SIGN-OFFS: Martin Fossum, Sruki Switzer and Ron James

Stories and info about those no longer involved in the industry

SIGN-OFFS: Martin Fossum, Sruki Switzer and Ron James

Postby jon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:39 am


Martin Fossum, 75, died peacefully at home in the Comox Valley on Nov. 10. Born in Lloydminster, Sask., Martin was a graduate of the London Film School in England. He enjoyed a long and successful career as a sound man for TV, movies, documentaries and commercials. The projects he worked on included CBC series The Beachcombers and Danger Bay. In 2002, he received two nominations from The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Outstanding Single Camera Sound Mixing for a miniseries or movie for Door to Door and Taken.

Israel “Sruki” Switzer, 87, Nov. 16, from a sudden and unexpected heart attack at his winter home in Scottsdale, AZ. Born in Calgary, Switzer was a pioneer in the Canadian cable television industry and played a pivotal role in building Toronto’s CITY-TV with his first wife Phyllis Switzer, who predeceased him in 1989. Early in his career, Switzer built broadcast systems in Saskatchewan and was a partner in provider CableVision, expanding into Alberta in the early 1960s. He eventually became vice-president of Canadian media firm Maclean Hunter and a consultant on telecommunications projects around the globe. Switzer was inducted into Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame in 2009, which proclaimed him “the most knowledgeable cable technology engineer Canada has ever produced.” He was also credited as an inspiration to fellow Canadian broadcast entrepreneurs like Ted Rogers and Moses Znaimer. Widely regarded as a trailblazer, his understanding and advocacy of cable technology laid the groundwork for the modern Canadian cable industry.

Ron James, 72, Nov. 16, in Steinbach, MB after a long illness. James was heard on Golden West Broadcasting’s Radio Southern Manitoba network (CHSM-AM, CFAM-AM, CJRB-AM) for 34 years. He started his broadcast career right out of high school in 1961, with a short stint at CKX-TV Brandon, moving on to CFAM 950 in Altona in 1964 and then CJOB 680 Winnipeg in 1966. In 1969, he took a break from radio to obtain his teaching certificate from the University of Manitoba and taught sixth grade at General Byng school in Winnipeg before returning to Golden West in 1975. James was the longtime host of Classics Till Dawn and the mid-morning slot on the RSM network. He retired in Jan. 2009.

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