Photo Credit: Skip Dillard
Husband. Teacher. Mentor. Friend. Bob Slade defined each of those words and more as he dedicated his life to delivering the news — straight up, no chaser. After 48 years of service to broadcast journalism, hearts are heavy as WBLS confirms the passing of the legendary Big Bob Slade (affectionately known as BBS).
Born and bred in Harlem, New York, BBS had dreams of becoming an actor until he switched things up when he realized the tantalizing tone of his voice.
Our Sister Station HOT 97 Pays tribute to the legendary Bob Slade on Ebro in the Morning, with a guest appearance by WBLS host Ann Tripp.
Slade began working in radio in 1971, and never looked back — a path that would lead him to become the News Director for the now defunct WRKS-FM and KISS-FM, the voice of a community, and the creator of Sunday morning’s Open Line Show, one of the most politically and socially conscious talk radio shows in the country.
Unlike many news anchors and journalists, BBS “didn’t just read the news like a lot of people do. [He] talked the news,” remembers Open Line executive producer and co-host Fatiyn Muhammad.
Muhammad continues, recalling a conversation with Slade about his “unique style.” “I talk the news like I’m having a one-on-one conversation with someone,” Fatiyn remembers Slade saying.
Photo Credit: Amber McKynzie
Though Slade was often busy conversing with congressional leaders, city and state-elected officials, entertainers, and his everyday people, the radio icon always made time to mentor, teach, encourage, and uplift burgeoning talent including NY 1’s Dean Meminger and our very own Ann Tripp.
“He was about reaching back to help people and that’s what life was about — passing the baton,” says Muhammad.
Photo Credit: Nida Khan
Whether you were a listener meeting your favorite newscaster for the first time or a longtime friend, to meet BBS wasn’t just an honor, it was a privilege.
Dear Bob, the honor, pleasure, and privilege was ours.