Bob Long, a significant figure in the Los Angeles news scene for decades, announced on Wednesday that he is retiring as VP and News Director at KNBC. According to the station, his retirement is effective as of Friday, September 25th. During his career, Long gathered numerous awards including Golden Mikes, Emmys, Edward R. Murrow Awards as well as a 2005 Peabody Award for broadcast excellence.
In officially announcing his retirement, Long sent a humorous email out to the KNBC staff in which he recounted, among other things, a chance encounter with Fidel Castro in Washington, D.C. in which the “barbudo” shared some tips about picking up women. The email also served to dispel the notion that Long was moving on because he was getting too gray, stating, “Asked if he was leaving KNBC because he was too ‘Old Corps’ to handle new technologies and the rise of ‘citizen journalism,’ Long hurled his Zippo at the questioner’s head and snorted, ‘No one has ever accused me of giving a damn what people think. If I wanted their opinion, I’d give it to them. That’s what real journalists do.'”
Long started his journalism career as a Copy Boy for Time Magazine right out of high school. The Time job eventually led to work writing for WWDC Radio News in Washington. In 1966, he joined the Marine Corps and became a combat correspondent. Two years later he began writing for the Associated Press which would eventually lead him to Los Angeles and a job with KNXT, now KCBS, from 1969 to 1975. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Long ran his own TV production company and oversaw several notable documentary specials including the “Real People” series which debuted on NBC in 1979.
Long joined KNBC as VP and News Director in 2003 after successful stints at WRC-TV in Washington D.C., and KCBS and KCOP in Los Angeles.
In making a formal announcement, KNBC General Manager Craig Robinson said, “Long possesses many great qualities and one of his best is that he’s a man of his word.” In October, Long will travel to Istanbul, Turkey to teach a semester of journalism ethics at Bahcesehir University.
(Full announcement via LAObserved)