Gary Beech

Gary Beech - CKSOBirthplace
Sudbury, Ontario

April 12, 1960

First Media Job
CHNO, Reporter, Sudbury

While attending Grade 13 at Lively District Secondary School, Gary Beech was still not sure what he wanted to do post graduation. A friend studying broadcasting at Canadore College in North Bay was so enthusiastic Gary thought he would give it a try. In 1979 he began studies in Radio & Television Broadcasting at Canadore. Two years later following graduation, he started his first media job at CHNO, Sudbury, as a reporter and news announcer. After a year the company began downsizing and Gary was laid off. Fortunately, before the pink slip was printed, CHNO’s News Director Allan Bailey became instrumental in securing another job for Gary at CJLB in Thunder Bay. During the next year and a half Gary pleasantly recalls working with people like Ray Erickson, Gord Bucknell, Randy Pike, the ‘Big G’, Glen Walters and Mark Taylor.

He joined CKSO radio in 1983 when Ralph Murray was the News Director. The newsroom also included Peter McPherson, Fred Pletsch, Tom Otto and Bill Adams.

Rob Faulds, Sports Director, made a January 1984 move to Winnipeg leaving Gary to take over Rob’s position. In addition to writing and anchoring sportscasts handling play-by-play for the Ontario Major Junior ‘A’ Sudbury Wolves was included.

Gary remained at CKSO as Sports Director until the summer of 1986 when he left to pursue other career opportunities. Gary was out of broadcasting until May of 1991 when he returned as a weekend host of a satellite talk show called “In the North” which was broadcast on the Pelmorex Radio Network in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay and Kapuskasing. Gary Beech then joined CHNO / CJMX FM full time in September of 1993 and began working as a morning show co-host with Dave Mayes on 105.3 EZ Rock (CJMX FM). Program Director Scott Jackson dubbed the show, “The Adventures of Dave & Gary”. When Dave left the station to join their competition, Brad Donnelly was hired as his replacement. Gary and Brad worked together until October 1997 when a strike broke out against Pelmorex Broadcasting lasting for three and a half months. After the strike, Tim Klassen took over and the station was bought by Telemedia and re-located to 880 LaSalle Boulevard in Sudbury. Tim left for Regina in 2001 and eventually made his way to the United Arab Emirates. Sadly later that year, he passed away on October 23rd of a heart attack while visiting his mother in Calgary. Gary then began working with Rich Griffin on April 24, 2001. Gary and Rich had an ongoing joke about both retiring on the same day, April 24, 2031. They became known as “Rich & Gary in the Morning”. In May of 2015 Rich Griffin suffered a brain aneurysm. He died on the 25th, just two days after being placed on life support. He was 52 and an organ donor. Eight people received his “Gifts of Life”. In honour of Rich’s memory, his wife Nancy and friends launched “The Rich Griffin #1Saves8 Campaign” in November of that year in an effort to increase the number of registered organ donors and to raise funds to support the financial needs of Northern Ontario transplant patients and their families. An annual highlight of the campaign is the “The Rich Griffin #1Saves8 Gala”. Members of the public are invited to learn more by visiting the campaign web site at Gary and Rich had been a team for 14 years.

Gary continued to help get the people of Sudbury and area up in the mornings and ready for the day along with co-hosts Shannon King from KiSS Timmins and Jeremy Dunton from Winnipeg. Dunton was laid off while Garry and Shannon continued to work together until Gary’s final broadcast on December 20, 2018. He had announced early in that month of his desire to retire by the end of the year.

He continues to be involved in the community in various capacities through much volunteering. He will tell you that he loves retirement and the ‘lack’ of that 3:39 a.m. alarm call! Following official retirement, Gary continued to do the Sudbury Wolves play-by-play on behalf of Eastlink TV.

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