TAIT: Edmonton loses a news icon with death of Bruce Hogle, 95

Courtesy Cam Tait,
March 30, 2024
Bruce Hogle, left, and The Honourable Donald Ethell, Chancellor, shake hands after Hogle received his AOE medallion during the induction ceremony into the Alberta Order of Excellence at a ceremony at Government House. Photo taken in Edmonton, Alberta on October 19, 2011. Postmedia file
I heard the background noise when Steve Hogle took my phone call Monday evening. He was in his vehicle, driving.
His destination was the new Gene Zwozdesky Centre Norwood care home, just north of 111 Avenue on 105 Street, to see his father Bruce.
A seasoned broadcast journalist with a keen sense of timing, intuitively knowing — more importantly, feeling — when the gift of silence the moment, I took Steve’s cue and didn’t say a word.
We both, painfully, recognized the situation: Bruce was in his final days.
And Friday was when Bruce left us at 95, three weeks after the love of his life, Gail, passed away.
“I can safely say I don’t know of a kinder human being on earth. I’m so glad he lived such a full life,” said friend and fellow broadcasting executive Marty Forbes.
“But I’m going to miss him big time. So blessed to have known him all these years.”
Forbes and Hogle shared countless chats in the building in the city’s west end why they were still making huge differences in radio and television.
Hogle’s homily of “where’s that damn Forbes? I need to see him now,” transmitted through the station, causing Forbes to come out of his office in front of the entire staff watching the, what turned out to be, friendly fire.
After Forbes closed his door Hogle began the visit with the same question: “How’s Kim and the kids?”
“I could go to him when I was having tough times, regardless of whether it was personal and professional. His wisdom helped me through challenging things I had to do at the station.”
The question is, at such a tender time, to ask what did Hogle do?
But the better question is what didn’t he do?
A quick few paragraphs doesn’t do the Hogle resume justice. But, from a bird’s-eye view, we get a hustling landscape covered with sunshine, much like a grandmother covering a small child with a cherished blanket.
Born in Toronto, he spent some time in the miliary, before finding a comfort level with the news business.
Hogle never took his position as a public figure for granted. He used his position to make a difference.
A classic example was CFRN TV becoming the first Canadian television station to air editorials, written and, then, delivered with such pizzazz.
Over the years, Hogle wrote 15,000 editorials, bringing changes to government rent controls, raising the age limit on adoptive parents and helping form Edmonton.
Another one: while deputy editor of the Medicine Hat News, Hogle headed up a traffic safety campaign. In the next five years, a traffic fatality did not happen in Medicine Hat.
Forbes has seen Hogle crusading for the community.
“One of the best things he did, when each of the city’s media outlets were owned and operated by Edmontonians, was get us all together in the mid 1990s,” Forbes said.
“The city wasn’t in great shape, and he reminded all of us to stop being so negative. Yes, report the facts — but let’s remind people what a great city we have.”
In 1993, Hogle helped form the Good Neighbour Fund to cover expenses for people who, Hogle once told me, “fall through the cracks.”
Hogle orchestrated community change during an era without the online bombardment of information we now have.
His messaging was extraordinarily profound.
There’s no doubt Hogle would be trending because of his incomparable style.
We send our deepest condolences to Hogle’s three son’s Bill, Randy and Steve, and their families.
And Steve, my lifelong friend: when the time is right, I sincerely hope, one day, when you’re driving, the precious silence will cause you to remember the man you nicknamed Bunkie and think of how to make Edmonton better.
If you need help with that idea, please … call.

This article was submitted to Puget Sound Radio by Marty Forbes


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