Byron Christopher Tribute to Bob Layton…

Bob Layton

Bob Layton Place?

by Byron Christopher

February 15, 2021

And why not??

Bob Layton Road doesn’t exist, of course. But it should. And it should be in Edmonton, Alberta, where legendary broadcaster Bob Layton recently retired [December 31, 2020] after half a century on the job.

The icon has contributed more to the community than anyone in the media.

If not ‘Place,’ then how about Bob Layton Drive, Bob Layton Road, Bob Layton Street or Bob Layton Way? The options are many …


I’ve lived in Edmonton for more than 40 years and know first-hand of Bob’s tremendous 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 for different teams … I worked for CBC Radio, Canada’s national broadcaster; Bob was with one of the ‘privates’, 630 CHED.

For a few years, I got to work alongside Bob in the CHED newsroom — initially as a newsreader and, later, as CHED’s courthouse reporter. We sometimes had different points of view on what was news, what wasn’t, ethics, etc — par for the course in any newsroom … [and in any democracy].

Oh. You should know that Bob and I don’t hang out. In the past year, I have come across Bob at a hardware store and at a bank, but that’s it. We’re not close friends.

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 elected officials. It was his job to be critical.

Bob’s loyalty was to his audience, not to government. That’s what journalism is all about. Or should be.

It’s not easy being a news editor. There are always so many different points of view to weigh that it’s almost impossible to get a handle on them all. This photo says it all …

Even if listeners didn’t agree with Bob Layton, they still got the ‘straight goods.’ Overall, most agreed with what Bob had to say because the man followed a time-tested formula: common sense.


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 story with his comments.


Using the Stanley Cup-winning Edmonton Oilers as an analogy, greatness sure gets a boost when you’re 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 and Glenn Anderson.

And so it is with Bob Layton. Bob has worked alongside news greats CR Nichols, Ed Mason and Eddie Keen … not to mention a host of legendary DJ’s. But we will mention Bruce Bowie … because Bruce in this snapshot of the 630-CHED crew along with Bob Layton, #99 and other on-air staff.

      Photo courtesy of 630 CHED and Global Television. Bob Layton is far right, alongside Bruce Bowie and Wayne Gretzky.Yea, Bob is the one smiling on the right…



There’s already a Bob Layton Trail — in Urbandale, Iowa. 


This short clip has it all … it has a brief history of Bob Layton’s time in broadcasting, his awards and video clips that tell the story behind the story, and the man’s strong commitment to the people of Edmonton. 

Click on the link below …

Edmonton radio legend Bob Layton announces retirement


Byron Christopher


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