After three decades of ‘Sports Byline,’ radio host still strives ‘to connect with athletes in a human way’
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — As he sat in front of a microphone, about to debut a talk radio program on WRTL 1260-AM in central Illinois, Ron Barr fought off a major case of nerves before his first time on the air in 1961.
Then a 16-year-old high school junior at Chanute Air Force Base, Barr said he recalled thinking a couple of things over and over as his nearly six-decade career was set to begin: “Ask questions that I thought people would want asked. And listen. There’s a lot more value in listening.”
From such humble beginnings, a career and a worldwide sports radio platform would come to be.
Fifty-eight years later, Barr says he applies the same philosophy every time he hits the air at 7 p.m. Pacific Monday through Friday with his daily program “Sports Byline USA,” which is now in its 31st year.
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