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A critical force behind WSVN — a man responsible for creating the incredible look and feel and energy of 7News — has passed away.

Robert W. Leider — ”Bob” to his many friends and colleagues — was Executive Vice President and General Manager at the station for years — and he was a force in the community as well.

He was our rock, our mentor, our friend and tonight we say goodbye.

Not many people can say they have a boss who would pick up a mop.

“I always get crazy with water,” said Leider while mopping away flooding caused by Hurricane Irma. But that’s who Bob Leider was. Always. Bob slept on a cot along with the rest of the staff during around-the-clock hurricane coverage.

WSVN owner Ed Ansin remembered him as “the most wonderful person you could ever know. Just terrific in every way.”

Ansin hired Bob in 1974 to be the station’s national sales manager. He said he knew from day one Bob would become so much more.

“I realized he was somebody who just understood television and really liked the business,” said Ansin.

Just six years later, Mr. Ansin made Bob WSVN’s first executive vice president and general manager.

“You know Channel 7 is the only locally-owned station in South Florida?” said Leider in a vintage television promo.

Bob and Ed took WSVN from an NBC affiliate to an independent station and then transformed Channel 7 into South Florida’s news leader. A tough job, but Leider loved it and always did it with a smile, always ready to take the reins to drive us into the future.

But more importantly, he was Channel 7’s biggest cheerleader. Words of encouragement flowed freely from Bob. He wanted all employees to thrive and feel appreciated — traits that endeared him to everyone. Bob didn’t reserve his hard work and dedication to just the TV station. His impact was felt across South Florida.

“No one has believed in the Habitat mission more than Channel 7 Vice President and General Manager Bob Leider.”

“Bob loved Channel 7, loved working in the community,” said Ansin. “He is largely responsible for the Winterfest Boat Parade up in Fort Lauderdale.”

With Bob at the helm, Channel 7 and Winterfest worked together to turn the parade into the world-class event it has become today.

Also near and dear to Bob’s heart: helping deserving families own their first homes.

He served as a chairman of the board for Habitat for Humanity.

“We at Channel 7 are very proud to be associated with Habitat, and we have for many years,” said Leider on a construction site for Habitat for Humanity.

He also served with United Way, and even in retirement, his dedication did not stop.

“I talked to him all the time,” said Ansin. “People at the station talked to him all the time. He became even more involved in civic matters. Actually, he became invaluable in that sense.”

Invaluable in every sense of the word and impossible to know how many lives he touched over the decades, but what we do know is we lost a beautiful and fun spirit.

If you’d like to post a message for Bob’s family, you can do so below. Rather than flowers, the family is asking for donations to Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward:

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47 responses to “Remembering Bob Leider”

  1. Bob was one of the nicest people I have ever met and had the opportunity to be around. He will be deeply missed in our community. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

  2. I’ve known Bob since I began my advertising career, 38 years ago. He was one of a kind guy. When NBC left channel 7, Bob didn’t give in to rumors of the station folding, loss of ratings, etc. Then FOX came along, followed by the original “NEWSPLEX” which I am proud to say I was heavily involved with, trading over 500 tv’s not knowing what they were for. Go figure. Bob was a fun guy, we had many fun times at client parties, Dolphin games and other events over the years. He will be missed by so many but his legacy will live on. God speed Bob❤️

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Leider Family as well as my channel7 plex family. I had the privilege to work with Bob when I was the news administrative assistant for several years. He always had a smile on his face no matter the caos a news day would bring. He was a problem solver, a peacemaker and an all around a great person. You will be missed. RIP.

  4. Bob was a class act! We at Lion Plumbing Supply have always supported Habitat for Humanity for years. From all of us at Lion, he will be dearly missed. Always a smile on his face.

    Paul Gentile
    President, Lion Plumbing Supply, Inc

  5. Bob was a wonderful man who will be deeply missed by his friends, family and associates at channel 7. He made a huge difference in our community and in every person he touched. I was always proud to call him my friend. May he rest in peace. Mike Maroone

  6. I worked with Bob since the early 80s when I created the first Winterfest board. His dedication, his creativity and his wisdom helped propel Winterfest into national acclaim. Always a gentleman; always humble; always a friend. RIP Bob. You left an indelible mark in South Florida. Deepest condolences to him family

  7. I was just thinking of Bob yesterday not knowing of his passing. I would see him on the Ft Lauderdale to Boston flights and I was thinking I may run into him again at the airport. I’m sad to read this post. His work with Habitat for Humanity and his ability to bring the community together to support the cause were meaningful and inspiring to many other people. It was a pleasure serving on the board with him and getting the opportunity to know him. Kim and family , I am so sorry for your loss. 🙁

  8. I am so sorry to hear this. I grew up with his family. He was a wonderful man and father. Lovely family.

  9. Prayers to Bob’s family my father Charlie Folds worked at the station over 40 years Bob was my dads boss and always treated him so good. Bob was an icon in the community and always volunteering. He will be missed

  10. Bob was a great man, a great broadcaster, and an incredible leader. It was an honor to know him. He was so genuine.
    Prayers to Bob’s daughters and family.
    God speed, Bob.
    Jim and Sharon Zerwekh

  11. Bob wasn’t only admired in the Miami area. Here in Boston, we thought so highly of him too. He was warm and engaging and passionate about the business and I always loved catching up with him since first coming to work for sister station WHDH-TV in 1994. We talked TV and a lot about the family he loved so much. I am thinking of all of you and our station owner Mr. Ansin who I know loved Bob like a brother. Big loss. Lucky to have known Bob Leider.

