Tuesday, September 04, 2007

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.

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At 9/8/07, 10:54 PM, Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box said...

Found your blog when I googled Bob Sievers, and you are spot-on right.
The station will never be as great as it was when The Little Red Barn program got us up and off to school, or let us know to stay home. They went rightwing talk (Rush LimBILGE &c) and it's hard to even pick it up locally anymore, but there's not much reason to bother.
You don't know what you've got til it's gone, and it sure looks like too many of our guiding lights are going out these days!

At 9/20/07, 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many people have Bob Sievers stories. In April of 1969 I was
covering Bob's vacation on the Little Red Barn. The stork flew over Three Rivers Apartments in Fort Wayne at about midnight and we
headed off to the hospital. While
I paced the floor, the boss called Bob and asked if he would come in to work for a couple of days during his vacation...and he did. Later that morning I called in and went on the air with Bob and he asked the baby's name, weight, and
all that great stuff. God's Speed Bob!
Michael O'Shea

At 10/25/08, 7:39 PM, Blogger Fredrick Stevens said...

I sure miss the old WOWO I grew up listening to back in the 70's in Ft. Wayne. Bob, Jack Underwood, and Earl Finckle and those guys. Great, great memories. Bob was always my favorite. Just like channel 4 here in Indy, it provided me with entertainment from a local perspective that is long gone, and that I really miss.

WOWO died in the 90's, and only Bob Chase brings me back to listen online.

Here's to ya', Bob Sievers! Thanks for everything.


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