Bill Stephenson, Broadcast Legend

Red Robinson collection

Bill Stephenson was one of the most talented radio broadcasters ever. His diction and delivery were near perfect. I first met him in the Spring of 1957 when joining the crew at CKWX. Bill hired a young kid from Vancouver Island, Jim Robson, and they were the mainstays of the sports department at the station. My best recollections were the Mounties games he and Robson called from Capilano Stadium (now Nat Bailey). Even when I was pulling military duty at Fort Ord, California I could hear the powerful CKWX 50,000 watt signal and the baseball play-by-play.

The sad news came yesterday when it was announced Bill had passed away at the age of 85. He had been a broadcaster for more than five decades. BIll Stephenson started his radio career in Port Alberni in 1948 and then on to CKWX. While at CKWX he covered the 1954 British Empire Games and later was the voice of the B.C. Lions and the Vancouver Mounties baseball team as mentioned.

In 1960 Bill moved to Toronto and became Sports Director of CFRB, covering the 1961 World Hockey Championship and later the 1972 Summit series. He was the voice of the Toronto Argonauts during the 1960’s and 1970’s and worked as a sideline reporter for CTV’s CFL broadcasts for 15 years. In 1988 he was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame. He also was inducted into the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Bill was an incredible mentor to so many famous sportscasters in Canada including Jim Robson, TSN’s Brian Williams, Dave Hodge and others.

This photo of the two of us was taken at the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame ceremonies in Toronto in 2005. Bill came to the ceremonies just to congratulate me. He was such a considerate man always. He will be missed but his legacy will live on.