Thursday, June 27, 2013

Looking Ahead to 2014 for the National Radio Hall of Fame for Bob Crane

By Carol Ford
Here we go again!

The National Radio Hall of Fame has announced the inductees for the Class of 2013, and for the third year in a row, Bob Crane has been overlooked. We are left to wonder why.

Bob Crane in his KNX studio booth, Hollywood, CA
May 1964

The number of individuals inducted each year varies. I first nominated Bob Crane in 2011 after discussions with the National Radio Hall of Fame, who agreed he should be included. At that time, there was a public voting process, which is why this and all of our awareness campaign exists. However, in 2011, the National Radio Hall of Fame Steering Committee decided to forego public voting to honor a select few from the Golden Age of Radio. They assured me that Bob's nomination would remain on file for consideration in future classes. To keep his nomination active, I respectfully resubmitted the nomination in 2012 with the understanding that public voting would go forward as planned. But at the last minute, the Steering Committee changed the rules and suspended public voting indefinitely, claiming that they are the ones "in the know" - not the public - and therefore, should be the only voice as to who should be inducted. I again respectfully resubmitted Bob's nomination in early 2013 as I had in 2012. That he is not included again this year as a pioneer in radio is greatly disappointing. Bob Crane can be credited with so much in the radio and broadcasting industry, and to not recognize him properly is a travesty. So many who have already been inducted looked to Bob as a role model in the industry. It is a huge disappointment that he continues to be ignored.

Bob Crane in his WICC studio booth, Bridgeport, CT
Circa 1952

The question persists: Is he being ignored because of his proclivities to sex? Perhaps. But let's consider this. If everyone's private life were taken into account as criteria for any prestigious award, I think it would be a safe bet that there would be quite a few people missing from those lists of honor. Many individuals who have been honored for their work boast similar, if not more outlandish, proclivities than what Bob had done. And it is important to keep in mind two things - 1) Bob was only having sex with and photographing adult women with their consent, and thus, breaking no laws outside his wedding vows, and 2) he recognized this as a very serious and destructive force in his life, calling it an addiction, and sought professional help. None of this in his private life should have been hauled before the media and to the public in the manner in which it was, without any explanation or understanding, all for the sake of profit. If we're going to judge Bob Crane solely by his addiction, then every other person who has ever been inducted into any Hall of Fame or bestowed any kind of honor should be held to the same rigorous judgment as they are doing with Bob.

This does not mean we should do this. However, my point is that Bob should not be treated differently or viewed so harshly because of his addiction.

We look to 2014 with optimism. A new year. A new chance. A new book that tells the real story about Bob Crane. And in the meantime, I encourage you to spread the word. We will see him honored. We - Bob's family, friends, colleagues, and fans - our spirits are high, and we will not give up!