I know it might seem at times that there is a broken record being played over and over when it comes to posts about radio on this blog. To some degree that is true. But it all goes to the point of making my case about radio and the way it can be entertaining and also neighborly.
I have often commented that radio broadcasters should have characteristics so that listeners would feel like they want to welcome them into the home, car, or business place. When I was growing up there were many examples of these types of voices and personalities that came over the radio air-waves. When growing up I recall finding WBBM NewsRadio 780 on the dial and liking the sound of Bob Sanders and his wife, Betty.
I would never see a picture of Bob Sanders until it was announced this week that he had died at the age of 89. Yet when hearing the married couple on the radio I recall having a sense that I knew them. When I was a teenager Bob Sanders was a constant for our home back in Hancock for reporting the news and chatting about topics in a conversational and easy banter with his equally informed and professional wife. They were clearly a team made for radio.
The couple met at a station in St. Louis where Bob was a staff announcer and Betty was an actress working in commercials.
I have not heard their names or their voices since they left WBBM in 1982. But they were a wining team in the ratings for ten years at WBBM, and made plenty of smiles in the CBS boardroom for the revenues they brought to the station.
But the very mention of Bob Sanders’ passing this week instantly brought back memories of how my brown little radio picked up the signal from Chicago and made a difference for ‘the boy in Hancock’. It was this very type of radio experience that made me want to enter broadcasting, and also alerted me to the style I wanted (if and when) I ever got behind the microphone.
Therein lies the power of radio, and the importance of having the highest standards for radio broadcasters. When a radio broadcaster is fondly remembered from over 30 years ago must mean he/she did something right.
And Bob Sanders most certainly did. As did Betty Sanders.
Caffeinated Politics sends condolences to Betty and the family. It is sent with the knowledge Bob and Betty have long known what a positive impact they made with their lives.