Canadian broadcasting pioneer Jean Elizabeth Caine died on January 8th, 2014 at her home in Oakville. She was 90 years of age. Jean was owner and founder of CHWO 1250 in 1956 (now CJYE), and CJMR 1320 in 1974. A service celebrating the Jean's life will be held at St. Jude's Anglican Church, 160 William Street, Oakville at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2014. Condolences through www.koprivataylor.com. Jean and her husband Howard Caine founded Oakville radio station 1250 CHWO which went on the air in November, 1956. The couple had worked together at Hamilton radio station CKOC where Jean was a writer and women's editor, and Howard was a newscaster. Prior to that Jean acted in commercials and dramatic roles in the Toronto-Hamilton area. When Howard Caine passed away in 1967, Jean became president and manager of CHWO. She soon began training her son Michael to take over the management of the station, and the two became a formidable team in local radio. In 1974, the CRTC granted the Caines a radio licence for 1320 CJMR in order to serve the fast-growing nearby municipality of Mississauga. CJMR and CHWO were identified as "The Golden Horseshoe Radio Network." Michael, along with Jean and their team, mounted a well-run application to the CRTC for the AM 740, 50-thousand watt non- directional, clear channel frequency that had been vacated by the CBC. They were awarded the frequency in June, 2000, and the station became known as AM 740 - Prime Time Radio, with music, personalities and features aimed at the 50-plus listener. 1250 CHWO is now JOY 1250 (CJYE) airing Christian-based programming, while 1320 CJMR is a multi- language station serving the ethnically diverse Greater Toronto Area. In 2008 AM 740 was sold to Toronto broadcaster Moses Znaimer who recognized its accomplishments under the stewardship of the Caine family and was anxious to take it to new levels. Jean Caine thought of her radio stations as her family, and was known for thinking of her employees as family members. It was common for her to begin a meeting or conversation with a sincere enquiry about an employee's family or activities away from work. And her warm smile and cheery good humour put everyone in her presence in a relaxed and positive mood. She was active in the community, and was the first recipient of the "Ability Fund Award" from the Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled. In 1978 Jean was presented with the Central Canada Broadcasters Association Howard Caine Memorial Award. She was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1987 Jean Caine was named Oakville's "Business Person of the Year". Donations may be made in memory of Jean to the Joy Foundation through the Oakville Community Foundation.
Published in National Post on Jan. 11, 2014