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Your messages for Bob Collins

Bob Collins talks to listeners visiting the MPR booth at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.
Bob Collins talks to listeners visiting the MPR booth at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.Luke Taylor | MPR

May 30, 2019

As Bob Collins prepares to retire after his 27-plus year career at MPR (and 45 in radio), we asked you to share your messages for Bob. Listeners, friends, and colleagues past and present weighed in. Read a collection of your memories and well-wishes below.

Steve Brown

I got to know Bob over the phone back in the early 1980s when he was a news guy at WBEC in Pittsfield, Mass., and he would take in my feeds from the Massachusetts State House. He's a top-notch journalist and an even better human being. I'm going to miss seeing NewsCut in my feeds, but look forward to vicariously enjoying Bob's retirement adventures via FaceBook. Best wishes in your well-deserved retirement, my friend!

Daniel S.

He just gets me, ya know?

Sonya Burke

Bob, I will so miss the "goddammit, Bob!" through tears moments that you shared through News Cut. Your ability to relay the beauty and wonder in the everyday, your fierce defending of equal rights, fighting to make talking about mental health normal, regular, and necessary; have kept me reading for years. There's magic in words, and more in those who wield them with skill. Thank you for sharing that magic with all of us. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

Hattie Saloka

I am really going to miss Bob's 4:20 news update with Mary. I tune in on my commute home every day to hear it. My favorite memory is any time the two of them are laughing so hard that neither one can talk. Love it! Bob, congrats on your retirement but you will be greatly missed!

Ben Chorn

I don't remember when I first started reading NewsCut, but I would guess it was at least 7 or 8 years ago. It became a part of my routine — waking up and checking to see what was on the 5x8. Bob, you have always been a voice of reason and produced some great posts about not only news but about humans. The personal stories shared is what keeps NewsCut as one of the best blogs out there. Over time I moved around, and NewsCut and MPR kept me grounded to Minnesota — despite living in Montana and Illinois miles away from Minnesota. Listening to Bob and Mary at 4:20 became a usual habit, and one where I could always tell if my day was dragging on (when will 4:20 get here?) or was speeding by (how is Bob already on the air?). I would like to thank you for all the hard work you put not only into the content, but the moderating. The comment sections on NewsCut have been some of the best discussions and insights. Thank you for providing some sense in a world where sometimes it feels like there isn't any. I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I have enjoyed reading NewsCut over the years. You're one of the good ones.

Suzanne Dostal

Bob, your blog and your stories; your perspectives and perceptions will be greatly missed. I don't always catch you with Mary at 4:20. In fact, there are many days I'm not listening because I need silence because of a migraine, but I still read the web content here at The Current and over at MPR, and the thing I have read the most over on the news service, has been your blog. I wish you nothing but the best in your retirement. Enjoy life's sweetness with your loved ones — you've earned it! Peace, Suzanne

Peter Casey

Newsrooms tend to be messy places. Paper, court records, newspapers, old food, often fill all corners of the desks and tables. Bob Collins collected cans. Coke, Ginger Ale, Pepsi. It didn't matter the beverage. Bob washed cans. The pile of cans he stored in a corner of the newsroom grew. Few noticed at first. He washed the cans on his own time -- not during the company work day. The pile grew to dozens, scores of cans. I think he even took bags of them home and piled them on his front porch. We eventually noticed the newsroom pile and even contributed our empty cans so Bob didn't have to go dumpster-diving in newsroom trash barrels. Soon the little corner of the newsroom was overflowing with cans. Eventually the GM noticed and asked what that mess of a collections of cans was for. Not satisfied with the "they're Bob's cans" answer, he notified Bob that he wanted that mess outta there. Bob complied without saying a word, but he did leave a note. Bob returned the cans to the store and collected $100 from the five-cent return fee. The "Bottle Bill" was new legislation passed in Massachusetts at that time He left a note for them GM saying he donated $50 each to two charities. I think the GM said "oh, never mind then." The best people in newsrooms are the ones who clean up the messy places wherever they are. Best of luck in retirement. Thank you Bob Collins for being Bob Collins.

Matt Gjersvik

Around 2010, Bob went into his NewsCut summary as usual, this time about Minnesota's oldest resident passing away. Unfortunately for Looch, this gentleman's last name was Young, and Mary was NOT able to stifle a very inappropriate but VERY funny guffaw and caused about a five-count of dead air as the studio composed itself. I laughed most of the way home that day.

