PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Rod Carson, one of the founders of Shadow Traffic and a pioneer of the kind of traffic reporting you hear on KYW Newsradio, died over the weekend at his home in Lehighton, Carbon County. He was 75.
The KYW Traffic Center’s Sam Clover worked for several years with Carson.
“A pioneer radio guy, a pure, true radio guy,” Clover says. “No TV. He was not a TV guy. He was a radio guy. And, he wasn’t bad-looking either, it was just, you know, just you fall into your niche. He was a radio guy.”
Clover says he first met Carson back in the days when he was a rock DJ on WMMR and eventually ended up working for him.
“I worked for Walt Macdonald with the Go Patrol, people may remember that and we merged and Rod became my boss,” Clover says.
Clover says his traffic reporting style today is a combination of two mentors.
“I should say he and Walt Macdonald both,” Clover says. “Whatever you hear from me it’s a distillation of those two guys and Rod was really at least 50 percent of what you hear.”
Carson was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Coatesville where he got his first job on the former WCOJ.
Before getting into traffic reporting, he was one of the Wibbage Good Guys on the former WIBG, and also did the “Rock and Roll Roots” show on WMMR.
He also worked in Allentown and later for several other Philadelphia stations.
In 2007, he marked 50 years in broadcasting.
But he was best known for the traffic reports that guided thousands of KYW Newsradio listeners daily.
He’s survived by his son Rod, Jr., of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and daughter, Michele Carson Williams, of Vacavilla, California, and four grandchildren.
Services are pending and the family is planning a memorial service to be held in Philadelphia.