Former Regina broadcaster, businessman Spence Bozak dies in Calgary
Spence Bozak, a former Regina TV personality who went on to establish a successful business career, died Mar. 15 of cancer. Photograph by: loran01 , webshots.com
By Will Chabun March 17, 2012
REGINA — When Mitch Bozak introduces himself to older folks around here, one certain question often comes up: Is he related to Spence Bozak?
Given that Spence hasn’t been on local TV for more than 30 years, that’s a tribute to the warmth projected by the avuncular former TV weatherman, who died Thursday of cancer in Calgary.
Spence Bozak was born and raised in Moose Jaw, landing a job while still in his teens at what was then the city’s only radio station, CHAB — which in the 1960s added a TV arm carrying the new CTV network. Mitch can remember his brother being the talk of the town as the host of a program called Teen Tempo, complete with go-go girls in cages. “Moose Jaw — who’d a thunk?” laughed Mitch.
Around the time that CHAB-TV and its licence were bought by the CBC as the nucleus for its Regina/Moose Jaw station in the late 1960s, Spence headed for Regina and signed on as an announcer at CKCK-TV, by then a CTV affiliate. He did general announcing duties and specialized in hosting the late-night (and occasionally, the suppertime) weather broadcast, unflappable, but with a warm, folksy side.
“He took the weather and made it sort of ‘appointment television’, said his longtime friend and business partner, Phil Kershaw.
By the late 1970s, Bozak — who was also the TV pitchman for Kentucky Fried Chicken in southern Saskatchewan — left TV. With Kershaw, he founded and ran Dome Advertising, which became the provincial government’s “agency of record” after the Conservatives took power provincially in 1982.
Bozak was also active in federal and provincial Progressive Conservative party politics, running unsuccessfully as the party’s candidate in the old Regina West constituency in 1980 and advising Grant Devine’s government.
The warm, mellow image was no act, said Kershaw. “He had a great sense of humour, though it sometimes rubbed people the wrong way — the kind of people who took themselves too seriously.”
Kershaw said Bozak was a highly intelligent, well-read man interested in things ranging from foreign films to the outdoors and construction.
Bozak moved to Calgary around 1986, working in advertising and marketing. Newspaper clippings from 1994 show him as the spokesman for one of the firms seeking Canada’s first national country music TV channel licence.
On the social media site LinkedIn, Bozak recently wrote, “Normally, I build the company and, after a couple of years, move on to something different.”