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Veteran B.C. broadcaster Ben Meisner, known as the "Voice of the North," died early Thursday after a short battle with cancer.

The longtime resident of Prince George had a broadcasting career that spanned 60 years.

His death at the age of 76 at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre was announced on his website.

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The announcement stated that after becoming ill during an ice fishing trip in Manitoba, Meisner was taken to the hospital where he died.

When it became clear he would not be able to return home, the statement said Meisner made notes thanking the people of Prince George and Northern B.C. for all they'd done for him over the more than 40 years he lived in the region.

Meisner was born in Maryfield, Sask., in 1938, moved to Winnipeg in the early 1950's and eventually began his broadcasting career at CKDM in Dauphin, Man.

After stops in Winnipeg, Toronto, Yorkton, Sask., Red Deer, Alta., and Kamloops, B.C., he landed in Prince George, where he became a local businessman as well as host of his own talk show on CKPG for nearly a quarter of a century.

He was also a newspaper columnist and hosted a talk show on CFIS FM before launching his independent website, 250News.com.

"British Columbia lost a wise and passionate voice" that was instantly recognizable in the north, said B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

In a statement, she also said those who went on the air with Meisner knew they had to be ready.

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"He was friendly, but never failed to ask the tough questions. He knew that his listeners, and the adopted hometown he loved so much, deserved nothing less."

Clark offered condolences to his family.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.

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