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March 6, 2021 8:39 pm  #1


Dick Smyth passes away

Former CFTR (among the stops in his career) newscaster has died at a Huntsville hospice.

https://twitter.com/richard680news/status/1368357875626766336

 

March 6, 2021 8:53 pm  #2


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

What sad news. Not only was he a legend in the business (if you could avoid having a typewriter thrown at your head!) but he was a principled one, as well.

When Robert Holiday ran into some controversy at cross town rival CFTR, it was Smyth that very publicly came to his defence. 

I don't think Robert ever forgot that kindness and the support. 

RIP Dick. Even in an era of maverick broadcasters, you really were one of a kind.  

 

March 6, 2021 9:07 pm  #3


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Canadian Press obit:

Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 85

I'd forgotten about his City TV days:



Here's Smyth from 2012 on how he's mellowed:



From the CP article:

“There’s no great newscasters today on radio,” he said in 2012.

“I’m thinking of Jack Dennett, the late Gordon Sinclair, people who brought a flair, personality…even an opinion. You didn’t want to miss them in the morning.”

He added: “You’re not going to attract listeners with news unless you’ve got some style.”

 

March 6, 2021 9:27 pm  #4


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

And here's a video from early days of 680 News, which features Dick Smyth, among others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dp13EdntEQ

     Thread Starter
 

March 6, 2021 10:07 pm  #5


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

He was justifiably slapped down for his commentary on there being too many Jewish professionals.

   But I understand from anyone who knew or worked with him that he was one of a kind -- and broadcasting needed, and needs, more people like him.
    One story already being repeated is how he ended a newscast by mentioning what group's song was coming next. Except, he called them "22 Top" instead of ZZ Top.

 

March 6, 2021 11:32 pm  #6


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Hi RA,
Dick had one of his best commentary pieces during the Armiean Bomb Threat in 1985.  He rushed into the 5th floor newsroom and taped a real classic commentary with the ending, hoping that the terrorists would "go straight to Hell".  RIP Dick
 

 

March 7, 2021 12:32 am  #7


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

I remember in the mid-90s he also had a nightly commentary that aired on CFMT at 7:29pm. It always aired right before The Simpsons.

 

March 7, 2021 12:54 am  #8


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Years ago, I asked Dick about his radio career and this is what he wrote:

"I first was on radio with a children's theatre group on CFCF Montreal. I played the giants and the ogres because I had the right voice for it. My first paid job - a magnanimous $35 a week - was at CKSF (now CJSS) Cornwall. I worked during the summer then commuted on weekends from Montreal. My dad was with CPR and I rode the train for free. And, in those days, there were plenty of trains.

I then went to CKLB Oshawa, CHML Hamilton, CKSL London and then CKLW. I was at CKLW from 1956 to 1969 which makes it 13 years. CHUM had tried to hire me to do morning news. I told them when they wanted a news director, I might be interested. Eventually they did, the situation at LW was shaky because of the forced sale by RKO General - I was looking for an out - so when CHUM came back, I said yes.

At one point I had really wanted to go to California and almost took jobs in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh as stepping stones. Then I came "that  close" to going to KFI in Los Angeles. (Often wonder how things would  have turned out if the deal hadn't fallen through.) I did some commentary on CKLW-FM in Windsor which in those days had an audience of zilch. CHUM had had a tradition of commentary with Bill Drylie --- always regret never having met him --- and after I got settled in, I started doing daily comment on CHUM.

I had always wanted to get into TV but never was able to in Windsor. (I did do some TV reporting, usually in tandem with what I was covering for radio.) When CHUM acquired CITY, I lobbied for a shot at TV and I started doing nightly TV comment."

 

Last edited by Dale Patterson (March 7, 2021 1:03 am)


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

March 7, 2021 1:02 am  #9


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

I remember him best from his days at CKLW>

 

March 7, 2021 1:04 am  #10


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

I often thought Dick would have made a great talk radio host. I heard him once on AM 640 doing a one-off guest spot and he was excellent. R.I.P. Dick Smyth.


