By King Lee


Victoria Times Colonist


Joe Easingwood, Victoria's dean of talk-show radio, has won the B.C. Association of Broadcasters' highest award. Easingwood, in his fifth decade of broadcasting, was named Radio Performer of the Year at the association's annual awards banquet Friday in Prince George. "This is an award that really means something because it's voted upon by your peers," an ecstatic Easingwood said just hours before the presentation.


Easingwood, 60, said C-FAX president and general manager Mel Cooper told him about the award a few days ago so that Easingwood could make arrangements to attend the ceremony. "I was entirely surprised and absolutely delighted. I'm deeply honored with this," said Easingwood, who writes a column for the Times Colonist's Islander section on Sundays.


His career began in 1948, sweeping floors as well as filing in the music library at CKNW in New Westminster. Easingwood's first break came when, at the age of 10, he was allowed to read the lost and found announcements at the station one Sunday afternoon.


Easingwood's radio career was based mostly in Victoria, starting at CJVI where he rose to be the station manager. He moved to C-FAX radio in 1981, hosting a talk show which he continues to do to this day.






Victoria Times Colonist


After 40 years, radio listeners feel they know Joe Easingwood - his booming voice, opinions, the way he prefers his chili - like a family friend.


He started at CJVI as "a general purpose, fill-in duty type of person" and got a five-minute spot called Joe's Notebook right after the 10 a.m. news, which offered household hints and recipes.


His popularity grew quickly and within a year, the program was two hours every day with Joe and his callers adding other topics.


A quickly assembled print version of Joe's Notebook surprised everyone by selling 35,000 copies at $1. Half went to the non- profit groups who sold it, the same arrangement today when edition number nine is selling for $10.


He can't remember a time when he wasn't crazy for the business. His father ran a radio sales and service business in the Fraser Valley.


"At home the radio was always on." "When I was a kid of 10 growing up in New Westminster, I used to hang around - make an absolute pest of myself - at CKNW."


They'd let little Joe file records and sweep the floors. His reward was to read some ads on air.


Maybe his radio talk career isn't so surprising. Joe was the youngest of 10 children and had to pipe up to compete with all those siblings.


The family came here in 1952. One look at S.J. Willis school's PA system with "a huge console, better than some radio stations," and he convinced Principal Bernard Gillie to let him play DJ for half an hour every morning.


The 1950s were a golden age of broadcasting here. Two new radio stations started, and CHEK television went on the air the same year Easingwood did.


CJVI was his radio home for years until he and newsman Ed McKenzie walked across Broughton Street to C-FAX in 1981, a move that reverberated in Victoria's small broadcast business community.


He's been tempted only two other times. In 1963 he auditioned for KGO in San Francisco and was offered a job, but turned it down, mainly because he couldn't have afforded to live anywhere near the city by the Bay.