Dick Peplow, well-known local broadcaster and founder of SooToday.com and North Bay sister site BayToday.ca, died this morning after a lengthy illness.
He was 63.
Peplow's career spanned five decades in broadcast, print and online media, beginning and ending in Sault Ste. Marie.
He started in the very early 1960s, spinning records part-time at CJIC-AM while still in Grade 12 at Sault Collegiate Institute.
Peplow began working full-time at CKCY in 1963.
His media career took him to many communities across Canada, including Thunder Bay, Dawson Creek, St. Thomas, Kirkland Lake, Yellowknife, Winnipeg and Sudbury.
While at CJKL-AM in Kirkland Lake in 1977, he gave Dave Helwig his first media job.
In Yellowknife, Peplow was elected as a city alderman, often standing alone as a dissident voice on issues that were important to him.
He fought against secret meetings of Yellowknife City Council in a battle that eventually resulted in a precedent-setting territorial court decision forcing the city to end the practice.
What's now SooToday.com was started by Peplow on September 25, 2000, primarily as an online venue to distribute discount coupons.
At the beginning, the venture was known as SooCoupons.com.
Advertising sales were initially brisk, but Algoma Steel's subsequent bankruptcy cut deeply into consumer confidence and the site's bottom line.
So Peplow reinvented the business, adding first editorials and then news, often turning for help to former broadcast colleagues including Randy Russon, John Campbell, John David Cameron, David Helwig and Russ Hilderley.
The retooled site grew to become one of Canada's most popular online community news services.
Peplow launched BayToday.ca on October 1, 2003.
In recent years, Peplow was a loyal volunteer at Sault Area Hospital.