Mike Cleaver passes

Radio News from British Columbia

Mike Cleaver passes

Postby radiofan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:30 pm

We have just received word that veteran Canadian broadcaster, RadioWest member and friend Mike Cleaver passed away this morning.

Mike's longtime partner Terry posted this on FB within the past hour:

Hi Everyone, this is Terry (Mike's partner). I would like to announce that Mike has passed away early this morning. There will not be a funeral service.

Condolences to Terry, Mike's brother Chris and family.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby Chris Cleaver » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:54 pm

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, 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.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby skygirl » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:23 pm

So sad to here this news - love to you and Terry and all his loved ones...
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby radiofan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:36 pm

Jim Goddard, Mike Cleaver, Ted Wendland and Don Kennedy @ Nov 2018 RadioWest GTG.


Mike Cleaver and Michael Godin @ Oct 2017 RPM Lunch
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby Gord Whitehead » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:30 pm

Finally had to join this board. I am so saddened to hear of Mike's passing. He was a giant of the Top 40 era, the best News reader I ever worked with, and brought that acumen and delivery to his time at CJCA in Edmonton. We had the pleasure of working together for a few years and especially Saturday mornings. Our third member was Fred Fleming, now with the Denver Broncos and there were so many belly laughs, snot bubbles and wheezing moments together. Those memories I cherish. Sending best wishes to Chris and the family. He was an enormous talent, and Fred and I will be hoisting a Scotch in his memory. Rest well Mike, you were a great friend.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby jon » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:40 pm

Ed Mason just wrote and asked me to post this:

Just read the sad news. I truly liked and admired Mike. We met at 1050 CHUM in 1974…the golden years. He could do everything better than the rest. I learned a lot from Mike and used it against him when he showed up at CJCA in the later seventies…but he was Mike and he outpaced me again. He has talked about some adventures we had at RTNDA events in Vancouver. Here’s to fond memories with Mike…and thanks for the good times. Sincere condolences to his family and friends. Ed
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby Talker » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:22 pm

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.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby groundwave » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:35 pm

Such sad news. We have lost a true radio pioneer. On this board, Mike Cleaver's point of view always enriched every discussion he chose to participate in. I was often amazed by the wide 'talent to technical' span of radio broadcast knowledge he possessed.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby RadioGuy89b » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:40 pm

I sat next to him at the radiowest Nov get-together. We didn't talk a ton, but very pleasant man. I wish I could have known him more, and I remember him fr NW. RIP sir
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby PicturesForYourEars » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:22 pm

This is written in Mike's style.
One line at a time.

Mike was always a helper.
He was always there to answer technical Private Messages and email questions from me.
That's Mike!

And just in the last 24 hours, Mike was still caring enough to "like" another one of my stupid Facebook jokes !

I know he liked cats.
Mike had a huge collection of coloured Nike runners, from his worldwide travels.
A book publisher in California had Mike on speed dial; he voiced oodles of best-selling audiobooks.

And, Mike loved, loved, LOVED radio.

Thanks Mike!

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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby Jack Bennest » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:31 pm

Not sure why my Pals did not tell me.

Mike and I liked each other a-lot
Had many things in common
and we worked together to preserve BC radio history.

my email is jackbennest@gmail.com

if you need my phone number ask for it on an email. Yes Ted it has changed.

This is SO sad....but death cannot be reversed.

Now let us.......... honour Mr. Cleaver

Mike had the voice - and he had the style of a gentleman in his interviews...

Folks I am 72.... I plan on respecting my peers for many moons ahead.

Let us all continue TO honour the best on here.

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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby Jack Bennest » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:39 pm

Mike and his brother from Kelowna
More on that later

here is a clip and paste
as a newsie I can do this

as a friend this is very tuff

June 1999 – November 2001


1200TEAM/Majic 100

Ottawa -Morning News Anchor and Assistant News


-Gather, write and present 8-minute morning

news packages on the hour and half-hour

from 5am to 10am Monday to Friday

-Character voice on Majic 100 Morning show

-Responsible for Newsroom operations and staff

training, planning and implementation of news

programming, scheduling and administration.

