Bob Barry, Jr. had been a TV sportscaster in Oklahoma since 1982, primarily at KFOR-TV, where he worked with his father Bob Barry, Sr. The 58-year-old died this weekend in a motorbike crash.
Bob Barry, Jr. — TV and radio sportscaster, father of four, dedicated OK sports fan.
Local newscasters, especially sportscasters, can attain a level of affection in their home towns and states that bigger celebrities will never touch. From the online reaction I've seen to the death this weekend of Bob Barry, Jr, better known as BBJ, he was one of those who inspired such affection. He started radio broadcasting in high school in 1973, and kept at it on radio and TV until eventually taking over the position of sports director for KFOR-TV from his father, Bob Barry, Sr. in 1998 (after working alongside him for 16 years). He died this past Saturday after a man (since charged with manslaughter and drug possession) made an illegal u-turn and struck his motor scooter.
Nevertheless, as his own station acknowledged, the show must go on, "and Bobby would have wanted it that way." But thanks to a rival station's generosity, Bob Barry's coworkers at KFOR-TV (an NBC affiliate) may be able to attend his funeral this Friday at 11 a.m., when they otherwise would have had to work:
That's right, the general manager of ABC affiliate KOCO-TV offered to send employees to broadcast from KFOR while Bob's friends attend his funeral. This is one of the nicest things I've ever heard, and pretty much the opposite of the cutthroat atmosphere of local news we've all come to know and love from Anchorman. Nevertheless, one can't help thinking of the phrase "keep it classy" when hearing this story.
This is the only photo I could find without a heartbreakingly nice smile.
If you're touched by the Midwestern kindness this story, consider paying that kindness forward the way BBJ would have wanted:
The family of @bbjsports asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Wounded Warrior Project. BBJ had great respect for veterans.— Linda Cavanaugh (@linda4news) June 23, 2015
You can find the Wounded Warriors Project donation page here.