ALBANY- One of the best known and celebrated figures in the Capital Region radio and television news died on Saturday, March 21, 2020. He died after a long illness in the care of Hospice.
Bob was born in Albany, NY. He graduated from Bethlehem Central High School. He went on to obtain a dual major in Political Science and Economics/Business from the University at Albany and Russell Sage College.
For most of the second half of the twentieth century, Bob Lawson was an award winning broadcast journalist for first WPTR-radio and then WTEN-TV. Also he was well known as the “voice” of Siena College basketball games and the Albany-Colonie Yankees baseball teams and was a major figure on the Capital District labor scene, serving as Communications Director for Council 82.
As news director at WPTR radio from 1966-1974, Lawson hired some of the best known reporters such as Doug Myers, Tracey Egan, and Jon Kelley.
“He gave me my first job in news,” said Myers, who is now spokesman for the Albany International Airport. “Back then, most local radio news consisted of reports on fires and fender-benders. Bob changed all that, covering the legislature and other, more important news in peoples’ lives.”
Later in his career, Bob would become Spokesman for the New York State Insurance Fund.
Bob also was a member of the Legislative Correspondents Association and won a number of awards for his state and local coverage. During his time at Channel 10, from 1974-1990, Bob covered both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, filing reports every four years that were news worthy and popular. Bob’s passion for politics and government was put to use when he served former Congressman John Sweeney as campaign Press Secretary.
Bob, who was also known to many of his family and friends as “Bubba” was very proud of his Scandinavian ancestry. On News Year’s Day he would break out pickled herring, which is an old Scandinavian custom.
Bob took great joy in the game of golf and while at Council 82, Bob helped stage the union’s annual charity golf tournament. Bubba counted down the days to March, when he joined a group of his close friends in Florida, who shared in his same passion for golf to tune up his game.
Bob was predeceased by his mother and father, as well as his step-mother. Survivors are his beloved friend and companion Stephanie Temshiv of Albany, his step daughters: Amy Bowerman of Utica and Courtney Sitterly of Latham and his step granddaughter, Mackenzie Bowerman. Also survived by many dear friends and colleagues within the news industry.
All services will be private at the convenience of the family. To leave a special message for the family, please visit NewComerAlbany.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bob’s name may be made to The Community Hospice of Schenectady, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205 or to a charity of your choice.