Former CTV Edmonton editor turned independent producer Rob Zittlau and his wife Grace have been identified as the victims of a Thanksgiving weekend crash north of Edmonton.
Tributes have been pouring in from both the broadcast and professional and amateur sporting communities for the couple.
After his graduation from the NAIT Radio & Television program in 1980, Zittlau started his broadcasting career with Edmonton’s QCTV in master control. He did a short stint as a lighting assistant for SCTV, which was filmed at the time at the ITV studios (now Global Edmonton), before signing on with CFRN in 1984.
Zittlau started out as a part-time videotape editor in news, and eventually moved into a similar role for CTV National News. He left the station in 1997 to start ICU Productions. The company worked with many local sports teams, including the University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas, which tweeted Tuesday that Zittlau and ICU had been an integral part of game nights for the past decade.
“His work, passion, and attention to detail were second to none and that showed in the work he did on every single broadcast he was a part of,” wrote the organization.
“Rob was passionate about amateur sport in Alberta and helped elevate the productions of Canada West, Football Alberta, and the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association through his unwavering dedication to his craft,” the tribute continued. “More importantly, Rob was a kind and genuine person, who cared about everyone he came in contact with. He made every game night better with his positive attitude, the passion he showed, and his genuine appreciation for everyone he worked with.”
Football Alberta also posted a tribute saying Zittlau was a fixture in the Edmonton football community, and remembered for among other things, working long nights making videos on VHS and dropping them off personally at high schools in the 1990s.
Global Edmonton did a story on ICU Productions as recently as April when most major and minor league play was on pause. Zittlau had started resurrecting old coaching footage from his massive collection of games from the last few decades and had begun uploading it to YouTube garnering hundreds of views.
I will miss Rob Zittlau immensely.
He’s been my righthand guy for 15 years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of every training seminar I brought him to for my clients.
He was such a dear friend.
So caring. Genuine.
So numbed about losing him and his lovely wife, Grace.
So numbed https://t.co/u7IrOppQNq pic.twitter.com/EW5si9l5Iv
— Shawna Randolph (@ShawnaMedia) October 13, 2020
I had no work once the pandemic hit and started doing some videos on here and a friend of mine called me up and said hey man we can do better! Let’s do something cool! That man was Rob Zittlau of @icuvideoltd – nobody knew video better than him…(1/2)
— Brennan Klak (@nhlupdate) October 13, 2020
Shocked and saddened by the passing of @icuvideoltd Founder and Producer, Rob Zittlau, and his wife, Grace, over the weekend. Sending love and comfort to the family.
Thankful for everything Rob did for me and many other broadcasters in the city, both on-air and behind the camera pic.twitter.com/z438rETJBk
— Greyson Knutson (@GreysonKnutson) October 13, 2020
Absolutely devastated is the best way to describe how I feel about the death of @icuvideoltd Owner Rob Zittlau.
He gave me so many broadcast opportunities over the years, and in a time when I felt like no one believed in me.
RIP to a friend and a guy who loved his career.
— Dave Dawson (@DaveDawson7) October 13, 2020
Kind, thoughtful and selfless.
Rob will be greatly missed.
Sincere condolences to the Zittlau family. pic.twitter.com/VtzJiK6lr5
— Steve Sir (@SteveSir1) October 13, 2020
Very sad news to hear. Condolences to the Zittlau family and his friends. Rob was a staple of the football community and I used his film to help get recruited to university football. Forever thankful. https://t.co/tOOko18JSR
— Hugh O’Neill (@huuugh18) October 13, 2020
Subscribe Now – Free!
Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.
The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.
Let’s get started right now.