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CKNW fires host Rafe Mair

VANCOUVER - Talk radio host Rafe Mair was been fired from CKNW, the radio station announced today.

The surprise announcement came Monday morning from program director Tom Plasteras, at what would normally have been the start of Mair's highly-rated program.

"The decision is an internal matter and is no reflection on Rafe's journalistic abilities or the quality of his show," said Plasteras, as quoted on the CKNW web site.

Future plans for the 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. radio slot will be announced in the coming weeks.

According to a Canadian Press report, Mair was not on the air on Friday, as regular stand-in Peter Warren took his place. Warren was on again today.

A Corus Radio memo leaked to CP also warned staff not to discuss the firing with reporters, because "as an employer, we have an obligation to treat people fairly and protect the privacy of our employees..."

A story appearing on CBC online, says "Mair's departure follows complaints by his female producer about his behaviour. Dallas Brodie accused Mair of forcing her to get his coffee, and swearing in her presence."

"The 71-year-old Mair denies forcing Brodie to get coffee, but does admit he likely did tell off-colour jokes around her," continues the CBC online story. "The business that was going on with my producer that acted as a catalyst, but I suspect that this day would have come irrespective of this, somewhere down the line," said Mair in that story.

In an interview on CBC Radio Vancouver, Mair said he bears no grudges towards Corus but added, "it's a different kind of company than I've been used to. You get kind of set in your ways. You don't get used to taking any kind of direction from management whatsoever. I just don't think Corus and I were a good fit right from the beginning."

"I don't think there are any hard feelings anywhere at all," he continued. "I think they've behaved very properly. They're paying me out my contract in accordance with its terms.

"I guess the comment I have is all good things come to an end. I had 19 good years.''

Mair's program was one of the most popular on CKNW, Vancouver's top-rated radio station. His show was also aired nationally on Corus's network.

A former Social Credit Cabinet Minister from the Bill Bennett era, Mair started his talk show career at CJOR and less than a year later, in November of 1984, joined CKNW where he spent 19 years.

After a stint hosting the midnight to 2 a.m. show, he took over the afternoon show from Barry Clark in 1986 and the morning slot from Gary Bannerman in 1988.

One of the highlight's of Mair's career on CKNW came in 1994 when he won the Michener Award for Meritorious Service to Canadian Journalism. The Award followed a year-long campaign by Rafe to stop Alcan's completion of a billion-dollar power project because of its threat to salmon and the environment.

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