Today’s Media Monday comes to us from one of the most recognizable voices in Arizona. It’s Bob McClay, anchor and reporter for KTAR-FM, who’s been with the station for nearly 10 years. (Shameless plug: Bob just interviewed me about my new book, “Who is Gym?”).
Bob, time to share:
I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College. As a grade-schooler, my dad took me to a Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey game and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team folded, I miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)
I have other fond memories of being with my dad. He took me to my first concert: We saw Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."
My first job was working as a stringer for The Arizona Republic covering high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. Then I discovered my passion: broadcasting. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977. From there, I moved to KROP Radio in Brawley, Calif., where I was a country music air personality.
Brawley is where I have my favorite news memory. I was on the air when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.
I have been working in Phoenix radio since 1980. I’ve been at a lot of stations up and down the dial. I was at KOOL-FM from 1980-1984, and KMLE from 1984-to 1988. Various other stations as an air personality, including 1290 KCUB in Tucson. I programmed Country station KQEZ 103.9 in Coolidge in the early 90’s. Then afternoon drive at KRDS in Phoenix from 1990 to 1994. I then made the switch to news with Metro Networks in 1994, where I did news for KFYI and several other valley stations from 1994 to 2006.
My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. My son Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.