The Southern Standard caught up with Nashville WKRN News 2 anchor Bob Mueller.
Standard: How often do you get asked about your mustache? Have you always had one? Do you think it is one of your trademarks?
mueller: Almost every day someone has something to say about it. I grew it when I was 19 and have had it ever since. It was not intended to be my trademark. But in some ways it has become that.
standard: You have been with WKRN News 2 for about 40 years. It seems like certainties in life are death, taxes, and Bob Mueller on the evening broadcast. You must really love WKRN and doing what you do for a living?
mueller: I love my job. It’s different every day and I am still excited to go to work every day to see what challenges lie ahead. I spoke on the radio the first time at age 16 and was hooked. I knew this was going to be my career and I have spoken on a microphone almost every day since.
standard: Is there a certain aspect of your job you like the best? A certain one of your three nightly broadcasts, or maybe your public affairs show, “This Week with Bob Mueller.”
mueller: Interviewing people. Everybody has a story to tell. It’s my job to find that story and tell it. I enjoy my political show (“This Week with Bob Mueller”), as I believe it is important for people to hear from their elected officials.
standard: You have interviewed at least six U.S. Presidents. What stands out about those interviews? Is there anything that has stayed with you or that struck you at the time as being surprising or remarkable?
mueller: They were all different. Ford very informal and open. Carter down-to-earth and understood the magnitude of the job. Carter was my favorite. I got to interview him again just last year. Reagan receptive and engaging. Bush 41 cautious. Clinton smart and perceptive. Bush 43 engaging and funny.
standard: In all your years in the business, what have been your most enjoyable times and what have been the funniest moments you have experienced? Is there anything that you still laugh about today or that you feel personally grateful to have been a part of?
mueller: I read the intro to the news once that (longtime WKRN news anchor) Anne Holt was supposed to read but she forgot. It had written, “Good evening, I’m Anne Holt.” I read it verbatim. Paused. And said, “No, I’m not.”
I have been privileged to witness history. The first Space Shuttle launch. The war in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne. A Super Bowl, political conventions, and so much more to mention. I am grateful for it all.
standard: You are active with the Second Harvest food bank in Nashville and you also started your own annual golf tournament, the Bob Mueller MS Celebrity Challenge. Why are these causes important to you? What made you decide to get involved and stay involved?
mueller: I was brought up in a farm community where neighbors help neighbors. I think it is a central aspect to a life well lived. And so when I am able, I try to give back and help my neighbors.