Earl did what lots of the oldtimers did — started on the bottom rung and worked his way up the ladder! He began as office boy, assistant in the record library, and operator-trainee at CJCA, in 1948. From there, Earl went to CKUA in 1951, where he remained for five years. He started as a staff announcer, but soon was transferred to the two-man News Department, assigned to the late shift. When the senior staffer left, Earl became CKUA’s News Director, and by the time he left the station, the news staff totalled four.
From 1956 to ’57, he compiled and read newscasts at CFCN, Calgary, and then spent the next three years doing the same thing at CFAC in that city. When, in 1960, CFCN was granted a television license, Earl accepted their offer to return to do both Radio and TV news, covering City Hall, Politics, Labour, and various other fields. Earl left broadcasting in 1969 to do Public Relations for C.P. Rail in Calgary, from which he retired in 1994.
Some highlights of note in Earl’s broadcasting career include his being invited by the Canadian Military in Whitehorse to visit them in 1952. They and their families operated a station, CFWH, but the only outside radio contact they had at the time was a feed from CKUA of the 10 p.m. news. Needless to say, having been flown in on an R.C.A.F. Dakota, Earl was quite the celebrity in that northern centre. Following a visit to Montreal covering Alberta Weekend at Expo, he also visited military posts in Cyprus in 1967, doing interviews with peacekeepers there.
And, as an interesting aside, it was he who, in 1969, played a role in CFCN’s hiring of a fellow who had been bugging Earl to get him a job in broadcasting. That fellow’s name? Ralph Klein.
OLSON, Earl Elmer September 1st, 1931 – May 25th, 2007 With great sadness, the family of Earl Olson announces his passing at the U of A Hospital following a brief illness. Born in Kingman, Alberta and raised in Edmonton, Earl spent 20 years in the media at CJCA, CKUA and CFRN in Edmonton before moving to Calgary to work at CFAC and CFCN Radio and Television. Earl worked for Canadian Pacific Ltd. as Regional Manager in Public Relations for 25 years before retiring. He served in several capacities in the executive of the Alberta Association of Disabled Skiers (AADS) and CADS and supervisor/instructor in the Calgary Disabled Ski Program. Earl was a member of the Alberta Amputee Sport and Recreation Association as well as several other professional associations. Earl was predeceased by his mother, stepmother and father. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marguerite; his children: Marina Rees (Charles), Rhea Grason (Donna), David (Ron Lunn), Doug (Barb Miller), Karen, and Brian. Earl also leaves to mourn one sister, Marge MacCalder (Morley); four brothers Allan (Jean), Ken (Dorothy), Donald, and Robert (Karen); two aunts, Gladys Shonert and Mildred Winmill and his uncle, Robert Parry; all their families and many, many relatives and friends who already miss him. Especially saddened are his ten grandchildren: Paul, Shaun, and Julia; Christy, Jen and Erin; Mike, Shareen and Tyler; and Adam. His three great-grandchildren, Brooklyn, Brody, and Shaleen were just getting to know their “Papa”.