Nick Young

Bob and I first worked together in Boston 40 years ago, then a few years later in New York City. He's what every young broadcast journalist should aspire to be: driven by compassion, commitment to high standards and a well-honed sense of outrage at injustice. What's not to admire about a man like that who, also by the way, has a razor-sharp wit, can build his own airplane and loves baseball and the blues? Proud to call him a colleague and friend. Best wishes, Bob!

Jess Callahan

I love Bob and Mary — their snarky chemistry speaks to me. Bob's quiet indignation while reporting on the latest "Stupid Human tricks." My favorite silliness was when the Canadian Consulate sent you a care package which you opened on-air! Best of luck to you Bob! You will be sorely missed.

Jacquie Fuller

[Editor's Note: Jacquie Fuller is a former on-air host at The Current, and is now assistant program director at KUTX in Austin, Texas]

One particularly hot day many years ago, I was lying in a dentist's chair in St. Paul, high on nitrous oxide, listening to Bob and Mary on headphones while undergoing a root canal. Bob and Mary were chatting about the highly unusual heatwave Minnesota had been suffering through, and then Bob ended the segment with something like, "… and on Friday, the sun will swallow the earth." Under the influence of the nitrous, I heard the comment as the literal forecast and was like, "Ohhhh, that SUCKS."

Since moving away from Minnesota four years ago, I admit I don't listen to Bob and Mary's check-ins anymore — I've got my own station to tend to now — but I still read NewsCut occasionally to keep up on the Minnesota gossip and to enjoy Bob's unique, pointed take on things. (And I will add to my list of life regrets never taking him up on that plane ride.)

Best wishes for retirement, Bob! Thank you for your wit and insight, and for challenging us in all the right ways when we needed it. I am glad I got to experience you as both a reader/listener and a colleague. You've always got a pal in Austin, Texas.

Karyn Ertel

I hope you mention some of the exciting retiring things you will be doing, so we can smile as we imagine you sharing your nonstop dry wit with the birds, your family or golf caddy. Thank you so much for making me laugh and cry in the afternoon. Best wishes

Bridget Logan

The natural chemistry between Mary and Bob is not something that can be created, and the realization came to me slowly how much I enjoyed that part of the day. It's rare to find that on the radio; it never felt forced. It's like listening to friends.

Chris K.

Thank you for your perspective on events and stories. Thank you for always bringing compassion to those who need it the most. Thank you for standing up for the small voices. Enjoy retirement, you will be missed!

Mariya Bergquist

I will miss your blog, and will especially miss your interactions with Mary in the afternoon. Thank you for all you've done with MPR. Best wishes for an enjoyable retirement!

Dawn Halvorson

I just love it when I get in the car to go home and hear Bob and Mary chatting away. Bob, best wishes and have a wonderful retirement.

Cathy Curtis

Just want to say Congratulations on your retirement! I will miss you on NewsCut and the 4:20 p.m. with Mary. I also enjoy following you on Twitter, especially about your pups — they look a lot like mine! Take care!

Ericka A.

My favorite thing about listening to your and Mary's segments is that you can almost hear that little *twinkle* in your eye you get when you're being especially cheeky or sarcastic. I just love it. Breaks my heart to hear you talk about "imposter syndrome" when you fit so perfectly and are loved right where you are! I guess that speaks to your quiet and thoughtful nature. You will be truly missed. You've been one of my favorites around here!

Betsy Hammer

I moved from California to Minnesota in 2009. Over that decade, including a couple years back in my home state before returning to the Twin Cities for good, NewsCut has been a huge part of my day. NewsCut helped me process and understand the life of a transplant. NewsCut helped me stay up to date about goings on. News Cut provided me with endless thought-provoking conversation starters, insights about things to explore in my new state, and things to email to my dad and chat about. NewsCut provided a very special and varied perspective about fellow humans here on the planet. I really can't quite express how much I've appreciated Bob's wit, wisdom, and frank approach to storytelling. I will greatly miss NewsCut, and want to extend my best wishes to Bob for a very happy and fulfilling retirement!

Andrea Hejl

Each day, I look forward to 4:20 pm (or so) when you come and join Mary on-air. I thoroughly enjoy listening to you, your insights with your antics, humor, and, also, some news thrown in there. It is a habit and I like it.

