A well-known voice in radio will sadly be heard no more. Entertainment personality Joe Barber died today. The 53-year-old was reportedly found dead at his home. The Washington Post reports:
"Determination of the cause of death is pending further tests, said Beverly Fields, spokeswoman for the D.C. medical examiner’s office. Barber had diabetes and was in failing health, said Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming at WTOP radio, where Barber served as entertainment editor since 1997. "
Barber was a native Washingtonian with a passion for entertainment. For more than a decade you could hear him Friday and Saturday mornings conducting live interviews and segments on film, theater, concerts and DVD releases on WTOP.The radio station had this on their website:
"Joe was a warm, funny presence in the WTOP newsroom every Saturday," said Jim Farley, WTOP's vice president of news and programming. "He loved movies, the stage and music. You could ask him about any movie; he was a walking encyclopedia of movie knowledge and trivia."
Over the years, the entertainment guru had a resume any journalist would envy with gigs across many media platforms locally and nationally. According to WTOP:
"Barber was a panelist on WETA-TV 26's award-winning arts review program "Around Town" since 1994. Barber also appeared once a month to discuss films on WHUT-TV's "Evening Exchange with Kojo Nnamdi," and reviewed television programs on "Talking TV" on WBIS-AM in Annapolis, Md. His weekly column "The Current Scene" appeared in the Northwest and Georgetown Current newspapers. He also was a senior reviewer for the web-based Reel Images Magazine, which covers the arts and popular culture from an African-American perspective.
Barber began partnering with fellow film critic Bill Henry as "The Movie Guys" in 1993, when the two started appearing together on "The Derek McGinty Show." Their reviews can be found on-line at D.C. Movie Guys.
Barber's prior credits also include reviewing films on video and DVD on NBC's "Weekend TODAY Show," and serving as a video columnist and feature writer for the The Washington Post's "Fast Forward" column and TV Week magazine. He also appeared on numerous programs, including "Fox Morning News," "The Tony Kornheiser Show," "The Jim Bohannon Show" and "BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley."
Barber was also a frequent participant and contributor to public programs and lecture series sponsored by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution's Resident Associate Program and the American Film Institute. "
The beloved voice of “Barber’s Best Bets” may be gone, but definitely not forgotten. "He will be truly missed by his co-workers and all WTOP listeners," Farley said.