Turn on your radio every weekday morning to 980AM CKNW and you’ll hear a familiar voice.
That’s the unmistakable tone of broadcaster Jon McComb, heard on Vancouver airwaves for 35 years.
McComb began his radio career in his home state of Arizona when he was only 17 years old.
That began the start of a long career in the industry, spanning across North America. By 1972, he moved to Vancouver, B.C., to work as a disc jockey at CKVN. In the mid-70s, McComb headed south to perform on the airwaves in Portland, Oregon. In 1977, he married his wife, Kristen, and together the newlyweds moved to Montreal.
By 1980, McComb returned once again to Vancouver. He worked part-time at 980AM CKNW in the news department before officially joining the station full-time in 1983.
McComb has reported on nearly every major event of the past 35 years. However, he said the most impactful story he can recall is the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Centre.
“The shock of those two towers coming down plus the massive ramp-up in security procedures that continues to today; the ramifications of that one day are still being felt today,” he said Monday.
LISTEN: Jon McComb gets a surprise visit from his former co-host Philip Till. Jon is celebrating 35 years on the CKNW airwaves.
What he remains most passionate about is reporting on mental health in an effort to remove the stigma associated with depression and anxiety.
McComb has shared with his listeners his own struggles with mental health.
“People who suffer from mental illness are still leery coming forward. I wanted to help tear down the stigma and the walls people create in their own mind in terms of seeking mental health treatment,” he said.
McComb is also remembered for making his listeners laugh on occasions when comic relief was needed to contrast a heavy news day, most notably when teamed up with his long-time friend and former colleague, Philip Till.
“I remember driving home from work having to stop the car because I was laughing so much,” one listener told CKNW Monday.
Till had a lot to say about his friend McComb Monday.
“The reason you’re very [successful] at what you do is because you actually tell the truth,” Till told McComb during a special guest appearance on CKNW. “You come on the radio and you tell the truth and you do it to the best of your ability.”
“JM, you tell the truth and it doesn’t get better than that.”
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