Remembering Cleveland's "Sky Chief"

(Cleveland) - Veteran traffic reporter Rick Abell passed away at the age of 67 on May 5th. According to wife Denise Abell, her husband had been dealing with a long illness and died after complications from hip surgery.

Abell, also known as "Sky Chief" delighted Clevelanders as a home-spun, unpredictable, smooth talking reporter who informed motorists about drive time traffic from his helicopter vantage point on Newsradio WTAM 1100, starting when it was WWWE 1100, and on WOIO-TV 19.

In November 2012, Abell published a book about his experiences entitled Abell Airbone. In it, he shared true stories of what really happens behind the scenes with people in the news industry. Abell also wrote about the dicey, amusing and dangerous situations he encountered.

WTAM personality Mike Trivisonno also interviewed Abell in a recent podcast which can be heard below.

Rick Abell had been a radio and television personality since he was thirteen years old. He is a winner of twenty-one ADDYS (Advertising Awards). A member of the Ohio Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and was named National Traffic Reporter of the Year four times.

Abell was also a certified scuba diver, and penned three novels as well as many short stories and songs.

(Photo courtesy

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