The NY Times has a nice profile of Bob Wolff, who’s spent 71 years–71 years!–in broadcasting, and currently does sports for News 12 Long Island, a Time Warner Cable Cablevision channel. Wolff turned 90 yesterday.
I moved out of Long Island in the early ’90s. I had no idea this guy is still on the air. The Times’ Richard Sandomir says he believes Wolff is the oldest active sportscaster in the country.
How far back does Wolff go? He was the Washington Senators’ announcer. He called Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game on the radio. He interviewed Babe Ruth, for chrissakes!
Wolff says he has no plans to retire. In fact, he’s got a book: Bob Wolff’s Complete Guide to Sportscasting: How to Make it in Sportscasting (With or Without Talent) coming out some time next year.
Although he sees himself as part broadcaster, part entertainer, he laments watching sportscasters who are hired solely to be entertaining. “It doesn’t matter if they’re good, only if they’re different enough to get some sort of ratings or have some appeal that has nothing to do with quality,” he said.
He also laments the violations of grammar and usage by sportscasters. “The problem is it doesn’t matter to the public or the sponsors,” he said.
Wolff said that he had no inclination to stop working - as long as he has opinions and his wife keeps driving him.
“All I do is talk,” he said. “It’s a wonderful release.”