Wednesday, August 02, 2017

RIP Joe Collins

This one's a gutpunch. WBBM NewsRadio announced the passing of longtime traffic reporter Joe Collins. In a rough and tumble business, Joe was the nicest person I ever met. He would have given anything to anyone he loved, and he loved everyone. We loved him too. So sad. RIP, Joe. You were the best.

I worked with Joe at WJMK, and we collaborated on a book that Joe never got a chance to finish. He was writing a book about the old WLS/WCFL battles of the 1960s, and I helped set up interviews with people like Dick Biondi, Larry Lujack, and more. A few years ago he was already not able to type, and was forced to buy voice recognition software. And then he just became too weak. Last time I spoke on the phone with him, he told me that he didn't think he'd ever be able to finish it.

I profiled Joe twice over the years.

In 2008 he was still the afternoon traffic reporter at WBBM, and I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight.

In 2013, after he announced he could no longer continue at WBBM, I interviewed Joe again for the Illinois Entertainer.