13 at 65: Bob Murray

Published: Sep. 7, 2018 at 11:30 PM CDT
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Former WIBW-TV news anchor Bob Murray went on to a career helping candidates and elected officials manage the media.

Murray anchored 13 NEWS 1988 to 1990. His career started in radio in the 1970s before he took a job in Omaha that moved him into the television side.

"I was excited to come back to Topeka," he said. "WIBW has always been such a strong television station, with a great reputation and so there was pressure. You didn’t want to be the person to fail at that."

Murray said his television reporting took him to various political stories, including national political conventions. When he decided to leave TV news, he accepted a job with Kansas Travel and Tourism, only to be out of work a year later when political administrations changed.

His next move would be to Washington, D.C.

"I joined the White House and worked for Vice President Dan Quayle. (I) traveled all over the world in two years with him," Murray said. "In 1996, I went to work for Steve Forbes when he was running for president. That campaign didn’t last all that long. The day he dropped out of the race I got on a plane to fly back to Topeka. It so happened then-Congressman Sam Brownback was on the same plane. He recognized me from my days at channel 13 and we started a conversation on the plane. Several weeks later, when Senator Dole announced he was going to...resign and run for president, then-Congressman Brownback told his people, when he was going to run for the Senate, 'See what that Bob Murray is doing - when I talked to him last he didn’t have anything!' I Started with him and spent 20 years with Sam Brownback."

During that time, Murray was granted permission to work on a campaign, and was among the first advance team members for Sen. John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. Murray stayed on for McCain's book tour and joined his 2008 campaign staff as well.

With McCain's recent death, Murray is cherishing the memories.

"In my whole advance career, these are highlights - when we won the New Hampshire primary - that sticks out in my mind, and some of the times we just spent together, the two of us in a car traveling all around the country...that was fun times," he said.

Looking back, Murray said his career was the best of both worlds.

"It all started accidentally but it also happened because of my broadcasting background," he said. "I’ve never strayed too far away from it because in all the things I’ve done I’ve had dealings with the press and I enjoy that."

Murray works for Gov. Jeff Colyer. He says he expects he will retire once Colyer's term is finished.