Before the Hawaiian Shirts

Stories and info about those no longer involved in the industry

Before the Hawaiian Shirts

Postby cart_machine » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:23 pm

Was there anyone in Vancouver who didn’t host “The Vancouver Show”?

Long before resembling a Honolulu holidayer when elucidating about cold fronts, one path along Wayne Cox’s career took him to CKVU’s ever-changing flagship evening interview programming. Some radio veterans may think of Wayne from his time at CKNW. I think of him at CJOR where, an old aircheck reminds me, he started talking to me one afternoon and I couldn’t respond because I was on the phone with a contest winner. Wayne smoothly carried on despite me leaving him out to dry.

Lorne Parton wrote “a series of columns about local TV people” in the Province, and Wayne was his subject on June 13, 1982. The only sad note is about Jack Kyle, but such is the nature of the radio business. The new eventually replaces the old, whether the old wants it or not. Fortunately, Jack accepted the all-night position at ‘NW and listeners continue to enjoy him on the air for a number of years.

I would concur with Mr. Parton’s assessment of Wayne’s niceness.


Al Davidson, the Mouth that Roared, once told Wayne Cox, "You're too nice a guy to be in sports."
And Wayne Cox is a nice guy. I had that impression from hearing him on the radio and seeing him on TV, but it was reinforced when I talked to him.
"Don't you ever get mad?" I asked. "Don't you ever feel like telling some vacuous twit to shut up and go away?" The question revealed as much about me, I guess, as the answer — "No" — did about Cox, the personable co-host of CKVU's The Vancouver Show.
He sees himself, he said in response to a question, as a kind of master of ceremonies rather than a host of The Vancouver Show. He is happy that Bob Spence and Laurier LaPierre do the serious and tough interviews. "Hell, they are journalists," he says. "That leaves me with the guy-with-the-crazy-hat kind of interviews. I like that kind of stuff, and my doing it saves Laurier and Bob from jeopardizing their news integrity."
The Vancouver Show is in a state of flux — but what else is new? The two-hour current affairs program is the spine of CKVU. It was on the basis of this show that the station got its licence in the first place, and it's why the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission renews that licence. Take away The Vancouver Show, and what do you have? KVOS.
The show was built around the struggles of fetching actress Pia Shandel to become a competent interviewer, and it eventually became, in effect if not in name, Pia's Show. When she left, there was a juggling act, with psychologist Nadine Berger attempting to fill Pia's big shoes (that doesn't sound quite right) while pioneer LaPierre and newcomers Spence and Cox cast about for a new image.
Berger left this year, and the flux bubbled anew.
"I think things are going much more smoothly now," says Cox. "The show is a package, of course, which attempts to show what's going on the city. Naturally we have news and interviews, but there is a lot of offbeat stuff, too, and, after all, this is television, so it has to be entertainment."
On the theory that you can tell a man by the car he drives, I asked him if he owned the sporty job with the "ON AIR" vanity plate that I saw parked in front of the station. I couldn't have been further wrong. (The car belongs to jock-talker Richard Saxon.)
"I've got an old Bobcat station wagon. How old is it? It's the kind of car if I am backing out of the garage and hit the garbage can, I jump out to check if the garbage can is OK."
Cox, 34 (married, two boys), is a rare bird: a native Vancouverite. Like so many of his peers, he began his career in the boondocks — a radio station in Quesnel — worked around at various stations, slowly easing his way back to his hometown and fetching up right next door at CKNW.
He succeeded Jack Kyle on the afternoon spot, and was quite worried. "Jack Kyle! He was one of my heroes. I was really uptight about it, but Jack told me, 'Don't worry about it. One of these days, you'll look behind you and bingo! The same thing will happen to you.'"
And it did, leaving him shaken and uncertain for a while as he did radio shows and TV spots. Finally he was advised to decided [sic] between the media. He chose television.
He's glad he did. He likes the job, he likes his co-workers, he likes his boss.
I didn't ask him, but I'll bet he even likes Al Davidson.
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