Terry Vogt would have liked to be a play-by-play announcer calling Habs games in their glory days, but Danny Gallivan got in the way of that. Somewhere in there Vogt got converted to reporting, and communities across southern Alberta are that much richer because of it.
The beloved CTV Lethbridge reporter, who signed off Friday after 49 years in journalism, turned his storytelling talents to the lives of southern Albertans somewhere back in the 1970’s, and until he became the story Friday night, did so with compassion, humour and eloquence.
Vogt joined CFCN in 1984, after starting his career in the Crowsnest Pass.
“I actually started out as a DJ,” Vogt said, “and my ambition when I first got into broadcasting was to be a play-by-play announcer for sports. Along the way, I found out that I enjoyed covering meetings and talking to people. And that’s when I made a decision to switch into news reporting.”
CTV Lethbridge senior reporter Terry Vogt, left, in the early days of his career, left, and in the later years, right. Vogt is set to retire after 49 years of reporting in southern Alberta.
His talent for storytelling and connecting with others caught the eye of his first news director Derek Debolt.
“A lot of what goes into Vogt’s reporting is his ability to gain the trust of the people he’s interviewing and his tenacity to get their story out in a really brilliant way,” Debolt said.
Over the years Vogt has been recognized for his compassion, integrity and hard work including, most recently, with the Radio Television Digital News Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Despite several attempts to lure him to larger markets, he chose to stay in Lethbridge.
“I feel blessed that I was able to be part of history in the making in southern Alberta,” Vogt said. “I mean, if it was a major story happening in this region, chances are I had an opportunity to work on it.”
“I wanted to do more than just give headline news, I wanted to do stories that were meaningful to people.”
And just as much as Vogt told stories that were meaningful to the community, he was equally inspiring as a mentor and friend to hundreds of journalists who worked at CTV Lethbridge, usually on their way to someplace else, over the years.
There’s a certain level of humanity and compassion and caring and a level of interest that you have to develop as you get into the real working world. And I think Terry helps nurture that,” said CTV’s Dory Rossiter, who worked with Vogt for over 30 years.
Terry Vogt started his career in 1972 as a DJ at a small station in Crowsnest Pass, Alta., before moving into news reporting. He joined CTV Lethbridge when the station launched in 1984, and has been a familiar face there ever since.
“I’m going to miss his sense of humor,” she added. “I’m going to miss his open door policy to walk in even if he is in the middle of a coffee and editing. And you know, it’s like, he’ll always stop to answer your question or give you advice.
“I’m going to miss that,” she said. “I’m going to miss listening to him singing off-key in his office, making up words to songs that he absolutely does not know. I’m just going to miss having that standard in the building, having that that quality of workmanship.
“Really, that’s what Terry is. He’s just a quality reporter,” Rossiter said.