He’s been on our TV screens for longer than most of us can remember, but now it’s time for PRIME7 News Wagga Wagga presenter Doug Hogan to say his final goodbye. Or hooroo as the man himself might say...
After 30 years of keeping locals from Tumut to Temora in the know, Doug will sign off for the last time this Friday.
Doug, 56, is stepping away from the camera to focus on his senior management role as PRIME7's Deputy Network News Editor and as News Editor of the network’s Central West news.
The veteran newsreader says he will miss presenting the news.
"But I do have a lot of other responsibilities here in my other roles outside newsreader," Doug says.
Doug started his career in journalism as a country newspaperman, moved to radio a few years later and then found his true love: Television news.
Doug started at the Wagga Wagga television station in 1982 as senior reporter and also presented a live daily five-minute TV game show called 'TV POW'.
Over the years, Doug read the sport, became a back-up newsreader and in 1991 was named News Editor, boss of the local news. Eventually, in 2002, Doug took over as evening news presenter too.
Doug says news reading has played a "massive part" in his life.
"The role has meant a lot to me, it comes with a responsibility and standards which I have recognised and tried hard to live up to,” he says.
Doug says his viewers have been very important to him.
"My hometown is Cootamundra but I feel that close to every community in our viewing area because I have looked over them for so long, been involved with them so personally," he says.
Former Tumut Mayor Trina Thompson says Doug has "genuine warmth and caring not evident in most presenters".
"He was instrumental in providing support for community… he cared a lot about the region," she says.
She says Doug and the news team played a big part in saving the Montreal Theatre in Tumut in the 90s by doing stories to motivate locals to help.
"He cared a lot about the community and he went well beyond the story to help," she says.
Greg McLay, the Southern Sports Academy’s Executive Director and a "proud born and bred Wagga man", says Doug has been a fixture on his TV for as long as he can remember.
"The news won’t be the same, irrespective of who they get to sit in the seat after he finishes up," Mr McLay says.
Mr McLay says Doug has a deep-seated and genuine passion for developing young people through sport.
"He was an inaugural board member of the Southern Sports Academy in 1992 and has performed a range of roles for the Academy ever since, including as a Program Manager for our golf squad," Mr McLay says.
"He knows the hurdles that kids in regional centres face and he wants to do something about it."
Wagga Wagga Mayor Kerry Pascoe says Doug is "easy and casual" and brings out the best in the people he's dealing with.
"It will be a sad day to lose his face on the screen," Cr Pascoe says.
Doug has thanked everyone who’s supported him during his three-decade tenure.
"Thanks to my family and friends and the thousands of people who’ve supported me over the years and supported our brand, it’s been an amazing experience doing a job I love," Doug says.
"I'll still be around in the background working to ensure we deliver the best local news in town."
Doug will present his final news bulletin on Friday 30 March at 6pm on PRIME7.
Daniel Gibson will take over as the permanent news anchor for Wagga Wagga.
"I am honoured to be given this opportunity," Daniel says.
"I've got some big shoes to fill as Doug is somebody I admire and respect."
The Cootamundra kid
In Cootamundra, like all country towns
The life is simple and wattle abounds,
They boast of their heroes,Bradman and Boyd,
But in the new century, who'll fill the void?
Way back in 1956 a young mother did frown,
As she looked at her newborn,even then large and round,
But the old man just smiled an pounded his chest
Douglas!, we'll call him and he'll be the best.
Doug grew very quickly as most country boys do,
And soon his schooldays were just about through,
But his teachers did ponder about his career,
Cause his reading was awful and his writing unclear.
Doug listened to no-one, he knew the way,
To opinions he’d listen, then have the last say,
His thinking was biased,and his temper was shorter,
His teachers agreed, he’d be an ideal reporter.
Around the telly they sit,and then call – quiet!
Then they would yell after each story he did,
"Hey, that’s Doug, Doug Hogan, the Cootamundra kid!"