You probably know him as the astute and amiable face of WHHI-TV’s local news coverage, or perhaps as the dulcet voice that delivers your headlines and traffic report on drive-time radio each morning, but the journey to this point in Bob Stevens’ career has been quite a ride. We talked with Stevens about his time as an ESPN SportsCenter anchor and what he loves about the Lowcountry.
Q. You were an anchor on SportsCenter before you
came to Hilton Head. How did that come about?
A. I had interviewed at ESPN a couple of other times when they were looking for people when I lived in Cleveland. And then the third time they were actually launching ESPN News in 1996, they just offered me the job. About six months later I just started showing up on the SportsCenter schedule, so I guess I got a promotion and didn’t know it. I did a little more than six months of ESPN News, the job I was hired for, and then the other 5 ½ years of SportsCenter.
Q. What are some of your highlights from your time there?
A. The day baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 (in 1997)Keith Olbermann went down to Shea Stadium, and somebody else needed to co-anchor SportsCenter that night, and that somebody else happened to be me. Rich Eisen tells the story about how he still doesn’t understand why it was me and not somebody else that has, you know, gone on and done stuff. But (Dan) Patrick and I did the show that night, and it was a lot of fun.
Q. How did you find your way from Bristol to Hilton Head?
A. We had to decide what to do when they didn’t renew my contract the third time. When we lived in Cleveland, our weatherman at the station owned a house down here and kind of time-shared it out to a bunch of his friends, and we were one of those. My wife and I agreed this would be a terrific place to retire. One of the neatest things about the Lowcountry in general is that most everybody made a conscious choice to come here, and so they want to make it the paradise they wanted to move to.
Q. You said you moved here to retire, but that
obviously hasn’t happened yet.
A. Soon after I got here I started doing radio for PGA Tour and did that for six more years from 2007, and that was 20 weeks a year of traveling around with the tour, which was hugely fun. And then for about 10 years I’ve been doing work with WHHI, and I’ve also been doing morning radio, news and traffic, for about 10 years.