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Broadcast pioneer Basil Scully dead at 85

Basil Scully, who worked in radio in Sault Ste. Marie before moving to Sudbury in 1953 to launch an illustrious television career, died Monday. He was 85.
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BasilScully

Basil Scully, who worked in radio in Sault Ste. Marie before moving to Sudbury in 1953 to launch an illustrious television career, died Monday. He was 85.

It was Scully who announced the weather on October 25, 1953, the day that CKSO-TV made its inaugural broadcast.

At the time, the only other Canadian television stations on the air were in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, so CKSO was such a novelty that crowds gathered in front of Sudbury appliance stores to see the "Indian Head" test pattern.

Speaking of those pioneering days, Scully later wrote: "In retrospect, it was nothing more or less than primitive TV. There was one significant advantage. Very few of our audience had themselves seen anything resembling television and therefore what we presented to them was gobbled up with great enthusiasm."

To see a photograph of Scully doing a CKSO weathercast with Judy Erola (then Jacobson) please click here.

Wife Dorothea died in September

Tonight's edition of the Sudbury Star reports that Scully's wife Dorothea (nee Greening) died on September 21 of this year.

Dorothea was active with the Sault Theatre Workshop, and the November 22, 1948 edition of the Sault Star refers to a skit performed by "Mr. and Mrs. Basil Scully."

Scully was hired in 1965 as the first director of northern programs for the Addiction Research Foundation.

He was also a candidate in several federal and provincial elections.

MPEG video

To see streaming video (mpeg) of Basil Scully talking about producing an innovative swimsuit commercial in 1954, click here.