You were my gateway. I was a hardcore, 100 percent 89.3 radio listener. Home, office, car, etc. I only had 89.3 on the dial. If I was in someone else's vehicle I changed the station to 89.3. Your daily visits with Mary exposed me to MPR News. Now, I listen to MPR News about 50 percent of the time. It is the only source where I receive my news. So, thank you for the foray into the news sector. You wouldn't believe how many stories I start with, "So I was listening to MPR News today and…"

However, as time moves forward, with that comes change. I am selfishly sad to hear you are retiring. However, excited for you on your next chapter. You deserve it. Thank you for all the smiles, tears, laughs and connections that you have made with me at my desk all these years. I truly appreciate your candor, honesty, and the fact that you are authentically you, Bob.

Cheers from a Sustaining Member


I wanted to share that I stream The Current all day on my computer while at work. I am in Florida so your 4:20 news break is 5:20 here and even though my work day ends at 5:00, there have been countless evenings I've stayed a bit late just to hear Bob and Mary. Not to hear the news (because I can hear that anywhere) but because I want to hear their take on the news. And I've always enjoyed their obvious friendship and banter, so even if the news is grim, I'm almost always laughing as I shut down my computer and head home. Thank you, Bob. Best wishes with your retirement.

Simon Wentzell

If I ever arrived at my destination just before 4:20, I'd sit in my car for the next few minutes to hear the news break. NewsCut is one of the many reasons I'm glad to be a member of MPR.

Beverly S.

Hi Bob, I would listen to you and Mary as I was pulling into the parking lot to start my afternoon shift as a server. This was a second job, and it was often a struggle as I psychologically prepared myself to get through another four to six hours of work without killing anyone. Listening to you lifted my spirits and made things a little more tolerable.

Jari Barac

Bob - I have been a fan of The Current and of yours for many years. I enjoyed your quirkiness and authenticity. I have chuckled out loud on many a commute to and from the office! Thank you and all the best to you! You will be missed!

Paul Berg

Bob's reference to Mary's return to the air as his "Johnny Carson Moment" was one of the most touching tributes I've ever heard in my life. I think of it often. I look forward to that five-minute interaction every weekday, and will miss it greatly.

Mary Williams

Rushed to my online stream, from Oregon, at 2:20 Pacific Time as often as I could to catch Bob reading the news. Bob Collins and Mary Lucia have a great radio chemistry that makes it all interesting. I will miss your voice, Bob. Happy Trails!

Donald Lorr

Thank you for all the stories over the years, especially the overlooked ones about everyday folks finding a way. All the best to you, Bob!!! Blue skies and warm breezes (under your wings) to you!!!


I have really enjoyed your unique stories you have shared on your NewsCut blog. The stories really help to distract from the sometimes tragic and disappointing stories we hear circulated so often. Your discoveries have been thought provoking and have shown honest human nature. Your findings have given us all hope in our sometimes hopeless-feeling world. Thank you and don't be a stranger!

Michael Pederson

Bob and Mary were sharing a story about a woman who had received a transplanted uterus from, I believe, a friend. Mary breaks in with, "How do you suppose that conversation started, 'Hey, whatcha doing with that uterus?'" or something equally hilarious. From there, it just spun into fun between the two of them, lines thrown back and forth. I started laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes as I drove home. It's nice to see journalism that doesn't just focus on the "fires" going on in the world. Thank you both for sharing your friendship with us.

Kim Grutsch

Bob and Mary are the BEST part of my ride home. I look forward to hearing them at 4:20 and plan the time I leave work around it. I will so miss it! Good luck, Bob!

Kristen Mueller

My favorite part of the afternoon is the news with Bob and Mary. Gonna miss you and the chemistry you guys have!! Best of luck!

Ken Coyle

Hi Bob - You're not only the best newsman at the best station in Minnesota, but also here in South Jersey. So many times you've helped put a silver lining on some really bad news, thank you, so much.

Bobbi Johnston

The two of you are a joy to listen to, and the chemistry is evident over the airwaves. I appreciate Bob's dry, deadpan humor when he is reading the stories. Enjoy your retirement!

Rick Thompson

Thanks for sharing your touching goodbyes to each other on the air. I wish you well, Bob, and will miss you every day at this time. Thanks for sharing your take on the news and the laughs.

