MISSOULA — For more than two decades, KPAX has operated under the leadership of our General Manager Bob Hermes. And today, after more than 40 years in the television business, we say farewell to a manager who made this TV station Missoula’s best!
It was the early 80’s and a young Bob Hermes was a TV sports reporter who’d just graduated from the University of Montana with a Radio-TV degree.
“It kind of a bit me that the television industry was exciting and was something I wanted to keep doing and I enjoyed. [I] went from director into sports and became sports director and enjoyed that opportunity as well,” Bob said.
Bob eventually turned his TV talents to sales and in 1987 found himself at KPAX where he knew what he was doing was more than just making money.
“When you work with people, with business owners and make a difference for them, it’s exciting and then it becomes a partnership opportunity,” Bob said. “And it’s very exciting and exhilarating that you’re realizing you’re helping someone succeed which is what I really love.”
Including KPAX, which at the time, left a very small footprint. “You need to keep in mind KPAX came from a satellite of KXLF in Butte -- from a station that didn’t have a place in the market or ratings."
Bob was named KPAX General Manager in 1997 where he made sure to continue the legacy of community involvement -- from Bike for Shelter, the Missoula Food Bank, One Class at a Time, Salute the Badge and the KPAX Sports Awards.
“I think helping to give back and helping the community and those in need is important,” Bob said. “It enriches our employees and me -- and all of us, that we can help and gives back and I think when you give back those things come back to you. I believe in that," Bob said.
Bob has served on the Missoula City Council, as Missoula Chamber of Commerce president and serves on many boards. In his spare time, Bob recently earned his Master's Degree from Gonzaga and then wrote a book.
His love for sports keeps him behind the microphone for the Prep Game of the Week and helped shape youth sports from wrestling to football. Retirement will not do much to slow him down as the work ethic he saw in his parents when they ran a local restaurant made an impression.
“I got to model after that and that is me. And so, in retirement -- I don’t know how I'm going to handle that,” Bob said. “That’s probably the scariest part I'm moving to. I'll figure it out. I'm going to have to do something. All those nonprofits out there will be a little afraid,” Bob said. “I’ll be bothering them a lot.”
What does Bob want his legacy to be?
“And as you work over the decades you realize that’s what it’s all about, giving back giving more than you get. And helping, helping everybody that’s me now. And that’s what [it’s] going to be now,” Bob concluded.
Bob handed the keys to KPAX to our new general manager. Brian Joyce comes to us from our sister station in Denver. He has many family ties to Montana and is already getting to know his new town. We are excited to have him here.