Bob Jamesworked more than 40 years in broadcasting the majority as a radio newscaster. James was a long-standing radio newsman, recognized for his radio reporting in Joplin. He retired from KQYX/KSYN in 1993.
James grew up in Michigan, and had an early introduction to radio. During a 1993 interview on the Newmakers program, he recalled how his fifth grade teacher asked him to narrate a children s radio show. He also recalled family trips to Chicago, where he was often in the audience of live radio programs, even participating in a live commercial.
James said that his first real job came in 1953. He worked on Armed Forces Radio, on commercials in New York, and in radio and television in his home state of Michigan. In the 1960 s, he took a job as Sports Director in Dodge City, Kansas. He moved to the 4-state area in 1965, when he was hired as News Director at KDMO radio in Carthage. James began work at KQYX/KSYN radio in 1967. After one year, he made a move to Tulsa radio for what he called the big time. However, he chose to return to Joplin in 1971. James served as News Director at KQYX/KSYN until October 1993. Even after he retired from those duties, James continued to host a radio call-in program.
After he retired, James recalled two memorable news stories from his time in Joplin, the Connor Hotel collapse and the Christine Craft trial. James spent 22 years covering Joplin City Council meetings, and said that it was interesting to see government in action. Reflecting upon changes in the industry during the 1993 interview, James said it was sad that radio stations across the country were dropping local news. On a brighter note, he pointed out a drastic change in increased opportunities for women in broadcasting.
James was also active in the Joplin community and was noted for his development and involvement with the Jim Nail Foundation, established to honor local police, fire, and rescue personnel.
When asked during the Newsmakers interview about what tips he had for success, James said that education and obtaining a degree was important. He advised potential newscasters by saying don t be too anxious to be a star. James added he believed that people should go into broadcasting with dedication, making sure it s what you want to do.