NAMES IN THE NEWS... I was sorry to learn last week Garth Buchko and his family are leaving Winnipeg to take a management and part-ownership position in a cluster of radio stations in British Columbia's interior.
It was in local broadcasting, as an executive with CJOB and its sister FM stations, where Buchko made his good name with clients and employees alike.
That was before he accepted what, back in January 2012, he called his "dream job" as president and CEO of the hometown Blue Bombers. A dream job that turned into a public nightmare I'm not about to relive for him, right here, right now.
"The Bomber position wasn't what I expected," is about all Buchko said about his aborted tenure with the bumbling Bomber organization, other than to compliment the calibre of people within the club's front office. Not surprisingly, he offered nothing on the club's board of directors, or its calibre.
It's been a tough year all around for Buchko, who lost his father to cancer recently and then, last week, had to tell his mother he was leaving the city. "She wasn't shocked. She knew I needed to work, and I needed to find something I'm passionate about."
Buchko had been a candidate to assume his former position as general manager of the Corus Radio group of stations in Winnipeg until earlier this month when the company announced it had filled that position with Scott Armstrong, a former Crocus manager who had more recently been with Rogers Broadcasting. I suspect Buchko would have stayed right here in his hometown if he had got his old job back. But Robbie Dunn, an old radio-industry friend from Kamloops, had called Buchko soon after his departure from the football club. And when Dunn said he wanted to take him on as a partner in NL Broadcasting, Buchko was hooked.
Greater Kamloops has about 130,000 people, it's scenic, and when his wife, Lesley, and their three children "bought in," Buchko said the decision was easy.
"I'm 55, and I get to go back into radio. But I also get to own something... It's a dream come true, to be able to own part of a media outlet."
As I was saying, I'm sorry to see him go, but I don't sense he feels that way given where he's going. I've got to believe, just as Buchko does, this "dream" opportunity will turn out better than the last one. Here's hoping, anyway.
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LOOK WHO'S BACK IN TOWN... Winnipeg's first, and so far only, female mayor was back in town Tuesday for the ribbon-cutting of the Macdonald Youth Services' new resource centre and emergency shelter. Susan Thompson worked on the private-funding portion that raised more than half of the $2.4 million it cost to remodel the old mansion on Mayfair Avenue.
"These 12- to 17-year-olds, who have nowhere to go due to often horrific circumstances, now have a home that is safe and where they will get help," she said. As for how Susan is doing, I'll let her tell you.
"I am now 67 and joyful. For the first time in my life, I have the luxury of time. I have time to slow down." She's still working in her Kerrisdale (Vancouver) neighbourhood apartment, where she can see the ocean to the west and the mountains to the north. She is working on two manuscripts, including her autobiography.
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SPEAKING OF WOMEN AND BEING MAYOR... City Coun. Paula Havixbeck, who has declared at least an interest in running for mayor, has been honoured with an invitation to Washington, D.C. It came from local U.S. consul Timothy Cipullo, who issued the invite to a "women in politics" project that will include other specially chosen Canadians. Havixbeck was the only Winnipeg woman selected for next month's five-day professional greet-and-learn.
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THE MAGIC MAN... There must have been something beyond the obvious parental pride for CBC sports broadcaster Scott Oake when he saw his 26-year-old son, Darcy, wow the world with his dazzling illusion act on Britain's Got Talent. I say that because it's been three years since the family lost Darcy's then-25-year-old brother, Bruce, to an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers. After the show aired, Darcy spoke to a reporter from the Daily Mirror about Bruce's death, the drug addiction that led up to it and who his big brother really was.
"He had this way with people," Darcy said of Bruce. "He made them feel good."
Apparently, judging by how Darcy presents as a person, that's another kind of magic that runs in the family.