Whether anyone could ever do it again, considering the advent of social media, podcasts, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, SiriusXM, AI and all the other innovations that have transpired since back in the day when radio was king, is debatable. Who knows what broadcasting jobs are going to look like in the future?

But Al Lewis isn’t worried about any of that; he’s just grateful, and still a bit astonished, that for the past 52 years he’s been able to wake up every day happy and enthused about what he did for a living.

“I got to do exactly what I always wanted to do,” he says.

Ever since August of 1972, when he started his freshman year at Utah State University, Al has been employed by KVNU, the longtime Logan radio station that has been in operation since 1936. Fifty-two years. One job. How many people can say that?

Al is retiring this weekend. In a few months, he’ll be 70, and he will be narrowing his focus to two things: one, traveling with his wife, Teresa, and two, trying to shoot his age on the golf course.

One thing he’s not going to do going forward is set the alarm for 4:15 a.m. — his standard getting up time the past half-century so he could be ready for his 5:30 morning show.

Finally, he can sleep in.

But oddly enough, his main worry is he won’t be able to pull it off.

“Even when I go on vacation I wake up at 4:15,” he says. “My body knows I could use some sleep, but I’m not sure it’s ever going to really happen.”

It was a love of sports, and Utah State University sports in particular, that turned Al into a broadcaster. As a kid growing up in Logan, practically in the shadow of the Block A, he used to listen to Karl Klages announce the Aggie games on the radio. Not only did he idolize Klages, but his parents were friends with the Klageses, so he got to meet him and be around him. Klages gave Al game programs, the occasional autograph and a copy of the book he’d written about “how to be a sportscaster.”

So there, at age 6 or 7, the die was cast. Al and his boyhood friends Greg Hansen and Brad Larsen would be playing wiffle ball in the yard and Al would not only participate but also do the play-by-play.

If knowing Klages wasn’t serendipitous enough, when Klages moved on to become play-by-play announcer for Purdue University, the man who replaced him as voice of the Aggies was Reid Andreasen — Al’s next-door neighbor.

Fast-forward to Al’s first year at Utah State — he never considered going to college anywhere else — and Andreasen, who was program director at KVNU, hired the 18-year-old to do Saturday and Sunday shows.

Al’s career was set. He’d spin records, report the news and weather, interview guests at the station, and then head off to announce a sporting event. Eventually, that included doing the Aggie games.

In all, he’s spent almost half of his career — 24 years — broadcasting Utah State football and basketball games — slightly more than 1,000 of them in the years KVNU has had the Aggie contract: 1977-78 and 1995-2017.

In the years when he wasn’t doing Aggie games, he was doing play-by-play at Logan High School basketball and football games — covering a 26-year span that ran from 1972-1977, 1979-1994 and 2017-2022. (KVNU has been broadcasting Logan High School sports since the mid-1940s, the longest-running local broadcast in Utah.)

For the past half-century, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in all of Cache Valley who has seen more, watched more, talked more and had his finger on the local pulse more than Al Lewis.

“It’s really been a dream,” he says. “I got the chance to do the Aggie games and the Logan High games, which is why I got into broadcasting in the first place, but I also got the chance to be able to watch, observe and comment on Logan and Cache Valley, places that I really love and care about.”

Al’s KVNU morning show with longtime sidekick Craig Hislop, himself a former Utah State play-by-play announcer, has been a morning staple in the Cache Valley for the past 16 years. In a paean to what local radio has always done best, Craig and Al wake people up, entertain them, inform them and keep them connected.

And while it may be true that radio’s glory days are fading now that you can listen to Taylor Swift without the ads on satellite radio and click on Apple News on your phone, Al can tell you that the news of local radio’s demise is premature. A lot of people out there in radioland still love it like he’s loved it.

Ironically, he found this out through social media.

“The day I put it out on Facebook that I was retiring, I went home after work, sat down and had lunch at the house and started looking at the responses,” he says. “You can’t believe how many people commented, people I’d interviewed or I’d met or people I’d never met who were longtime listeners. To be honest, I didn’t know for sure how many people listened to radio anymore. I sat there and cried for 15 minutes over what people said and how much they cared.”