Saskatchewan

After 32 years behind the mic, Ted Deller retires from CBC Saskatchewan

Throughout more than three decades with CBC News, Ted Deller has worked in both television and radio. Since 2006, he’s been the morning radio news anchor on CBC Saskatchewan’s The Morning Edition.

Deller has worked as a news anchor on both TV and radio

Throughout his more than three decades with CBC News, Ted Deller has worked in both television and radio. Since 2006, he’s been the morning radio news anchor on CBC Saskatchewan’s The Morning Edition. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Ted Deller credits his mother with nudging him toward broadcast journalism.

When Deller was about 12 years old, his mom saw an announcement in a local rural Manitoba newspaper about the launch of a community cable television station called Access 12 in Neepawa, Man. — roughly 185 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg — and encouraged him to get involved.

"My mom said, 'You should go!' And I'm sure I probably rolled my eyes and said, 'Oh, Mom, whatever!'" Deller remembered with a smile. 

"But I went — and I didn't look back. That was the beginning of my career in media."

Deller is set to retire Thursday after 32 years at CBC Saskatchewan.

With an inquisitive mind and a deep admiration for the English language — both written and spoken — Deller said broadcasting was a natural career choice.

Deller began mostly behind the scenes at the cable station as a technical producer, but would sometimes host. From there, he was hired as a news anchor at CKX in Brandon, Man., and later at The Manitoba Television Network in Portage la Prairie, Man., in the mid-1980s.

He got his first "big break" with CBC News on Oct. 20, 1990, as the co-anchor of Saskatoon's 6 p.m. television newscast and the main anchor for the 10 p.m. show — positions he held for only two months before cuts pushed him into radio, where he's been ever since.

Ted Deller wrote in his mid-1980s high school yearbook that he wanted to be the president of the CBC by the time he was 25 years old. In 1990, he was hired at the public broadcaster as a television news anchor. (Submitted by Ted Deller)

Deller's journey with CBC Radio started in Regina in early 1991 as a writer/broadcaster on The Noon Edition (now known as Blue Sky). It was there he further expanded on his journalistic — and agricultural — knowledge.

"I learned really useful things for later in life, like how to make cows moo on cue, in case you needed them for a sound effect," he said with a chuckle, noting the key is to let one cow out of the group pen.

Paul Dornstauder, CBC Saskatchewan's current manager of programming and journalism, remembers hearing Deller's stories at the time — then as an associate producer on the morning show — and admiring how he could string together complex narratives.

"Ted was able to tell us more than just 'the what.' He was able to tell us 'the why,' and the motivations of people to help us understand what made them tick," Dornstauder explained. 

In this picture from Dec. 31, 1999, Ted Deller stands at the ready beside the equipment he would have used to broadcast across Saskatchewan if communication between the CBC studios in Regina and the CBK transmitter in Watrous, Sask., had been lost. (Submitted by Ted Deller)

A legacy of accuracy (and puns)

In 1996, Deller became CBC Saskatchewan's afternoon radio newsreader before permanently moving into the early slot with The Morning Edition team in 2006. 

Over his 16 years as morning radio news anchor, Deller worked with three hosts — Sheila Coles, Zarqa Nawaz and Stefani Langenegger — but one thing never changed: his love of puns.

"It's not my thing in every newscast, but if one strikes me, I will go ahead with it," he said, adding he was always careful not to overdo it.

"It's not a bad thing to have a little bit of a personality [on air], and so I'm glad that the CBC let me have some of that." 

Stefani Langenegger joined Ted Deller on The Morning Edition when she became host in 2018. (Submitted by Ted Deller)

While many listeners will miss Deller's plays on words and dad jokes, Langenegger said his precise pronunciations and knack for simmering down the need-to-know facts in stories are another two of his finest skills.

"I'm going to miss his passion for the job, his attention to detail and doing it right — but the thing I'll just miss most is him," said The Morning Edition host. "He's just like sunshine."

As Deller prepares to move into a retirement filled with travelling and later wake-up calls, he said he's proud to have stayed in Saskatchewan instead of moving to a bigger centre, or back home to Manitoba.

"I hope people will remember me as someone who cared about what he did — that I explained the stories well, wrote the stories well, and then delivered them in a way that people could understand them well," Deller said.

"And that I had some fun along the way."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessie Anton

Journalist

Jessie Anton is a Regina-based journalist with CBC Saskatchewan. She began sharing stories from across the province on television, radio and online in 2016, after getting her start in the rural weekly newspaper world. Email her at jessie.anton@cbc.ca.

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