Hal Ramey returns to KCBS after surgery


CBS RadioThe KCBS-AM San Francisco veteran sports anchor didn’t say a word for three months because of a growth on his vocal cords. The condition also kept him off the air for more than four.

Ramey, who has been on KCBS since 1987, first noticed a problem in February when his voice started getting hoarse. He took a few days off, but the problem just got worse, reported the Walnut Creek Patch (he’s a resident of that CA town).

In late February, doctors told Ramey he had a 2-centimeter nodule on his left vocal cord. Tests showed it wasn’t cancerous, so doctors told Ramey to give his vocal cords a rest.

That meant not saying a word, so he went on disability.

When a phone rang at the house, Ramey’s wife, Cathy, would answer it. He used a dry erase board to talk to his wife. He went through 30 markers during his months of silence.

For something to do, Ramey used his press credential to attend a dozen San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics games. He sat in the press box and handed written notes to his colleagues, the story said.

Ramey also wore a card around his neck that informed people he couldn’t speak due to a vocal cord injury. He would show it to friends as well as people at the gym and employees at the grocery store who asked him how his day was going.

“I didn’t want to seem rude,” he said.

The nodule initially shrank 60%, but then it stopped shrinking. Doctors decided to operate and successfully removed it. However, the sports anchor was told to speak only when necessary for the next six weeks.

Finally, on 7/1, Ramey went back on the air at KCBS. He said he learned a number of things during his months of silence, according to the story. First, he found out how concerned, kind and helpful people were when they were informed of the vocal cord problem. He also learned how much he loves being on the radio: “I’m really lucky. I have a job I really enjoy.”

See the Walnut Creek Patch story here.