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

March 7, 2021 1:12 am  #11


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

This is sad. RIP Dick Smyth, also known for being
the first official All News announcer when All hits 680 CFTR switched over to the All News format
in June of 1993:




 

Last edited by Radiowiz (March 7, 2021 1:23 am)


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

March 7, 2021 1:26 am  #12


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

My favorite commentary was the day after Bell bought Chum.
“Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that our beloved station would one day be owned by the god damned phone company.”

Last edited by Prod Guy (March 7, 2021 7:07 pm)

 

March 7, 2021 9:14 am  #13


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

I grew up listening to Dick on CHUM. He was an influence in my getting into radio and I got the chance to meet him once. He was an original, whether you agreed with him or not. My condolences to the family.

 

March 7, 2021 10:33 am  #14


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

turkeytop wrote:

I remember him best from his days at CKLW>

Me, too. God, he was good!

 

March 7, 2021 11:20 am  #15


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

mike marshall wrote:

turkeytop wrote:

I remember him best from his days at CKLW>

Me, too. God, he was good!

Couldn't agree more, Dick Smyth was in a league of his own on radio.  What a voice and delivery, and he could be quite funny at times, especially editorials.   You may know about this Mike, and be able to confirm or deny, but I read somewhere that Dick was not totally on board with the 20/20 hyper news style and writing at CKLW.  He felt that it went too far at times and that also played a part in his leaving.  I always liked Smyth and CHUM's news, because while still contemporary, it was always straight forward and they stayed away from the more sensational and graphic CKLW style of news reporting.  CHUM's news for a top 40 radio station was outstanding.  

 

March 7, 2021 11:27 am  #16


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

MJ Vancouver wrote:

I remember in the mid-90s he also had a nightly commentary that aired on CFMT at 7:29pm. It always aired right before The Simpsons.

||

That's what I know him from.
 

 

March 7, 2021 2:59 pm  #17


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

I'm told (somewhat accurately) Dick had an afternoon rock show at CHML that wasn't very popular.and was let go. But the station GM lined him up a job CKSL. On the way to London he tuned into CKLW and liked the sound of their news and decided to bypass London and go directly to Windsor to try to get a news job which he did.

 

March 7, 2021 3:58 pm  #18


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

At the age of 62, Dick Smyth made an exit from television "before someone does it for me..." lol
I love this classic:

















 

Last edited by Radiowiz (March 7, 2021 3:58 pm)


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

March 7, 2021 5:25 pm  #19


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

i remember dick posting on this here big yellow board.... including revealing about his ongoing dealings with clinical depression. he didn't have to post this but it was clear he felt it had to be said. kudos to him! his honesty may have helped many. may he rest in peace!

 

March 7, 2021 7:43 pm  #20


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Dick Smyth's final CHUM newscast from April 10, 1987, courtesy Doug Thompson in the CHUM Archives.

Smyth makes no mention of the fact this is his last CHUM newscast.

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/chum-smyth-apr10-87-9am.mp3

Last edited by Dale Patterson (March 7, 2021 7:46 pm)


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

March 7, 2021 8:09 pm  #21


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Dale Patterson wrote:

Dick Smyth's final CHUM newscast from April 10, 1987, courtesy Doug Thompson in the CHUM Archives.

Smyth makes no mention of the fact this is his last CHUM newscast.

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/chum-smyth-apr10-87-9am.mp3

I wonder if he didn’t want to take the spotlight away from Jeannie Beker, who was making her last appearance before going on maternity leave.

Interesting hearing the traffic and TTC report - Gardiner closures, delays on the Bloor-Danforth line, could just as easily be 2021!

