Veteran Journalist Ian Boyne is dead.
Mr. Boyne died this morning at the University Hospital of West Indies in St. Andrew.
Mr. Boyne was hospitalised earlier this month and was released shortly after.
He was host of Profile and Religious Hardtalk, aired on our sister station Television Jamaica (TVJ), as well as a columnist for the Sunday Gleaner.
In his early years, Ian Boyne worked with the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), then known as the Agency for Public Information (API) in the seventies.
He also worked for various public sector agencies, serving the Government of Jamaica in the area of public information.
He returned to the JIS at the turn of the century and at the time of his death was the agency's Deputy Executive Director. There, he hosted the agency's interview programme, Issues and Answers.
Ian Boyne was perhaps best known as host of Television Jamaica's long running interview show, Profile, which started in the early 80s on the predecessor station, JBC TV, and for his weekly column in the Sunday Gleaner.
His interview with eight time Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt is one of his most memorable on Profile.
A decade and a half ago, he was asked to host Religious Hardtalk, a new programme on RJR94 FM.
That show later became an exclusive programme on TVJ.
Gary Allen, Chief Executive Officer of the RJRGleaner Communications Group, recalled on RJR's talkshow programme, Hotline, on Monday morning, the conversation that led to transition of Religious Hardtalk to television.
"I saw him coming to do a recording and I was saying to him, I listen to the programme and I know you as an individual, this would make a brilliant TV programme and he said 'You think so?'...and so it was simulcast on radio and TV for about two years."
He said Mr. Boyne's death is a further blow to the company following the recent death of Chairman Lester Spauling.
There have been other statements of shock and sadness following Mr. Boyne's death.
TVJ's General Manager
Claire Grant, General Manager of TVJ, who was also a guest on RJR's Hotline to give tribute to Ian Boyne, described him as a consumate professional who was always ahead of the game in terms of his work ethic.
"He's been trying to come back because he had, as he referred to it, a bombshell interview that needed to be done, and I indicated to him that no matter how great this interview was, he was more important than what was going to happen with the show or for the brand, and that it was more important for us that he be better," she told host Emily Shields.
Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid, added his voice to those mourning the loss of Mr. Boyne.
"A consumate journalist, outstanding Jamaican, a man of highest repute and integrity," were some of the attributes of Mr. Boyne which he highlighted.
He said the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information had benefited greatly from his professionalism, guidance, and support for many of its initiatives.
"I know that he yearned for the improvement in our social capital, the transformation of the lives of us as Jamaicans, so we can be far more peaceful, loving, kind and productive. Truly, he was an inspiration," Mr. Reid concluded.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he was saddened by the tragic news.
He also described Mr. Boyne as a consummate professional.
In recounting his last conversation with Mr. Boyne while he had been in hospital, Mr. Holness noted that they had spoken at length about a number of topics such as health, local and international politics, as well as religion.
He recalled that the journalist had been optimistic about continuing his work.
Portia Simpson Miller
Portia Simpson Miller said she is taking the loss of Ian Boyne very hard as she worked closely with him during her time as Prime Minister.
She pointed out that Mr. Boyne was "a very great guy" who did not allow politics to get in the way of his job.
"He was a serious professional, who, if he gets something to do you know that that job is going to be done very well; and I got very close to him because of how he carried out his work," she said.
The Gleaner, which is part of the RJRGleaner Communications Group, said Mr. Boyne has been an invaluable part of its team of opinion writers for 34 years.
In that time, the company said he distinguished himself as a giant of opinion journalism and man of remarkable intellect and insight.
It added that Mr. Boyne had a crucial voice in the national space, always advocating for improved governance and social conduct in his quest to effect changes that would lead to a better Jamaica for all its citizens.
Ian Boyne was also a Minister of Religion and the author of Ideas Matter: Journey into the Mind of a Veteran Journalist.