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An unfolding storyline: Rochester's Bob Lonsberry comes to WSYR

Bob Lonsberry is heading to Newsradio 570, 106.9 WSYR to begin a Syracuse broadcast.

Bob Lonsberry is heading to Newsradio 570, 106.9 WSYR to begin a Syracuse broadcast. Photo by Amanda Seef.

— “If the show has a theme, it will be God, family and country,” Lonsberry said. “There are a whole string of values that are generally seen as Americanism, and these define the characteristics of Central New York, they speak for the people around here.”

The host includes much of his personal life in the daily show — he’s a father to eight, an EMT and a village board member in Mt. Morris, a village in Livingston County, south of Rochester.

“A radio show needs an unfolding story line,” Lonsberry said. “The ongoing drama of your life or your family can do that.”

Serious issues are at the forefront of the show, however. He has taken aim at numerous local officials, calling for resignations and holding public officials accountable. Most recently, the Rochester airport director was charged with driving while intoxicated. Talks of her resignation were looming for nearly two weeks, but the official act came the same day as a column posted on Lonsberry’s website.

“He has a large voice and his voice is heard,” said Rachel Barnhart, a television reporter at Rochester’s 13WHAM. Barnhart has been on Lonsberry’s show and comes to the studio in his absence.

“A radio show can just be fun, but there are also times where things need to be said, community officials and big institutions need to be taken on,” Lonsberry said. “Right now, I think talk-radio may be the most efficient way to do so. I think there’s an obligation to public service in the news media. There needs to be a vigorous voice. Talk-radio is the electronic vigorous, editorial voice of today.”

Lonsberry’s political leanings are conservative — his website lists him as a Republican, a member of the National Rifle Association and a holder of a pistol permit. His view on national politics sometimes strays on the edge of controversy, something that Barnhart thinks will add to his appeal among Syracuse listeners.

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