RIP Broadcaster Mike Cleaver, Newsman Extraordinaire, Aged 72

The sad news came via a post on Radio West from Mike’s brother Chris.

It is with much sadness that I must report that my brother, Mike Cleaver, passed away early this morning (February 10). Mike had been fighting kidney disease for the past few months and it finally claimed his life.

I last spoke with Mike this past Friday, and he sounded happy and much like the Mike Cleaver of old. He had nothing but nice things to say about his Doctors and the wonderful support staff at St.Pauls hospital.

Mike had a long and productive career beginning at Kelowna’s CKOV in 1961 followed by a stint at Lethbridge’s CJOC and CJLH-TV. From there it was off to Calgary’s CKXL and then on to CHUM in Toronto. Mike left CHUM in 1976 to work at CJCA Edmonton, then back to CHUM until the news department was gutted in the early 90’s.

On air stints at CFTR and CFRB followed, then back under the CHUM umbrella at CFRA Ottawa.

In 2000 it was back to BC where he worked for CJNW (which was the formal name of NW2, the AM 730 All-News station of 2001-2), CKNW and CTV before retiring for good. Mike was also accomplished tech, and a mentor to many over the years. He passed just days ahead of his 73rd birthday on February 19th.

There will be no funeral or celebration of life as he requested. He will be cremated. Donations in Mike’s memory should be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Picture courtesy of  BC Radio History, where you’ll find all 30 Interviews Mike did with B.C. Broadcasters as Podcasts. 

Published on February 10, 2019 at 3:06 pm by mikedup

Comments

February 10, 2019 - 3:39 pm

Ross Crain

I had the honor of being interviewed by Mike a few years ago. Who is going to do all those wonderful interviews with us old guys now? He will be greatly missed.
Ross


February 10, 2019 - 4:01 pm

Ed Mason

Something nudged me to visit the site and I found this sad news. Mike and I worked together at 1050 CHUM in the golden age of 1974 /1975. He has written some fabulous accounts of that time. I was in awe of the man and his abilities. Mike had a marvellous sense of humour and a gift for writing in pictures. Later in the seventies Mike worked at CJCA in Edmonton and I worked across the street. Fierce competition! but never a loss of friendship or respect.

Damn, I don’t know what else to say about a giant of a man wrapped in a somewhat round, slightly smaller package. I have lost one of my few friends from back in the day. How about a rousing chorus of “We’re the glad boys of radio” for Mike? RIP. Gone too soon


February 10, 2019 - 5:28 pm

Terry

I am sitting here, stunned! I visited this site for the second time today. Not sure what drew me here this time.
Mike and I worked together for years in the Newsroom at CKNW Vancouver. He was both a friend AND a colleague. Talented and capable. Always had something on the go outside his ‘paying’ job. Although sometimes the extracurricular involved some transfer of money. Even after so-called retirement, Mike then got into doing interviews with those of us who were members of the ‘senior’, ‘elderly’ community and shared the results with other characters from the business online.

I’m just glad that Mike got to do the travelling he did over the past number of years.

He will be a large topic of conversation at the next luncheon.

Rest peacefully, Mike. You are very much missed already.


February 10, 2019 - 6:56 pm

Bob Price

Mike was a polished anchor and writer. He understood how to make news understandable. I had huge admiration for the man!


February 10, 2019 - 9:36 pm

Tom Mark

Mike was a giant of radio. We were friends since he attended the RTNDA national convention in Whistler in 1990 and I had the pleasure of working with him briefly at CKNW. I too was honoured by an interview he did with me at my home. He knew how to bring news alive. Sad to lose another of the greats.


February 10, 2019 - 10:33 pm

musicm

Sorry news about a great broadcaster……Mike had a huge presence in Canadian Radio and will be missed.Still can’t believe he’s gone. R.IP.


February 11, 2019 - 12:34 pm

Fergus McCann

Chris,
Sorry to hear this news. Your tales of Mike’s exploits kept us entertained over the Kelowna years and I glad to be able to work him during his stint at CTV.


February 12, 2019 - 1:19 pm

Tom Jeffries

I was a huge fan of Michael Cleaver. He did so many things, so well. He was the ‘voice’ for so long, while I toiled for CHUM.
I am honoured he felt I was worth interviewing, and he was trying to help hype a company I was launching.

He was a kind, caring, and much-loved man. A success – by any measure.

Julie and I will miss you, Michael.

Say hi to all our friends…..that were, no doubt waiting for you. 🙂


February 12, 2019 - 3:49 pm

George Gordon

Worked with Mike at CHUM in 75 76. Then we stayed in touch at RTNDA and RTDNA gatherings. He was not only a great on air broadcaster but very knowledgeable in engineering and production. Remember hearing him do CHUM News along with Dicky Smyth when I was in college back in 70-71 and thought that’s amazing.


February 15, 2019 - 9:22 am

Jeff Feldman

I loved listening to Mike at CHUM from around 1972 and then was thrilled when I met him through Brian Thomas, as the two teamed up to privately train me and a few others. It was a real joy to benefit from his knowledge of radio, incredible talent and quick wit. We went many years without being in contact, then reconnected about six years ago when he, John Harada and I reunited. Mike and I stayed in contact, from that point on and finally had a sushi dinner together shortly before his passing. He was upbeat, optimistic, grateful and funny, and looked great. We all thought the worst was over, with regards to his health challenges. I still can’t believe that he has passed on. My condolences to Terry and the rest of his family. Mike was one of the best – as a broadcaster and as a person.


February 15, 2019 - 9:23 am

Jeff Feldman

I loved listening to Mike at CHUM from around 1972 and then met him through Brian Thomas, as the two of them privately trained me and a few others. It was a real joy to benefit from his knowledge of radio, incredible talent and quick wit. We went many years without being in contact, then reconnected about six years ago when he, John Harada and I reunited. Mike and I stayed in contact, from that point on, and finally had a sushi dinner together only a couple of weeks before his passing. He was upbeat, optimistic, grateful and funny, and looked great. We all thought the worst was over, with regards to his health challenges. I still can’t believe that he has passed on. My condolences to Terry and the rest of his family. Mike was one of the best – as a broadcaster and as a person.


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