Year of Induction:
Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Keeping, Max (1942-2015)
Having joined CJOH-TV in 1972, Max Keeping rose to become Vice-President of News and Public Affairs and chief news anchor for CTV’s Ottawa affiliate station, and in the process made it his business to ensure that both he and the station were actively involved in community and charitable endeavours. There could be no better measure of his success in these areas than the citation which accompanied his appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991, which stated that “……he uses his evening television news program to increase public awareness of many important issues, and to promote many worthwhile causes, from the Salvation Army to Food Banks to the Children’s Wish Foundation. His generosity of time, energy and talent is remarkable as he lends himself to events big and small throughout Eastern Ontario”.
Winston Maxwell Keeping was born in Grand Bank, Newfoundland, on April 1st 1942. At the age of 14 he joined the St. John’s Evening Telegram, and within two years was its sports director. By 1961 he was with radio station VOCM, working in news, sports and music, and in 1963 he joined CJCH Halifax to work on news, sports and open line shows, notably a radio series called Keeping Speaking, for both radio and television. He moved to Ottawa in 1965 to become CRFA radio’s first parliamentary correspondent, and in 1966 he was hired by Harvey Kirck to join the CTV News staff in Ottawa as a reporter on the Hill. In November 1972 CJOH-TV lured him away to be their news director and 6pm news anchor.
In parallel with his drive to make CJOH-TV the number one news outlet in the Canadian capital, Max vigorously pursued his goal of helping as many charitable organizations as possible to meet their objectives, and in 1995 he formed the Max Keeping Foundation to further this initiative. Among the charities to benefit were the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the United Way. He averaged over 200 public appearances a year at special events in and around the National Capital Region. His dedicated charitable work won him the Central Canada Broadcasters’ Association’s Howard Caine Award.
Max’s on camera persona made him a natural for similar roles in feature films, and he made appearances in two Canadian titles, April One (1993) and Random Factor (1995).
In 2001 he received the CAB Gold Ribbon Award for outstanding Community service by an Individual Broadcaster. In 2003 the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario named a new wing after him. These and many other charitable works earned him the 2002-2003 Gemini Humanitarian Award. By 2004, he had raised over $100,000,000 for charities in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.
At the November 2004 CAB Convention in his Ottawa home town, Max Keeping’s outstanding contributions to Canadian broadcasting and to the community were recognized when he was inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame.
In December 2007, Max Keeping was made a Member of the Order of Ontario.
On December 4th 2009, CTV announced that Max would be stepping down from his anchor role on March 31st 2010, at which time he would become CTV Ottawa’s Community Ambassador.
Max Keeping died of cancer on 1 October 2015.
Written by Pip Wedge – November, 2007