Scruff Connors, Legendary Canadian Broadcaster, Passes At 64
December 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM (PT)
SCRUFF CONNORS, the radio name for JEFFREY DAVID NEWFIELD, has at 64. The TORONTO-born broadcaster was best-known known for conducting controversial on-air practical jokes.
CONNORS' career included host duties at various radio stations in CANADA and the U.S. His most prominent work was with Q107/TORONTO, where he became morning host in 1980. He returned to Q107 in the early '90s to join the "The Q Morning Zoo". In 1980, CONNORS raised CAD$72,000 for cancer research by continuously hosting a 36-hour "Scruff-a-thon" on the station.
While working at Q107 in 1982, CONNORS barricaded himself in the station's on-air studio and repeatedly aired LED ZEPPELIN's "Stairway to Heaven".
By JULY 1982, CONNORS completed 107 trips in seven hours on the MIGHTY CANADIAN MINEBUSTER roller coaster at CANADA's WONDERLAND, establishing a record during the theme park's initial years.
CONNORS conducted a contest in 1989 as an announcer at CHTZ in ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, claiming that the MAYFLOWER would be stationed at a nearby port so that 40 winners would be eligible to have a THANKSGIVING meal there. However, what actually appeared was a moving truck from MAYFLOWER TRANSIT.
While still at CHTZ, he announced during a MARCH, 1990, broadcast that NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK would appear at the station the following day. The music group was scheduled to play in nearby HAMILTON later that week. Although the band's music was not aired on the rock-oriented CHTZ, hundreds of fans of the boy band appeared at the station. Instead, they were greeted with limousines arriving at the station containing several mothers and their newborn infants (or "new kids"). Some of the upset crowd tried to enter the station building, requiring the station to secure the facilities.
In JANUARY, 1995, while working in WINNIPEG, CONNORS was given a week's suspension by CJKR management after he announced a contest where selected listeners could watch SUPER BOWL XXIX in MIAMI. When 1200 listeners submitted their entries by fax, 30 were chosen to meet CONNORS at the local airport. However, the winners boarded a bus at the airport rather than a plane, and their destination was MIAMI, MANITOBA to watch the game on a monochrome television at CHATTERBOX LOUNGE. CONNORS' response? "How was I supposed to know MIAMI was in FLORIDA?"
CONNORS was most recently at MOJO radio, where he was let go in JULY 2005 when the station changed formats.Within a few months, he suffered a pair of heart attacks which required quadruple heart bypass surgery. Later that year, doctors discovered he had contracted bladder cancer.
In AUGUST, 2008, a poster to a CANADIAN radio discussion board posted a rumor that CONNORS had died the previous evening, but he later clarified in an interview with the TORONTO SUN that he was still alive and had recently won over $100,000 in a LOTTO 6/49 drawing.