  12. What a true gentleman and such an active force in the community! He will surely be missed!!

  13. No words to express this loss. To his beautiful daughters who he loved more than anything, to his extended family, to his WSVN and news family, to his beautiful best friends and to his non profit philanthropic family, I am so sorry of this lost. Bob was joyful, big hearted, smart as a whip and such a good sense of humor. We mourn your loss, I will miss you Bob and from me and all of United Way THANK
    YOU for sharing so much, and being you, and being a beacon, and for being so fun. And that amazing head of hair and that handsome face. You will be so missed.

  14. I did not personally know Bob, but as a (WCKT) 7News viewer since 1971, he became a face known in my house and I feel like I’ve known him as long as he’d been at WSVN. There was never a time he didn’t have a smile on his face, or the passion for his mission was absent. My sincere condolences go out to Bob’s family both blood and WSVN. He leaves a legacy no other will match.

  15. Bob was a neighbor and father to 3 beautiful daughters
    A very special friend to me to Linda and her children….. a hugh part of our lives has left us……
    But the enormous love and compassion will always remain.

  16. My sincere sympathy and condolences to his family and his WSVN family. He was great to work with.

  17. Bob was a neighbor and father to 3 beautiful daughters
    A very special friend to me to Linda and her children….. a hugh part of our lives has left us……
    But the enormous love and compassion will always remain.
    Love to all
    Jack Stickney

  18. I am so sorry to learn of Bob’s passing. He was such a great man in our industry. I had the honor of being WSVN/WHDH’s agency for 20 years and working with him was a gift! I send my sincere condolences to his family and to WSVN. RIP Bob.

  19. Such a sad day for WSVN and WHDH. What a privlidge to have worked for Bob Leider, who set the bar high for news set design and animated graphics.

  20. The day Bob hired me to anchor news at WCKT (subsequently WSVN) in 1980 was one of the luckiest days of my life. I had never had such a wonderful boss, one who also became a dear friend. Bob’s sense of humor and intelligence and passion about making good TV were fantastic. He was also a person of deep humanity. He adored his family, which was lovely to see. I loved the chance a couple years ago to introduce Bob to my husband, Ed, so he got a chance to observe what a great storyteller Bob was and how he was hilarious and also kind. That weekend Bob welcomed back so many people from an earlier era and made us feel like family. Over the years Bob gave wonderful, talented people like Diane Jaramillo a chance to rise in the ranks and build great careers. And along with Ed Ansin, he believed a TV station was there to serve the community not only with good programming but in other ways as well, like supporting United Way and Habitat for Humanity. I am heartbroken. You always called me by my last name and I got such a kick out of that. Thank you for everything, Bob. I am a better journalist. a better broadcaster, and a better person because of working with you. You made such a difference in my life.
    Donna Hanover, aka Hanover to you.

  21. Bob was one of the nicesrt and genuine guys i EVER met. I’m firends with him daughter Kim, and hwenn I was introduced to him we becane instant friends. A primce that will be surely missed!!

  22. Bob had a such a personal influence on all of us. WSVN is and was a great part of my life, beginning in 1980 and continuing over the years into 2013/14… he was a great leader – remembering the call letter change from WCKT to WSVN and becoming nationally recognized as the #1 Fox affiliate in the country was led by Bob. His confidence and warm personality made you always feel welcomed and proud to be working with a General Manager like him. He inspired us to always reach higher and acknowledged us when we did. He exemplified leadership in a modest way. He will be greatly missed.

  23. Bob was gracious, unassuming and at times self-effacing but when the difficult decisions had to be made there was no one stronger. He always lead from the front. RIP

  24. Bob was a gentleman, a leader, a visionary, a great friend and loving Father. He will be missed by many. Rest in heaven Bob….

  25. So saddened by the news of Bob’s passing…as a leader…as a boss…as a friend he was truly one of the great ones…God speed Bob

  26. When I worked for Sunbeam in Boston, Bob was someone I truly admired as a team leader … kind, encouraging, complimentary and thoughtful. A good man.

  27. WSVN’s Bob Leider was a true leader and a true gentleman. When NBC dumped his station he (1) turned it into South Florida’s news leader and (2) was instrumental in building a new network – FOX. His passing is a great loss to his community and to the industry.

  28. Bob Leider was a wonderful Broadcaster and I so much appreciated getting to know him and work with him in the TV Business. So sorry to see this.

  29. From someone who knew Bob in the NBC days – he was smart, had a ready smile and never seemed to forget a name. A great Broadcaster – a better man.

