the sad news of this unique and talented man. The cub reporter who taught us all a lot about “real news” and what the words “dedicated professional” really meant.
    My time working with Jim at CKIQ in Kelowna during the 70’s was filled with practical jokes, laughter, hard work and some of the best times I ever had in my 20+ years in the biz. R.I.P. Sir James and we’ll be seeing (and hearing) you on the next frequency on the dial.

  18. Knew Jim to talk to these past few years in Kaslo. Always spoke his mind, and I admired him for that. He will be missed. We are all diminished by his loss.

  19. Nice tributes to a great guy. I did not know Jim well but I remember his fabulous voice on the air and his great smile and sense of humour.

  20. I went to school with Jim and we started out together working part-time at CJIB Vernon. Me, because my father was the manager, and Jim because he had so much talent. My father would have many talks with Jim in his office at the behest of his parents and teachers because once Jim got the broadcast bug it’s all he wanted to do. He hung around the station 24/7 and I believe lied about his age to get his first full time job at CFAC. I think he was 15 but sounded like a seasoned broadcast veteran.
    Jim was one of the biggest characters I have ever met. I hope he’s hitting the fade on a Smokey Robinson hit on that big “McCurdy” board in the sky.

  21. During my Visit to Vancouver this week from San Diego, I was told about Jim’s passing. Sad news.
    A well connected, talented guy who helped so many folks, including myself get a start in the broadcast industry. RIP Jim. Here’s to you playing & dancing to Jeffery Osbourne and Gladys Knight in Heaven. clink!

  22. Thank you to Brian for this lovely, well written piece. My dad was a stickler for grammar. I remember him calling me once to ask how I was meant to spell “because” – apparently I’d misspelled it in a card. Of course as a child this annoyed me, but as a grown up it makes me laugh. Thank you to all of you who have commented above. Its comforting to hear of so many fond memories from both the past colleagues and past students. And to Rod, yes, the stories do help to keep him alive – for now, for his daughter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here