CARSON CITY — Nevada news junkies are about to lose one of their most reliable sources of information when longtime Review-Journal Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel retires on Friday after nearly four decades covering governors, legislative power brokers and breaking news stories of every stripe imaginable.
Vogel, 65, spent 37 years reporting for the Review-Journal, with much of that time in the capital covering the arcane business of state government.
“What I found interesting was in my last couple of years I covered a mass shooting at the IHOP restaurant in Carson City where four people and the shooter died and the school shooting last October in Sparks where a 12-year-old student killed a teacher,” Vogel said. “These types of killings were rare when I started my career, but in the end even in ‘safe’ Northern Nevada we are not immune to the violence that occurs all across the country.”
Vogel said he is proud of his newspaper career and his family: wife Carol and children Annabelle Vogel and David and Powell Boyer. Carol Vogel is also a former Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun reporter and columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Vogel, who was inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2012, got his start in the business in 1971 covering sports for $1.50 a story in his native Michigan.
He is well known throughout Nevada for his curiosity about myriad subjects, his ease in talking with people to discover their stories and the sheer joy he got from the job of reporting.
“It has been an honor to work with Ed,” said Michael Hengel, Review-Journal editor. “His knowledge of Nevada in general and state government in particular have been real assets for the R-J for many years.
“I had the honor of introducing Ed for his induction into the Nevada Press Hall of Fame a few years ago. That was a real privilege for me,” Hengel said.
Steve Tetreault, Washington bureau chief for Stephens Media, said some of his best experiences in journalism were working with Vogel at the Review-Journal offices in Las Vegas.
Vogel “consistently impressed everyone as a prolific writer, a committed and energetic journalist and a darn good storyteller,” he said.
“When he came into the office after covering a story you had to listen closely because it would come out in a rush when he told you what it was about, then he would go over to his desk and kick it out fast and clean, like he would lose it unless he quickly put it onto the screen,” Tetreault said.
Colleague Jane Ann Morrison, who arrived at the Review-Journal about the same time as Vogel in 1976, said he has always been one of the best feature writers at the paper, “digging out the unusual and fleshing out details that made his stories sing.”
“He loved the quirky bits and he never lost that detective’s talent for digging them out,” she said. “Unlike some, his enthusiasm for his job never faded nor did he ever become jaded.”
Former Review-Journal reporter and editor Laura Wingard said Vogel sometimes took his job a bit too seriously. He loved weather stories and tracking Las Vegas heat records, she recalled. So much so that his colleagues once put out a fake wire story that made it look like he had missed a heat record.
“He went into a panic — until he realized he’d been punked,” Wingard said.
Former Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley said Vogel never appeared cynical when covering the Legislature.
“Knowledge, experience, perspective are the first words that come to mind,” she said about Vogel. “He knew so much about the process, about the people, and he was always able to cover complex matters and make them understandable. It’s a huge loss.”
Barry Smith, executive director of the Nevada Press Association, said Vogel definitely belongs in the hall of fame.
“As much or more than anybody in this state’s history, he has kept Nevadans informed of the news coming out of the state capital on a daily basis for parts of five decades,” Smith said. “He’s held politicians’ feet to the fire, written sympathetically about the plight of Nevadans who were trampled by the system and traveled the state to find stories that nobody else pursued. If news is the first draft of history, then a lot of it will be told through words written by Ed.”
Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.