In 1970 I was hired by WHEN's general manager, John Scott, "sight unseen" ... that is to say, without a face-to-face interview and based only on an audition tape.
I had just gotten out of the U.S Air Force and was doing talk radio in Omaha, Nebraska. I'm a New Hampshire guy and wanted to get back to the East Coast and desperately
wanted to do personality-driven music radio, the format I was doing before my Air Force tour.
After sending out dozens of inquiry letters, the only answer I received was from John. I sent him music air-checks that were four years old as well as stuff from my talk show
and he liked what he heard. We talked on the phone (in those dark, pre-Internet and email days) several times, reached a deal and he made me promise I would really show up
and not leave him hanging. After all, I was driving in from Nebraska. I assured him I would be in Syracuse on the day we agreed upon and was, much to his relief. He later
told me the only reason he responded to my letter was because he was a New Hampshire native and wanted to help out a "brother."
So I started doing 7 - midnight in July 1970 and one of the oddest things I had to do was produce in-studio baseball games. WHEN carried the Syracuse Chiefs' games and home
contests were broadcast live from MacArthur Stadium. But for some reason, obviously economical, the away games were recreated in the studio. The play-by-play guy would sit behind
the glass reading the account of the game off a Teletype wire and I was in master control supplying the sound effects such as the crack of the bat and crowd noises. I had heard
about recreated games back in the 30s and 40s but never expected to actually be involved in making them happen in 1970. After all, it was 1970, fer God's sake! In early 1971 I
was moved to mid-days
and loved every minute of it while increasing those vital female demographics.
In the late fall of 1970, Doug Neufeld and I had an on-the-air bet about when the first lasting snow would hit Syracuse. He was from southern California and didn't understand weather
in the Great Northeast. I, however, always carried a snow shovel in the trunk of my car...just in case. The bet was this: I said snow that would last, and not melt after a few days,
would fall before December 10. Doug said that a lasting snow wouldn't happen until after December 10. Sucker. Then we invited listeners to send in post cards saying who they thought was right.
We each collected the cards supporting our side of the argument. The loser would select a card at random from the winner's stack of cards and have to shovel that person's driveway.
The first big storm that year hit in early December and, as with typical Syracuse winters, the grass wasn't seen again until April. Needless to say, Doug lost but being the good sport that I am,
I helped him shovel the winner's driveway. The snow was deep that day and the driveway long, but Channel 5 covered it and we got TV face-time.
I left WHEN in September 1972, becoming the general manager of an AM/FM combo in New Hampshire and stayed in the business until 1997, ending my broadcast career at WFOG in Norfolk, VA.
My tenure at WHEN was much too short. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and really enjoyed working with so many talented people. Thanks for having this great site you're doing a great job.
By the way, thanks for spelling my name correctly in your list of former employees.
Regards... and btw...I've just published a funny memoir about growing up in my parent's New Hampshire inn. It's called, "Summer People or How Nudists, Boozers and One Headless Turkey Influenced a Boy's Life."
You can learn more HERE