Chilliwack/Vancouver (Broadcast Dialogue) – Broadcast Dialogue reports that James Macdonald, 87, passed away on May 29.
After working briefly at the Shell Oil Company, Macdonald was hired by CHWK Radio Chilliwack, writing commercials and playing piano “live” at noon. He worked his way into the newsroom and got a scoop in December 1956, when acting on a tip, he reported that fuselage wreckage from the Trans-Canada Air Lines crash had been discovered by a mountaineer on Mt. Slesse, near Chilliwack.
He was promptly hired away by CKWX-AM. After covering the crime beat and working as a city hall reporter, Macdonald became a talk show host and interviewer known for his ability to use the pregnant pause to get his guests to open up.
He went on to become a familiar face on Channel 8 (CHAN/BCTV). Macdonald eventually returned to Chilliwack and co- founded the Answer Cabaret with Bill Wosk.
After selling the business, he became a food and beverage executive with the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel for 14 years.
Later, he was manager of the Lougheed Hotel in Vancouver and opened the Suites at Conference Plaza.
Macdonald had been retired to Ladner, BC since 2000.