To the people gathered outside the T.V. station for Friday's ceremony, including his wife and son, the unveiling of the John T. Hoffland Memorial Newsroom is a fitting tribute to a man who made news his life's work.
John’s son, Lukas says, "He was the news director during the biggest growth that WEAU ever had, you can make the argument that he's responsible for where the station is today.”
The part of the building named after John houses the newsroom. It's where John Hoffland spent a big part of his life, a life that was dedicated to local television news.
John was news director here for more than 25 years and during that time, John was not only a boss, but a teacher, mentor and friend to countless journalists who came through the newsroom and someone who cared deeply about the community
John’s wife, Penny, says, “I think what you did was the most kind gesture and he deserved it and he deserves to be honored for all he did over his lifetime and especially here at WEAU.”
While the outside of the building is a visible way to show others how much John Hoffland meant to us, here inside the newsroom we have another way to make sure his legacy lives on. We'll think of him and his words of wisdom every time we look up.
Sports Director Bob Gallaher says, “It's his legacy that he left here and he'll never be forgotten and I'm glad that they're there for future reporters to see. He was a true journalist, he had a lot of fun and, boy, could he tell a story.”
Penny and Lukas Hoffland both say even though John liked simplicity, they say ultimately he would have liked the tribute.
Penny says, "In his heart it would mean the most to him because he loved working here so much."
Another way to honor John's memory is through the John T. Hoffland Memorial Scholarship fund that's set up at UW- Eau Claire. It will help UW-Eau Claire students studying broadcast journalism.
If you would like to contribute, you can make a check payable to the UW-Eau Claire foundation indicating the John Hoffland fund.