Jordon Breuer

That teary sendoff between Mary and Bob — followed up with "One for my Baby" — could never be replicated anywhere in form or sincerity. We all love The Current because of how real it is, and that moment I will not soon forget. Thanks for all you do at The Current and thanks for all your years at MPR, Bob. May retirement treat you well.

Mark Fellman

Bob - enjoy every moment of retirement and thanks for all that you brought to MPR. You will most definitely be missed.

Jenna Huberg

Bob and Mary at 4:20 is the best way to end my work day! It really does feel like relaxing with best friends at the end of a tiring day. I will miss listening to the news and the chatting and the making fun of Mary's lack of interest in outer space. The day you guys got the package from the Canadian Consulate was classic. Bob, you'll be missed! Best of luck in your retirement!

Aaron Nyquist

I've always enjoyed and looked forward to Bob and Mary's conversations, and loved the soulfulness of the NewsCut blog. Behind the curmudgeonly exterior, Bob has such an extraordinary gift to share the human condition, as well as to pointedly and incisively call out where we have failed to live up to our ideals. His writing has fostered so many great conversations in my household, and while I'll be sad not to hear his voice or read it through NewsCut, I'm grateful for the perspective he's brought.

Kari S.

Losing the 4:20 daily interaction between you and Mary Lucia is a reminder to appreciate the little moments that make the world a better place and to not take them for granted. So sad to lose that, while also grateful to have gotten to enjoy the banter between the two of you for so many years.

Ellen Anderson-Benge

Thank you so much, Bob! I'll miss listening to you on The Current and reading your work on NewsCut. I really appreciate the stories you share, as well as your take on them. Enjoy retirement!

Tracy Kompelien

Thank you both, for sharing your friendship and talent with us throughout the years. What a pleasure to have heard you together today; I laughed a little, cried a lot, smiled a ton. We will miss hearing you together. All the best in your retirement, Bob.

Darrell Peterson

I listened to the last two-plus hours of Bob and Mary together and realized that I have been a witness to the greatest on-air chemistry in my life. I laughed, I openly wept, and my life will have a huge hole in it each day at 4:20. Thank you so much for just being Bob Collins.

Jeffrey Klemetsrud

Thank you, Bob; I have always made a point of tuning in between 4 and 4:30 so I would catch the most important 30 minutes of afternoon radio. Have an amazing retirement, sir.

Jay O'Toole

Hearing, "Hey, Bob", "Hey, Mary…" at 4:20 p.m. (2:20 for me over here in Victoria, B.C.) has been a staple for me for the past 13 years. Working remotely has plenty of upsides, but the lack of watercooler conversation with coworkers isn't one of them. Bob and Mary both have such genuine personalities that come through so seamlessly on the radio that I could swear they are right behind me. Thanks for the many years of your insight, banter and humanity. Enjoy your retirement, Bob!

Tom Lang

Bob, your segments with Looch always make me smile. I hope you keep your NewsCut blog in perhaps a part-time capacity. One of your funnier moments, in my opinion, was a quip about how you knew the difference between a blimp and a dirigible so don't @ you (I believe it was in the context of an article on helium shortage. Also, thanks for fighting the "fake news" propaganda chant. Truth will be a little darker for us all with your retirement.

Andrew Lewis

Your coverage and commentary on politics has been concise and consistently evenhanded as long as I've been listening (since 2010) to The Current, Bob. I'll really miss your presence on Mary's show. I wish you the best in your retirement or in whatever new adventures you undertake!

Nicole Masika

We'll miss you Bob! I appreciated your blunt honesty on too many occasions to count.

Geoff Forbes

When I was in college in 2005, The Current was just being launched and I was in a Writing for Radio course and had the good fortune of visiting MPR as part of the class. We were touring the studios and were lucky to talk with Bob about journalism and working in radio. I never pursued journalism or a career in radio, but something he said has stuck with me ever since. He was talking about finding which stories to report on, and what he said was, "If everyone is looking one way, look the other way and that's where the real story is." That simple philosophy has done more than anything to widen my world view and I'm greatly appreciative of it. Thank you Bob, and I wish you good things in your well-earned retirement.

Curt Gutoske

Bob, I don't know when I started reading your blog and listening to your segment on The Current (6, 8, maybe 10 years ago), but it eventually became an integral part of my day. It was my window the rest of the Minnesota and America that was not told elsewhere.

