While it is generally well known that Bob Crane “got his start” in radio before he became known as Colonel Hogan on Hogan’s Heroes, what is not as widely known is how instrumental he had been in shaping the world of broadcasting. Innovative, cutting edge, and way ahead of his time, Bob Crane has been called a genius in radio by those who worked with him and knew him well.
Bob Crane’s work in radio spans several decades. Below is his official broadcasting resume, compiled after extensive research using original documentation, including Bob Crane’s resume and recorded airchecks, many graciously donated by Scott Crane.
March 1950 to December 1950 – WLEA, Hornell, NY (morning personality and program director)
January 1951 to April 1951 – WBIS, Bristol, CT (morning personality and program director)
April 1951 to February 1952 – WLIZ, Bridgeport, CT (morning personality and program manager)
February 1952 to August 11, 1956 – WICC, Bridgeport, CT (morning personality, program manager, program director, and Junior Achievement advisor)
September 10, 1956 to August 16, 1965 – KNX-CBS Radio, Los Angeles, CA (morning personality)
Note: Bob was supposed to start working at KNX on September 3, 1956, but for unknown reasons, his official start date was pushed back a week to September 10, 1956.
1967-1968 – U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network (guest host)
1972-1973 – KMPC, Los Angeles, CA (guest host)
January 29, 1976 – WICC, Bridgeport, CT (guest, WICC 50th anniversary)
January 1977 – KAYO, Seattle, WA (guest host)
Bob did things in radio that had rarely, if ever, been done before, such as getting special dispensation from the Broadcast Engineers Union to play his own records and talking over a record track to introduce the song. Advertisers paid top dollar for airtime to have their products “roasted” by Bob, and celebrities clamored for the chance to be interviewed by him. According to KNX, Bob Crane was “the wildest, funniest morning program in radio. Besides keeping you posted on sig-alerts, weather, sports, and the best of the ‘good’ music, Bob Crane pokes fun at just about everybody, including his boss, his sponsors, and his guests. He’s the only radio personality. Who hosts leading film and TV stars for live, unrehearsed interviews daily.”
According to those who worked in the sales department at KNX during Bob’s time at the station, there was a premium for advertisers to buy air time on The Bob Crane Show. Further, an advertiser could not just buy time during Bob’s show, but other air time slots were bundled in with his show.
While Bob prepared extensively for his show, everything he did on the air was spontaneous. Nothing was rehearsed. With his unique style of humor and entertainment (that included his music and drumming talents), as well as his drive, ambition, and cheerful character, Bob Crane can be credited for paving the way for radio personalities and disc jockeys for generations to come.
Bob Crane’s posthumous recognition in the Radio Hall of Fame as a Pioneer in the radio/broadcasting industry is long over due. Our official nomination was submitted in 2011 and is officially endorsed by WLEA, WICC, WATR (Waterbury, CT), members of the Columbia Square Alumni Group, and many other organizations and prominent individuals in the radio/broadcasting industry. Bob Crane's official nomination submitted in 2011 remains on file for consideration each year.
Updated March 21, 2023.