Jack Webster

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For the Canadian police officer, see Jack Webster (police officer). For the English cricketer, see Jack Webster (cricketer). For the TV character, see Jack Webster (Coronation Street).
Jack Webster
Born John Edgar Webster
(1918-04-15)April 15, 1918
Glasgow, Scotland
Died March 2, 1999(1999-03-02) (aged 80)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Known for Journalist, talk radio host
Awards Order of Canada

John Edgar "Jack" Webster, CM (April 15, 1918 – March 2, 1999) was a Scottish-born Canadian journalist, radio and television personality.

Life in the United Kingdom[edit]

Webster was born in Glasgow, the son of a Clydeside ironturner. He worked in Glasgow and on Fleet Street. When World War II broke out, Webster joined the British Army and rose to the rank of Major, with most of his six years' service in the Middle East.

Career in Canada[edit]

After the war's end, Webster emigrated to Canada. He covered the labour beat for the Vancouver Sun newspaper.[1] In 1953, he began to work on commercial radio in the talk radio format (which had its origins in British Columbia before spreading to the US). Webster made his mark broadcasting shorthand transcripts of testimony during a probe into corruption on Vancouver's police force. His City Mike show on CJOR achieved some fame covering it.

Jack left CJOR and moved his show to CKNW. In 1963, prisoners at the BC Penitentiary were foiled in an escape attempt and took hostages. At the prisoners' request, Webster acted as a mediator between hostage-holding prisoners and the authorities and helped resolve the stand-off.[2]

In 1979, at the age of 60, Webster moved his radio show to television, where his familiar expression '9 am perrr-cisely' became his trademark. His hour-long TV interview program, which was seen weekdays at 9 am on BCTV and then-sister CHEK-TV, and beginning in 1986, at 5pm proceeding the nightly news hour on BCTV, frequently dealt with British Columbia politics.

In 1990, Webster joined the long-running CBC TV program Front Page Challenge as its permanent fourth panelist until the show's cancellation in 1995.[3]


In 1987, he was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame. In 1988, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Jack Webster Foundation[edit]

In 1986, more than 1,000 people attended a salute to Webster upon his retirement. This event resulted in the creation of the Jack Webster Foundation[4] to promote and honour excellence in journalism in British Columbia. Each year, journalists judged to have outstanding work receive a Jack Webster Award (known as a "Webster") - a glass statue and a cash prize that has become the hallmark of journalistic excellence in British Columbia.[citation needed]

The awards have grown from a single "Reporter of the Year" in 1987 to thirteen awards today for: best news, best feature and best community news reporting (print, radio and TV awards in each of the three categories) as well as recognition for excellence in the categories of business reporting, science reporting, commentary, legal journalism, Chinese-language news, and the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award. The Foundation also awards fellowships and six annual student reporting awards.



  1. ^ Maclean's Magazine (March 15, 1999). "Jack Webster (obituary)". Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Guard Released After Convicts Transferred". Park City Daily News. 21 April 1963. Retrieved 14 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Front Page Challenge". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 05-07-2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ Jack Webster Foundation