Robert Madison Griffin, known as Bob Griffin (August 8, 1934-February 3, 2020) was a radio and television journalist with more than fifty years experience in broadcasting in his adopted city of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Former Mayors Keith Hightower of Shreveport and George Dement of Bossier City named Griffin the Shreveport-Bossier City "Goodwill Ambassador" because of his newscasts and public relations activities promoting both cities, separated in northwestern Louisiana by the Red River.
2 Broadcast career
Originally from Fort Smith in western Arkansas, Griffin studied at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Nebraska in the capital city of Lincoln, Nebraska. He worked for a film company in St. Louis, Missouri, and then appeared in an off-Broadway show in New York City.
Griffin and his wife, the former Robbie Denise Clingan (born October 28, 1957), have twin daughters and ten grandchildren. They are Sunday school directors at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Shreveport, where Mrs. Griffin is on the staff as the children's director.
In 1961, Griffin joined KSLA, the CBS affiliate established seven years earlier in 1954 as the first television station in Shreveport. Griffin said that he initially expected to stay in Shreveport for one or two years, but he soon developed a keen interest in the community and ultimately based his entire career there. At KSLA, he had his own children's series in the 1960s, Bob and His Buddies, and he hosted the short-lived What's News? weekend quiz program for high school students, based on current events with questions taken from KSLA news and sports broadcasts of the preceding week. He was principally the sports editor at KSLA and became personally acquainted with scores of area athletes, some of whom reached national prominence. In his early years at the station, his major colleagues included Don Owen, a native of Oklahoma as news anchor from 1954 to 1984, and Al Bolton, a native of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the chief meteorologist from 1954 to 1991.
At the height of his career at KSLA, Griffin handled sports twice daily five days a week and the weather five nights a week. He covered the leading high school games on Friday nights as well as pertinent college and professional teams.
Griffin continued with KSLA until 2008, when he became the Saturday and Sunday morning First News anchor of rival KTBS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Shreveport, which was established in 1955 as a primary NBC station. He also has extensive broadcast duties, even at the age of eighty, with radio station KEEL (AM), a talk radio outlet in Shreveport. Griffin presents a weekly feature, "Griffin's Ark-La-Tex: Living the Good Life,": which airs on the Monday morning First News on KTBS. Early in his career, Griffin developed an interest in travel. He formerly wrote travel articles for the since defunct Shreveport Journal, an afternoon newspaper once affiliated with KSLA. Griffin over the years has visited most communities in the Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas coverage area to produce travelogue feature segments, similar to the long-term work of Bob Phillips on Texas Country Reporter. He is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Griffin hosts a Christian weekly half-hour program, The Bob Griffin Radio Show, broadcast from KEEL and also carried on four stations in East Texas: KGAS (AM) in Carthage, KMHT (AM) in Marshall, and KWRD (AM) in Henderson, and KPXI in Overton. The program consists of travel reports, features, area personalities, and uplifting human interest stories, often with Christian testimonies. At 6:50 a.m. CST weekdays on KEEL, he airs a minute-long feature, "People to Meet, Places to Go, and Things to See and Do".
Griffin is assisting Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator in the promotion of the department's "Safety Town" located between Walker Road and Jewella Avenue near the South Park Summer Grove Baptist Church. The organization was established to teach children how to avoid danger and to protect their own safety.
Griffin has received numerous broadcast honors, including most recently:
2000, "Sportsman of the Year, Independence Bowl Foundation
2004, "Mr. Shreveport", from the local Optimist Club
2005, induction into the Centenary College Sports Hall of Fame
2005, "Louisiana Sportscaster of the Year" by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
2009, "Distinguished Service Award" from the Louisiana Sportswriters Association at the annual Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet in Natchitoches. Griffin shared the honor with Orville K. "Buddy" Davis, long-time sports editor of the Ruston Daily Leader in Ruston, Louisiana.
2011, Five Living Legends of Shreveport, Danny Fox (1954-2014) of KWKH radio. Fox named Griffin as one of the Top 5 "Living Legends" of Shreveport, along with James Burton and Hank Williams, Jr. Two others honored, Frank Page and Claude King, died in 2013.
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Ark-la-tex legend, Bob Griffin, died at the age of 85 due to complications of a illness on February 3, 2020.
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