KQV-AM icon Bob Dickey passes


KQV-AM Pittsburgh News Director Frank Gottlieb had some sad news to deliver over the holidays. Station President/GM Robert W. Dickey Sr., the man responsible for bringing all-news radio to Pittsburgh, has died 12/24. He was hired from All-News 1010 WINS-AM New York 36 years ago to turn KQV into Pittsburgh’s first and only All News radio station: “In 1975 when then-owner Taft Broadcasting decided to change the All-News format–a format which was Dickey’s passion–he approached newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife for help financing the purchase of the station. The company they formed–Calvary Incorporated–has owned and operated All News KQV ever since.”

Bob Dickey was just short of 85 when he died after a brief illness.

When Dickey moved back to Pittsburgh in 1976 when he accepted a job as FM of Taft’s WDVE-FM and KQV. When he feared KQV and its all-news format were in jeopardy, in 1982, he and Scaife bought the station.

Except for a short stint when he sold Dictaphone machines to support his young family he spent virtually his entire career in broadcasting. He worked on-air at WJAS and KDKA in the ‘Burgh. At KDKA Dickey was ‘Mac Ryder,’ the on-the-street reporter on Bob Tracy’s overnight program the “Knight Rider Show,” where he interviewed people who were working and out & about after dark.

Dickey went from air talent to sales at KDKA and rose through the ranks at then-owner Westinghouse Broadcasting, which moved him to NYC where he helped create the All-News format at WINS before moving back to Pittsburgh.

“After 36 years, the KQV he created is unusual in today’s broadcast world… maintaining the same ownership, with a format virtually unchanged through the years. Many of the people who work at KQV have been here for 25 or more years–a testament to Bob Dickey’s loyalty to his staff–and the staff’s loyalty to him,” noted Gottlieb. “He never considered retirement. At 85, Dickey continued as KQV President and General Manager, coming to work virtually every day, working with the sales department, coming up with listener poll ideas, and writing editorials. The winner of numerous awards for his editorials, the Bob Dickey you heard was a reflection of the man, and the love he had for his hometown.”

Dickey was also very much a family man. He and his late wife Pat had 12 children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.