LIFE AND TIMES OF BOB GIBSON
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Hundreds of talented broadcasters passed through the portals of WCBS over its decades as Newsradio 88 at Black Rock, the celebrated CBS headquarters building in New York. [After more than 35 years the station was relocated to the CBS Broadcast Center on W. 57th Street.] In 1993, WCBS freelance anchor Bob Gibson held a luncheon for past and present staffers that became a twice annual tradition. On July 27, 2007, Bob, after announcing his retirement to Florida, was honored in Teaneck, New Jersey, for his work as "Chairman" of the "CBS Board" with a framed tribute signed by friends, a cake, and a $500 cashiers check. The gifts were presented by incoming "Chairman" Bob Leeder, a former CBS radio executive.
Gibson with Bob Leeder, Teaneck, NJ, July 27, 2007
EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE
WATR-TV, Waterbury, CT, ca 1964
A native New Yorker, Bob earned a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University, Athens, after undergraduate work at the New York Institute of Technology. His early days in broadcasting included WSLR, Akron, Ohio; WGAR, Cleveland; KDKA, Pittsburgh -- all as news anchor.
WGAR, Cleveland, 1968-69
Bob Gibson's more than forty-five years as a broadcaster focused mostly on news -- but also sports, business, commercial and promotional voice-over and industrial narration. Late in his career he was back-up voice for the CBS Television Network, host of the the nationally syndicated old-time radio program, "Radio Theater," and for five years freelance anchor and writer at WOR Radio News. All following nearly two decades at WCBS Newsradio88 as freelance anchor, where he was affectionately nicknamed "Hooter."
While most staffers came to work on time or later, Bob reported for his anchor shifts an hour or two early. One former Newsradio 88 staffer said, "Before Google, Bob was our Google. With such a retentive memory he could be asked about anything, no matter how obscure, and he'd dredge it up." Another staffer said, "Bob was unflappable, no matter how much chaos surrounded us." Still another said, "Bob might be annoying because of his imposing voice and presence, but he was always there when we needed him. A true professional."
Early days at WCBS, 1974
Among the major stories reported by Bob during his career: the first NBC Radio News bulletins on President Nixon's resignation, Persian Gulf War updates for the CBS Radio owned stations, hourly ABC Radio News updates on the US hostage crisis in Iran, on-scene coverage of the Pirates' 1971 world championship, and the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse in Ohio that killed 46 people.
ABC 1976 -- clowning with John Grimes (himself a former WCBS anchor)
Before returning to WCBS in 1981, Bob was a radio network news hourlies correspondent for ABC, NBC, and the Mutual Broadcasting System in Washington, as well as a freelance anchor/writer for WNEW Radio, New York. In the early 80s, he anchored morning business updates for The Wall Street Journal Radio Network.
Bob also worked in television as an on-camera sports broadcaster at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh; news and commercial announcer at WBNS-TV, Columbus; and at WATR-TV in Waterbury, Connecticut -- as well as doing promotional voice-overs for CBS, NBC, WOR-TV, and SportsChannel. He also voiced sequences in the syndicated series Super Bowl Winning Moments and Olympic Winning Moments.
After all this, in the fall of 2007, Bob and his wife Ros, a teacher in The Bronx, sold their home in Teaneck, NJ, and packed it in for a retirement home in Boynton Beach, Florida.
BOB GIBSON AUDIO
- GIBSON NEWS MONTAGE -- A demo of some of Bob's work for many broadcast entities, including the major radio networks. It's part of Bob's entire demo package, which includes net promos, commercials, industrial narrations, etc. (2:38). News Demo.
- FUGAZI BLOWS IT -- WCBS Anchorman Bob Gibson throws it to a badly unprepared traffic reporter. Note: WCBS management at the time worked out an ill-conceived trade deal with Fugazi Limousine Service to have its drivers phone in traffic reports as the limousines cruised the city. The Fugazi reports were unreliable, often out of date, sometimes wrong, generally unprofessional -- and eventually replaced by Shadow Traffic. (1987) (:37). Bob Gibson Traffic Switch.