Last edited by MJ Vancouver (March 7, 2021 8:10 pm)

 

March 7, 2021 8:25 pm  #22


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

When I worked at CHUM-FM, Dick was across the hall at 1050 CHUM. Formats would come and go; but during this period the newscast would end in this way. "I'm Dick Smythe and now back to much more music with(name of group) and into music. Well one day this happened.  "I'm Dick Smythe and now back to much more music with 22 TOP!" Yes Dick mistook the letters ZZ with 22. He laughed hard about it afterwards; because Dick had a great sense of humour. Sometimes you just had to find it; but it was there.  I'll miss you Dick. You were an inspiration to all of us and yes a radio legend!!!

Last edited by John D (March 7, 2021 8:27 pm)

 

March 7, 2021 9:39 pm  #23


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

MJ Vancouver wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

Dick Smyth's final CHUM newscast from April 10, 1987, courtesy Doug Thompson in the CHUM Archives.

Smyth makes no mention of the fact this is his last CHUM newscast.

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/chum-smyth-apr10-87-9am.mp3

I wonder if he didn’t want to take the spotlight away from Jeannie Beker, who was making her last appearance before going on maternity leave. !

Considering he left to go to Rogers maybe this was the last broadcast before he told his boss he was leaving and he was told he wouldn't be going back on the air? Did he say anything on his CityPulse commentary about it being his last? 
 

 

March 7, 2021 9:48 pm  #24


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Dick Smyth CHUM home movie from 1983

 

March 7, 2021 11:00 pm  #25


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

paterson1 wrote:

You may know about this Mike, and be able to confirm or deny, but I read somewhere that Dick was not totally on board with the 20/20 hyper news style and writing at CKLW.  He felt that it went too far at times and that also played a part in his leaving.  I always liked Smyth and CHUM's news, because while still contemporary, it was always straight forward and they stayed away from the more sensational and graphic CKLW style of news reporting.

Can't confirm or deny, paterson1, but can understand why he might be uncomfortable with some of the writing that made it to air, much of it after Dick left. His approach was, as you say, contemporary and aggressively straight ahead. He was fun to watch when he was on the air, very physical, he commanded your attention.
It must be said, too, that many of the talented 20-20 newscasters did not go overboard.
 

 

March 8, 2021 1:20 am  #26


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Sorry to read this

Although I never met Mr. Smyth I did send him a tape once. He was kind & positive in his response & suggested I stay in touch.

Had a couple of friends who worked for & with him

A great career no doubt


"I'll kick your ass down Yonge Street"... CFTR's Robert Holiday circa 1979...
 

March 8, 2021 9:30 am  #27


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

Doug Thompson. a SOWNY member and former producer at CHUM, has written a wonderful piece on his memories of working with Smyth at 1050. It ends with the newsman's own obit, which he wrote before his death.

RIP: Dick Smyth, News Broadcaster Extraordinaire

 

March 8, 2021 9:47 am  #28


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

RadioActive wrote:

Doug Thompson. a SOWNY member and former producer at CHUM, has written a wonderful piece on his memories of working with Smyth at 1050. It ends with the newsman's own obit, which he wrote before his death.

RIP: Dick Smyth, News Broadcaster Extraordinaire

Well done.
 


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

March 8, 2021 1:50 pm  #29


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

RadioActive wrote:

Doug Thompson. a SOWNY member and former producer at CHUM, has written a wonderful piece

RIP: Dick Smyth, News Broadcaster Extraordinaire

Enjoyed this, Doug. Got a real kick about the Fred Ennis yellow tape bit.

There's a good article in today's Star, too.

Re the summer of '67 in Detroit, it was said that the CKLW 20-20 News vehicles were the only media cars not
shot at...or at least...hit...
 

Last edited by mike marshall (March 8, 2021 1:57 pm)

 

March 8, 2021 3:05 pm  #30


Re: Dick Smyth passes away

After reading Dick Smyth's self-scribed obit and view on religion I was reminded of Dick's home screen that he shared with me.




https://i.ibb.co/Kqk2jBK/Dick-Smyth.jpg


Last edited by Bentwater (March 8, 2021 3:06 pm)