Missouri celebrates career of retired MissouriNet news director
COLUMBIA - In a crowded hallway, bustling with servers carrying hors d'oeuvres, you can't really make out what people are saying, except one constant that continues to rise above the din: The continuous cries of "Oh, hey Bob!" and "Great to see you, Bob!"
Clearly, Bob is the man of the hour.
Bob Priddy is retiring from his 40 year position as a news director for MissouriNet. It's a feat, he said modestly, that was pretty unlikely.
"Most news directors last around two years," said Priddy. "I tend to throw that average way off."
Priddy had a lengthy history in journalism. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and after graduating, he worked at several different radio stations. Priddy has had a long-term influence on the political reporting atmosphere.
"I've wanted to be a journalist since I was nine years old," said Priddy. "I never knew why, but I found out several years ago that I had a great uncle who was a newspaper editor out in Kansas so maybe there is something genetic here."
Mike Kraemer, a colleague of Priddy's, said one of the best things about Priddy's career was his ability to tell stories.
"He was fantastic at writing for the ear in radio, but even better, he could write for the eye," said Kraemer.
Priddy said being a journalist takes more than simply being born to do it, one has to be able to overcome the challenges that they will face.
"We have these great opportunities as reporters to do these things if we have the time to do them," said Priddy. "That's always a problem for us, is trying to find the time to do the jobs we know we have to to serve the public."
Priddy will have some time now that he is retired and says he looks forward to being free from 50-60 hour work weeks.
"I'm going to live by my own clock," said Priddy. "People in radio and television are slaves to the clock. My life has been run by that clock for 50 years."
Priddy is currently working on two books outlaying when Jefferson City became the state's capital.
Bob Priddy sits at the head table among his colleagues and friends to celebrate his retirement at the Reynolds Alumni Center on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Priddy, who retired after a near 40-year career as a journalist, said this is the job he's wanted since he was nine years old.
Bob Priddy's typewriter sits alongside other items from his journalism career at his retirement reception at the Reynolds Alumni Center on Monday Oct. 6, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. It is his original typewriter from his first job writing for KFRU, a local radio station.
Clyde Lear chats with guests at a reception celebrating Bob Priddy's retirement from his position as news director for MissouriNet held at the Reyonlds Alumni Center on Monday Oct. 6, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Lear, Priddy's longtime colleague, hosted the event with Senator Claire McCaskill.