In 1941, he became a war photographer with the RCAF and among the first to capture images of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and the liberation of Paris.
Ron Laidlaw was a man with a vision. He started his career in 1937 working as a freelance reporter and photographer. Three years later, the London Free Press hired him to join their photo desk. In 1941, he became a war photographer with the RCAF and among the first to capture images of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and the liberation of Paris.
After the war, Laidlaw returned to his job at the London Free Press until its owners offered him the newly created position of news director of CFPL-TV, the second private TV station in Canada. Laidlaw set up the newsroom and remained its only news director until he retired in 1985. Under his leadership, CFPL-TV became an industry leader. CFPL-TV was one of the first stations in the country to expand its newscast to 30 minutes, and the first to launch an hour-long evening newscast. It was also the first private station to charge advertisers a premium for ads that aired during the news hour. The station was the first to convert to colour and only months before Ron’s retirement, CFPL-TV became the first private station to bring computers into the newsroom.
Ron Laidlaw was also committed to introducing industry-wide standards and was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian branch of the Radio Television News Directors Association. He served as the second president of RTNDA Canada in 1965. Twenty years later his contribution to the industry was honoured with the RTDNA President’s Award.
Ron Laidlaw passed away in 2008.