hwidsten

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  • in reply to: Seattle Radio Happenings #1374
    hwidsten
    Participant

    I, and a number of former KING Broadcasting people are amazed that KING-FM is going listener-supported. It was one of the most successful classical music stations in the country, making a nice profit every year. Something really bad must have happened.

    in reply to: Portland’s 1st Radio-TV Stereo Simulcast #1279
    hwidsten
    Participant

    KGW-TV & 62/KGW Radio did another simulcast in the Fall of ’70 or ’71 when we teamed up with….I think it was Nordstrom….to promote back to school fashions.

    The TV station pre-empted regular programming on a Friday night to run a movie. KGW Radio personalities emceed the broadcast and did live cut-ins on the Radio station while on live TV. Fashions were modeled by area high school kids during the breaks in the movie.

    To make it more interesting, 24 phone lines were installed in the studio so that kids viewing the program could call in and register to win the fashions they were seeing. A large plastic barrel was built to hold the entries, and drawings were done in each break.

    The evening started at 7 PM, and at 7:45 the Portland Fire Department sent an engine over to the station, requesting that we stop taking calls because we had shut down the phone systems in most of Portland and Western Oregon, and emergency calls could not be made.

    So, in the next break in the movie, all 24 phones were taken off the hook, operators were sent home and a camera panned across the phones to show they were not being answered, while an announcement was made that no more calls would be taken. By this time the plastic barrel was full of entries, and winners continued to be drawn until the movie ended at 10 PM. Even with the phone problems, the sponsor was ecstatic.

    I went out to a late dinner with clients and crew, and returned to the station with the show’s Director at about 12:30 to pick up our cars and head home. Just for the heck of it, he hung up one of the phones in the studio…line #24….and it rang almost instantly with a caller who still wanted to register.

    Shortly after this promotion the phone company initiated the “high impact” phone exchange in Portland, which was mandated for use by Radio stations and anyone else doing high volume phone work.

    in reply to: On air names #850
    hwidsten
    Participant

    Here are a few from in and out of the Portland area:

    Alan Mason became Mike Rivers on KGW….he did not work at KVAN.

    Joe Gianunnzio became Joe Cooper on KGW….mostly because no one could spell his last name…it may be wrong here. This was accomplished in a high level meeting in my office using a phone book and a pencil.

    Fred Wasnuski (phonetic but not correct spelling) became Fred Winston on KOIL, WING, WKYC, WLS and others…..mainly because he wanted it that way.

    Lyle Lebsack beame Lyle Dean on KOIL, WLS, WGN…..”Dean” is Lyle’s middle name.

    KISN’s “Jim Hunter” became Roger W. Morgan on KOIL and later KISN because I was at KOIL before he got there and I was using Jim Hunter. Also because Burden wanted a “Roger W. Morgan” in the morning and Burden usually got what he wanted.

    Bob Bengsten became Bob Benson on KOIL, WLS where he was News Director and later as head of Radio network News at ABC.

    Don Rossi became Uncle Don Wright on KGW.

    Dan Foley, Phil Harper and Gordy Miller’s names were not changed at KGW. Gordy called the KGW Production facility “Buck Central.” He was right.

    Al Vanik became Gary Mitchell on KING-AM.

    Bill Neeck became Todd Chase on KOIL, and later KQV, WQAM and others.

    Mike Hankins became Mike McCormick on KAAY, KOIL as PD, KQV as PD, WLS as PD.

    Bruce Vial became Johnny Mitchell on KOIL, and then legally changed his name to Kris Eric Stevens at WLS. As he grew as a person, his personna changed and he once told me that “Bruce wasn’t who he was anymore.”

    Many of the early “house names” were originated in an attempt to tie into various things, like time periods. At KAAY the afternoon drive guy was “Buddy Carr,” and there are many others I’m sure you can remember.

    Sometimes the change was made to make singing a jock name jingle easier. It was really hard to get the PAMS singers to get names like Larry Lujack, Dan Ingram, Pat O’Day, etc. sung right so they fit with the call letter musical logos. That’s one reason why there were “jock shouts.” The singers would enthusiastically shout the name in unison. It solved a lot of matching problems.

    in reply to: Eugene Radio Happenings #350
    hwidsten
    Participant

    Maverick may want to work with Al Scott again, but anyone who says anything positive about Cumulus right now is blowing smoke. Anything Clear Channel may have done to it’s employees is pale by example of what Cumulus has allegedly done and is continuing to do. They are in a lawsuit with some of them for back pay owed. I am told that experienced sales people are being treated poorly and then fired so commissions don’t have to be paid. Regardless of what you may hear, in my opinion, no one in their right mind should go to work for Cumulus.

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