BY LARRY VAUGHT
He’s not flashy or overly dramatic, but just being himself worked perfectly for Rob Bromley at WKYT-TV (Channel 27) in Lexington for just over 40 years.
That run ends Sept. 29 when Bromley retires after doing what he came to love — covering University of Kentucky sports.
“I have been lucky. My whole style and demeanor came through on air and it worked for me over the years,” said Bromley. “I lasted with my calm demeanor. It’s not easy to sell another style, or would not have been for me. I was able to make it work. The way I went about things was always accepted by the viewers and the way management felt was best for me and the station.”
His parents were not big sports fans. He grew up in New York watching games on a black-and-white TV or listening on the radio. In high school, he got involved in drama and public speaking.
“My parents never pushed me into anything,” Bromley said.
He decided to attend Butler University in Indianapolis without ever seeing the school. He got his first job at an Indianapolis radio station while he was still in college He started his professional career at Lima, Ohio, as news and sports director of WCIT Radio. His first TV job came as sports director in Lima, Ohio, at the NBC affiliate in 1974.
“It felt so good to sleep in after being on early morning radio,” Bromley said.
Bromley was raised watching baseball and then football. He would listen and watch New York Yankees games. Basketball grew on him.
“You guys are raised different here. You are raised watching college sports. I was more raised watching pro sports,” Bromley said.
He has a lot of special memories like the halfcourt shot Paul Andrews hit in 1982 to win the high school state championship for Laurel County or 1979 state title Lafayette won under coach Jock Sutherland.
Bromley believes last season’s UK-North Carolina game in Las Vegas was the best regular-season basketball game he covered. He also has a fond spot in his heart for the 1998 UK-Duke NCAA Tournament game in St. Petersburg where UK rallied to win and then won the national title.
However, one night he’ll likely never forget came earlier this month when the Lexington Legends had Rob Bromley Bobblehead Night and he threw out the game’s first pitch. Over 900 bobbleheads were handed out to fans and he signed autographs for about 45 minutes.
“Everybody out there was wonderful. It was just a special night, just fantastic,” Bromley said.
Another of those “special” nights will be Sept. 29 when he does his final sportscast on the 11 p.m. news on WKYT. He hopes to have figured out how many sportscasts he has done in 40 plus years when he goes on air that night.
He’ll cover his final UK game when the Wildcats host Florida Sept. 23. What a fitting send-off for Bromley if the Cats (3-0) ended their long losing streak against the Gators then. Maybe Bromley could lead the crowd storming the field after the game if it happens.
“It will be emotional not doing sports any more. It really has not hit me yet,” Bromley said. “It was over 40 years ago I did my first sportscast for WKYT. I don’t know what it will be like not to do it any more.”
Just like many viewers won’t know what it is like not to have Bromley on the air any more because he’s been a central Kentucky TV fixture for so, so long and done it so, so well.