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Friday, January 18, 2013

Bob Allen scores with emotional goodbye; talks future plans

Bob Allen has died after cancer battle

UPDATE 4/11/2013
Bob Allen replaces Butch Alsandor at KHOU 11

Back in January of last year, we got the shocker of the night when KTRK 13 sportscaster Bob Allen said he was leaving the station by the end of 2012 (KTRK recruited Greg Bailey from WCNC as his eventual replacement).

 Of course the Houston Texans held on this year so he stayed around for a hopeful Super Bowl game. That didn't happen so he officially signed off last night with an emotional goodbye to the audience (video embedded below).

 What can I say that hasn't been said already? His departure has been a big media event in this town of course. One doesn't stay at a station for 38 years and quietly disappear. No one is going to let that happen.

"Never in my remotest dreams did I think I would spend most of my life in that building (KTRK)," Bob Allen told "Like most people in this business, I was always paranoid I'd be fired the next day, and was always relieved whenever I got a new contract done. It's been an amazing ride that's gone by so quickly."

Allen is one of the last to retire from the golden age of local TV news. I've said this before, but my mom saved parts of the Houston Chronicle on the day I was born. According to the TV guide section, at 5pm on Channel 13, Live at 5 came on the air with Dave Ward, Ed Brandon and Bob Allen.

Clearly I'm not the only one who has grown up with Bob Allen. His presence each night on the television means something to a lot of people in an age when on air people are there for a few years, then gone one day with no explanation.

When I worked with KTRK, I rarely worked much with the sports department, but did get to talk with Allen through the years. In fact he was an early supporter of this very blog you're reading now. As you've probably read or seen for yourself, Bob has a great sense of humor and observation. He's quick on his feet, witty, tells it like it is and that's what people like about him.

Plus he's an actual hometown guy. Growing up he lived in West U. and Westbury. I'm sure you've heard the story of him sneaking into Houston TV stations as a kid because he was so attracted to broadcasting.

Beyond that, he's done a lot of great work with Special Olympics and The Sunshine Kids.

So what's the future hold for Bob Allen?

"I'm going to take a short break (sounds like I'm throwing it to a commercial)," Allen told me. "I am starting Bob Allen Media LLC with a couple of partners, producing longer form, multi-platform content. I would like to do radio again, what form I'm not sure. Radio to me was a lot of fun, the freedom of it."

I've heard him as a guest on Houston sports talk and I think Bob back in radio would be great for Houston listeners.

"I'm working on a book with John Lopez that should be out in April titled '...and Bob Allen' which will be an honest look at my journey through media, my personal ups and downs and the back stories and anecdotes of the people in sports with whom I've crossed paths - and there have been quite a few," he told me. "I also love speaking to groups and I've partnered with the Pastorini-Bosby (talent) agency to handle the bookings.

"So in the long run, I'll probably end up being busier than I was at 13."

While you're here, David Barron got an update on the man Allen calls a brother, KTRK sportscaster Tim Melton. You might remember how Melton suffered from a stroke in 2011.

Below are some great video clips of Allen signing off, talking about meeting the likes of Howard Cosell, Muhammad Ali and Evel Knievel, plus other highlights.

- KTRK 13 sports director Bob Allen's Hollywood fame
- Bob Allen lives a double life in Lone Star

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