Honoring A Radio Legend – Hometown View
The New Jersey Broadcasters Association held their 65th Annual Conference at Caesars in Atlantic City Wednesday, an event highlighted by the induction of 7 broadcasters into the newly-created NJBA Hall of Fame.
The inaugural class includes my longtime colleague and friend Bob Levy, who appeared about as comfortable with the honor as he was in the suit provided by Joey’s Men’s Store in Toms River. Actually the suit was tremendous but Bob never appears too comfortable when he’s honored in formal settings. Regardless there is little doubt he belonged in the first-ever Hall of Fame class and that honor comes just a year after he received the second Lifetime Achievement Award handed out by the broadcasters association.
If you’re a listener of WOBM (and obviously you are because you’re hearing this) you probably first became aware of Bob from his long-running and popular Sunday morning talk show Topic A. To many it’s like going to church…you spend part of your Sunday listening to Bob and his equally at times colorful cast of regular callers. He and they can make you laugh and also make you want to come through the radio and get your hands right around their throats. Regardless one thing that is not subject to debate is that thousands tune in each week and Topic A owns Sunday morning when it comes to radio listening at the Jersey Shore.
While Bob’s career might be defined by his four hours every Sunday he has done much more than that. He is the original WOBM employee, starting even before there was a roof on the building and studio in Berkeley Township. He’s the only one left from when we became Ocean County’s first radio station on March 1, 1968 and in the early years he served as Sales Manager and also the station’s first Sports Director. He did play-by-play of Toms River and later Brick football and Lakewood basketball and in 1975 he broadcast all the big games on 92.7 as Lakewood won the Little League World Series. Later Bob became the General Manager and eventually he would head into semi-retirement. However 14 years ago it was decided to match him with his wife Marianne on a morning show on 1160/1310AM. You of course are now listening to Bob & Marianne in the Morning and if you’re a regular you qualify as a “listener friend.”
Now in his 45th year Bob Levy is a New Jersey broadcasting legend and now you can call him a Hall of Famer…just don’t expect him to see him in a suit anytime soon.