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Bob Grant Dead At Age 84

1-2-13

Bob Grant is being called the father of conservative talk radio, a radio pioneer, and a racist in the coverage of his death. Certainly he was successful and controversial in the number-one market in America. The radio industry learned yesterday that Grant had died on Tuesday. Grant moved to New York in 1970 to host a talk show on WMCA-AM, where he spent seven years steadily building his audience. Leaving WMCA in 1977, Grant worked his first stint at WOR, and later moved to WWDB in Philadelphia before returning to New York as the cornerstone of WABC's new Talk format in 1984. He remained at WABC until his much-publicized firing in 1996. Ten days later, he was hired by WOR.

-----

Phil Boyce, Grant's former Program Director.
"When I was hired in 1995 I had to get to know Bob in a hurry.  I had to warn him that he was under the gun and if he went too far again we would have to fire him.  He respected my honesty and we worked around some difficult issues.  He actually told me nobody had ever told him where the line was before,  but it was my job to make sure he knew.  About a year later he did cross the line and I had to fire him.  He went across town the next week and took half my listener overnight."

"We remained friends, and 11 years later I got to hire him back, after Disney ahead sold us to Citadel.  Throughout the entire time he was classy and we developed a good friendship.  I will miss him very much."

Phil Boyce
VP/Director, Spoken Word Format
Operations VP, New York Region
WMCA/AM970 the Answer

Bob Bruno is the former General Manager of WOR Radio. "First and foremost, Bob Grant was a true blue American. He loved this country deeply. Indeed, his unapologetic expression of love for America and his heartfelt concerns for its future were the engine that ultimately drove him to the pinnacle of his profession. For him it really was America the beautiful. Like all originals, Bob Grant blazed his own trail. He did so by speaking the truth as he saw it, whatever the consequences. As the song says, he did it his way. His bare knuckled honesty earned him the unwavering loyalty and deep affection of a huge, faithful audience that followed him from station to station through his many years in broadcasting.

He also attracted a legion of dedicated adversaries who were relentless in their desire to bring him down. But, whether he saw himself as a living folk hero or a target of unbridled hatred, nothing changed his core beliefs. Nothing. They never shifted. Bob was committed to his beliefs, if not with a religious zeal; certainly with a single-minded mission mentality. Nothing would dissuade him, no matter how eloquent the opposing point of view as evidenced by his love for a good on air fight about anything that didn't square with his view of the world. When some poor Joe called in to challenge Bob, most of the listeners cringed. They knew what was coming and it wouldn't be pretty. It wasn't long before the demolition began. After the poor guy was sliced, diced and dazed, he was summarily dismissed with the most imitated four words in the annals of contemporary Talk Radio; "GET OFF MY FOE-OOOONE!

While it rarely ended well for the caller, it was great theatre for the listener. Yes, Bob understood and knew exactly what it took to make an entertaining show and he rarely disappointed. He was a craftsman. A brilliant broadcaster. One of the very few perfectly equipped, quintessential, talk show hosts; he was a curious, articulate, well informed man as well as a gifted wordsmith and pugnacious debater. It was a joy to watch and listen to a great pro at work...and Bob was a consummate radio pro. But what about the private Bob? Was he angry and combative when he left the studio? No, on the contrary, anyone who was fortunate enough to work with Bob will tell you that away from the microphone, he was a great guy. A true gentleman. Polite, respectful, fun to be with, and at times, even sweet and deferential. Surprised? Dont be. Bob Grant was the real deal. On and off the air. I know I will miss him along with so many others. It was a great run.

So long, Pal. Best,

Bob Bruno

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Mike Thompson is now the program director at ESPN L.A. Thompson was one of Grant's producers at WMCA and a colleagues at WABC. He tells Radio Ink much will be written about Grant's career. "My hope is that people will remember Bob not as a 'conservative talk show host' as the present genre of 'no hope' radio is perceived. Bob made people think and laugh. He wanted everyone to listen, no matter their affiliation. He was an entertainer whose cynical and sometimes bitter outlook on life made the show about HIM not about anything going on externally.   Many people that  listened to him didnt agree with anything he said but they did learn and LAUGH. He never was predictable about positions   for those who worked with him and those who listened he was one of a kind.  I am sure others will agree with me it was the best part of their career to have worked with Bob Grant."

Grant graduated from the University of Illinois and landed his first radio job at WAOK in Oak Park, Illinois. He moved on to WBBM in 1949 in Chicago as a newsman, and as an actor in the early days of television. Ten years later, Bob moved to Los Angeles to work at KNX as a radio personality and television talk show host. In 1962, Bob was hired by KABC as sports director where he met the legendary Joe Pine, who pioneered controversial talk on radio. After substituting for Pine on several occasions, Grant was chosen to take over The Joe Pine Show at KABC in 1964. For Bob Grant and his loyal listeners, the rest would be history.

More coverage on the death of Bob Grant from Long Island Newsday, NJ.com, The Wrap.


 




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- jpXrnANbEw
(2/11/2014 1:32:59 PM)
Once listening to Bob a guys says you know Bob we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Bob snapped back how do you know? The guy was stunned. I sent Bob an email. I happened to be with God shopping for a suit.God put on a blazer and asked. What do you think? Do I look like Bob Grant?
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spiritofamericapartybook/2014/02/09/democrats-kill-true-love

- TOM ODONNELL
(1/2/2014 7:12:44 PM)
Bob Grant was fine company in our small business offices during the afternoon, and the ever welcome dinner guest on the radio.

Auperb host. Astute reporter. Kind friend. Wonderful mentor. Thank you, Bob.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Mil-Spec Communications
Manasota Key, Florida

- paul vincent zecchino
(1/2/2014 2:23:02 PM)
Great man, RIP.

ML/NJ (aka "Mike from North Caldwell)

- ML/NJ
(1/2/2014 2:09:22 PM)
I LEARNED POLITICS DRIVING EVERY DAY HOME FROM LONG ISLAND FROM GRANT. AT TIMES HE WAS SIMPLY HYSTERICAL. MY FAVORITE BOB GRANT LINE WAS... HEY YOU JERK...HERE COMES THE GARBAGE TRUCK...JUMP IN!
HE WAS AN ORIGINAL. AND I THANK HIM FOR TEACHING ME ABOUT DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, CONSERVATIVS AND LIBERALS. REST IN PEACE,AND THANK YOU

- JOE MATEREK

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