The Hamilton Spectator
Newscaster was on air for nearly 35 years
TORONTO Geraldine (Geri) Smith, a long-time Canadian Press newscaster whose voice became familiar to listeners across the country during her nearly 35 years with the national wire service, has died. She was 60.
Smith was found dead in her Toronto home on Thursday and was on leave from work at the time of her death.
Rose Kingdon, director of broadcast news at the Canadian Press, said Smith’s smooth, friendly, warm delivery of national newscasts made her one of the company’s most senior and best-respected broadcasters.
“You always knew without hearing her name who was speaking because Geri had her own style when she delivered the news,” Kingdon said in a telephone interview. “She was fun loving. She was usually surrounded by people laughing. She was witty and charming.”
Smith’s illustrious broadcasting career got underway in 1983 with a stint at a radio station in Cambridge, Ont., before she moved to another station in nearby Kitchener. She joined the Canadian Press broadcast team in June 1988.
Retired Canadian Press veteran Malcolm Morrison said he was the audio supervisor when Smith joined the team.
“She’s one of the best newscasters I ever came across,” he said.
“She was a very, very pleasant person to work with … a lot of people liked her a lot.”
Morrison said people who knew Smith were crushed when they learned that she died very suddenly and at such a young age.
“She was somebody that everybody had great respect for, for her professional abilities and just because she was such a pleasant person to work with,” he said. “She had … a very, very, very good, and at times very biting, sense of humour. I think to be called a weasel by Geri was really kind of high praise.”
Kingdon said Smith loved taking vacations to Malibu, Calif., with her mother Mary, who survives her.