Bill Jacobs shares his thoughts on the passing of one of radio's "good guys," Jim Steel:
That's something you hear about most people when they pass away, but it's 100% true when you're talking about a guy like Jim Steel (real name: Jim Lyle). The word came down yesterday that, following a tough five-year battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, Jim passed away at the age of 44. Although many of you did not know him, I'm sure some of you did, and if you knew him you're well aware that he was one of the most genuine, honest, nicest people you'd ever met. Not just in radio, but in life. One of my endearing memories of Jim happened when I was on a market visit in Omaha and, as opposed to the obligatory dinner after a day of meetings, he took me with him to a YMCA where he was coaching a basketball team of underprivileged kids. That's just the kind of guy he was.
I first met Jim in 1991 when he was programming WHTQ in Orlando (prior to that he programmed WIOT in Toledo), but we had a long working relationship throughout the '90s when he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska (KIBZ and KTGL) and then onto Omaha. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2002 shortly after he was married, and shortly before his wife, Karin, found out she was pregnant. His daughter, Delani, is now 5 years old.
During much of his illness, Jim still worked as the Director of Operations for the Clear Channel properties in Lincoln and Omaha. He spoke very highly of how he was treated by Clear Channel. He also started a non-profit organization called Get In The Game , which raised funds for the Lincoln ALS chapter by auctioning off autographed guitars and other music oriented memorabilia. If you want to do something nice this holiday season, making a donation to Get In The Game under Jim's name is among the better things you can do. If you're so inclined, donations can be sent to:
Get In The Game
c/o Karin Lyle
1527 Meadowlark Road
Lincoln, NE 68521
He really will be missed.
We invite you to post your tribute and memories of Jim below. We will forward them to his family.