SYRACUSE Bob Lonsberry isn’t from Syracuse. He’s never lived here, studied here or worked here — but he’s not trying to act like he has, either.
The Rochester talk-radio host has filled the slot left empty after Jim Reith’s long-time show was pulled from the Syracuse airwaves abruptly in October. Reith had been on the air for 27 years in Syracuse, 11 of which were in a call-in format.
“When I introduce myself, I’m going to say if I had been the boss, I wouldn’t have fired Jim Reith,” Lonsberry said. “I don’t want to come in and be some insolent jerk. I’ve been invited into this community.”
“I need to learn this community, and I need to learn to love this community. That’s an obligation I have. I don’t think I’m coming in with the all the answers, and I’m going to make rookie mistakes. I need to apologize for being a gomer from out of town.”
— Bob Lonsberry
Lonsberry was offered the slot in mid-December and will come on-air Jan. 9. He’ll fill the 3 to 5 p.m. slot, and will remain broadcasting in Rochester from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Clear Channel’s 1180 WHAM. He’ll split time between Rochester and Syracuse, broadcasting from both studios each week. While Lonsberry hasn’t broadcast in Syracuse before, the two-hour show will remain a Syracuse-centric broadcast.
“There will be some people who will comment on the fact that he’s a Rochester, guy but I think after people listen for a few weeks, they will realize the show will be as much about Syracuse as it can be,” said Joel Delmonico, vice president of Clear Channel and general manager at Newsradio 106.9 and 570 WSYR. “He’s very professional, he puts a lot of time into show prep, he’s been studying Syracuse.”