Bob Eccles

Host

Bob Eccles has followed an interesting path to - and through - the radio business. After graduating from Howe Military School in Howe, Indiana in 1980, Bob went to Michigan State University for one year. He transferred to Central Michigan University the following year for the school’s Radio and TV program, and landed a shift at the campus radio station, known then as "Rock Stereo 91". Unfortunately Bob focused more on his radio shift than his studies, and CMU asked him to take his 0.00 grade point average and go to school somewhere else. So Bob joined the U.S. Army.

Bob spend three years in the Army, serving in the Military Police in what was then West Germany. The first half of his tour was spent as a tower guard at a nuclear physical security site. Bob then was chosen to be the chauffeur for the commanding general of the 59th Ordnance Brigade. This gave him the chance to see much of West Germany from behind the wheel of an armor-plated and bullet-proof BMW 733i. Bob was honorably discharged from the Army in early 1985, and enrolled at the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts to continue his pursuit of a career in radio.

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A couple of months before graduating from Specs Howard, Bob landed a job as a disc jockey at WBRB radio in Mt. Clemens. The 500 watt AM station had been off the air for several years, and was put back on the air with a staff consisting entirely of Specs Howard grads. The owner of the station had a background in real estate, not radio, and is said to have chosen the people he would hire by playing their audition tapes for his kids and asking them which ones they liked most. Bob is glad the kids liked his tape.

Bob’s next job came at Tower 98 in Monroe. It was at Tower 98 that Bob made the transition from DJ to news guy. Tower 98 was also where he met his wife, Tina, who worked as Traffic Director at the station.

Next on Bob’s resume is a stop at WSPD/WLQR in Toledo. It was there that Bob covered stories like the mayor’s tearful apology for having suggested that the city’s deaf population might enjoy living near the airport. Toledo is also where Bob discovered Mudhens baseball and Tony Packo’s Cafe. Ask Bob sometime about how he nearly knocked Jamie Farr over once in the hallway at WSPD/WLQR.

From Toledo, Bob went to Detroit, where he worked at all-news station WWJ for six years. While he was working there, he also nearly knocked over Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, but that’s another story.

One day Bob was sent to the home of a Detroit police officer who had been killed in the line of duty. His WWJ bosses wanted him to interview the officer’s friends and family who were coming to the house to grieve. Bob told his bosses he felt uncomfortable sticking his microphone in the faces of grieving friends and family members. This was considered insubordination by his bosses, and he was fired. But that’s OK, because that's when Bob found WEMU and public radio.

Bob joined the wonderful staff of WEMU in May of 2003. He really enjoys not having to chase ambulances and fire trucks all the time. He loves having the flexibility to spend seven-and-a-half minutes telling a good story if he needs the time. And he is thrilled to be able to serve WEMU listeners in the amazingly personal way that working in public radio makes possible.

Bob, his wife Tina and their daughter Samantha live in rural Monroe County.

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News
9:37 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Ypsilanti River Cleanup Set for Sunday

Huron River at Riverside Park
Bob Eccles

Volunteers will converge on the Huron River in Ypsilanti Sunday for a yearly cleanup effort.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Environment
9:14 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Cleanup Underway at Old MichCon Site in Ann Arbor

The removal of contaminated soil began Tuesday, part of DTE Energy's three million dollar restoration of an old MichCon site in Ann Arbor.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

News
8:24 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Saline Area Schools takes over Ypsilanti's food service operation.

Ypsilanti Superintendent Dedrick Martin (left center) and school board President David Bates (right center) watch a presentation on the district's food service operation.
Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti school board has approved having Saline Area Schools operate its food service operation for the school year.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

News
11:00 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Ypsilanti schools start year short on students

Ypsilanti school board President David Bates
Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti school district started the school year about a thousand students short of projections, but as WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the numbers have been improving.

Public Health
8:56 am
Mon September 10, 2012

One in Ten Students in Washtenaw County Avoiding Immunizations

Roughly one out of every ten students in Washtenaw County has been granted a waiver from one or more required immunizations.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

Health
9:48 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Healthy Schools Program Expanding

A program that began in Ann Arbor back in 2004 with the goal of getting middle school students to eat better and excercise more is expanding into south-central Michigan.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

Education
8:36 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Financially Shaky School Year Start in Ypsilanti

Today is the first day of school for students in the Ypsilanti school district, and it looks like teachers and staff will get paid,( this month).  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

Disaster relief
8:51 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Local Volunteers Helping Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Red Cross volunteers from Washtenaw and Lenawee counties are answering the call for help in the wake of hurricane Isaac.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

News
12:22 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Ypsilanti school board briefed on student achievement

Ypsi school board President David Bates listens to presentation on student achievement
Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti school board last night received a presentation on the district's efforts to eliminate the achievement gap, but as WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the presentation may have been a little too thorough, at least for one board member.

