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
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.

Homeless
9:10 am
Wed July 18, 2012

New Way to Help Homeless During A2 Art Fairs

Visitors to this year's Ann Arbor art fairs can use their

cell phones to help the homeless.

Transportation
9:07 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Street "Diet" for Some Ypsilanti Roads

Some roads in Ypsilanti may soon be going on a diet. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles explains.

Housing
9:04 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Local Homeowners Have Protections from Tax Lein Foreclosures

National Consumer Law Center says poor and elderly

Americans are victimized by property tax lein forclosures.

Public Health
9:10 am
Thu July 5, 2012

West Nile Virus in Washtenaw County

Wild turkey tests positive for mosquito-borne

virus in Washtenaw County.

Education
10:07 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Board Ratifies Teachers' Contract

Ypsilanti teachers take a pay cut and will

pay more for health insurance.

Education
9:29 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Board Nixes Privatization Plan

Ypsilanti's school board says it will not 

privatize custodial services.  

Education
11:04 am
Thu June 14, 2012

A2 School Board Approves New Budget

2012-2013 spending plan restores counseling and

achievement programs.

Health
11:15 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Use Caution with Energy Drinks

EMU professor says so-called natural energy

drinks are not what they claim to be.

Public Health
9:53 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Dangers of Designer Drugs

Washtenaw County Public Health continues

education efforts on dangers of K-2.

Education
9:10 am
Tue June 12, 2012

New Budget Still $4 Million in the Red

The Ypsilanti school district's new budget still

has a huge deficit.

Public Safety
9:05 am
Tue June 12, 2012

K2 And Other "Designer Drugs" May Soon Be Outlawed

Washtenaw County moving quickly to halt sales of

so-called designer drugs like K2.

Abortion, michigan legislature
10:03 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Reproductive Rights Under Attack in Michigan Legislature

ACLU and others blast new anti-abortion bills.

Transportation
9:22 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Ypsilanti Approves Regional Transit Agreement

Transit plan framework heads to county commission.

Health
9:51 am
Tue May 22, 2012

MEC Backs New Lead Standard

Centers for Disease Control issues new lead safety levels.

Education
7:28 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Union Says School Board Betrayed Workers

Ypsilanti school board to privatize custodial work.

Education
9:27 am
Fri May 11, 2012

EMU Student Gets Surprise Call from US Education Secretary

EMU student Benjamin White gets special call from Arne Duncan.

Eastern Michigan University
9:30 am
Thu May 10, 2012

EMU to Help Employees Buy Homes in Ypsilanti

"Live Ypsi" program to be rolled out later this month.

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