- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Bob Bartel, 74, radio personality

BALTIMORE (AP) — Bob Bartel, a veteran radio broadcaster with a love for news and sports and a breezy, calm on-air style, died June 4 of heart disease at York Hospital in Pennsylvania. He was 74.

Mr. Bartel’s voice was well-known in the Baltimore area from his nearly 30 years on the air at WCAO-AM — from 1962 until its format change to gospel music in 1991.

Fellow broadcasters recalled how he would occasionally announce the time by saying, “It’s a quarter of eight and don’t be late for your eight o’clock date.”

“A lot of people thought it was hokey, but it was real,” longtime Baltimore radio personality Johnny Dark said Tuesday. “It was Bob on the air.”

Mr. Bartel was born in Washington. He attended what was then Western Maryland College in Westminster before becoming a pitcher in the minor leagues. After several seasons, he injured his back and left baseball.

He broke into AM radio at WFMD in Frederick, Md., then worked at WEAM and WPGC in Washington, and at a station in Orlando, Fla.

When he joined WCAO’s staff, he broadcast news four days per week and had a Top 40 rock ‘n’ roll music show on Saturday nights.

After several years, Mr. Bartel became the sports director. On Monday nights in the early 1980s, Mr. Bartel hosted the “Inside Football” talk show with former Baltimore Colts Johnny Unitas and Bobby Boyd.

After leaving WCAO, Mr. Bartel worked at WTEM-AM, a sports-talk station in Washington, and from 1992 to 1995 was on the air at USA Today Sky Radio in Arlington’s Crystal City.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth, of Shrewsbury, Pa.; two sons, Derek F. Bartel of York, Pa., and Kyle A. Bartel of Buckingham, Pa.; and a daughter, Kara E. Seelye, also of York.

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