-Plan, design and implement new newsroom and

equipment for new CHUM Ottawa Operations.

-Assisted in the development of I-NES 2000 software.

-Responsible for selecting and adjusting equipment for quality of on-air sound of CFRA,

CJMJ-FM and Sports Radio 1200 The Team.

-Member of BN National Editorial Committee and


February 1998 – June 1999

-680 News, Toronto -Afternoon Drive News Anchor

Read and re-write half hour news wheels on

Toronto’s All-News radio station

-Part-time professor (PhD) at Seneca’s School of

Communication Arts teaching Radio and

Television Journalism and Voice and Presentation Skills (10 hrs/wk)

October 1994 - November 15, 1996

-CFRB, Toronto -Evening News Anchor and Host of “The World

Tonight”, afternoon drive business reports,

news air shifts at all times of the day

Gathered, prepared and delivered evening newscasts on the hour and half hour and prepared and delivered two ten minute “World Tonight” newscasts five nights per week

-Interviews with news-makers for “The World


-Work with summer interns on presentation skills

and writing

-Part Time Professor at Seneca College School of

Communication Arts in Presentation Skills, News

writing and newscast preparation for 3 semesters

September 1983 - September 1994

-CHUM Toronto -Afternoon News Anchor. Prepared, wrote and

delivered hourly newscasts

-Morning News Anchor and Co-anchor, preparing

writing and delivering hourly and half hourly


-Assignment Editor, CHUM-CHUM-FM News

-Outside reporting of major events (Pope's visit,

Royal visits, Blue Jays World Series wins)

-Producer, writer and Toronto anchor of the CHUM National Network News

heard daily on CHUM Stations and affiliates across Canada

This program won finalist status at the International Radio Festival of New York -Acting News Director for 1050 CHUM

-Beta tested Broadcast News I-NES text-audio

newsroom computer system upgrades

-Professor at Seneca College for three

semesters, teaching on-air presentation skills

for radio and television

-Chairman of CHUM-CHUM-FM Employee

Relations committee for three years

-Editor of RTNDA Newsbreak monthly newsletter

for three years

-Member, CAB Quarter Century Club

September 1976 - September 1983


Edmonton, Alberta -Morning news anchor

-Assistant News Director for both stations

-Continued engineering duties as third

Technician, including design and installation

of a new four track recording facility, new 50K

AM transmitter and FM transmitter


-Acted as Producer-Operator for visiting

radio at Edmonton Eskimo home games

-Hosted talk shows

-Set up several 24 track recording sessions


-Voice work on commercials, industrial videos.

September 1972 - September 1976

-CHUM Toronto -Afternoon anchor, later

moving to mornings as co-anchor

-Worked all air-shifts, including outside


-Interviews and editing for CHUM-FM's

"In Toronto" program

-Voicing several documentaries.

-Became a member of RTNDA

March 1972 - September 1972

-CKXL Calgary -Morning news anchor

April 1969 - March 1972


Lethbridge -Became News Director at CJLH-TV

Lethbridge, Alberta, taking over supper-

hour news cast

-Learned 35mm still photography,

processing and slide mounting

-Learned 16mm silent and sound

filming, processing and editing

-Learned video and audio switching,

studio camera and lighting

-Learned early videotape technology

(2”) plus early Sony backpack

-Continued work at CJOC Radio doing

morning drive and mid-day newscasts

September 1968 - April 1969 -Became late evening newscaster at

CJLH-TV, Lethbridge, Alberta

May 1967 - September 1968 -Evening announcer at CJOC radio

Lethbridge, Alberta

-Worked all air-shifts, including morning


-Moved into news along with evening

announce shift

-Worked as Chief Engineer for three

months, maintaining and upgrading

studio and transmitter equipment

continued as Assistant Engineer until


-Booth Announcer at CJLH-TV

September 1965 – May 1967


Kelowna, BC -Became Chief Announcer

-Continued engineering duties and

began work in the newsroom

July 1964 - September 1965

-Became Staff Announcer at CKOV

Kelowna, BC working all shifts

including morning drive and remotes

-Became Assistant Engineer, helping

Chief Engineer with maintenance,

equipment installation and design

-Helped put CJOV-FM on air.

