Robert S. “Bob” Triplett died April 5 at age 97. He passed away at the VA Medical Center in Chillicothe, Ohio, just south of his birthplace of Kingston, and is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Triplett “always had an interest in radio,” according to his son — who goes by his air name Ed Douglas and is senior vice president of affiliate relations for Tom Kent Radio Network. In fact, Douglas says Triplett had wanted to start a station in Chillicothe in the 1940s, but couldn’t raise the funds.
Instead, Triplett served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, training pilots to use radar during combat missions. After the war, Triplett had a variety of diverse careers, including Philco radio salesman, until he became a broadcast engineer in 1966 and went on to be general manager of Wellston, Ohio’s WKOV.
[Jim Withers reminisces about his Philco radio]
Then, in 1972, Triplett co-founded Triplett Broadcasting Co. with his brother Wendell. Together, they owned and built several radio stations in Ohio and Kentucky and one in Tennessee. The first Triplett stations were WOGM(FM) and WTOO(AM) in Bellefontaine, Ohio. The company later launched then WWAT(TV) (now WWHO-TV), Channel 53, in Chillicothe (listed as part of the Columbus, Ohio, market).
At age 70, Bob Triplett retired from his full-time job and became a contract engineer. According to his son, Triplett worked on his last transmitter at 94 years old. According to his obituary, the family is planning a memorial service and will announce details when gatherings are again allowed.