Veteran Vernon radio announcer Frank Martina, shown in 2019 as emcee of the Vernon Cruise-In Car Show, had his highly popular Saturday afternoon program on Beach Radio terminated Tuesday, Dec. 15, exactly 13 years to the day he retired as the station’s morning show announcer. Martina was less than a year away from broadcasting for 50 years with the same station. (Morning Star - file photo)

Veteran Vernon radio announcer Frank Martina, shown in 2019 as emcee of the Vernon Cruise-In Car Show, had his highly popular Saturday afternoon program on Beach Radio terminated Tuesday, Dec. 15, exactly 13 years to the day he retired as the station’s morning show announcer. Martina was less than a year away from broadcasting for 50 years with the same station. (Morning Star - file photo)

Company tunes out veteran Vernon radio announcer

Frank Martina, a fixture at CJIB/Beach Radio for 49 years, has Saturday afternoon program terminated

On the 13th anniversary of the day he retired from full-time announcing for the radio station, Dec. 15, 2007, Frank Martina was told Tuesday his popular Saturday afternoon show on 107.5 Beach FM will be terminated.

The move ends a 55-year broadcasting career and comes months shy of Martina broadcasting for the same station for 50 years, something simply unheard of in today’s broadcasting world.

The biggest celebrity export from Big Beaver, Sask. – on the Saskatchewan/Montana border, 180 kilometres from Regina, population 10 in the 2016 census – made the announcement on his Facebook page.

“When I retired from full-time radio in 2007, I was fortunate to be asked to return to do Saturday afternoons, and have been doing it for the past 13 years,” Martina, 73, said. “It’s a job I love and in a city I love… so I am a lucky guy.”

Born in Bengough, located just north of Big Beaver, Martina was doing his high school homework in 1965 when he was listening on his cheap transistor radio to the disc jockeys having a great old time on CKCK Radio in Regina. They were having so much fun, Martina thought he could do that. So he entered a CKCK high school announcer competition and won it for the province.

The following year, Martina worked at CKSL in Weyburn, Sask., then moved on to Moose Jaw and Regina before heading west to visit his parents, who had moved to Vancouver.

“It was beautiful there and I chatted with a few people and ended up with a part-time job (CJOR, now defunct), but I wasn’t a big city guy,” said Martina. “I drove through the Okanagan and fell in love with it. Within a month to six weeks, I had a job.”

Martina was hired at CJIB in 1971 (call letters for Beach Radio now), then located on 30th Avenue in the building beside what is now HSBC, up on the second floor above Sears and with the legendary Jackie’s Coffee Shop in the basement. John Wilson hired Martina to be the morning news announcer.

That lasted three weeks.

“I never wanted to be the news guy, I wanted to be the music guy, the in-your-face guy, the guy having fun,” said Martina, who had a blast for the next 36 years in that time slot on CJIB AM and then KISS-FM.

Oh, Martina had offers to move.

He could have taken other positions within the parent companies. Or he could have taken that job as an announcer in Spokane. The radio station execs loved him. The problem was, Martina had to do a phone interview with the Washington, DC-based Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the CRTC of the United States who oversees broadcast regulations.

“The station guys told me they love to hire Canadians because of our accents,” laughed Martina. “When I was being interviewed by the FCC, they asked me why I felt suited for the job as a Canadian ahead of an American, I answered them honestly: ‘Because I don’t have an American accent.’ The call ended rather abruptly after that.”

Martina stayed in Vernon, raised two kids, now adults, and became an institution in the city.

Within an hour of his Facebook post, more than 50 people had offered up their sentiments of best wishes and congratulations on a successful career.

Karl Johnston, general manager of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Okanagan, said the station no longer plays the music Martina loves – classic rock – and wished the veteran announcer well.

“It’s a change to our afternoon time slot, and we want to thank Frank for his contribution to our success over the many years, from when he hosted the key morning timeslot decades ago to after he retired from that and returned to work a few hours on Saturday afternoon entertaining the audience with his favourites from the ‘60s,” said Johnston.

“Frank is a true professional who has cemented his legacy with CJIB and the community of Vernon during an exceptional career behind the mic. We wish him the very best.”

Martina has no immediate plans for his sudden retirement.

“It’s not really a big deal (being terminated),” he said. “It was one day a week and I did it because I love doing it more than anything else. It’s been a helluva ride. I’d hoped to make it to 50 years, but I’m pleased as punch to have done it in a city I love.”

READ MORE: Celebrities/artists ‘Rise’ for a cause

READ MORE: Classic vehicles cruise main street Vernon and Polson Park



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Radio

Just Posted

The spectacular Okanagan Rail Trail from Coldstream. (Linda Busch photo)
Get Outdoors! And explore North Okanagan trails

But, remember to uphold good trail etiquette

A Vernon councillor is facing potential legal action from a former city councillor. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Diversity debate leaves Vernon politician threatened with legal action

Coun. Dalvir Nahal alleged to have defamed a former politician, who is seeking concessions

District of Coldstream municipal offices. (Morning Star file photo)
Coldstream staff recommend cutting outdated, conflicting policies

A staff report also calls for Kal Lak access protections in the next Official Community Plan

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

The. B.C. Court of Appeal granted a retrial to former Vernon man William Schneider, convicted of second-degree murder in the 2016 death of Japanese exchange student Natsumi Kogawa. The trial is set to begin May 24, 2022. (Vancouver Police Department photo)
Retrial date set for former Vernon man’s murder conviction

William Schneider’s trial, connected to the death of Natsumi Kogawa, is set for May 2022

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Most Read