Famous radio host retires after decades

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — One of the most familiar voices in Peoria radio is calling it a career after five decades at the mic.

WMBD radio news director Ed Hammond is retiring as the head of the news department after signing off for a final time Wednesday afternoon.

Hammond began his career 45 years ago at WPEO and loved doing sports play-by-play for local teams, including Bradley basketball. He then became a well-known news reporter and anchor. Hammond says there is nothing like it.

“Once you’re into it, the adrenaline starts going and you don’t really get a chance to relax maybe a little bit,” Hammond said.

Mike Wild, the Vice President and General Manager of the group that owns WMBD radio says Ed is really one of a kind.

“It really is remarkable that he has put the time into a 45-year career in this industry, and that he’s been so committed to it,” Wild said.

Hammond says a lot has changed in the news industry since his early days, changing the way stories are covered.

“And it’s more so now than it was before, with Twitter and Facebook and social media, and all that – everything is so, is more instantaneous than we thought it was before,” Hammond said.

He said he plans to spend more time with his adult children and his two-year-old grandson in retirement, but never fear you will still be able to hear him at the mic doing play-by-play for the Bradley Women’s basketball team.

To hear more from Hammond, subscribe to the WMBD News2Go podcast on your favorite service.

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