Bob Lonsberry (born July 18, 1959) is an American radio talk show host, columnist, author and conservative.
He has been a newspaper reporter, columnist, photojournalist and editor, as well as a magazine writer and commentator on radio and television and a television reporter and manager. He is the author of "The Early Years," a collection of newspaper columns, as well as a collection of essays, and four short novels.
Once using the promotional tagline "The most fired man in Rochester media," Lonsberry hosts two radio talk shows featuring a mix of news, political commentary, callers, and day-to-day anecdotes. One show airs on WHAM (AM) in Rochester, New York from 8 AM to 12 PM ET. The other airs on WSYR (AM) in Syracuse, New York from 3 PM to 6 PM. website.
Lonsberry almost always expresses a conservative opinion about the issues he discusses on his talk shows. Typically, Lonsberry spends most of his shows discussing local and state issues—less frequently discussing national issues. Lonsberry also discusses life and family issues. Lonsberry is married to his third wife. He and his first wife divorced and his second marriage was annulled.
In February 2009, Lonsberry coined the term FUBO and began selling T-shirts and other merchandise with the term at fubowear.com. This term, an acronym for the phrase "F-ck U Barack Obama", is often used on his radio show to express disgust with the actions and policies of the US President. He also promotes NOBO (NO Barack Obama) apparel and accessories.
Controversy, firing, rehiring, and latest firing
While Lonsberry was working as a talk show host for WHAM-Rochester in late 2003, an orangutan had temporarily escaped its cage in Rochester's Seneca Park Zoo. Lonsberry made the comment while monkey sounds played, "a monkey's loose up at the zoo again--and he's running for county executive." He was insinuating that Mayor Johnson was unfit for the position. The two candidates were Maggie A. Brooks, a white woman who was then county clerk, and William A. Johnson, Jr., a black man who was then mayor. Lonsberry never mentioned the three-term mayor by name. WHAM radio said in a statement that "although Mr. Lonsberry expressed a willingness to change, it became obvious to us that he is not embracing diversity."
Lonsberry was later fired from WHAM-AM for the remarks (but not from KNRS, both Clear Channel radio stations). When WHAM ratings in his time slot plunged, he was rehired following completion of sensitivity training. During his absence, many fans of his Rochester show boycotted the station and its sponsors until he was returned to the airwaves.
On June 16, 2010, Lonsberry was fired from KNRS in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he'd hosted show weekdays between 5 AM to 9 AM MT for a decade. In Lonsberry's daily web column, he indicated that the station attributed his firing to his lower listener ratings following the introduction of the Portable People Meter. Lonsberry also suggests that his opposition to Republican primary candidate for US Senate, Mike Lee, a Utah-based attorney whose employer, a law firm whose clients includes one of KNRS's advertisers, may have been a factor in his firing. Lonsberry writes:
- Of course, being suspicious is my stock-in-trade, and the timing of my termination and the stand I’ve been taking on the looming senatorial primary and the fact I’ve been opposing a candidate who made $600,000 from one of our largest advertisers last year, does make me wonder. Strings get pulled in the real world, and politics is hardball, and our program’s effort helped tip the nominating convention, so it’s not impossible that I lost my job in Salt Lake so that somebody else could get a job in Washington.
Lonsberry vocally supported Mike Lee's primary-election opponent, Tim Bridgewater, a businessman and former Chairman of the Utah County Republican Party. The Bridgewater Campaign subsequently pulled all its ads from radio station KNRS.
Interest in Lonsberry's firing from KNRS was high with over a thousand reader comments—several times the normal response—to Lonsberry's weekday blog. Lonsberry fans also started a grassroots listener campaign with the objective of restoring Lonsberry to his position (www.bringbobbacktoutah.com). Lonsberry returned to the Utah airwaves in February 2011 on radio station KLO 1430AM.
On December 20, 2011, Lonsberry announced that he was doing his last morning broadcast on KLO due to an upcoming schedule change at WHAM. Lonsberry no longer broadcasts in the Utah radio market.
While the content of Lonsberry's Rochester and Salt Lake City shows were politically and socially conservative, his approach in two broadcast markets differed due to local content and interests. The former Salt Lake City show was more genteel and included frequent religious references whereas the Rochester show is more raucous and occasionally risqué. (On the WHAM show, Lonsberry frequently mentions his affinity for women's breasts.) Lonsberry broadcasts his Rochester show from the WHAM studio, although he occasionally originates the program from his home.
In November of 2019, Lonsberry was ridiculed online after comparing the word “boomer” to the N-word. The phrase "OK Boomer" had been used on the video sharing app TikTok by Generation Z and millennials to show their resentment toward baby boomers. Dictionary.com chimed in on the controversy, noting that "Boomer is an informal noun referring to a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965" and "The n-word is one of the most offensive words in the English language."
Lonsberry is a former columnist for the Rochester Times-Union. Lonsberry currently writes a weekday column published on his own website. Lonsberry has also been published in The Washington Times and on the National Rifle Association's website, nra.com.
Lonsberry has authored five books:
- A Various Language (ISBN 1-59955-007-5)
- Baghdad Christmas (ISBN 1-55517-971-1)
- Hopiland Christmas (ISBN 1-59955-069-5)
- Santa Monica Christmas (ISBN 1613647700).
- A Joseph Avenue Christmas (ISBN 1934537446)
Lonsberry was an LDS (Mormon) missionary on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in the American Southwest. Lonsberry claimed to attend the LDS church but had been excommunicated for bad conduct some time before 2001. Although less frequently than on KNRS, he continues to discuss religious topics on his WHAM show and still considers himself an adherent of Mormonism. He has written in defense of the veracity of the Book of Mormon and of Mormonism's place in the broader religion of Christianity. Lonsberry avoids publicly discussing his former membership status in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) but has often discussed topics related to the church during his radio shows. These religious discussions were frequent on the former Salt Lake City show but are discussed much less often with the Rochester and Syracuse area audiences. As of 2019, Lonsberry's Twitter bio states that he has since reconciled with and rejoined the LDS church.
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Lonsberry, Bob (July 21, 2019). "My run across the Grand Canyon". WHAM. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
Last week, on my 60th birthday (...) last Thursday (...)
- "bob lonsberry dot com". www.lonsberry.com. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-12-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Seely, Hart (23 February 2012). "Bob Lonsberry: Listen to him or not, he still makes noise". Syracuse Post Standard.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2009-01-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-03-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2010-06-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Herbert, Geoff (2019-11-04). "Radio host Bob Lonsberry says 'boomer' is like N-word, gets ridiculed online". syracuse. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- Moniuszko, Sara M. "Radio host schooled after comparing 'boomer' to N-word; Dictionary.com, more on Twitter react". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- Miller, Ryan C. "Bob Lonsberry compares 'boomer' to N-word, Dictionary.com tells him to watch his language". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- "YOUR HOST TELLS HIS LAME STORY". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Column in the Washington Times Archived October 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- "Santa Monica Christmas [Paperback]". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Famous Mormons in the Media Archived 2008-04-15 at the Wayback Machine