In memoriam: Bob Sievers
Word comes today that a former and dear colleague, Bob Sievers from WOWO in Fort Wayne, Ind., has died at 90.
I worked with Bob and the other great folks at WOWO (Jerry Hoffman, Dugan Fry, Bill Fisher, Art Saltsberg, Ron Gregory, Chris Roberts, Bob Chase, Ed Kasuba and many others) in the early 1970s, during the end of the station's heyday. There was a reason WOWO gushed green ink, and it was Sievers. He and Jay Gould and the morning "Little Red Barn" show brought in numbers that station managers would sell their mothers for.
Of course, being 50,000 watts full-time helped (the station no longer is 50K at night -- the Wikipedia entry on the station is pretty complete).
But Sievers was someone special -- yeah, corny, old-style, with a set of pipes aspiring radio folks would kill for. But most of all he knew people and cared about people. It came through on the air and in person. He always had a kind word for young staffers like me. The number of public appearances he did would kill many of today's DJs. And I never once saw him not stop on the street and have a chat and hearty handshake with whoever had hailed him. In these days of celebrity and glitz, you don't really know real celebrity unless you knew Bob.
I'm honored to say I got to work with him and knew him -- as I am about all the WOWO crew from those days. The station is a shadow of its former self, but Sievers' broadcast legacy will always be a little larger than life. The world is a little emptier for his passing.