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Rick Howe, Halifax broadcasting legend, dies of cancer at 69

Halifax broadcasting legend Rick Howe, who spent five decades covering news in the Maritimes, has died of cancer at the age of 69.

CityNews Halifax, where Howe worked prior to his retirement in 2021, first reported on Howe’s death Thursday morning.

Howe, a talk-show host, reporter, and newscaster, was the long-time host of The Hotline, one of the longest-running shows in Atlantic Canada, and his namesake show, The Rick Howe Show, on CityNews 95.7.

He was known for his iconic catch-phrase: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

Howe was also the author of three books, including his most recent work, Eyewitness: Atlantic Canadians Experience History In Their Own Words, which was released in October 2023.

The book tells the stories of how Atlantic Canadians reacted to and remembered some of the biggest moments in the region’s history.

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“I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” Howe told Global News’ Eilish Bonang in November while being interviewed about his new book. “Throughout my 50 years in radio, I’ve accumulated a lot of stories.”

He also made an appearance on Global News in August 2022 to discuss his 50 years in the journalism industry and his health struggles.

Click to play video: 'Rick Howe on Five Decades Covering News in the Maritimes'
Rick Howe on Five Decades Covering News in the Maritimes

At the time, he said he was “holding my own.”

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“The fight is still on,” he said. “It’s been a struggle. I’ve gone through chemo a couple of times. And I’ll tell you what, chemo is no fun. But again, I’m holding my own.”

Howe’s death came as a shock to many Thursday morning, and many people posted online to express their condolences, including some of the province’s largest political figures.

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“Rick Howe was one of the most recognizable voices on radio in our region,” said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I’m sorry to see his retirement cut tragically short.”

Halifax MP Andy Fillmore also expressed his condolences.

“His unmistakable voice kept us engaged and informed. He asked tough questions of decision makers — always with respect and his usual vigour,” he wrote.

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Howe leaves behind three sons and his wife, fellow broadcaster Yvonne Colbert.

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