Jim Nunn, a Nova Scotian journalist and much-loved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, died of cancer on Sunday, February 19, 2023. He was 72.
Jim was known throughout Nova Scotia as an outstanding journalist. He hosted the CBC News programs First Edition and CBC News Nova Scotia at Six, as well as Marketplace and Land and Sea. A journalistic career spanning 30 years brought him to all corners of the country he loved to explore.
From forest fires in Alberta to breaking news on Parliament Hill to the Westray Mine disaster in Nova Scotia, Jim sought out stories that mattered to people and took pride in reporting them clearly and compassionately. Never one to shy away from a debate, Jim created and hosted the political panel known for the thoughtful banter he so relished.
Jim began his career at age 14, making 85¢ an hour working for his father, J. Clyde Nunn, at CJFX Radio in Antigonish. His love of politics was born on his father’s campaigns to represent Inverness County as MLA. His fierce attention to right and wrong reflected the influence of his mother, Nora (McKenna) Nunn, whom he adored.
Jim’s path in life was shaped by the loss of his father at a young age, which instilled in him an unshakeable commitment to his family and a continuous call home to Nova Scotia.
Some remember Jim for the gruff, unrelenting style he sometimes brought to interviews. He had no patience for pat, rehearsed answers from those in power. If he saw an official dodging the truth, Jim would bear down with crisp questions that cut through the bafflegab. There was always a twinkle in his eyes, an unspoken message to viewers that he wasn't going to let anyone get away with doubletalk.
Beyond the skills of Jim's trade, those closest to him will remember his character, wit, humour, and kindness. During his career, Jim encouraged and supported many young journalists, helping them hone their craft and make their own marks in the field of journalism. Jim offered that same attention and patience to all the young people in his life, making them feel like the only person in the room as he challenged them to articulate and develop their ideas and opinions. Those lucky enough to know Jim off the air knew a man who was kind, dependable, loving, and generous with his time and mind.
After his retirement from CBC in 2009, Jim and Cathy, his wife of 45 years, moved home to a house they built in Antigonish County, overlooking St. George’s Bay. Many people wondered what Jim did up on his hill all day, but he would answer simply that he was doing exactly what he wanted. Jim was grateful for the freedom retirement gave him to read, garden, travel, and spend time with the family he treasured.
Jim loved to drive, whether through the back roads of the province or the American south, and those who joined him would be regaled (whether they wanted to be or not) with Jim’s vast knowledge and appreciation of the history of each place and the people who lived there.
Jim’s reporting was rooted in his deep understanding of Nova Scotia's people and politics. His love for the province he called home was matched only by his love for his family. He was a singular presence in Nova Scotia media but, more importantly, an upstanding and outstanding father and family man. He will be greatly missed.
Jim is survived by his wife, Cathy (Stevens); his daughter Kathleen (Mike King) and grandson, Thomas King (age 2); his daughter Emily (Lens Arron), and his siblings: Fran (Johnny Miller); Nancy Nunn Stubbert (Clary Stubbert); Mary Lou Brenton (Gordon Brenton); Noreen (Lloyd Jewkes); Clyde; Bruce (Tracy Barron); Jennifer Nunn Boyle (Paul Boyle); many nieces and nephews, and beloved cousins and friends. Jim’s family would like to thank the palliative care team at St. Martha’s Hospital in Antigonish for their support and compassion.
Family and friends will hold a celebration of Jim’s life when warm weather returns.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of C.L. Curry Funeral Home, Antigonish. Online condolences: www.clcurry.com