Over the past few weeks, Columbus radio has lost two key folks.
Wes Hopkins, who held the morning slot at the old New WCOL passed away a few weekends ago in Florida. In Columbus, WCOL was the top 40 station of record and despite its low power commanded a significant portion of the audience. Wes was a key part of that audience building for over a decade. Wes had worked in several markets before coming to Columbus including many in NE Ohio.
Wes retired to Florida many years ago and passed away after a fall outside a hospital.
Scott Kahler, former production director at WTVN recently passed away at his home.
I first knew of Scott when he was working mid-days at WBNS AM when they were doing what was then known as Saddle Shoe Radio. He later left and went to Buffalo for a few years only to return to Columbus in 1977 to help launch Q-FM-96 as the morning man. During a short weekend stint at WTVN myself, I remeber Scott and other staffers preparing for that Valentine's day launch sitting around sorting and labeling albums and getting them ready for play the first day. Columbus radio listeners were in for a shock as FM 96 changed from an elevator music format to album oriented rock at 12 noon. Q-FM-96 was only a studio window away from the WTVN studio. It was fun watching the launch of that new station. The new station was full of new jocks that had come from a different format genre than I had come from. If I recall, the first line up was Scott, Bill Dancer, Tom Tueber, Frank Baum and I forget the name of the overnight guy. Dancer's wife Jo did some weekend work.
I never knew Scott well and my association with the Q's sister station WTVN ended about a year later. I do remember Scott as being a pro. Very even keeled and a production room whiz. I never understood the magic he did with an equalizer, a tape block and audio tape. I can only imagine his magic in todays world of audio files.
One of my radio heros, Bill Smith, once told me that the best radio man in Columbus was Scott Kahler. Smith was holding the fort in the evenings at WTVN while Kahler was doing his midday magic at WBNS. I always remembered that everytime I heard Scott's voice doing a commercial or positioning statement for WTVN.
For those hosts who worked closely with these two very classy acts and to the family members who may happen upon this blog, may you find peace in spite of the loss of these two great men. Columbus radio was never the same after their voices left the airwaves. Now that loss is permanent.