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Geoffrey William Stirling (born St. John's, 1921) is a Canadian businessman. Stirling, along with other members of his family, owns several media outlets in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador under the corporate brand Stirling Communications International.[1] Specifically, these properties are CJON-TV, the province's dominant evening news television station; radio station CHOZ-FM; and the Newfoundland Herald, a weekly news, gossip and TV listings magazine.

In some circles, Stirling is regarded as an eccentric for the way in which he has used his media outlets to promote a variety of personal interests such as eastern mysticism and intestinal health. For example, he devoted many hours of, often unscheduled, broadcast time to conversations with gurus such as Ram Dass and Swami Shyam and to a variety of esoteric subjects ranging from pyramids to unidentified flying objects, a practice which continues today as the station is run by his sons Scott and Jesse. When he watched his own television station he would sometimes phone Master Control to order that a favorite tape immediately preempt the current broadcast or that the technician apply a particular effect to the screen. One widely repeated story holds that Stirling once called the station during the NTV Evening News and demanded that they broadcast Inspector Gadget immediately, prompting them to play the cartoon in the corner of the screen throughout the remainder of the program.

Stirling appeared in the 1974 documentary film Waiting for Fidel about a trip he made to Cuba along with former Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood and director Michael Rubbo. The trio never met the Cuban leader. Almost all of the program is a poolside conversation between Smallwood and Stirling as to what they would like to ask Castro. Some of the dialogue occurs while Stirling is demonstrating yoga and standing on his head while conversing with Smallwood.[2] Although considered eccentric by some, Stirling pioneered many television first in North America. NTV was the first station to broadcast 24 hours a day. In the late 1970's, in between television programs and late at night, Stirling would broadcast, what were called at the time, promotional films by popular music and rock bands, a precursor to music videos.

Geoff Stirling supervised the creation of the graphic novel Atlantis, featuring the superheroes Captain Atlantis (a.k.a. Captain Newfoundland) and Captain Canada, and drawing on elements of Canadian history as well as New Age philosophy.

In 2001, Stirling was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame. He currently splits his time between Torbay, Newfoundland and Wickenburg, Arizona.

References

  1. ^ SCI is not a single legal entity but rather refers collectively to Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Ltd., The Sunday Herald Ltd., and associated holding companies.
  2. ^ Rubbo, Michael (1974). "Waiting for Fidel". NFB.ca. National Film Board of Canada. http://www.nfb.ca/film/waiting_for_fidel. Retrieved 2009-03-16.  

External links

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