A pillar of the Kamloops media community has died.
Radio NL reporter Angelo Iacobucci, a constant presence on local airwaves for nearly 40 years, was 60 years old.
“I’m still in a little bit of shock,” former Kamloops mayor and MLA Terry Lake told KTW on Friday.
“I just found out. It’s just out of the blue. I’m just horrified and devastated. He’s someone I knew a long time and had a good working relationship with. I thought of him as a friend.”
Iacobucci, known as “Bootch” among many co-workers and other local reporters, had been working at NL since 1979.
Radio NL news director Shane Woodford said the building on Sixth and Lansdowne is in shock.
“Honestly, we’re just very emotionally raw over here right now,” he said. “It’s been an absolute bombshell of a day for the building. People here are in shock. We are still grappling with this news.”
The cause of Iacobucci’s death was not immediately clear on Friday.
“He was at work yesterday [Thursday] and that’s all I really feel comfortable sharing,” Woodford said. “It caught us all by surprise, I can say that. He was normal Angelo yesterday morning and now this.”
Kamloops-North Thompson MLA MLA Peter Milobar, who as mayor of Kamloops got to know Iacobucci, described the reporter’s death as a blow to the community.
“He was a mainstay in Kamloops media and in politics, really,” Milobar said.
“He knew how to make sure his part of the job was being covered in terms of making sure he got his questions asked first and answered first. He tended to guide the tone for coverage based on what his line of questioning was. He was a real key piece to everything in Kamloops, really.”
City of Kamloops capital projects manager Darren Crundwell said he was shocked by Friday’s news of Iacobucci’s death.
He said the longtime city hall reporter worked hard to get the whole story.
“Council chambers won’t be the same,” Crundwell said, noting he will miss Angelo’s “happy-go-lucky” personality. “Whether it was texting back and forth on the phone while a council presentation was going on or his comments from the back row, he was always making me laugh or smile.”
Raffelina Siriani, another longtime Kamloops broadcast reporter, got her start in journalism under Iacobucci’s tutelage. In 1989, Sirianni, fresh out of broadcast school, started as an intern at NL.
“I’m actually numb,” she said. “I can’t believe it. I’m finding it hard to wrap my head around.”
Iacobucci developed a reputation for teasing competing reporters and loved to dominate media scrums and press conferences.
“He pretended to be super tough, but he was a super soft teddy bear,” Sirianni said. “And he lived and breathed news.”
“Quirky” was a word that came up multiple times on Friday as Iacobucci was remembered by friends and colleagues.
“He was quirky,” Sirianni said. “He’d show up at city council meetings eating his McDonald’s. Everyone has a quirky story about Angelo.”
Longtime Kamloops Daily News reporter and editor Susan Duncan said she remembered covering city hall with Iacobucci.
“The whole time he looked like he wasn’t paying any attention at all,” she said. “But he was getting the best stories.”
Duncan said Iacobucci was something of a rare bird in journalism in that he could hold those in power to account while still maintaining a good, friendly relationship.
“He had this gift of really getting good stories and being a hard news reporter, but, really, winning the hearts of the people he interviewed,” she said.
“It’s a loss for the city. It’s also a loss for the media world in Kamloops and, really, in B.C.”
Iacobucci is survived by his wife, Silvana.
Today the NL family has suffered a a terrible and unexpected loss. We are absolutely shattered to share that Angelo Iacobucci passed away this morning. Our hearts go out to his family and his wife Silvana. Today this newsroom feels very empty. We will miss you my friend.— shane woodford (@WoodfordCHNL) December 14, 2018
This morning #Kamloops and this province lost a true legend who left a big impression on anyone he ever crossed paths with professionally or personally. Angelo Iacobucci was my friend. He was everyone’s friend. He would have been 61 on New Years Eve. #bcpoli— Brett Mineer (@MineerBrett) December 14, 2018
In my short time knowing Angelo, he has left a great impact on me as a reporter and as a person. No one will ever fill his shoes around the community, or around City Hall. https://t.co/zpjYix147D— Ashley Legassic (@ashleylegassic) December 14, 2018
So, so incredibly sad. Veteran reporter who spent decades covering city hall. He will be missed in council chambers. RIP Angelo. :( https://t.co/xm5hy51eia— Jessica Wallace (@KTWjess) December 14, 2018
Everyone in our newsroom is absolutely heartbroken at this news. All our support to our friends down at Radio NL, and to Angelo's family. His absence will leave a massive hole in our community. https://t.co/np8xheyezC— James Peters (@Jamloops) December 14, 2018
Angelo, we worked together at Radio NL for just under three months, since I moved to #Kamloops— Victor Mario Kaisar (@supermario_47) December 14, 2018
I'm heartbroken. I'm devastated.
