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story.lead_photo.caption Sean Clancy, Paper Trails columnist

OFF THE AIR A familiar voice has been missing on central Arkansas' radio airwaves.

On April 10, Tom Wood was let go from his position as public affairs director at iHeartMedia, which owns four stations in Little Rock.

"They really pulled the rug out from under me. I didn't see this one coming," Wood said last week, somehow still sounding genial as ever on the day after he'd cleaned out his desk at the Clear Channel Metroplex.

"I was told it was a reorganization of the company, whatever that means," he says.

In March 2018, iHeartMedia, which owns 850 radio stations, filed for bankruptcy.

Wood, 66, has been in the Little Rock market since 1980, when he came here from Peoria, Ill., to help put KMJX-FM 105.1 -- Magic 105 -- on the air. The rock station soon became one of the top-rated in Little Rock, with Wood working as program director, and holding down a 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on-air shift. He also spun listener's requests during the Brown Bagger Request Hour.

Magic 105 was bought by Clear Channel Communications, which later became iHeartMedia, and the free-wheeling rock outlet was reformatted to country in 2008.

Wood continued with the company, doing voice-overs, commercials and other duties.

As public affairs director, he produced a weekly public service program for all four stations -- Hot 94.9, KSSN 96, 105.1 The Wolf and 100.3 The Edge.

Wood and his wife, Wendy, made their home in Little Rock and raised their sons, Matthew and Michael, here.

"I want to stay in radio in Little Rock," he says. "I love this town."

Wood has met with a few potential employers and -- no surprise -- is staying positive.

"I just know this character that I've maintained as a good, productive broadcaster with a clean reputation will be a benefit to somebody," he says.

SOLDIER In September 1957, during the desegregation crisis at Little Rock Central High School, Thomas Jefferson Lafayette "TJ" Bowie was a member of the Arkansas National Guard. A photo of him and a fellow soldier, armed and standing guard at the Governor's Mansion, ran in the Arkansas Democrat.

Bowie, who was born in Enola and lived in North Little Rock, died April 11 at age 92. The World War II veteran retired from the Guard as a sergeant first class and was retired from the Army Aviation Support Facility at Camp Robinson.

Bowie didn't speak much about the school crisis.

"He did what he was told to do, which was guard the [mansion]," says his daughter, Kathy Steelman of Benton.

He and his wife, Mary Ellen, raised four children and he battled back from paralysis -- twice -- after bouts with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

"My dad lived a very interesting life and was a wonderful, strong man and a positive influence," Steelman says.


SundayMonday on 04/21/2019

Print Headline: PAPER TRAILS: Radio voice Wood now off the air


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  • femalehogfan
    April 22, 2019 at noon

    It makes me sad about Tom Wood and also Jeff Cage leaving even though Jeff got a good job in St. Louis. I feel like something is about to happen with Little Rock radio