is a former sportscaster
in Boston, Massachusetts
. He anchored the sports segments on the evening newscasts between Sunday and Thursday, and hosted the weekly programs Sports Final
and Patriots 5th Quarter
. During a round of layoffs in April 2008, Lobel's contract was bought out by the station.
A native of Apple Creek, Ohio
, Lobel joined the station as weekend sports anchor in 1979 and was promoted to weekday anchor and sports director in 1981. Before joining the television side of WBZ, Lobel worked at WBZ radio
for three years, most notably as the co-host (with Upton Bell
) of Calling All Sports
, a sports talk show that aired nightly on the station. He also worked at WJOY
in Burlington, Vermont
in Manchester, New Hampshire
Lobel has also done some play-by-play work, calling WBZ's annual broadcast of the Boston Marathon and two NFL games for NBC in 1985. He was a sideline reporter for the NCAA Mens' Basketball Tournament between 1995 and 1997.
On the air, Lobel was known for using props and catchphrases during his sportscasts:
- "Why can't we get players like that?" - when any former player for a Boston team is shown making a big play for his new team. This is emphasized in instances when the former Boston player burns a Boston team.
- the "Panic Button" when a local team is on a losing streak
- a support beam from the Boston Garden occasionally used for Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics highlights.
Lobel is also known for his local charity work for Children's Hospital and The Genesis Fund among many others.
During a 2003 edition of Sports Final, Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said that the wife of New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd needed someone to "smack" her for taking his young children to NBA playoff games where they could be taunted. Kidd had recently faced charges of domestic violence. Lobel immediately interrupted Ryan and tried to get Ryan to retract his comment, but Ryan refused. The Globe suspended Ryan for three weeks. In an Internet chat that summer, Lobel said that his actions were not "an act of heroism on my part, just knowing what is acceptable and what is not acceptable".
On April 2 2008, it was announced that Lobel will be released from WBZ-TV after almost thirty years with the station.
In September 2008, Lobel was hired as a co-host on a morning talk show on WODS-FM
, "Oldies 103.3". The show, co-hosted by Karen Blake
, will feature cover a range of topics including sports.
Lobel has been reported as having appeared on air in an intoxicated state which Lobel denies.
An edition of the comic strip Get Fuzzy
published on May 13
, 2005 resulted in legal action. In the original strip, charcters Rob, Bucky and Satchel are watching television. Satchel asks "Is this sportscaster... drunk
?" Rob replies "Lobel? Who knows. He's like some TV outreach program or something."
Less than a week later, Lobel filed a libel lawsuit against cartoonist Darby Conley, United Features Syndicate, and the New Bedford Standard-Times newspaper. The New Bedford paper was named specifically because it did not censor the strip as several other Boston-area papers did, including The Boston Globe; most either refused to run the strip or substituted "Him?" in place of Lobel's name. The lawsuit claimed that the strip was both personally and professionally damaging, especially given that his contract was under negotiation for renewal at the time.
On November 16, 2005, a brief article in the Boston Herald reported that Lobel and Conley had settled the suit out of court. Conley made a public apology to Lobel, saying the strip was not intended to imply that he had been drunk on the air. Further details of the settlement were confidential, but the Herald quoted an unnamed source as saying Conley had made a substantial donation to charity.
The strip was left out of the Get Fuzzy collection Take Our Cat, Please.
In late 2004, the Boston Herald reported that he had an extra-marital affair. Lobel has denied all allegations, but has admitted he has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.