Thank you for being my friend.
I'll miss you Bootch.
Still in shock over this news. Angelo was one of the best in the biz. He was always eager to share his wisdom with us young journos. He had the biggest heart and the best personality. We will forever miss you. https://t.co/ytT9R8nX4D— Tereza Verenca (@tverenca) December 14, 2018
Angelo was truly a great newsman, and a genuine voice for Kamloops for many decades. No matter the subject, his voice was heard in all corners of B.C. as his many scoops informed and educated the province. My condolences to his family, and his ‘NL colleagues. #BCpoli https://t.co/mIE6tXotnU— Jas Johal (@jasjohalbc) December 14, 2018
My heart is heavy beyond words. Angelo was my brother for 30 years. Words will never express the grief that I feel for Syl.— Bob Price (@kammornanchor) December 14, 2018
@RadioNLNews My heart breaks for Angelo’s family and news family, what a terrible loss for our community. You will be missed my friend💙— Beverley DeSantis (@BeverlyDeSantis) December 14, 2018
so sorry to hear this. A big loss for Kamloops. I remember hearing his voice on the radio when I was young. Thinking of his family and team.— Caitlin Johnson (@caitlindjohnson) December 14, 2018
I sat beside him at Kamloops council meetings for 4 years. I learned a ton from him and he was always respectful and gracious to me even though we were competition. He was one of a kind and will be missed.— Jeremy Deutsch (@jerdeutschcoq) December 14, 2018
Oh no. I am so sorry. I have many fond memories of Angelo from my years in Kamloops. My condolences to his family and NL colleagues.— Hudson Mack (@HudsonHMack) December 14, 2018
My sincere condolences to the news team at @RadioNLNews in #Kamloops following the loss of the irreplaceable Angelo Iacobucci. I never worked with him, but knew his familiar voice and remarkable talent.— Dave White (@CBCDaveWhite) December 14, 2018
What an incredible loss for BC journalism, his community in #Kamloops, and the entire province. Thinking of his family, his @RadioNLNews family, and all those grieving @AngeloCHNL 's passing today. What an incredibly good person, gone far too soon. #cdnmedia https://t.co/sykt74eQ2i— Stephen Smart (@smartyvr) December 14, 2018
Very sad news. Our thoughts are with his family and his colleagues in Kamloops.— HEU (@HospEmpUnion) December 14, 2018
I covered Kamloops city council next to Angelo for the better part of six years and this breaks my heart. Angelo never treated young reporters like competitors when he could treat us like colleagues. https://t.co/uJoOClwLfQ— Andrea Klassen🏳️🌈 (@AndreaThisWeek) December 14, 2018
Sad news for the Kamloops @RadioNLNews family. Angelo and the entire team do so much excellent reporting for all of BC. Many BCTF Presidents have been welcomed by Angelo on air many times. We were always so grateful. Our condolences to everyone at CHNL and Angelo's loved ones. https://t.co/v9Nu55Q8Ij— BCTF (@bctf) December 14, 2018
Wow. That is just awful. Angelo is a Kamloops legend. Terrible terrible news. T&P https://t.co/RXGB6gXuyx— Gary Mason (@garymasonglobe) December 14, 2018
We are shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of legendary reporter @AngeloCHNL. Angelo covered City Hall for decades and his booming voice and larger-than-life presence will be missed in Council Chambers. Our thoughts go out to his family and colleagues at @RadioNLNews— City of Kamloops (@cityofkamloops) December 14, 2018