Hey, why not?
UBob Layton Place doesn’t exist, of course. But perhaps it should — in Edmonton, Alberta, where Layton, a legendary broadcaster, retired on December 31, 2020 after half a century on the job.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the media who has contributed as much to his community as Bob Layton.
Here’s an idea: Perhaps the City should return the favour and name something after him …
Okay, if not ‘Place,’ then how about Bob Layton Drive, Road, Street … or Bob Layton Way? There are many options …
A PERSONAL TRIBUTE
I’ve lived in Edmonton for more than 40 years and so know first-hand of Bob Layton’s contribution to the city.
For most of my time in the news business, Bob was an opponent. Put it this way, we played in the same league but on different teams … I was employed at CBC Radio, Canada’s national broadcaster; Bob was with one of the ‘privates’, 630 CHED.
For a few years, however, I worked alongside the broadcasting icon in the CHED newsroom — initially as a newsreader and, later, as a courthouse reporter. We sometimes had different points of view on what was news, what wasn’t, ethics, etc — par for the course for any newsroom or, for that matter, any democracy.
Oh. You should know that Bob Layton and I do not ‘hang out.’ Because we both live in Edmonton’s West End, in the past year I’ve come across Bob in a hardware store and at a bank, but that’s it.
Bob Layton’s strongest asset is his love for the community. The man was never known for giving a blind thumbs up to decisions by civic, provincial or federal politicians. Bob was often at odds with these elected officials. It was his duty to be impartial and critical.
Bob’s loyalty was to his audience, not to government. That’s what journalism is all about. Or should be.
Being a news editor is a stressful, thankless job … getting up at an unGodly hour, scheduling, hiring/firing … and dealing with media people who sometimes have greater egos than common sense. Heart Attack City, that job. On top of that, there are many different points of view to consider — so many that it’s nearly impossible to get a proper handle on things. This goofy photo says it all …
Even if listeners didn’t agree with Bob Layton, they still got the ‘straight goods.’ Overall, most nodded approval with Bob’s line of thinking because he followed a time-tested formula: common sense.
AND WHAT DOES CITY HALL SAY?
We’re about to find out. I have fired off a note to my city councillor, Andrew Knack. I’m hoping to get his support on the City naming something — perhaps a roadway — in honour of the broadcaster.
When Andrew responds, I’ll update this post.
Councillor Mike Nickel — according to opinion polls, front-runner in the Mayoralty race — is giving a thumbs up to paying some sort of tribute to broadcaster Bob Layton. “Great idea,” he says, “well-deserving.”
Using the Stanley Cup-winning Edmonton Oilers as an analogy, greatness sure gets a boost when one is in the company of talented people. Wayne Gretzky would not have had his name on as many Cups without the support of other star players such as Paul Coffee, Yari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and Glenn Anderson.
And so it is with Bob Layton. Bob has worked alongside news greats CR Nichols, Ed Mason, Eileen Bell and Eddie Keen … not to mention a host of legendary DJ’s, including Bruce Bowie.
June 1984, right after the Oilers won their first Stanley Cup. Photo courtesy of 630 CHED and Global Television. Front row: Jamie Herbison [Sports], Eileen Bell [News]. Back row, left to right: Danny Kay [Promotions], Grant Weins [DJ], #99 [Hockey Legend], Bruce Bowie [DJ] and Bob Layton [News].
HMMM … THIS MAY NOT WORK …
TRIBUTE ON GLOBAL NEWS
This short video has it all … a brief history of Bob Layton’s time in broadcasting, his awards, clips that tell the story behind the story, and the man’s proven commitment to the people of Edmonton.
Click on the link below and you’re in business …