Bill Welychka Global

When a co-worker once called Bill Welychka a “has-been,” it stung. But the veteran entertainment journalist, known for his warm interview style and encyclopedic pop culture knowledge, embraced the label – with a twist. In his new memoir “A Happy Has-Been,” Welychka reflects on his remarkable career journey with humility, humor and hard-won wisdom.

The inspiration for the book came unexpectedly during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he found himself frequently invited as a guest on podcasts to discuss his life, career, and the music industry. As he recounted forgotten stories, Welychka realized he might have a book on his hands.


“I never really set out to write a book…that’s the odd part!” Welychka admits. “I have been asked for years about a book. I used to think ‘No one is gonna care.’ But during Covid, I kept getting asked to be a guest on podcasts…I started recounting stories I had totally forgot about.”

The memoir’s intriguing title stems from a comment made by a co-worker who referred to Welychka as a “has-been” during his time as a weather presenter in Ottawa. While initially stung by the remark, Welychka came to embrace the label, recognizing the unique trajectory of his career.

“A co-worker once referred to me as a has-been. It was in Ottawa and I was a weather presenter for the CTV affiliate,” Welychka explains. “It hurt a bit, but I realized, maybe it’s true! The HAPPY part of the title is important to ‘the story’. I’m the happiest now than I’ve ever been.”

Throughout his years at MuchMusic, Welychka had the opportunity to interview a staggering array of music legends, from Mick Jagger and David Bowie to Prince and Johnny Cash. He reflects on these experiences with humility and gratitude.

“I have been so blessed. I am humbled by all the world travels and grateful I had the chance to meet everyone I ever wanted to. And then some!” Welychka says.

Welychka credits his success as an interviewer to his genuine curiosity and care for his subjects. He learned from skilled interviewers like Denise Donlon, Erica Ehm, Christopher Ward and Steve Anthony about what makes for a great conversation.

“I never approach an interview as an interrogation…question, answer, repeat. It has to be a conversation. The interview can take a million directions in the first 20 seconds. I love that journey!” he explains.

Bill WelychkaBut it wasn’t all glitz and glamour. Welychka candidly shares the challenges he faced transitioning from music journalism to news as the industry landscape shifted. “I became disillusioned with music journalism,” he explains. “It became less about the art, the artist, creativity and more about the 10 second soundbite with a tabloid approach.”

Through it all, Welychka maintained the warm, disarming interview style that made him a trusted figure in Canadian entertainment media. His secret? Genuine curiosity and care.

“I think I am honestly interested in people,” he says. “I don’t make the interview about myself. I am respectful and LOVE doing it. I think any interview subject senses that, and they’re more apt to ‘give’ more.”

From his early days at MuchMusic to his transition to news anchor and journalist, Welychka has seen it all. He’s been there for the rise of Canadian music culture and the heyday of the Big Shiny Tunes compilation CDs, and he’s got the stories to prove it.

“MuchMusic is often credited with creating a ‘star system’ with its music artists. Someone could be in Newfoundland and learn about a band in BC. We brought the country together,” Welychka says.

While Welychka’s memoir is filled with celebrity encounters and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, some of the most poignant moments come when he pulls back the curtain on his own life. He writes candidly about his struggles with depression and the importance of mental health awareness.

“It was very cathartic,” Welychka says of the writing process. “I open up about depression. People have thanked me for that. If one person learns something about mental health, then the entire exercise was well worth it.”

Welychka also uses his platform to advocate for ending violence against women, partnering with the White Ribbon Campaign and donating partial proceeds from the book to women’s shelters. It’s a cause close to his heart.

“I was raised by a single mom,” he explains. “I believe I absorbed many feminine qualities. I have no problem admitting that. I believe in passion, compassion, empathy, nurturing…It’s GUYS that need to talk to guys to get the message out that there is NO room in our world for abuse of any kind towards women.”

Looking back on his winding career path, Welychka has no regrets about the twists and turns. In fact, he encourages aspiring journalists to embrace the journey, even if it means starting small.

“Even though I didn’t, be willing to work ANYWHERE for your first couple jobs,” he advises. “Be willing to relocate to northern Ontario or to an eastern province small town.”

Looking ahead, Welychka still has a few dream interviews on his bucket list, namely Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga. But mostly, he’s content to keep connecting with people and sharing their stories, guided by the life lessons he’s picked up along his unique career journey.

“As a society, we tend to put the wrong people on pedestals,” Welychka reflects in the book. “It’s important for me to elevate people around me, and doctors, nurses, first responders, teachers, volunteers. THESE are the people that need to be on a pedestal.”

“I did my career backwards,” Welychka writes in the book. “I started off nationally in a major market and by design, I would end up in a smaller market with a localized audience…I’m the happiest now than I’ve ever been.”

With “A Happy Has-Been,” Bill Welychka cements his legacy as one of Canada’s most enduring and beloved entertainment journalists, offering a wealth of stories and insights gathered across his fascinating career. The memoir is a testament to the power of resilience, reinvention, and staying true to oneself – a fitting reflection from a self-proclaimed “happy has-been.”

Catch Bill Welychka on his Ontario book tour. e’s already made stops in Napanee, Windsor, and London, and he’s got plenty more dates lined up across Ontario.”Check out the new dates for the 2024 book tour, sponsored by Tourism Kingston!” Welychka enthuses. “I am hoping for the same love and beautiful connections made from last year. It was a great pleasure to have visited Barrie, Peterborough, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton, Welland and Belleville for the 2023 book tour. I saw some old friends and made many new friends and heard some beautiful sentiments expressed from complete strangers. It was a blast…THANK YOU!!”If you’re looking to catch Welychka on tour, here are the upcoming dates:

  • April 16: Stratford, Waterloo, and Cambridge
  • April 17: Burlington and Mississauga
  • April 18: Newmarket and Richmond Hill
  • April 19: Toronto
  • April 27-28: Ottawa International Book Expo

And if you can’t make it out to see him in person, don’t worry – you can always visit Welychka online at


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