Very sorry to learn from the Northwest Broadcasters recent news page that former Vancouver/Victoria news broadcaster JJ Richards has died at age 88. This according to a post on the C-FUN reunion group site.
The posting reads, “I will confirm that our wonderful JJ Richards passed away on Saturday June 30 about 2 p.m. at his home in Palm Springs. An obituary will be placed in the Vancouver papers this weekend, and a celebration of life will be announced soon.”
Richards had been News Director at CKDA/CFMS-FM Victoria from 1974-80; news reader and News Director at C-FUN Vancouver from 1980-98 and a talk show host there from 1998-2000, before retiring to Rancho Mirage CA, where he hosted and produced Palm Springs Street Talk for nine years.
According to the Vancouver Broadcasters site, which supplied JJ’s photo above, his career began on CKUA Edmonton doing radio dramas, then where he became morning show host from 1950-57. His later broadcasting credits include international reporting for CHUM Toronto (1957-64) and TV news with CFTO (1964-67.) He was city hall reporter for CBC-TV Toronto (1967-70), and then a correspondent in Athens Greece (1970-74.) In 1993 he was honoured with an RTNDA Distinguished Service Award, and the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
R.I.P. JJ. Met him at 14 CFUN back in the early 80’s. Always liked his sound.
J.J. will be missed by all who knew him in the business, and I am one of them. We were friends the moment we met and enjoyed many years as members of the RTNDA, Both of us received Life Time achievement awards in 2004. Didn’t know he was that ill when my wife and I were in Palm Springs from June 1 to 15th. Rest in peace my friend.
Always found JJ a great guy to be around. He was very good at what he did and was an early multi-tasker. Many times he was playing voice clips from the news booth after he had hit the street and recorded them! Don’t hear of that anymore.
Rest peacefully, JJ.
It was late 1980 when I first met J.J. I was at CKXL in Calgary…and on December 8th…I began working at CFUN doing mornings. The same day John Lennon was murdered. At the time, J.J. was in a coma after a bad car crash in Victoria…and so it was trial by fire. Thankfully, David Palmer was a terrific guide. J.J. also attended my wedding on January 24th of 1981. I thought that much of the man despite only knowing him for a short while What I learned from J.J. never left me. My on air and writing presentation to this day includes a hefty dose of J.J.! His influence on my career goes beyond words. Rest in peace my friend and mentor. You deserve your rest.
It was late 1980 when I first met J.J. I was at CKXL in Calgary…and on December 8th…I began working at CFUN doing mornings. The same day John Lennon was murdered. At the time, J.J. was in a coma after a bad car crash in Victoria…and so it was trial by fire. Thankfully, David Palmer was a terrific guide. J.J. also attended my wedding on January 24th of 1981. I thought that much of the man despite only knowing him for a short while. What I learned from J.J. never left me. My on air and writing presentation to this day includes a hefty dose of J.J.! His influence on my career goes beyond words. Rest in peace my friend and mentor. You deserve your rest.
I had the blessing of working with JJ for many years, at CFUN. I echo Bob Price’s lovely words. This man was a real craftsman, but an even nicer human. He was VERY good to me.
My sincere condolences to his wife Tschia, and his entire Family. RIP, J. We missed you at the CFUN Reunion. A sad day. This one hurt.
It is always very nice to here such warm thoughts from those that knew and worked with someone that has passed.
The Family of Mr. Richards must be very proud of him when they hear/read the tributes posted to him here.
I’m just devastated to hear of J.J.’s passing. We worked briefly together but spent many years attending RTNDA meetings and lunching and sharing stories. J.J. was one of the best newsmen I’ve ever known and an excellent writer and mentor. His career is legendary for those of us who go back with him. On top of that,he was an all round nice man. When CJOR was turned to classic rock in 1988 and I had to let go much of my newsroom J.J. was the first to call and offer his guidance and ear. This is a loss. Enjoy your next ride my friend.
Met JJ in 1993 when London hosted RTNDA National. Behind the gruff exterior was a heart of gold. He worked with me on the Foundation Auction that year and we made a lot of money. The “Arabian Fabian”, as he was nick named, became a friend after that. He welcomed Shirley and me to Vancouver when we came out in late 99. We visited his spot in Palm Springs and he would treat us like Royalty. Always an information entrepreneur, JJ described his battles with the local Chamber of Commerce as he tried to get members to market the Coachella Valley more to British Columbians who had 6 months of cloud and rain, but who might not realize the affordability of Palm Springs. ( Before 2008) I wouldn’t want to be in the seat of those who scoffed his idea. He knew every body and treated them equally. Condolences to Tessa and his family. Another legend passes on to immortality.
Back in 1983 he paid me $1000 for news tip of the year. Back in September a Korean Airlines flight, KAL007, had gone missing, possibly over Soviet territory. I spent the night monitoring Radio Moscow on shortwave and by early morning the tone turned belligerent towards the Americans, saying they were in control of this flight. I decided to phone in a news tip that the plane had likely been taken down by the Soviets. I first phoned CKNW. The Warren Barker newsroom wasn’t interested. I then phoned CFUN and the newsroom man, David Palmer, asked me to wait a minute. Next thing I knew I was live on air. CFUN kept me on with updated for 24 hours. The CBC phoned and had me on the noon TV news with Bill Good, along with my Radio Moscow tape. Later that day there was a call from the Canadian Ministry listening post in Aldergrove. The man on the phone wanted to know how to pick up Radio Moscow! At the end of the year JJ Richards phoned me to say my story tip had been selected tip of the year. He invited me down to the studio to pick up the $1000 cheque. He was most gracious and introduced me to everyone working there at that time.
I am extremely saddened to learn of JJ’s passing, especially coming just a few weeks after the loss of John Ashbridge who I considered friends. JJ was one of a kind who was a man of his word and shared his lifelong passion for an industry that he served with distinction. They don’t make ’em like that anymore! RIP my friend.
I recall JJ from his CHUM days in Toronto…everyone listened to him … He was popular and regarded as a great guy…
Thx JJ for providing classy radio for so many Cdns….
So sorry to have heard of J.J.’s passing.. Our daughters grew up together and we would go trick or treating at Halloween or sitting in the stands at a Vancouver Canadians game working a bag of peanuts over, or at the girls music recitals he was a loving father and I got to see that side of him during his many years at Cfun he was a great announcer and a even greater human being
You know for those of us who worked with JJ…and years later when i ran into him is his humility that so impressed me….He was a broadcasters broadcaster…..So respectful of what he had accomplished……The Personality in radio was a old term which meant something years ago…..Their is frankly no such thing any more in the regulated structure…..Broadcasters like JJ are remembered…..forever
JJ was my mentor. I spent many years learning from him. He took me under his wing while I was Special Events coordinator at Variety. I’ll never forget him and think of him very often as I go through life asking myself “What would JJ do?”.