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KUNR honors Bob Carroll for 60 years of broadcasting

In an archival photo, a man in a suit sits in front of an old-fashioned microphone. The top of the microphone says the call letters KSUE.
Courtesy of the Carroll family
Bob Carroll in 1956 at KSUE in Susanville, Calif.

In hosting a Community Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, May 12, KUNR honors "The Music of America" host Bob Carroll for 60 years in broadcasting. He reflects on his journey and shares a few highlights with General Manager David Stipech on Beyond the Headlines (air date 4-29-16).

The luncheon will be held at the Airport Plaza Hotel. Tickets and information: click here or call (775) 682-6300. See related story below.

Bob Carroll sits in front of a microphone and mixing board inside a recording studio.
Credit KUNR
Bob Carroll 60 years later at KUNR.


88.7 KUNR Reno Public Radio honors Bob Carroll to celebrate his 60 years in broadcasting

Community Appreciation Luncheon May 12 for Nevada Hall of Fame Broadcaster

One of the best-known radio voices—and familiar TV faces—on the northern Nevada airwaves is celebrating a milestone virtually unheard of in today’s fast-changing world of media.

Bob Carroll is celebrating 60 years in broadcasting.

88.7 FM KUNR Reno Public Radio continues to be the home for Carroll and his “Music of America” show on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, where his mix of “big bands, blues, ballads and Broadway” have aired for nearly 15 years.

The station is marking the occasion with “KUNR Honors Bob Carroll,” a community appreciation luncheon, on Thursday, May 12, at the Airport Plaza Hotel in Reno. (Tickets, information: KUNR.org or 682-6300). The luncheon will feature a presentation of his life in broadcasting over the years.

“Bob Carroll is a legendary radio and television talent and pioneer,” notes KUNR General Manager David Stipech. “For those living in our area since the late 1950s, Bob has been the voice and face of local media. And for many of KUNR’s listeners, he is their connection to music and performers that transport them back in time with recordings rarely broadcast these days on the radio.”

Carroll caught the radio bug early in life.

“I grew up loving radio, listening to all the old radio shows when I was a youngster in Los Angeles during World War II,” Carroll recalls. “My mother would take me to actually see some radio shows in person. In those days it was all live people and most of the shows were live. I can remember her taking me to the Lassie show. I became very impressed with the people on stage, particularly the announcers. I was 10 or 11 years old and I thought, boy that would be something I’d like to do.”\

And over his 60 years in the business, he’s pretty much done it all. Carroll says that by virtue of his roles as disc jockey, news reporter and anchor, interviewer, eye-in-the-sky traffic reporter as his own airplane pilot, ad creator, radio station owner, Wolf Pack play-by-play announcer, and host of live dance band broadcasts from the Mapes Hotel in Reno and venues in San Francisco.

He says he is grateful to have been in broadcasting at a time when he could do so many different things. Today’s media business has vastly changed with technology, the Internet and specialization. Yet Carroll has been along for the ride with every wave of change since he got into the business in June of 1956. And his voice has been on TV or radio in some capacity ever since.

He started with KSUE radio in Susanville, Calif., before moving to the Reno market in 1958 as an announcer for radio station KDOT. At the time, just one FM and five AM radio stations existed in Reno, where today some 35 stations crowd the dial. In 1960 Carroll joined KOLO TV, Reno’s only television station, first as a staff announcer and then as news director in 1961. He became KTVN-TV’s news director in 1967. Carroll did play-by-play for University of Nevada, Reno football and basketball, and covered a number of assignments, including Vice President Richard Nixon’s visits to Squaw Valley in 1960 and to Reno prior to his bid for the 1968 presidential election.

Through his broadcast interviews and hosting, Carroll met many of the big-name entertainers who appeared at the Reno casino showrooms in the 1960s through the late 1970s. He maintained his on-air presence while running his own ad agency, Media Consultants, for two decades beginning in the 1970s.

The nostalgic “Music of America” format became his passion as he put his radio station KSRN on the air in 1993. After selling that station, Carroll took the format to KBDB for a time. The “Music of America” now fills local radios throughout the northern Nevada region, Elko and eastern California for two hours each Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. on 88.7 KUNR.

And Carroll, now 79, has been actively involved in the community over the years, while raising his family in Reno with wife, Marva, of 56 years.  He remains active in his Reno Kiwanis Club and is a former president of the Board of the Nevada Humane Society. While his 60th anniversary in broadcasting is his latest milestone, Carroll has received many honors over the years, including being named among the first recipients in the first class of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame (1994) and the Reno Ad Club’s Outstanding Advertising Man of the Year (1973).

“We’re celebrating Bob Carroll for his 60 years in broadcasting, and we’re so glad he’s still got the voice and the passion our listeners love,” KUNR’s Stipech says. “It’s great that public radio still provides a home for this music—played by a pioneer and one who lived all this history, who met many of these performers and played these recordings as a soundtrack of people’s daily lives for the past six decades. That’s quite an achievement.”

David Stipech is a former general manager at KUNR Public Radio.