Long Time Barrie – Collingwood Broadcaster Wayne Bjorgan

Long time Barrie Broadcaster Wayne Bjorgan has passed away at the age of 80.

If you grew up in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Barrie, Midland or anywhere in-between in the 1960’s, 70’s or 80’s, you will no doubt remember listening to Wayne Bjorgan deliver the news on the radio.

I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Wayne Bjorgan. I last spoke to Wayne following the occasion of CKCB Collingwood’s 50th anniversary. We shared many laughs about the cast of characters that sat behind the microphones at Barrie Broadcasting. Many laughs … many characters!

Wayne was the General Manager of CKBB 950 Barrie – CKCB 1400 Collingwood when I began my broadcasting career as a high school student in the 1970’s. He always had time to talk to me. He put up with my growing pains as an announcer. We stayed in touch over the years and I am glad we did.

Nobody delivered a better sounding newscast than Wayne Bjorgan. He was an outstanding broadcaster.

I really liked and respected Wayne.

He was a mentor to many, myself included.

— Paul Richards

Barrie Broadcasting General Manager Wayne Bjorgan broadcasting “live” from the downtown Collingwood studios of CKCB 1400 on Municipal Election Night. He is joined in the photograph by CKCB Manager Bob Hooper and CKCB announcer Jim House.

About Wayne Bjorgan

Wayne Bjorgan was born in St Walburg, Saskatchewan, but spent most of his life living in Ontario. In his early years he worked in radio in south-western Ontario but moved to Barrie in 1961 where he began his 30-year run in television and radio broadcasting.

For many years, CKBB 950 was the only radio station of note in the region. The radio dial wasn’t very full in those days. CKBB’s three broadcast towers were situated along highway 400, south of Barrie.

In the 1960’s, CKBB launched its sister station CKCB 1400 in Collingwood.

Barrie Broadcasting Limited was responsible for launching the careers of many talented broadcasters, and Wayne Bjorgan most often played a key role in the success stories.

Wayne was a well-respected and long-serving citizen of Barrie with many contributions and accomplishments to his name. He was one of the founding members of the ‘Christmas Cheer’ gift campaign (and the one who came up with the name); the News Director, General Manager, and then the President at Barrie Broadcasting CKBB – CKCB radio stations. Wayne was the Executive Director for 10 years fundraising at Georgian College Foundation. He served on the Board of Directors for the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie and Seven South Street Treatment Centre of Orillia. Over the years Wayne was dedicated to fundraising for the Barrie Public Library, RVH, Hospice Simcoe and Georgian College Foundation. He was a long-standing member of the Barrie Rotary Club.

Wayne was often seen driving throughout the streets of Barrie in his Austin Healey roadster. It suited him.

After moving into management, Wayne always thought it was important to keep a hand in the day to day on-air programming of the radio stations.

On Municipal Election night, Wayne Bjorgan would host a special evening of election results on CKCB 1400 from the former downtown Collingwood studios.

On weekdays, a major report of news, weather and sports on CKBB 950 and CKCB 1400 was a must-listen at 12:00 noon, delivered by Wayne Bjorgan.

One of the most talented broadcasters to ever work for Wayne was Brian Henderson.

Brian worked for Wayne at CKBB – CKCB on two occasions. Sadly, Brian also recently passed away. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE or listen to the podcast to hear on-air clips of Brian Henderson.

Brian and Wayne could have penned quite a book of stories of their time together at CKVR-TV, CKBB 950 and CKCB 1400. It would have been a best seller. Let’s hope they are hanging out right now, reminiscing.

In November 1994 CKBB 950 jumped from the AM dial to FM as CIQB-FM at 101.1. It was known as “Barrie’s B101” for many years. The station switched formats again in 2016 and is now known as BIG FM.

CKCB 1400 in Collingwood flipped from AM to 95.1 FM and is now known as 95.1 The Peak.

Wayne Bjorgan played a huge role in the development of local Collingwood radio. He hired on-air talent and worked hard to help grow advertising sales to ensure the success of the Collingwood station.

He will be truly missed.

RELATED STORY: Remembering “The White Knight” Broadcaster Brian Henderson

RELATED STORY: VIDEO REPORT: Looking Back to CKCB 1400 in the 1970’s