"A Husband and Wife Vacation: For Better, For Worse!" will debut on Channel 12 at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5. Dolan co-hosts the show with his wife, Beth. Dolan is hoping that an 8-week launch will create enough interest to have the show picked up for a longer run with the goal of syndication to other markets. Dolan grew up in St. Louis. He first came to Milwaukee in the early 1980's as a sportscaster at WTMJ-TV. Bob is the brother of Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
OMC contributor Dennis Krause interviewed Bob Dolan about his new venture and his varied career. The two first met in 1982 when Krause was an intern in the WTMJ-TV Channel 4 sports department and Dolan was the weekend sports anchor.
OMC: Tell us about your new television show.
Bob Dolan: The television show is called "A Husband & Wife Vacation: For Better, For Worse!" We hope it's not only informative, but also entertaining because we believe it portrays husband-and-wife vacations as they really are, from the fun to the frustrating. There are several very good travel shows on the air, but very few, if any, speak to the baby boomer husband and wife whose children are grown and gone or soon will be. Most empty-nest husbands and wives do not stay in the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton and we do not frolic on the topless beaches of Monte Carlo. Our intent is to give other husbands and wives a more realistic travel show.
OMC: You've done television before but your wife Beth has not. How is she doing for a rookie?
BD: Those who are successful on television usually have three things in common: they are likeable, they are genuine, and they are personable. Beth is all three. She's doing a terrific job in her role as co-host and one day soon may even ask her other co-host for a raise.
OMC: Was it a difficult decision to leave "Weber and Dolan"?
BD: The most difficult part about making my decision to leave "Weber and Dolan" after nearly eight good years was that I knew I'd be leaving behind a few very good friends; plus, it was a very comfortable environment and I had fallen into a very accommodating routine. However, my gut told me it was time for a new challenge and chapter in my life and I know I made the right decision.
OMC: Do you still listen to the show?
BD: I listen to Jay whenever I can. I certainly cannot listen every day for the entire 3 1/2-hour broadcast, but when I do listen I am highly entertained and always interested in what Jay is doing. Frankly, I think Jay is consistently giving the audience perhaps the best talk show in town.
OMC: Do you miss having a daily outlet to share your thoughts?
BD: I still share my thoughts every day, but now it's only to three people who have to listen to me and not thousands who chose to. I do not miss the fact that I am no longer sharing my opinions and stories with thousands of people every day; in fact, it always puzzled me that so many people wanted to hear them in the first place.
OMC: You're a rarity in broadcasting in that you've walked away from high-profile jobs before. Is that just part of your personality makeup to want to try new things?
BD: Thanks for reminding me! Indeed, it is very much a part of my make-up, and I will leave it to others to determine if this is a character flaw or a character strength. I only know it's the way I am. I need and embrace new challenges in my life. I've voluntarily left three very good jobs in my life; sportscaster at WTMJ-TV, play-by-play for Marquette University, and "Weber and Dolan" at WISN. But I truly believe I'm a better person because I left to look for new experiences.
OMC: Do you ever miss sportscasting?
BD: Yes, I missed TV sportscasting twice a month when it would have been payday! Seriously, I never missed it at all. And now, years later, I find I'm not nearly the sports fan I used to be; there are so many egomaniacs and so much money in sports these days that I find it is more difficult for this common man to enjoy.
OMC: As a friend and former colleague of Mike Gousha, what did you think about his decision to leave Channel 4?
BD: I'm sad that Mike is leaving local news but I am very happy for Mike and his wife Lynn that they are about to begin a great new chapter in their lives. Mike will be successful at whatever he does because he's a man of great talent and integrity. Over 20 years ago, Mike and I came to Ch. 4 within a month of each other and we were both assigned to the weekend newscasts, so we became fast friends. He's the most talented man I've ever worked with and I've always been grateful for his friendship.
OMC: Your brother is the Archbishop. When you were growing up, was it clear he was going be a leader in the Catholic Church?
BD: My brother was blessed from the beginning. He always knew he would be a Priest. What a great gift, for many people never know what they truly want to be! He is a natural leader because he is full of hope and joy, and his enthusiasm for his love of Christ is so contagious that all of us, even his brother, can't help but believe that our faith in God can get us through anything. By the way, he's my older brother. And he never could hit my curve ball in the side yard.
OMC: Back to the show. What places have you visited so far? What places would you like to visit that you haven't?
BD: Destinations on our travel show will reflect our blueprint for the show itself; we will begin locally and then, with time, expand. Initially, our destinations will be places in and around Wisconsin, but in the future we will add cities all across the country because it will make the show more appealing to other TV markets. Destinations in our first series include the Twin Cities, Door County, the Michigan side of Lake Michigan and the Dells.
OMC: Is this is a scary or exciting time for you as you launch this new venture?
BD: It's a little scary and a lot exciting. There have been a few bumps in the road already. I've gone without a paycheck for nearly three months. Yes, it can be hard and scary at times. However, we believe in the future of the show and we believe all our efforts and risks will pay off down the road. I'm so thankful to my sponsors. Without their confidence and support, this initial series would not be possible.
OMC: You're an empty nester now. Are there other adventures out there that you'd eventually like to try?
BD: Oh, I think I have more than I can handle right now with the series; I suppose one day I'd like to try producing a few Ken Burns-type documentaries or writing a great mystery, but for now this new empty-nester has all the adventure I can handle!
Dennis Krause joined OnMilwaukee.com as a contributor on June 16, 2006. He is a two-time Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year and a regional Emmy-award winner. Dennis has been the color analyst on home games for the Milwaukee Bucks Radio Network for the last 10 years. He has also been involved with the Green Bay Packers Radio Network for 16 years and is currently the host of the "Packers Game Day" pre-game show.
Dennis started his broadcasting career as a radio air personality in the Fox Valley and Milwaukee.
He spent three years as a sportscaster at WMBD radio and television in Peoria, Illinois before joining WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee in 1987 as a weekend sports anchor. Dennis spent 16 years at Channel 4, serving as its Sports Director and 5 and 6 pm sports anchor from 1994-2003.
Dennis grew up in Hartford, Wisconsin and attended UW-Oshkosh. He lives in Thiensville with his wife and two children. He serves as the Community Resource Director for the Mequon-Thiensville School District.