I guess it's about time I added my two cents to this group.
First, I am truly bummed that my good friend Bob Smith is ill and has a long recovery ahead of him after working with him at WHEN,
he and I both happened to change the H to a B simply by moving to Buffalo (my home town). By the time I got to WBEN I was used to
working with a bunch of top notch newsmen during my days in Syracuse: Bob Smith, Rod Wood, Marc Levinson, Dan Sheedy, Bill Lowe
(wait, that was at FBL), and others I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Here's how you know you've been somewhere special. I lost track of the number of times someone would say to me in my WBEN days:
"I used to listen to you all the time when you were on WHEN". It was even more of a compliment when I'd get that line (in the late 80s)
when I was on WJR, Detroit. But, hey, look at the people I was working with between '72 and '75: the legendary "Sweet" Di.....wait a minute.
I started to make a list of all the great people I knew and worked with in my three years at WHEN - air staff, sales, office,
programming, engineering. I make a list and think I got them all, then I remember a dozen more. Damn!
That was a great bunch to work with. You know who you are.
Let me mention just a few of the "upper echelon". PDs Deane Parkhurst and Jim Ashbery, and Teenage General Manager, John Patton.
I've had the good fortune of working at a few radio stations that had it all together so you couldn't fail. WHEN in the '70s was one of them.
Kindly don't ask about the other kind of stations. Having worked at (I'm not making this up) more than 35 stations in my lifetime,
I've worked at some serious duds, too. It takes exceptional leaders to pull it all together.
And then there was my weather buddy from down the hall at channel 5. I don't know if it's well known that Al Roker is a heck of a cartoonist/artist
as well as all-around TV star. Occasionally he'd drop by the WHEN studio while I was on and show me his latest comic strip creation, usually
involving the TV news team or one of us radio types.
And who of us could forget those evenings, those many evenings, those late evenings that started out at the steak house in Dewitt and would end up
closing the lounge at the top of the Ramada Inn downcity (and I can still talk like a native!). Doing afternoons, I could still get a good night's
sleep and be ready to join whomever was hanging around John's office when I got off the air.
Best of all, our paychecks didn't bounce. (Jack's first rule of radio: If your paycheck never bounced, you weren't in radio. Rule two: if you've
never been fired, you're not doing it right.)
That was a good three years.