Thursday, December 31, 2009

A story about one of our "Friends of the blog"

I want to thank Doug Krile for his flattering compliment on my "Beaker Street" dissertation posting.  Doug comments frequently here about KAAY, and certainly has keen interest in the subjects covered here.  Here's a story I heard about Doug himself.  For background, Bob Steel is an old college friend of mine.  Bob began his professional career at KCON in Conway, my hometown.  Before he could complete his bachelor's degree at UCA, KAAY came calling.  Bob Steel became "Michael O'Sullivan," newsman and fill-in disc jockey.  In fact, he even substituted for Clyde Clifford on Beaker Street on at least one occasion.  Bob left KAAY and became one of the best television news directors ever to be in Little Rock.  Not only was he good, but he trained at KATV Channel 7 under the legendary Jim Pitcock.  There, he was the assistant news director.  Bob left KATV to take the news director's position at KARK Channel 4 in Little Rock, and later returned to KATV as news director there.  

According to Steel himself, KARK was about to unveil a new early morning news program, and he was going through tapes, searching for the right talent.  A reporter had sent in a tape.  One of the clips included had Doug Krile as the anchor, introducing the reporter.  Bob didn't care for the reporter, but he liked Doug Krile.  So he contacted Doug, who wasn't interested in coming to Little Rock.  Steel convinced him to come to Arkansas for an interview.  Doug came, and was convinced to move to Little Rock.  The rest, as they say, is history!

Interestingly enough, Bob Steel left television and returned to radio.  He is currently the morning host for KARN News/Talk Radio 102.9 FM in Little Rock.  He also has a public relations firm, "Bob Steel Public Relations," otherwise known as "BS-PR."

It just goes to show that sometimes it pays to be in the right place at the right time!  Bob Steel recognized a great talent, and brought him to Little Rock, where we got to know and respect this outstanding broadcast journalist so well.  

Richard Robinson

1 comment:

  1. Richard,
    The story (as told by Bob) is 100% accurate! When I made the trip to Little Rock, it was mid-December. I was working in Iowa (where it was 10 degrees and snowing when I left) and realized 50 degree weather in December was much nicer. Beyond the weather, Bob (and all of the management at the then-locally-owned KARK) showed me around a marvelous city, a respected TV station, and changed my mind. I'll never forget calling my wife and saying, "Honey, this might turn out completely the opposite of what we expected". It did.
    Here's the next chapter - we put the early morning show on the air and got through the first program in pretty darn good shape, complete with some chatter about my Iowa background. As we walked out of the studio, Bob S. met me at the door and said, "That's the last time you EVER mention that you're not a native Arkansan!" He was right. We've been here since 1986, raised our children here, and certainly consider ourselves "Arkansans"!
    Thanks for the rememberance!