Getting to Know Bill Roberts

Title: Copywriter, Proofreader/Editor
Here since: June 1981

What do you do at SKAR?
I write print and digital copy, mostly for the East Texas Medical Center, and I am the backup copy editor and proofreader for advertising materials of all kinds.

You have been at SKAR for quite a few years. Why?
I like the work, and SKAR really is as good a place as our website would have you believe.

What is one of your favorite SKAR memories?
Pulling garter snakes out of the ceiling and relocating them a few blocks away.

What movie could you watch 100 times?
Quite a few: “The Godfather: Part II,” “Tootsie,” “Rear Window,” “Groundhog Day,” “Pulp Fiction,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Annie Hall,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Third Man,” “Some Like it Hot,” “Fargo,” “On the Waterfront,” “Toy Story 3,” “Double Indemnity,” “The Night of the Hunter,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”

What really pisses you off?
Traffic. It seems like I always have a maniac behind me who wants to drive too fast and a dunderhead in front who drives too slow.

Have you ever read the AP Stylebook just for fun?
Not the whole thing; I skipped the boring parts.

What qualities make a good editor/writer?
A certain amount of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What is your biggest fear?
That I don’t have quite enough obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the advertising business?
Everything’s so much faster now. When I started I wrote with a speedy IBM Selectric typewriter, but we still had to wait a couple of days for the art director to make a layout by hand, order copy from a typesetter, get a visual image sized and formatted and paste it all into a mechanical layout. Now we can see how an ad will look in an hour or two.

What do you like about living in Omaha?
Taking walks and bicycle rides across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, seeing Shakespeare on the Green at Elmwood Park and eating Ted & Wally’s ice cream in Benson.

What was your favorite toy as a kid?
A poster of the solar system. I used to daydream about Mercury, Jupiter and especially the rings of Saturn.

What grammar mistake makes you want to punch someone in the throat?
Mixing up they’re, there and their. And it’s so easy to tell the difference. Think, people, think!

If you weren’t in advertising, what would you be doing?
I might be an astronomer or a movie theater usher.

Name someone you admire.
Bob Dylan. He has made great songs and changed the way we think about music.

Which website do you visit most frequently?
IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, a great source of movie information.

Name something about yourself that people might say, “Huh, that’s mildly interesting.”
Although now bald, in my youth I had hair that was long and flowing (maybe leaking – it was thin).

How will the Huskers do this year in football?
I hope they do well but fear they won’t. I need to remember my role as a fan is to wear red, cheer loud and hope for the best.