Fred Hodson


Fred Hodson, 76, on July 5. Hodson worked for more than 20 years at CFRN-TV Edmonton as a producer/director on both in-house programming and commercials. He left the station in 1977 and went on to found post-production facility Video Pack, which was eventually acquired by ITV (now Global Edmonton) and became part of the Studio Post and Transfer operation. Hodson also served as the original webmaster for the Edmonton Broadcasters Club. A celebration of life is planned for Aug. 12 in Agassiz, BC.

Broadcast Dialogue, July 26, 2018

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After a short internship at CHCA-TV in Red Deer, I was hired on at CFRN-TV by Frank Makepeace as an audio man in October of 1960. There was only the one studio at the time so all live programming and taped commercials were done in one studio. The second and largest studio was opened shortly after.

As an audio man, it was my job to control sound for live-to-air productions such as The Noon Show, Laura Lindsay, Popcorn Playhouse, News, Weather, and Sports.

In 1965, I became a Television Director on programs such as Chuckwagon with Gaby Haas, Kid Bids with Pat and Jean O’hara, Club 3, The Harry Farmer Show, Football Huddle, and hundreds of News, Weather and Sports programs. A law show with Ken Chapman, Travel with Bob Neville, a talk show with Leo Leclerc — and could he talk. All programming was live-to-tape — very little editing.

Everyday was a wonderful experience. These early days in television were innovative, entertaining and, in many ways, groundbreaking. Remotes, outdoor broadcasts, were scheduled nearly every week. Football, Hockey, Track and Field, golf lessons, all shot with 2 cameras. Commercials were shot in the studio and scheduled every 20 minutes — in and out. Directing at the time were Barry Diehl, Don Roman, Herb Ashley, Ted Ettenger and later Al Holownia.

Staff announcers included Ed Kay, George Lund, Doug MacFarland and later Ernie Carefoot, Norris McLean and Eric Neville. With special guest appearances from Eric Candy, Laura Lindsay, Sid Lancaster, Al Shaver and Rod Phillips.

After CFRN, I took a position as Production Manager at CHBC Kelowna, then on to CTV Toronto for 3 years before returning to Edmonton. In 1974, I took a position at NAIT as an instructor working with Eric Candy, John McLay, Tony Biamonti, Ron Durda, and Jean Sydor. From there, in 1975, to Access as senior producer on the Come Alive program with hosts Doug Paulson, Wendy Gladers, Bob Chelmick, Bob Spence and Naomi Lobe.

Doug and I broke away from there in 1977 and started Video Pack Ltd. It was sold to ITV in 1982 and was moved and renamed as Studio Post and Transfer.

I have since then, been in the video and television production business as an independent Producer/Director.

I am still married to Arlette, my bride of/since 1961 and am the proud father of 3 sons, Brad(1966), Cory(1969) and Chris(1978), who are all in the motion picture business in Vancouver. Cory’s daughter Emelia Grace Hodson is my only grandchild.

Fred Hodson

filed 2004

for Edmonton Broadcasters past and present