After 33 years of anchoring newscasts at Meredith-owned Fox affiliate WALA Mobile, Ala. (DMA 59), Bob Grip has announced plans to retire. He will sign off at the end of January 2019, for the last time. He announced his retirement to co-workers last Friday afternoon. Grip’s career spans 48 years. He first worked as a […]
After 33 years of anchoring newscasts at Meredith-owned Fox affiliate WALA Mobile, Ala. (DMA 59), Bob Grip has announced plans to retire. He will sign off at the end of January 2019, for the last time. He announced his retirement to co-workers last Friday afternoon.
Grip’s career spans 48 years. He first worked as a disc jockey at WBIS-AM near his hometown in central Connecticut. In 1984, after holding earlier positions in Mobile, and later Portsmouth, Va., Grip took over anchor duties at WALA and has called the Gulf Coast home ever since.
His accomplishments at WALA include meeting Pope John Paul II at the Vatican for a 1988 documentary and reporting live from war-ravaged Kuwait in 1993.
He established the weekly series Fugitive Files, which has run for 24 years and helped law enforcement apprehend more than 700 suspects.
He also produced week-long series from Paris and Versailles, France in 1998 and Madrid, Spain in 2001.
Recently, Grip produced an award-winning series of reports from the Farnborough International Air Show in the United Kingdom.
Grip’s career in journalism has also been noted for its impact in the community. He has been recognized by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department for his contribution to the efforts of law enforcement.
In 2016, the Mobile County Public School System recognized him with the Academic Leadership award for his work with the Hi-Q academic competition for local high schools. In addition, he taught journalism at Spring Hill College for more than 25 years, helping to prepare the next generation of journalists.
Reflecting on his years in broadcasting, Grip said, “It was always my dream to work in broadcasting, even as a teenager. It still makes me laugh to think a guidance counselor tried to discourage me, telling me to ‘Do something normal’. I wanted to do extraordinary things, but never imagined I would get to meet Presidents, talk with a Pope and travel around the country and the world. By far though, the most rewarding part of my career in journalism has been serving our community. I have been honored to work side-by-side with many wonderful people from across the Gulf Coast. I hope to continue to share what I’ve learned in service to others.”
Gary Yoder, WALA general manager, highlighted Grip’s contributions to local broadcasting. “For decades, Bob has been a pillar of journalism in our community. He has been the one that many have turned to, in good times and bad, to deliver the news over the years. His retirement leaves some very big shoes to fill. Our search is already underway to find someone who will report the day’s news in the tradition that Bob has established. I intend to enjoy this final year of broadcasting with Bob. I hope that viewers will enjoy every day with Bob in the same way I will. He may be retiring, but he will always be a part of the WALA family. Bob will be missed.”