Paul Carson, one of the most well-liked and well-respected broadcasters in Vancouver radio and television history, has passed away after an 11-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Carson, whose idea to bring all-sports radio to Vancouver was translated into the success story that is TEAM Radio, died peacefully at 6:30 p.m. PT at Lions Gate Hospital. He was 60.
The family released the following statement at www.caringbridge.org/visit/paulcarson:
“Our beloved husband, father, grandfather and big-hearted friend Paul passed away at 6:30 p.m. tonight in his comfortable room in the palliative care unit at Lions Gate Hospital. He was surrounded by his wife Jane, first wife Corinne, his mother Nana “Buddy” Carson, son Devon, daughter Kim, daughter-in-law Karolin, son-in-law Jeff Beal, grandsons Declan and Rowan, brother-in-law Ross MacMillan, sister-in-law Kim MacMillan and dear friends Mike Foster, Francis Lacouvee and Janey Cruise. Paul passed knowing how much he was loved – by his family, by his friends, by his associates and by the many, many more people whose lives he touched in one way or another. That love and support made these past few days — and indeed the past year — much easier than it otherwise would have been. For that, we are so appreciative for all of The Friends of Paul Carson and the many who went out of their way to express their love for our Great Carsoni.”
Tributes to Paul began earlier in the day on TEAM 1040 as former colleagues Dave Pratt and Don Taylor expressed their appreciation of Paul and recounted memories of his one-of-a-kind personality.
“Everything I have in this great life of mine I owe in one way or another to Paul Carson,” said Taylor. “He got me not just one gig on television but obviously opened the doors for me here at the TEAM.”
That sentiment is shared by dozens of colleagues and associates of Carson at TEAM Radio, which was launched under Carson’s leadership and the backing of Grand Slam Radio, first through Vancouver businessman David Stadnyk and later CHUM Radio, which launched it as TEAM 1040 in the spring of 2001.
“Paul is the father of TEAM 1040,” said Robert Gray, director of programming for TEAM Radio, which now also includes TEAM 1410, which was launched in the fall of 2009. “The idea to make this all happen was his. So was the passion and determination that allowed Paul to join forces with the original leadership group of Grand Slam Radio and then CHUM Radio. He should be so proud of where his idea has gone and how far sports radio has come, not only here in Vancouver, but across Canada.”
Paul Carson’s legacy spans both radio and television. He founded Sportspage, the iconic sports magazine show which made CKVU, UTV and then Global TV the destination for local sports fans. Sportspage also produced a host of sports media personalities, including Taylor, Barry Macdonald, John Shorthouse, Dave Randorf, Sean McCormick, Blake Price, Scott Rintoul, Craig MacEwen, Dan Murphy, Chris Hebb and others.
“He had what in my view was an unparalleled knack for identifying talent and that’s reflected in the legacy of great broadcasters who got their start in one way or another through Paul,” said close friend Tom Mayenknecht tonight on TEAM 1040 on The Blake Price Show (hosted by the Sportspage alumnus).
“Professionally, he saw qualities in people others passed over,” said Mayenknecht, who worked alongside Carson, Stadnyk and Grand Slam Radio to help bring the TEAM 1040 to life almost 10 years ago. “He obviously saw the same thing in all-sports radio because, thanks in large part to Paul, look where that has gone since the days people wondered aloud and questioned him about whether Vancouver could ever support the format.
“More than anything though, Paul was about people,” said Mayenknecht. “I have never met anyone who was as loved, admired and respected as was Paul Carson. I think people felt that way about him simply because of how much life and love he had to give to anyone who came to know him. He was truly a big-hearted friend.”
Carson contributed to the growth and development of TEAM 1040 long after its launch. He was on-air, he did voice-over, he did community relations, he created a series of highly-successful events which last to this day and he even made the leap into sales, only to become as successful in that department as he was in every other facet of the business he touched.
Details on a celebration of Paul’s life will be provided as they become available, along with information on donations to Friends of Paul Carson. The family plans a fitting legacy for Paul and will consult with a wide cross-section of his friends in the community before launching that memorial in the coming months.