Nfld. & Labrador

Longtime CBC broadcaster Doug Laite dead at 81

The well-known CBC broadcaster, outdoorsman and skilled chef died Friday.

Remembered as an outdoorsman and lover of music — and the best in the business

Doug Laite presents the news in 1994. Colleague Jim Wellman says he was 'the best news announcer.' (CBC archives)

Well-known CBC broadcaster, outdoorsman and skilled chef Doug Laite died Friday. He was 81 years old.

With a long career in broadcasting on CBC radio and television, Laite's voice was heard in households throughout Newfoundland and Labrador for 30 years. He may be remembered mainly as the host of CBC's All Around the Circle, but he also had stints on other shows, including CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show, Radio Noon, On the Go and Country Jamboree.

"Doug, I think, was great in every which way. He was a great broadcaster," said Jim Wellman, who worked on The St. John's Morning Show with Laite for part of his career in journalism.

"I've been saying for 40something-plus years that Doug Laite, in my opinion, was probably the best news announcer — as we were called back in those days." 

Wellman said a lot of Laite's colleagues from his time in broadcasting would agree. 

Doug Laite's career in broadcasting spanned several CBC television and radio shows. Here he is hosting the annual Santa Claus parade with Shirley Newhook in 1993. (CBC archives )

"Doug could take the words off the page and he would have them embedded into your brain. He was such a professional, and he cared," Wellman told CBC News on Monday. 

"He had to make sure that he was telling you the story, and he wanted you to know and remember."

Private life

Outside his work, Laite is being remembered as being warm and inviting, and having a gift for making people feel welcome in his home. 

He is also remembered for officiating the Ocean Ranger disaster's funeral service, covering many royal visits and hosting countless Santa Claus parades.

WATCH |  Anthony Germain talks with Jim Wellman about his colleague Doug Laite: 

Remembering Doug Laite

2 years ago
Duration 1:41
Veteran broadcaster Doug Laite, who hosted numerous programs on CBC Radio and Television, has died. Anthony Germain speaks with colleague Jim Wellman

Among friends and family he's remembered as being an avid outdoorsman, with salmon fishing trips bringing him to remote corners of the province. A handful of places stand out: the Gander River, Grandy's Brook and Grand Codroy were among his most-loved places to land Atlantic salmon each season.

Laite was also a hunter, known to get his moose each year, and a chef, particularly fondly remembered for partridge, moose stew and flipper pie. 

A music lover who was the life of the party, Laite had Frank Sinatra on constant rotation, his family said in an obituary. He also loved show tunes and musicals, ensuring he could not be stumped on CBC Radio's trivia shows.

He was also a performer in St. John's, which is how he came to meet his wife Jane, whom he was married to for 52 years.

There is no visitation for Laite at this time. Service and internment will be held at a later date. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Anthony Germain


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