KCBS is reporting that its former morning traffic anchor Ron Lyons, who blended warmth and humor with reports of back-ups, has died after a battle with cancer at age 69. Lyons retired from the KCBS traffic studio in 2004 after a 49-year career in radio. He then settled with his wife on the Oregon coast. He died in a Medford hospital Friday night. His natural talent as a broadcaster made him a star in all formats, from music to talk to news. Before joining KCBS in the 1980s, he worked at KEWB, KNBR and KNEW.
Lyons was born in Asheville, North Carolina. His radio career began in 1955, when he was in high school, spinning rock 'n' roll records, his KCBS bio says. He hit the San Francisco airwaves in 1962 after the Army drafted him and assigned him to the Presidio. The stars he interviewed over the years included Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.
His love of music stayed with him after his days as a disc jockey. In a note on his Web site he said, "No matter how much you love people and how much they love you, there are just simply places and things you have to go through alone. Sometimes, the music is the only candle that lights the darkness." The KCBS Web site has comments from recent co-workers who not only worked with him but, in some cases, listenend to him when he was a music disc jockey. (Photo credits: ronlyonsradio.com, at KEWB in 1962, KNBR in 1965 and KCBS in 1999)