Wednesday, April 02, 2014

An ArkLaTex Legend Passes Away

Source: KSLA KSLA News 12 has confirmed that legendary KSLA-TV weatherman and announcer Al Bolton has passed away. 

Bolton joined KSLA just one month after the station went on the air in 1954. "I just had a great desire to get into broadcasting, particularly television." He stayed for more than 36 years.  "I asked to do the weather, and they say, ‘You can have it," Bolton recalled during an interview marking KSLA's 50th anniversary in 2004.

Bolton may have had low-tech tools, but his forecasts were highly respected.  Besides being the station meteorologist for many years, Bolton also hosted Al's Corral, a western-themed children's show.

After his time at KSLA, Bolton went on to do weather for local radio station KRMD, wrote for a local seniors publication and served as emcee for the Shreveport Metropolitan Band for many years more. 

Son Ryan Bolton confirms his father took a fall recently and never quite recovered. He died Wednesday morning.

Visitation and funeral arrangements are pending. He was 88.

ALSO Bolton later hosted a weekly segment, "The ArkLaTex Gardener" for Shreveport station KTBS.


At 10:59 PM, April 03, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Bolton was a class-act and one of the best in the broadcast business.
He was a genuinely nice guy off camera too. Rest in Peace Al.

At 7:29 AM, April 05, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't KSLA force him to retire earlier than he wanted to?

At 3:22 PM, April 05, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I remember it, both Al and Don Owens were both let go when Viacom bought the station

At 11:30 PM, April 05, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:29 & 3:22 -- You both are correct.
Viacom pretty much ran off the more experienced air-staff. The new Viacom GM was a micro-manager who knew little about news but liked to pretend he knew everything there was to know. Within 3 years KSLA lost the number 1 slot in evening news that it held for more than 20 years.

At 7:01 AM, April 06, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Don Owen left in the early 80s to become public service commissioner while Al Bolton left in the late 80s after forced retirement.

At 9:04 PM, April 08, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Owen left shortly after Viacom took over KSLA, I believe it was the latter part of '84, less than a year after KSLA was sold. He ran for PUC and held that position for several years. It is an elected position so it's not something you apply for like a regular job. Bolton got the door sometime later due largely because of ageism and his decent income. I think management may have demoted him "schedule-wise" so it may have been a mutual parting.


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