Valley Broadcast Legends
HOME    A/V    Bios & History    Contact Us    Links    Meetings/Events    Membership Info JOIN!    Signed-Off

Cal Bollwinkel

Robert "Bob" Spielman

(Copy by Jim Drennan)

If ever there was a guy who packed a lot of living into 83 years, it was our own Robert (Bob) Spielman. Bob passed away on July 26 after a career that included service at KCRA/3 and later at KRBK (later KMAX)/31.

Bob was born in Chicago but moved to Southern California at age 5. “As a kid I wanted to be in the motion picture business,” he recalled. “I grew up in Glendale near the studios and I would run to the gate and watch stars drive out to lunch.” When Bob was 12, his father won a small camera and gave it to his son. Right away, Bob was fascinated with photography and soon began developing his own film.

After a stint in the Air Force, Spielman went to San Francisco to visit a buddy and fell in love with the place … including the beatnik coffee house scene. He got a job as a photographer with a billboard company, but after growing tired of that and after marrying his first wife Diane, Bob landed a job as a photographer for a television station in Missoula, Montana. While there, also did the weather and a live kids’ show where he read to the children as a character named Bookworm.

After a year or so, he took a job at KCRA/3 as a film editor. Then, in the late 1970s, he operated his own camera store in Carmichael. After that … and his first marriage … ended, he bounced back by taking a job at Channel 31, from where he retired after 25 years. At 31 he did news photography as well as becoming film director for 31 and its sister station, KOVR/13. His job: screen films for content and find the best places to break for commercials. His other big break: being married to his second wife, Bettie McCullough, for 30-some years and being father to three daughters and stepfather to a daughter and a son.

As we said earlier, his life was a full one: he loved model trains, boats, planes, art, photography, electronics, sports, classical music, camping, travel and, of course, movies … especially the classics. In addition to VBL, Bob was a member of Mensa, the Sierra Club, and the Del Norte Swim Club.

last edited 22 May 2020