Veteran broadcast journalist Bob Steel is back in the news business — back at KARN Newsradio 102.9 and back in management. He has been named news and program director at KARN by Cumulus Media vice president and market manager Keith Liesmann.
“Steel has 17 years’ experience as a news director,” Liesmann said in a press release. “I’m confident he will perform at a very high level for our legacy news talk station.”
Steel’s rich baritone voice will be familiar to many in central Arkansas. He has a deep background in Arkansas broadcast journalism, and is widely liked and respected.
He started in radio in 1971 at KCON-AM in Conway. He entered the television business years later, eventually becoming news director at KARK-TV between 1984 and 1992. KARK was a ratings leader for many of those years. Steel left KARK-TV for one year, when he worked at a large Little Rock advertising agency.
In 1994, he was recruited to KATV-TV to be news director, a job he held until 2001, when he returned to the ad agency business.
Steel returned to his radio roots in 2004 as a frequent substitute host on the KARN morning show while still working at the ad agency. KARN hired Steel to be the permanent morning host in 2006 when the then-host was promoted to other duties at KARN. Steel remained at KARN until he and two other high-profile personalities were dismissed from the Cumulus-owned radio station in what industry insiders said was a cost-saving move.
“I am eager to return to the newsroom,” Steel said. “It’s a place I love, and I understand the awesome responsibility that comes with that job.”
Steel returned to KARN earlier this year, recruited by Liesmann to be the affiliate relations director for the statewide radio network. Steel will also retain his affiliate relations duties on the network.
Liesmann also announced the promotion of longtime KARN producer Scott Nauman to assistant program director. Nauman is a 17-year veteran of the radio station.
(Editors note: Gladner was station manager at KARN for many years and was responsible for hiring Steel in 2004 to substitute on the show when Gladner was unavailable.)