Gregory Shanley, 49

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Longtime public radio journalist Gregory Shanley, 49, a statewide talk host on Iowa Public Radio, died Jan. 26 [2010] in Iowa City. The Iowa network said family members asked that the cause of death not be released.

Gregory ShanleyShanley joined KUNI in Cedar Falls in 1987. He worked as a reporter and Morning Edition host, and served as news director for many years, launching a Des Moines statehouse bureau for the station.

KUNI merged in 2007 with other state university stations in Ames and Iowa City to form Iowa Public Radio. Shanley was active in developing the statewide talk shows, producing The Exchange and hosting the talk shows Talk@12 and then Talk of Iowa, focusing on arts, culture and lifestyles.

Shanley not only interviewed people who grilled dinner in the backyard, he entered and won a 2006 competition with his Double Burgers, becoming the Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout King of the year.

Shanley was “at extremely dedicated journalist” who put guests at ease, said Pat Blank, who shared an office with Shanely 22 years in an appreciation aired Jan. 27 (download). He was often up at 4 a.m. to host the morning news and then spent his afternoons with his kids.

He was born Aug. 7, 1960, in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Gibson B. and Doris (Ramser) Shanley. His father also worked in broadcasting, as announcer of the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns for 24 years.

Shanley received his bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Ohio University in 1982. That same year he married Sonya Grace Steele.

Survivors include his wife, of Cedar Falls; a son, Evan, of Waterloo; a daughter, Leigha, of Des Moines; a grandson, Titan; his mother, Doris, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; a brother, Gib, of Geneva, Ohio; two sisters, Cindy, of Houston, and Cathie Basil of Pittsburgh; and his maternal grandmother, Sara Ramser, of St. Louis. He was preceded in death by his father.

A memorial service was held Jan. 30 in Cedar Falls.

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