June 1962 - July 1964 -Began hosting 4pm - 5pm request and dedication show on CKOV, Kelowna


-Operator for daily summer remotes

-Later added evening operating and

hosting shifts

January 1962 - June 1962

-Started fifteen minute weekly high

school news program "Hi-Notes" on CKOV, Kelowna, BC

December 1961

-Began broadcasting career as fill-in operator at CKOV, Kelowna

ducation: -Elementary education in Ontario

-High School Graduate, Kelowna, BC

-Partial Grade 13, English Major.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby Jack Bennest » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:41 pm


if you would

contact me

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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby the-real-deal » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:29 pm

Like many others, I had heard about the news of Mike Cleaver's demise very recently with sadness. He was a relatively young man at just age 72, but judging from the Get together photos, it appeared that his health was going into the dumpster for quite some time ?

I am not a "hotshot" broadcaster or even a friend of Mr. Cleaver's. I am merely a long time radio journalist and worker in the field looking into the fishbowl of this business merely as an outsider or bystander.

Perhaps Mike Cleaver should be nominated to the Okanagan Broadcasting Hall of Fame (if there was one ?). To my knowledge, there is not.

(others on that list should include: the late Kim Callaway (whom I once worked with), Pat Kennedy, formerly of CHBC Television, and former Mayor Walter Gray).

As everyone knows, MIke began his career in Kelowna (at CKOV) as a very young man, a mere teenager.

He is clearly one of the best and most talented broadcasters and writers to ever appear on Kelowna radio, either then, or now.

The other observation was: He did everything well !

He repaired, installed, and fixed radio studio equipment and was one hell of a sound engineer. You can count on one hand, how many newspeople in this country can write and deliver a five minute newscast and also, wire a broadcast studio in the same breath !

Very FEW can do that.

So, how will Mike Cleaver be remembered and what will be his legacy ?

For the record, I never had the chance to meet Mike Cleaver and I only spoke on the phone with him, once.

Mike was apparently a "gay" gentleman and journalist, and, to my recollection, he did not hide his lifestyle, or pushed his "gay lifestyle" on any of us, which drew respect from everybody who happens to be more straight or from more conservative values.

I was introduced to radio news back in 1982 by a well-known journalist, David Brindle, then of FM96 Calgary, and later CBC Newsworld, apparently, one of the first broadcasters in Canada to openly admit that he was gay, and then, admit that he had aids. As I got to know David better, I learned that It took courage for David to admit to a gay lifestyle, and not everyone initially accepted it ? Today, more people (I think?) accept it and it is less taboo, but as we learned from the not so recent gay Toronto murders and indictments, not everyone, including cops, like those people ? (I am not "gay," by the way, but I am just pointing out how minorities have evolved in this society).

Mike was respected (at least to many, but not, to all of you?) in that on this Radiowest site, (where he wrote for many years) he always spoke his mind about controversial subjects, including the thorny issue of how the broadcast education system attempts to prepare our young news journalists and, how illiterate the new generation tends to be and how that illiteracy stands in the way of their journalistic success. Their butchering of the English language, for example.

Only superstar caliber journalists like Mike (a former broadcasting instructor) can call out the new generation "X" (or is it "Y") for what they really are !

The other legacy of Mike Cleaver will be his own detailed documentation of the working conditions of radio stations where he worked, and the detailed studio and wiring setup of most of those radio stations that he worked at, some of which were legendary Canadian stations. This was rare, brilliant writing, in my view.

Another great newsman has passed on and, the clock keeps clicking for the rest of us, isn't it true ! LOL My condolences to the Cleaver family at this time.
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Re: Mike Cleaver passes

Postby Jack Bennest » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:15 pm

I have the most respect for persons on here that use their real name

Mike Cleaver
Jack Bennest
Chris Cleaver

would anyone else like to join this list.

Geez guys and ladies - have we not move beyond 'our' fears.

Mike was great
his brother Chris is great
Mike's partner is great

Let us get to the point of speaking less of us and more about Mike and his legacy, and the need to preserve the huge amount of history in his files.

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