Kamloops broadcast legend Rick Arnish retires

By Tanya Cronin
January 20, 2016 - 5:19pm Updated: January 21, 2016 - 11:36am

KAMLOOPS — Just like he did on this day 47 years ago, Group Chairman Rick Arnish walked through the doors of Broadcast Centre, at 9am sharp. Greeted by fellow colleagues, on what is his last day in broadcasting, and the beginning of retirement.

January 20th, 1969 a 19-year old Rick Arnish began his career at Broadcast Centre in Kamloops. He says he had two career choices coming out of high school.

"It's either getting into broadcasting or getting into the airline industry because in high school I used to be a baggage handler for Canadian Pacific Airlines at Kamloops Airport and I've always loved airports, airlines, airplanes and I travel a lot, but I always really loved broadcasting," says Arnish.

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Hired to spin records on CFFM, now known as 98.3 CIFM, at the time Rick couldn't have imagined what his future in broadcasting would hold.  

"Started out doing radio ID's and from there I advanced to the various radio shifts, evenings, weekends, afternoon, middays."

But when it comes to broadcasting, Rick's work resume is as long as it is varied. From on-air announcer, newsman and salesman, Rick eventually became Program Director and General Manager of Broadcast Centre. But his biggest accomplishment came 14 years ago, when he was appointed the President of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, Rick credits much of his success to the BC business mogul himself.

"We only had 6 radio stations back then and he asked me to take over the Presidency of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, and the rest is history."

Instrumental in raising the group to its current status as Canada's largest Western-Based Broadcaster, Rick has had a rewarding career. But in the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, Total Team Involvement - or TTI - is the mantra, empowering employees to be the best they can be.

"He was always pushing us, he always wanted us to be the best, that was his goal. He really pushed hard to make sure we met his expectation in that regard," says Doug Collins, Director of News and Information, CFJC-TV.

"When I was president of the company for so many years and did travelling, i knew I could count on the people here in Kamloops to take care of business," says Arnish.

Rick Arnish believes in order to be successful, you need the support of the most important people in your life. For him, that person has been his wife Sharon Rose, a shoulder to lean on, helping to guide him every step of the way.

"She totally supported me and gave me good guidance in my career, not just last few years, but the 47 years. I couldn't have done it without her," says Arnish.

Born and raised in Kamloops, and with a strong sense of community, Rick has spent countless hours volunteering his time. Everything from the Miss Kamloops Pageant, to raising money for the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. He's won several prestigious awards and had the priviliage of meeting world leaders and newsmakers.

The decision to retire wasn't easy, but he hopes to spend more time with his family, but still plans to lend some of his expertise to private or public company boards. Fortunate for the opportunities he's been given - Rick says he'll never forget this experience.  
"You certainly know when it's time to make the cut and hang up the microphone and now's the right time for me," says Arnish

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