Bill Hanson


I do not even remember how long ago it was, that I met my friend Bill (but my hair was a completely different colour then).  For decades we have been part of a close knit media community in this city.  Perhaps it is only my perception of this business, but for me it is like a game of golf.  You cheer on greatness and everyone strives to do their best and there never appears to be any losers even when some fall to the bottom of the leader board.  Everyone conducts themselves in a polite and courteous manner and there are very few displays of bad temper.  I love this business and it is because of people like Bill Hanson that it is such a pleasure to be a part of the media scene in Winnipeg.

Some businesses play lip-service to the term “partnerships” but the company that Bill headed up for so many years, lived the philosophy like no other.  We often went to them with our hair-brained media ideas and they listened politely, and then low and behold, they would find a way to make it happen!  In the end, our clients benefited, we certainly did and so did Bill’s station because we went back to them time after time, to plan our clients’ television campaigns together, in this mutually beneficial manner.

Bill always picked up his phone for me and gave me advice about the industry in general and I would do the same for him (from a buyers’ perspective) on the few occasions when it was required.  Bill had a quiet, “behind- the- scenes style”, never taking the spotlight for himself but always shining it on his team.

And speaking of golf-the station golf days were the highlight of June every year, for the many years before belt- tightening had to occur for most media companies.  There was frivolity on the course, a great steak dinner at the clubhouse and the prizes…I came home with a TV one year that took up almost all of my van space!  Bill would make the rounds at the end of a long day and thank us all for coming.  

Things had been tough for Bill over the last year but it was apparent that he had kicked the cancer that had meant surgery and treatments and time away for his beloved gang at the station.  And then he decided to go on an extra vigorous bike ride…

I am sad about many things surrounding Bill’s passing but most of all that he did not get to hold and smile into the face of his newly born grandchild.   He would have made an magnificent Grandpa, just as he was an extraordinary management leader and a good and true friend.

One image that is bringing me comfort at this time, is Bill’s enormous smile and long-armed wave, as he said good-bye to us at the end of our golf days.  Bill you were much loved and will be truly mourned and greatly missed.

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