If you've ever visited our studios, you've probably seen Bob Friedl working behind the scenes. at the end of this week, Bob is retiring.
He's been working here at Channel 15 for 52 years.
The soft-spoken Friedl is a man a few words but he recently sat down with our Tim Elliott to chat about his time here and why he's finally hanging up the headset.
TV news is always changing but one constant in this business is Bob Friedl.
“I've been here since 1959,” said Friedl.
You can find Friedl behind the scenes at Channel 15. In 1959, the 22-year-old needed a job.
“My father got it for me,” said Friedl. “So I came in and was hired on the spot and I've been here ever since,”
TV news was still in it's infancy.
“You had two newscasts thats all, 6 and 10,”
But Bob took the challenge head on.
“Well in the old days, it was tough with those big huge cameras pushing them around,” Bob laughs.
“Bob Friedl! The best way to describe Bob Friedl is Bob the builder,” said Greg Byers, a co-worker of Bob's for the past 30-plus years.
Over time, Bob became the station handy man.
“If you have to build something that holds up a monitor, it's going to hold up a truck. He doesn't mess around, he builds it solid,” said Byers.
His hands helped shape Channel 15 into what it is today. But so did his heart.
“Bob always had a soft spot in his heart for pregnant anchors,” said Amy Carlson, who has worked with Bob for the past 25 years. “Everyday he would put a little chocolate kiss on the desk before the show started so we would have a little chocolate fix and get through the show without getting cranky,”
Bob wasn't always behind the camera. For years, he was featured on the popular horror-themed variety show Lenny's Inferno
“I played Vladimir we just had an idea and run with it
Bob says it's his co-workers who kept him coming back year after year.
“The people a lot of great nice people around here, I just enjoy it,”
And his co-workers will certainly miss him.
“There's no replacement for Bob,” said Byers.
But why after more than five decades, why is now the time to retire? Bob says it's simple.
“I can!” he laughs. “That's the best answer I got for ya, I'm getting old, the old guy wants take some time, that's it,”
Bob's last day at Channel 15 will be Friday, July 13. Bob enjoys carpentry work and building things. During his retirement, he plans on using those skills to spruce up his home and his cottage. But he says his wife is a little worried he'll get bored.