I remember Herbie Byrd well. His professionalism as a broadcast radio journalist was legendary in Arkansas. In one of my interviews with Pat Walsh (actually, it was a telephone conversation in the car, headed for a luncheon with media types in Little Rock), he spoke of Byrd. Pat said that while the KAAY news team - which had several reporters and at one point two farm reporters - was great, they could rarely get the scoop on a story before Herbie Byrd. Walsh was highly complimentary, and a great admirer of the reporter. In fact, he indicated that he approached Byrd on more than one occasion about going to work the the mighty 1090, but Byrd was loyal to KLRA and never moved to KAAY.
This is an interesting point, because Walsh did not think highly of employees who jumped to another station in Little Rock from KAAY. In fact, he had a hard and fast rule that if a staff member, especially a disc jockey, went to another station in the Little Rock market, he would never rehire that person back at KAAY. You may wonder why, given the fact that KAAY was the dominant station in the market, that anyone would want to do that. But some of them did. Probably the most historic case was Howard Watson, who was one of the "Ken Knights" on KAAY. Howard left KAAY for KMYO ("Cameo") in LIttle Rock and tried to take the moniker Ken Knight with him. KAAY sued him and won. As a result, KMYO held a contest to give him a new name. The listeners dubbed him "Len Day." This was ironic, because KAAY was owned at that time by the LIN (Louisville-Indianapolis-Nashville) Broadcasting Corporation, and some thought that this was a jab at them. Both Howard and the station denied it, of course.
It was obvious in my conversation with Walsh that he had the greatest respect for Herbie Byrd, both as a broadcast journalist and as a person. The two remained close friends through the years, even after Walsh retired from radio. Herbie Byrd was the consummate professional in Arkansas radio news, and Pat Walsh knew it.