Education
8:56 am
Fri August 24, 2012

EMU Makes "Best College" List for Tenth Year in a Row

http://www.princetonreview.com/best-regional-colleges.aspx
Credit http://www.princetonreview.com/best-regional-colleges.aspx

Eastern Michigan University has once again made the Princeton Review's list of best colleges in the midwest.

Read more
Arts and Culture
8:53 am
Fri August 24, 2012

AAFF Looking for New Director

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is in the process of finding a new Director.  Donald Harrison has resigned after four years of guiding the festival's successful expansion.

Pure Michigan
8:57 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Ypsilanti in the "Pure Michigan" Spotlight

The city of Ypsilanti  will be in the spotlight in a new Pure Michigan ad, and city residents can get in on the fun this Wednesday.

News
7:58 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

Bob Eccles

The 34th Annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival kicks off today. WEMU's Bob Eccles has a preview.

News
8:59 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ypsi-Willow Run Consolidation Survey

A new survey shows a majority of likely voters in the Ypsilanti and Willow Run are either planning on, or  thinking about, supporting a ballot measure to merge the two districts into one. WEMU's Bob Eccles reports on the findings of the survey.

News
8:47 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Ypsilanti Housing Commission "Essentially Fired"

Ypsilanti City Councilmember Pete Murdock.
Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council has decided to essentially fire the city's housing commission. WEMU's Bob Eccles has more on the action taken by council Tuesday night.

News
10:24 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Ypsi-Willow Run Consolidation Will Go To Voters

State schools superintendent Mike Flanagan addresses the joint Willow Run-Ypsilanti school board.
Bob Eccles

The Willow Run and Ypsilanti Boards of Education have agreed to put a consolidation question before district voters in the November general election.  WEMU's Bob Eccles provides a long-form report.

News
3:30 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Ypsilanti Primary Election Results

INCUMBENT LOIS RICHARDSON HELD OFF CHALLENGERS STEVE PIERCE AND TYRONE BRIDGES TO KEEP HER FIRST WARD SEAT ON YPSILANTI CITY COUNCIL.  RICHARDSON GATHERED JUST OVER FIFTY PERCENT OF FIRST WARD VOTES. 

INCUMBENT PETE MURDOCK EASILY FENDED OFF CHALLENGERS TED WINDISH AND MIKE ELLER TO RETAIN HIS THIRD WARD SEAT ON CITY COUNCIL.

News
10:48 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Ypsi/Willow Run Merger Plan Meeting

WISD Superintendent Scott Menzel listens to comments on the draft unification plan.
Bob Eccles

Some 50-people showed for Monday night's meeting on the draft unification plan for the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts.  WEMU's Bob Eccles was among them.

News
8:54 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Ypsi-Willow Run Unification

The Collaboration and Communication Task Force that's been working out the particulars of consolidating the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts rolled out its draft unification plan last week. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the public has  two chances this week to learn more about the plan, and offer up suggestions of their own.

Tuskegee Airman visit
1:20 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Tuskegee Airman visits Willow Run airport

LTC Alexander Jefferson of the Tuskegee Airmen in front of a Red Tail P-51 Mustang fighter.
Bob Eccles

One of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen visited Willow Run airport this afternoon in advance of this weekend's Thunder over Michigan air show.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

News
10:06 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Comment Anonymity

A newspaper in the State of Washington is fighting a right to privacy battle. It's an effort to preserve the anonymity of a person who posted a disparaging comment on the paper's website.  Does that happen here at home? WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the policy at Ann Arbor-dot-com does allow for anonymous posts, and it is a frequent topic of conversation in the newsroom.

News
11:17 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Expanded Energy Savings Program

A program that makes it less expensive for homeowners to make energy savings improvements is being expanded. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the details.

Task force recomments consolidation vote
1:57 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Consolidation question closer to ballot

The question of whether the Willow Run and Ypsilanti school districts should merge is one step closer to appearing on the fall ballot.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has details.

Education
12:01 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Consolidation Plan to be Unveiled Tonight

Draft design plan for merging the Willow Run and

Ypsilanti School districts will be presented at a

public meeting tonight.

Ypsi Schools Financial Struggles
9:47 am
Tue July 24, 2012

More Financial Difficulty for Ypsilanti Schools

District Employees may face payless or delayed paydays as the district's ability to borrow money from the state has lessened. WEMU's Bob Eccles has details.

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