Newsman Bob Layton calls it a day at Corus Edmonton

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Newsman Bob Layton calls it a day at Corus Edmonton

Postby the-real-deal » Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:15 pm

Edmonton radio legend Bob Layton announces retirement

By Kirby Bourne 630CHED

Posted December 18, 2020 2:30 pm
Updated December 18, 2020 4:03 pm

Edmonton, AB - After 49 years on the air at 630 CHED, and 50 in the radio industry, Bob Layton has announced his retirement.

“I’ve been told for a couple of years now that I would just know when it was time,” Layton said.

“I feel like it’s time.”

Layton’s career started after being interviewed by a reporter in the late 60s. He was a postal worker at the time and he and his coworkers went on an illegal strike for the right to strike.

“We listened to the radio later and he didn’t say what we told him, he sort of put his own spin on it,” Layton said. “And I was mad about that for a long time.”

He told a coworker he wished he could be on the radio to tell it like it really is. That day, while driving home from work, an ad came on the radio for Columbia Broadcasting School.

“So I signed up for the course and a few months later I was on the air in Fort St. John, B.C.”

Fellow CHED legend Len Thuesen was hired to work in Fort St. John with Layton. The two dreamed of working for CHED and would listen to the station, then record tapes of what they would do if they were on the air and send the tapes to CHED.

“We would get letters back from CHED that said, ‘we don’t hire anyone with(out) five years experience. So you don’t need to bother sending anymore tapes.'”

But the two kept sending tapes and the persistence paid off. After 15 months in Fort St. John, CHED told Layton to come to Edmonton for a shot.

“I got hired — not to go on the air. I was hired as a writer for Frank Robertson, who was a great reader. And he loved my style of writing. And so I did that for a few months,” Layton said.

After Robertson quit, Layton got his shot to go on the air. It was 1971 and Layton has been on the CHED airwaves ever since.

“It’s nearly impossible to capture fully what Bob has meant to 630 CHED and radio news in Edmonton,” said Jon Vos, provincial program director for Corus radio in Alberta. “His impact and work has shaped so many broadcasters.

“Bob’s gift has been his ability to truly connect with everyone through his news presentation style and of course his award-winning editorials.”

In 50 years, Layton has covered too many news stories to count, but two significant events stand out to him: the U.S. terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the Black Friday tornado which ripped through Edmonton in 1987.

“We had watched (9/11) happen here in the CHED newsroom. I was on with Eileen Bell and she said, ‘Bob, another plane has hit the other trade tower.’ And I said, ‘no, no, I don’t think so. I think that’s just a rerun of the first one.’ And we watched it all. And sure enough, she was right. It was the second plane and everything changed at that point.”

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