Bobby Best - WX4ALA

 
 

Bobby Best, WX4ALA who moved back to his hometown of Jasper, Alabama, that he grew up in, back in early 2014, is an almost 30-year veteran of the commercial broadcasting industry, but has just joined The ARN Team, as a reporter, in early Fall of 2015! Bobby got his first job as a disc jockey at a small 5,000-watt daytime-only station, when he was just 15 years old! After getting that first job and being on the air for just a short time, he was hooked on radio! 

Bobby went on to work at everything from a 1,000-watt daytime and 42-watt at night AM station and a 100-watt LPFM station, to big full 50,000-watt AM stations and 100,000-watt FM stations, one of which had their antenna on top of (at the time of its construction) "the second tallest manmade structure in the free world!" Bobby was given opportunities to move to large markets many times over the years, but choose to stay in Alabama, near his family instead... In Alabama, Bobby has worked in; the Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Muscle Shoals, and Huntsville/Decatur markets of North and Central, Alabama and the Mobile, Alabama radio market in Southwest, Alabama.... Presently he is; News Director, Staff Weatherman, and Host of; "Southern Gospel Review" a Sunday morning gospel show that is aired on a group of stations that simulcast his show every week, from his home broadcast studio....

In addition to Bobby's work resume, he has been and continues to be active in various non-profit groups, clubs, and the like... He has been honored by two different sitting Governors of Alabama for his work in this area and holds the honorary rank of; Colonel of The Alabama State Militia! At the age of 12, he raised the most money in the Southeast for The American Heart Association's "Jump Rope For Heart" school fund raiser and he continued for three years holding that record, until he got up in the age of a high school student....

Bobby is also very active with SKYWARN and has been active with ARES in the past as well, where he has held the position of; Assistant Emergency Coordinator in two different counties in Alabama. He was the founder of; "Northwest, Alabama SKYWARN" and The Winston County Amateur Radio/SKYWARN Group as well. Additionally, he has been active with; The Alabama Emergency Response Team (or ALERT) in the past. ALERT is the group that responds to The Birmingham Office of The National Weather Service, to man the ham station there and pass on reports from Amateur Radio Operators that are also trained and active members of a SKYWARN group, in Central, Alabama... Bobby has been on too many storm chase trips to count, including multiple trips to both the Midwestern and Great Plaines states.... He's also presently working on his Broadcast Meteorology Certificate...

Bobby, over the years, has also worked as The NET Manager and as NET Control Operator in two different counties in Northwest, Alabama on countless occasions. As a matter of fact, Bobby was the NET Control Operator, for his local Alabama county ARES group's SKYWARN Emergency Weather NET on April 27, 2011, the day of all the killer tornadoes!!! He's also worked as Amateur Radio Control Officer at The Birmingham Office of The National Weather Service, at The American Red Cross in Jasper, Alabama, The Walker County, Alabama EMA office, Lakeland Community Hospital, and other locations similar to those... As a member of SKYWARN and ARES Bobby has taken many CERT Classes, Emergency Communications Classes, and Classes, offered through The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, that deal with disasters...

Finally, Bobby's family and personal life includes; he comes from a very small family. His Dad, who passed away in 2007, in addition to supporting him 100% in his broadcasting career, was also his best friend! The loss of his Dad was sudden and very unexpected and it hit him HARD!!! Presently, he's left with his Mother, a Sister and Brother-in-law, and two very extra special kids, his Niece and Nephew, who he hopes will become interested in Amateur Radio!!! His Nephew is showing possible signs of just that... Additionally, Bobby's Girlfriend; Lynn who he's known and been in an on-again/off-again relationship for almost 25 years, came back into his life over 5 years ago, after being out of it for a number of years... Today, it's a "complicated" relationship, but a strong one, and obviously one that can stand the test of time, without a doubt!!!!!

More recently, while recovering from a limb threating illness, the result of a severe injury, that required several long term hospital stays, along with 3 surgeries, and 2 stays in a private, skilled nursing and rehab facility, he used his down time to add to his education. 

In recent years, several universities, with large Geoscience and Meteorology Departments, have started offering to college grads with a degree in another field , the opportunity to obtain a degree in one of three divisions of the Meteorology field. Already being an almost 30 year veteran of commercial broadcasting, plus his B.S. in Psychology, the degree of Broadcast Meteorologist was a natural choice for Bobby. With the above in mind, Bobby has obtained his Broadcast Meteorology degree recently (2016) and effective July 1, 2016 he'll be taking the position of Chief Meteorologist at "The Weather Radio Network", that offers daily weather forecast for radio stations all over the country... Additionally, he plans to test for his AMS Certified Seal and NWA Seal soon as well....

In addition to now being a degreed Broadcast Meteorologist, as well as an Amateur Radio Operator, during times of severe weather, when other Hams with SKYWARN or NWS training are out in the field passing "ground truth" reports to The National Weather Service, being a licensed Amateur Radio Operator allows Bobby the legal ability to communicate back and forth with them on Ham frequencies and pass their info along to his listeners on commercial radio, sometimes even faster than The NWS can get it out to the public! It's all about saving lives and anything or anyway he can do that, he will!!! Remember, when all else fails, there's Amateur Radio!!!

Callsign:  WX4ALA