Bob Inskeep was a popular morning radio announcer at WRAL-FM during the 1970s and ‘80s.
Known as “F.B.I.” – which stood for “Famous Bob Inskeep” – Bob combined a laid-back conversational style with a keen wit and biting sense of humor to win legions of fans for his morning show on MIX-101.5.
Inskeep came to WRAL-FM in 1974, not long after the station changed its programing to the popular Adult Contemporary format. He was on the air 3 ½ hours each morning delivering a mix of music, interviews, prepared sketches and impromptu humor. Listeners loved him and he was named “Best in the Triangle” five years running in the annual poll conducted by Spectator Magazine.
Inskeep was born in Urbana, Ohio, but moved with his family to Rockwell, Maryland where he graduated high school. He went on to Virginia Tech University where he got his first radio experience at the campus station. At first Bob produced commercials, but he soon got his first regular on-air role as the host of a folk music program.
Inskeep’s first commercial radio job came at WCFV in the small town of Clifton Forge, Virginia. Stints at other Virginia stations followed, including a sales job in Roanoke with announcer Adrian Cronauer, who would go on to fame as the subject of the movie “Good Morning Vietnam.”
Bob first came to North Carolina for a sales job at WDNC AM/FM in Durham. He next moved to WCHL-AM in Chapel Hill, and that’s where he got his first morning announcing shift. In 1974 a job opened at WRAL-FM and Inskeep was hired as the station’s Operations Manager.
Over the next 15 years, Inskeep entertained Triangle listeners as the always-likable “F.B.I.” One of his hallmarks was community involvement, and Inskeep appeared at telethons, broadcast from the United Way’s hot air balloon, did charity “Walkathons” and made countless appearances and speeches at festivals, parades and meetings. His tireless community spirit won him a permanent place in the heart of the Triangle community.
In the late 1980s Inskeep felt the urge to help others in need of personal counseling. He began taking courses at Duke University Divinity School to gain practical knowledge, but before long he felt a deeper calling that pulled him toward the ministry. Bob acted on that call and enrolled in pastoral classes that set the stage for the next phase of his career. He completed fifteen courses at Duke Divinity School between 1979 and 1986.
Bob remained on the air at MIX-101.5 for the next three years, but left morning radio behind and moved into a corporate role at CBC in late 1989. The next year he left the company for good and headed north to Richmond where he enrolled at Union Presbyterian Seminary. He earned his Masters of Divinity at Union in 1994 and was ordained a Presbyterian minister.
Today Bob Inskeep is Associate Minister at Raleigh’s First Presbyterian Church.