Bob Cheyne, a noted Northwest Arkansas businessman and founder of what became the Arkansas Radio Sports Network, died Saturday at the Fayetteville Veteran’s Medical Center due to complications from pneumonia. He was 86.
Cheyne became the University of Arkansas’ first sports information director in 1948, a job he held for 22 years.
In 1950, according to his obituary, Cheyne and his wife, Jennie, traveled to radio stations across the state to begin setting up what became known as the University of Arkansas Radio Sports Network. This eventually grew to over 107 stations in seven states by 1964.
After serving for 11 years with the title of director and broadcast-analyst, he became the first play-by-play “Voice of the Razorbacks” in both football and basketball. He was named Arkansas Sportscaster of the year six times by the National Association of Sportscasters.
Cheyne later worked with Cooper Communites Inc. of Bella Vista for 15 years as director of advertising and public relations.
In 1977, Cheyne and John Cooper, Jr. established the Cheyne/ Cooper & Associates advertising agency. In 1985, at the invitation of longtime friend Sam Walton, Cheyne became the first corporate marketing director for the newly developed Sam’s Club division of Wal- Mart Stores Inc. He became vice-president of marketing in 1987.
After retiring in 1997, he was invited to radio station KBVA-FM (106.5) as a senior account executive. This was a position he loved because of the people he worked with and the many wonderful clients he became acquainted with over the years. He again retired in December of 2012.
Funeral services through through Stockdale-Moody Funeral Services of Rogers are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.