Former network radio reporter John McKay was already in the second decade of his career in the late 1980s when he was assigned by Broadcast News (BN), now the Canadian Press,  to the Washington D.C. bureau. His job was to report the Canadian perspective on American issues including a free trade deal between Canada and the U.S. and acid rain legislation. But a few other high profile events occurred while he was there.

They include the Iran-Contra scandal during former President Ronald Reagan’s second term and Operation Desert Storm, the coalition forces war against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.

John began his radio career at CHOW in St. Catherines, Ontario. Audio of a newscast from early in his career can be found at where this photo was found.

When he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) in 2007 his colleague Terry Scott at Broadcast News, who nominated him, explained how news was a passion for John.

“News is the blood that runs through John’s veins and I would challenge a journalist half his age to keep pace with him,” said Scott.

In this episode of Station to Station, I’ll try to keep pace with the behind the scenes stories John tells of his radio coverage for stories that included a few trips with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.



Episode 18: John McKay Podcast (available on iTunes and SoundCloud )


John McKay during his Broadcast News (BN) days, c/o


 Original McKay audio

This podcast episode includes original audio of some of John’s reports that I collected while working at radio station DC 103.5 in Orangeville, Ontario and 97.3 CJEZ in Toronto, Ontario in the early 1990s.  By clicking on the links below you can listen to the complete reports that were featured.


Listen: Operation Desert Storm -2:11

This John McKay report on protests that followed Operation Desert Storm, originally aired in January of 1991 on radio station DC 103.5 in Orangeville, Ontario.

Listen: Street News-2:09

This John McKay report called Street News, originally aired sometime in 1991 on radio station DC 103.5 in Orangeville, Ontario.

Listen: Toronto Riots-0:52

This John McKay report was included in a 1992 feature I produced for CJEZ’s weekend program Newsweek following riots in Toronto sparked by the verdict in the Rodney King case. That’s me at the beginning of the report introducing John.