Happy Birthday Bob Trumpy!

Mar 6, 2017

Happy birthday to Bob Trumpy, Cincinnati's original "Trump." He created radio sports talk here in 1976 while still playing tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Trumpy, born 72 years ago today in Springfield, Ill., hosted a weekly one-hour show in 1976 on WCKY-AM (1530), before "Monday Night Football" broadcasts – after WLW-AM turned down the idea.

The show grew to three nights a week in 1977. He retired after 10 seasons with the Bengals at the end of the 1977 season, and went five nights a week on WCKY-AM and started a 30-year career at NBC  doing NFL games, bowl games, Olympics, golf, boxing, weightlifting, volleyball and even sumo wrestling. He also did radio broadcasts for Sunday night and Monday night NFL games.

Bob Trumpy in 2014 Westwood One photo
Credit Westwood One

In 1980, he was lured over to WLW-AM, and hosted the show for 10 years heard throughout the Midwest.  He was brash and opinionated – but informed and consistent, never changing his opinions as some talk radio hosts do just to light up the lines. If he didn't agree with you, he'd bet you a hot fudge sundae.

Trumpy once told me that during the off season back in the 1970s, he heard former NBA star Bill Russell hosting a radio call-in sports show on the West Coast. He thought it would work in Cincinnati to talk about the Reds, Bengals and World Hockey Association Stingers. WLW-AM manager Charlie Murdock didn't agree. Four years later, WLW-AM stole him from WCKY-AM.

Trumpy's influence can't be understated.

He created the blueprint still used today by Lance McAlister, Mo Egger, Bill Dennison and Ken Broo, and all the others in between on WLW-AM or local airwaves: Cris Collinsworth, Andy Furman, Tom Gamble, Richard Skinner, Wayne "Box" Miller, Donn Burrrows, Ken Anderson, Tim Lewis, Bill Meredith, Andy MacWilliams, Tim Bray, Art Schlichter, Jim McKnight, Jim LaBarbara, etc.

Trump also was the pioneer who led the way from Cincinnati to network TV gigs for Collinsworth, Dave Lapham, Anthony Munoz, Sam Wyche, Boomer Esiason, Solomon Wilcots and others.

Trumpy was honored in 2014 with the NFL's Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award for "long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football" at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While at WLW-AM, he was named "Ohio Sportscaster of the Year" in 1982 and 1986.

Thanks Bob, for all you did to make Cincinnati a great sports town. Enjoy your day. Go have a supersized hot fudge sundae.