  30. All of us at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami are saddened by this loss. Our Blitz Builds will never be the same. Bob was a fixture and always at the ready with a word of encouragement and support. He was truly loved by us, and we could always feel the feeling was mutual.

    Thank you Bob. We love you and we will miss you.

  31. Bob was a great person, broadcaster, father & grandfather! He was a true friend and stayed positive and fought to the end.

  32. Bob was a great leader, mentor and friend. I’m so glad that I got to learn from the BEST!!! I’m so very thankful for all of the support that he gave me throughout my career. I always looked forward to his weekly e-mails of encouragement and kind words. I will miss those…
    Bob, you will be missed. You were a great man. Thank you for everything.

  33. I met Bob through the management seminars in the late 80’s and early 90’s. What a great and fun guy to be around. The tribute did a great job of highlighting his achievements and capturing his fun-loving spirit. I’m sure he will be missed by all who knew him. May God bless him family.

  34. It is with heavy heart of me learning of Bob’s passing. I remember his outgoing dynamic personality at various events I had the pleasure of attending RIP Bob

  35. We will remember Bob for his wonderful spirit and generosity. We were one of the many organizations that he quietly supported. We feel fortunate to have known him. His smile and joy were contagious. To paraphrase Jimmy Buffett, “all I want to know is, are you kind?” Bob WAS kind. Our deepest condolences to his family – including his WSVN family.

  36. Bob was a wonderful person always had a smile and always treated you with respect. During my time at the station, I admired me because he was so genuine. I am saddened of his passing but he is an angel now that will look after his loved ones. God bless him.

  37. Bob Leider was my mentor and friend we worked together over 40 years . Together we formed one of television’s best PR teams . Ed Ansin gave us the reigns to create a dynamic presence in the community. For this I will always be appreciative and humbled. My prayers and thoughts are with you tomorrow as you gather to celebrate Bob’s life. I wish I could’ve there with all of you but I’m in Encompass health rehab having just gotten out of the hospital with Parkinson’s complications . Love to you all Charlie Folds

  38. Bob was a broadcast visionary who despite all odds, and to the chagrin of many network suits, kept WSVN at the top of the Miami market after NBC pulled the plug.
    Most importantly, Bob was a true, caring and loyal friend, father & grandfather. You’ll be missed Bob, but your earthly burdens have now been lifted. God bless you and your grieving family.
    Gene McHugh

  39. Sorry to hear this world has lost Bob…my Dad always called him Bobby and when I started working in broadcasting and met Bob we laughed comparing stories. Bob was one of a kind and showed joy, respect and love to whomever he met. We could use many more with Bob’s character and I send prayers to his family and his friends. I hope they will take comfort in knowing Bob is with God, most likely looking around to see where he can help out, smiling at everyone he meets.

  40. “Bob” … Mr. Leider was the General Manager when I got hired at WSVN back in 1993 as their morning audio engineer.
    I remember him always saying “Hi” to you when you saw him walking in the hallways along with Mr. Ansin the owner of channel 7. Trust me … they didn’t need to, but BOTH did acknowledge you. It made you feel good … I believe Mr. Leider even knew my first name (Ralph)! That was the Mr. Leider I will remember.

    I have and will always have “fond memories” of my 7 years working for WSVN, and of Mr. Leider. Rest in peace my friend.

  41. I am so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. My deepest sympathies to the 7 Team and the Leider family!

  42. On behalf of Bob’s family, we would like to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts about our dad. He truly is a remarkable man and made an impact on everyone he met. He will be missed.

    With Gratitude,
    Kim, Kelly and Courtney Leider

  43. We want to thank everyone for their kind words and prayers. Bob lived his life with integrity and courage. He always wanted to contribute in any way possible. Bob, my brother, my friend and what a gift he was to South Florida. We give thanks for his life and are so grateful for the many memories we shared. Love you Bob your brother Norm, sisters-in-law Jan and nephews Jeff and Scott. Jeff’s daughter Madalynne wants to send her love to everyone.

  44. Our former neighbor, my former tennis buddy – a good and generous man gone much too soon. Kim, Kelly and Courtney, we grieve with you but remember with fondness our times with your family. Mike and Judy Williamson.

  45. I am just now learning of Bob Leider’s passing (thank you Gina Sirico who wrote a beautiful post on Facebook and tagged me.) I am heartbroken. Bob was one of the most influential people in my 20 year career in TV news. He was a mentor and friend to me from the time I first started in 1988 as a noon co-anchor just before the station lost its affiliation through our rebirth as South Florida’s News Station through Inside Story and the nationally syndicated Inside Report through at least five more innovative newscasts including the creation of 7:30! And then finally when he told me not to go to WBBM TV in Chicago in 1993 because one should never do anything for just money (I should have listened) and finally through my tenure at A Current Affair in NYC. Bob was an inspiration, a cheerleader, a constant source of support….always funny, positive and just the greatest guy in the world. I had lost touch with Bob in recent years but have always thought of him so fondly and never imagined I would not get to say goodbye. He left us far too soon.
    Penny Daniels

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