WLBT Alum celebrates 100th birthday - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

WLBT Alum celebrates 100th birthday

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

One of the people who helped put WLBT on the air in 1953 celebrated a huge milestone on Saturday -- his 100th birthday!

Bob Smathers arrived at Wynndale Presbyterian Church in a 1914 Ford -- a car as old as he is. Dozens of friends and family greeting him with applause.

Smathers started working in engineering at the age of 19, working for Jackson radio stations before getting a job as WLBT's chief engineer when it signed on the air in 1953.

He said he's humbled by what so many have done for him today.

"(I'm) kind of overcome with emotion," he said. "I think I should have had my cardiologist with me, because my heart's about to bust with emotion."

Smathers said his favorite things during his time at WLBT were "live remotes" from different areas of the state. Back then, much of the technology was experimental, so Smathers and his team learned their craft while on the job.

He also said he's amazed at how technology has changed over the years.

Smathers officially turns 100 on Wednesday.

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