Usually in the evening I would sit at my computer and go the MPR News homepage, scan the headlines, and then click on NewsCut. I would often call my wife over to read one of your blogs or share the link with her and our 22-year-old daughter in Chicago. This routine led my wife to refer to you as my "boyfriend"; "What does your boyfriend have to say today?" she would ask me. I guess she didn't mind sharing me with you. :)

You recently acknowledged the storytellers that influenced you and you told us (your audience) to be open to the storytellers around us, but please know I will miss how YOU relayed your stories. Your use of wit, directness of opinion, and brevity in your closing lines would stop me in my tracks pondering the humanity of us all.

So I thank you. I thank you to committing yourself to your honorable profession, to sharing your talents and skills with us in Minnesota, and to giving a voice to all those people, events, trends, and heroes that graced your pages over the years.

Congratulations on your retirement from MPR from a very appreciative reader/listener.

Marjorie Laskey

Thank you, Bob, for your GREAT news delivery. You were always interesting, and always brought a smile to me. Will miss you! Again thank you, and enjoy your retirement.

Lida Thole

I loved the calmness in Bob's voice. He made it feel that there is a reason to care even in a time of utter stupidity! Happy retirement Bob! Love you!

Marty Owings

I am going to miss Bob. We are all going to miss you. Journalism has become sterile; you threw some humanity into it. I will remember listening to you and Mary or reading NewsCut and knowing we were all being treated to something very special. We've interacted on a few occasions and when I was covering politics at the Capitol, I learned a LOT just reading and listening to you. I am sad today as I selfishly realize, I won't have you around to learn from. Best of luck, Bob; you made a difference.

Tammy Walstrom

Wishing you the very best in your retirement, Bob. Reading News Cut and catching you on the radio have been parts of the day I always look forward to. Sometimes it's a hard tug on the heartstrings, sometimes a bunch of laughs, but always interesting. You will be missed!

Chris Nelson

I listen to The Current through my whole work day, but I hear their segment every day when I am driving home. The laughing Spicer thing I had noticed but never put it together, and I laughed so hard I almost [urinated in] my cubicle with the replays. The goodbye was so sweet; I am so glad I made it to my car first, because I cried like a child. Bob will be missed.


Bob, congratulations on your retirement! I will miss reading NewsCut and hearing you do the news with Mary. The two of you gave us many memories, and your appreciation for Canada was some of the best. Keep telling stories!

Caren A.

Thank you, Bob and Mary. Thank you for the best five-to-10 minutes of radio a day. Thank you for NewsCut. It was a special corner of the web. Bob, I will miss reading (and hearing) your perspective. I started listening to the Current in grad school, and many days between 2 and 4 p.m., I'd want to give up for the day. Each time this happened, I'd force myself to work until after you were on … and many days, by the time I heard you on the radio, I was on a roll and kept working. Thanks again.

Risa Dotson-Eicke

I live in Iowa City and my cousin lives in Edina, and I remember when we discovered that we both love listening to Bob every day. Later that night, we invented a drink called a Bob Collins.

Dale Pfalz

Always look forward to the news break at 4:20 with Bob and Mary. I am disappointed when I tune in late and miss it. It sometimes makes me laugh out loud at work. I just love how funny you two are together, and I enjoy the laughter. You will be missed for sure!!! I was pretty sad (selfishly) to hear of Bob's retirement, but happy for Bob that he gets to retire. Loved the bit when Bob and Mary would talk about extremely cold weather as "good sleeping weather." Loved your takes on current events and loved the stories you would put on NewsCut. The chemistry and laughter that you two had will be missed. Enjoy your retirement!


I made sure to be in my car so I could listen to the 4:20 news. Bob mentioned one day that people didn't like hearing him shuffle his papers. I LOVED hearing him doing it. There were so many tears yesterday. Thank you, Bob! You will be missed.

Sharon Stevens

Congrats on your retirement, Bob. I used to make sure I left the office at 4:15 so I could listen to your news breaks. I was recently laid off, and now you are retiring, so really the end of an era in my life (not that it is all about me, LOL). Thank you for being there; I loved how you and Mary clicked together — I kinda wished I could hang out with you guys! Enjoy your retirement!

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Share your memories and messages for Bob Collins

Our good friend Bob Collins retires this Friday, May 31. He joined Mary Lucia on the air on Thursday, May 30, from 2 p.m. Central until just after his final 4:20 p.m. news break. What memories of listening to Bob and Mary do you have? Or what message would you like to send to Bob? Please share it by filling in the form below.

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