Bob Rivers thanked his listeners as he announced his retirement on his Monday morning radio show on KJR.
Reflecting back on 25 years of radio broadcasting in Seattle, Rivers said he didn’t know what to expect when his family made the move to the area in 1989.
“The moment I got here, it was God’s country, the most beautiful, beautiful land in world, mountains, hiking. The people here, a little passive aggressive at first, but once you got past that, warm, loving, embraceful.”
Rivers told his listeners that he is about to become a grandfather and decided it was about time to slow down.
“I know this sounds like I’m backing up the cliche truck, but I want to have time with my family. I want to have time with my friends. I want to study music.”
Fellow radio host Dori Monson had a mixed reaction when he got the news, and wanted to hear it directly from his old friend.
“I want to find out what is really going on here,” Monson said after inviting Rivers onto his show Monday. “I heard what you said on air to your listeners, but I want to know why you’re quitting.”
As cliche as it might sound, Rivers said what he told his listeners was true.
“I feel like I should have a diabolical plan now. I should have some secret hidden agenda where I’m going to go and where I’m going to pop up,” he said, “but I’m going to be a grandfather.”
He said the typical responses people give when they’re leaving a role they’ve filled for a long time – I want to spend more time with family, explore other things – those are actually legit.
“It’s really amazing,” he said, “pretty much all of the clichés are true. I have tons of stuff to do, tons of projects and things that I love, and as my life gets more and more full, and I keep trying to do all of these things, I don’t have time to do them.”
Monson commended Rivers for what he has done for the radio business in Seattle, talking about gatherings Rivers would organize bringing lots of radio personalities who otherwise wouldn’t interact together.
“You have kind of occupied this unique place in Seattle broadcasting where you are the person everybody knows,” said Monson. “You’ve kind of been the Godfather to an awful lot of us.”
While different voices in radio may seem like competitors, Rivers said he always thought they could get more accomplished by working together.
“All of us as entertainers, we kind of feel like we’re competitors,” he said, “but we’re really brothers and sisters too. I think it makes you stronger to support each other and be friends.”
Rivers will be leaving with 42 years working in the radio business, 33 years hosting morning drive, and 25 years entertaining Seattle audiences. His last show on KJR will be Aug. 8.