||This biographical article is written like a résumé. (January 2014)|
Bruce Rader (1954) is an American broadcaster who has been the sports director of WAVY-TV and WVBT-TV in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach market since 1978. Rader is the longest active news anchor in the Hampton Roads market, but is known as much for his community service as his on-air career.
Early life and career
His first broadcasting job came when he was hired by the late Pierre Eaton, the owner and general manager of his hometown radio station, WINX, in Rockville, Maryland. There Rader hosted a high school sports show and did play by play for local high school football games on WINX. During some of these games he was joined by then University of Maryland basketball All-American Len Elmore who after a successful career in the NBA is now a well known broadcaster for CBS Sports.
In 1974 Rader began his television career working in the newsroom at WMAL-TV (ABC) during the final days of Watergate and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He briefly worked for Sports Director Steve Bassett before moving to Norfolk.
In 1975 Rader was hired by news director Tony Burton as the assignment editor at WVEC, the ABC affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1977 he joined WAVY, the NBC affiliate as weekend sportscaster and weekday news reporter covering Virginia Beach. On January 1, 1979 Rader was named Sports Director.
The Bruce Rader-St. Jude Golf Tournament, is now in its 19th year and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children's Hospital. His charity foundation, Bruce Rader Charities, is also very active in Hampton Roads. Bruce also works with the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, Seaton Youth Shelter, Virginia Beach SPCA, Horizons Hampton Roads and various other local charities. For over 30 years Bruce has hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon every Labor Day weekend on WAVY-TV.
Awards and professional distinctions
Bruce was honored with the 48th annual Tidewater Humanitarian Award by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities in 2012. In 2007 Rader was the recipient of the George A. Bowles, Jr. Broadcast Journalism Award from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. The award is presented every year to a broadcast news journalist who has longevity in Virginia broadcasting, is respected by his peers and who exhibits enthusiasm for his work and the community. In 2006 Bruce was presented the Abe Goldblatt Memorial Award by the Norfolk Sports Club, a lifetime achievement award.
Hampton University President William R. Harvey presented Bruce with "The Presidential Award for Outstanding Citizenship", recognizing him for virtues of decency, dignity, and human rights.
In 2005 Rader was inducted into the CIAA Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Established in 1912, the CIAA is the nation's oldest black athletic conference, rich in history and heritage. He is a multiple winner of the "CIAA Sportscaster of the Year" award, he was twice honored as the "Tidewater Sportscaster of the Year", and the Virginia Beach Alumni Chapter at Norfolk State University honored him with an award for Excellence in Sports Media. Honors also include multiple "Best Sports Award" from the Associated Press, "Sportscaster of the Year" from Virginia's United Press International as well as a "District Leadership Award" from the United Negro College Fund. Bruce has also been inducted into the Peninsula (Hampton) Baseball Hall of Fame. He is a lifetime member of the Portsmouth Sports Club.
Rader covered the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. He was selected to carry the Olympic Torch in both 1996 through Charlottesville, VA and 2002 near the Pentagon. He has also covered six Super Bowls for WAVY, including all four Washington Redskins appearances during the Joe Gibbs era.