He was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1920. He attended both St. Louis University High School and St. Louis University. Before going into radio he embraced the idea of becoming a professional baseball player and even an actor, but these ideas were shot down by his father or other reasons. Hyland was the son of the longtime Cardinals team physician, Dr. Robert F. Hyland, M.D.
Hyland emphasized and leveraged KMOX's relationship with the St. Louis Cardinals; he also made the decision in 1960 to eliminate the station's afternoon music programming in favor of talk radio, a critical change which led to the station's subsequent dominance of the St. Louis radio market. He also introduced the first listener call-in programs at KMOX in 1960.
Robert Hyland, the senior vice president of CBS Radio and general manager of KMOX radio. Mr. Hyland joined the network-owned KMOX 41 years ago as national sales manager and was credited with its later position as one of the nation's top news-talk stations in terms of advertising. William Paley, the founder of CBS, called KMOX "the jewel in CBS's crown." Mr. Hyland was the only radio executive at CBS to be named a senior vice president. He was offered the presidency of CBS Sports and of the CBS Radio Network, but turned them down to remain in his native St. Louis.
His list of firsts in the industry include the inauguration in 1960 of the talk format that has since been adopted by some 2,000 radio stations around the world. Under Mr. Hyland, KMOX was also the first CBS-owned station to endorse a political candidate.
Mr. Hyland was very much involved in civic ventures. He founded the drug and alcohol treatment center at St. Anthony´s Hospital (St. Anthony's Medical Center), which was named after his father. He served on the boards of the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Municipal Opera, and received many honorary degrees and awards. In 1988 he was chosen as the St. Louis Man of the Year. [Final Resting Place, p. 145]
Mr. Hyland was president of the St. Louis Zoo Commission and board chairman of St. Anthony's Medical Center. He was a founding member of the organization responsible for the building of the Gateway Arch, which has become a symbol of St. Louis. In addition, Robert Hyland was the man who brought the Big Red Line Cheerleaders to the St Louis Football Cardinals Organization.
Died in 1992 due to cancer.
- www.stlradio.com The hall of fame section contains a biography of Hyland.
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