Born and raised in St. John’s, Nfld., Nix Wadden is a graduate of St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s, N.L., studied at Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a B.A. graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, N.S.
He worked as a writer, reporter and editor in Newfoundland news media between 1952 and 1966. He served briefly at the Daily News and Telegram newspapers, but worked primarily in radio and television news. After three years with Harvey’s News, which supplied major news programs broadcast on VOCM, he set up and directed that station’s first newsroom operation in 1957. He later took on senior radio and TV news editor duties at CJON, forerunner of today’s NTV and OZ-FM, also writing news features and a business column for the Newfoundland Herald. He was President of the Newfoundland Press Club 1959-61.
Nix moved to Ottawa in 1966 as an Information Officer with the Federal Department of Fisheries, rising to senior communications and public affairs posts in Fisheries and Oceans, Environment and Transport departments and the Federal Communications Council, of which he was Executive Director. His community activities included service as national chairman of the Government Section and President of the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society, Director of the Information Services Institute and member of the National Press Club. He also handled communications for the Ottawa Folk Festival. As a freelance writer, Nix has contributed to such publications as the Newfoundland Quarterly, Camera Canada, Downhome magazine, Fifty Plus Magazine, the St. John’s Telegram and the Ottawa Citizen.
An active amateur photographer, specializing in production of audio-visual shows, he was for ten years newsletter editor for Ottawa’s 300 member RA Photo Club, and served as its first communications chairman. He established a long-running series of exhibits by Ottawa photographers presented at the National Press Club.
Nix is author of three books: Yesterday’s News: Radio and TV Reporting in the Smallwood Era, an account of his Newfoundland journalistic career published in 2008; Gower Street, a 2015 memoir of growing up in St. John’s during the depression, the Second World War and the early years of Newfoundland’s emergence as Canada’s 10th province; and The Waddens: A Family History, published in 2019, tracing ancestors through Newfoundland, Ireland and their Norman and Flemish forebears, while following Wadden relatives spread across Canada and the United States.
He is married to the former Madeline Roche of St. John’s and they have two children, Dianne in Ottawa and Ron in Toronto.