Radio Legend Rick Smith Passes Away

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Thunder Bay Mourns Deaths of Media Legends

THUNDER BAY – In less than a week, Thunder Bay has lost two major media icons. Fraser Dougall from Dougall media passed away last week. On Sunday, long-time radio and television personality and local media icon Rick Smith passed away too.

Rick Smith was famous for his open-line radio talk show.

On a personal note, I remember having moved to Thunder Bay from Winnipeg in 1976. My first morning in Thunder Bay waking up to 580CKPR had the “Rick Smith Morning News”, then the Rick Smith open line show.

Every day, Monday to Friday, Rick Smith made sure that people in Thunder Bay knew what was happening, and that their views were heard too.

Later from time to time I would run into Mr. Smith, often down at the Marina, where he shared his love for the community and for sailing.

His knowledge and care for our region was always without question.

Mike MacDonald, a former Dougall Media employee shares, “If nothing else, Rick Smith taught me to have guts. He taught me to say what you mean, and mean what you say – regardless of the backlash. I remember him checking in on me from time to time, making sure I was settling in alright. I remember sitting in the food court at Intercity Mall, when suddenly sitting across from me was the man himself – again, asking how things were going.”

“I can imagine some people wondering why Rick Smith was sitting with that Indian kid at the mall – and I definitely enjoyed the expression on their faces. I never asked him why he took an interest in my career – but I’ve damn sure asked myself that question. I read today that Rick Smith has passed away. The way the business is these days, it’s rare to find an old pro who doesn’t jealously hold down younger talent to secure their position. Rick did the opposite, and I was always grateful for that”.

Those sentiments are being expressed by people who worked with Mr. Rick Smith.

Thunder Bay has lost a giant in the media history of our community and region.

All of us at NetNewsLedger extend our thoughts and prayers to the friends, families and to all those at Dougall Media.

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