Thursday, June 24, 2010

Breakfast News Service

For a little over a year, from December 1971 to 1973, WBNS-AM instituted a morning news block called the Breakfast News Services. BNS. Get it?

Among the people involved in the program were Dick Boyer, Chet Long, Ted Mullins, and Wayne Byers. In addition, News Director Don Smith, Bob Jeffrey, Ed Ross and Bill Hamilton were involved in the all news in the morning effort.

The program ended in March of 1973 with the hiring of Bob Conners as morning host for the station.

This was during the time the station was making the transition from standards, big band and CBS network programming to a more contemporary sound.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

March WBNS Line Up

WBNS AM listeners had a new line up at the top of the dial as of March 5, 1973.

Well, at least in the mornings. The host line up was already in place for the rest of the daily schedule.

Long time host, and holder of the morning show duties after the morning news block known as Breakfast News Service (get it BNS), Bill Hamilton, was severely missed by his fans.

Hamilton had worked for the station since the late 50's and had handled afternoon drive duties from November 1966 until Early Worm Irwin Johnson's retirement in 1969.

Hamilton then took over mornings until the Breakfast News Service program cut into his time and then was totally out the picture when Bob Conners was hired to do morning drive as depicted in the ad.

Coffee Club

Another piece of Spook Beckman information. As of January 1965, Spook took his talents back to the studios of WLW-C with a new show called Spook Beckman's Coffee Club.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Your Man Fritz

Before his wild popularity as Fritz the Nite Owl, Frederick Peerenboom was known to radio fans as Your Man Fritz. And Uncle Fritz before that.

Fritz joined WBNS radio in 1963 as a production and continuity director after a brief stint doing some part-time announcing at crosstown WMNI.

Fritz hosted shows on WELD, now WBNS FM and later moved to be evening host on the AM station. As shown in the advertisement, he for a while was afternoon drive host, replacing Bill Hamilton who had moved to mornings after the retirement of Irwin Johnson.

I first heard Fritz about 1973 when he was again hosting a late evening show from 10 pm to 2 am on WBNS AM.

The girl I was dating at the time and I attended the same high school and our high school band director's nick name was Fritz. I had her convinced that the band director was moonlighting on the radio as Your Man Fritz.

In 1974, Fritz moved to WBNS television to take a staff announcer positon. Actually, he had worked at the television station in the mid 50's doing some part-time work until the Army sent a notice that he was needed to serve his country. Upon discharge, Fritz returned to Channel 10 and took additional jobs with an advertising agency and WMNI.

The duties included doing some voice work for the late night movie, called "Nite Owl Theater". After making some witty comments and getting support from an appreciative audience, the nameless host became Fritz the Nite Owl, a position he would hold until 1991.

Fritz throughout dabbled in radio. For several years, he hosted a jazz program on WOSU, then later on CD101 and more recently on WJZA.

A man of many talents and many hats. Your Man Fritz on Radio 146.

Spooked Again

Spook Beckman left WTVN radio at the end of 1965 to begin a daily television show on WLW-C. Spook had worked for the station in the early 1950's prior to joining 610 radio.

Spook's show was called the Coffee Club. It began in January, 1966. Yet by the end of March, 1968, the show was ending. According to "Citizen-Journal" radio-tv columnist Jo Bradley Reed, Spook was leaving to explore other options including a return to radio.

Maybe he saw the April 14th notice in "Billboard Magazine" that WRFD radio was looking for an afternoon personality and to contract David Drew.

Whether it was that clip or his own reputation, by April 22 of 1968, fans of "The Spook" as one listener described him knew his intentions. Spook was joining WRFD radio to once again host Bumper to Bumper time in afternoon drive between the hours of 2 and 7 pm. But instead of being at 610 on the dial where he reigned the airwaves during most of the late 50's and early 60's, Spook would move the 880 on the dial.

Spook promised to return his popular "Spookisms" like the Ambassadors of the Asphalt and his Champagne and Beans club.

The "Ambassadors of the Asphalt" were the traveling sales resp who listened to his show prior to the move to television. According to Reed, the group became so large that meetings began to be held and it became a popular networking organization.

Networking was popular in the late 60's?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Finally 24 hours

It's funny how we take for granted that our entertainment world is available to us 24/7. And even that in many cases is not good enough as personal players, audio and video equipped cell phones and other devices can now play on demand much of what can heard or seen over the air.

Yet in reality it wasn't that long ago that radio and television stations would leave the air for portions of the overnight.

Such was the case with WTVN.

The station left the air at 2 in the morning only to resume broadcasting in time for the morning drive. That all changed on January 17, 1966.

Jonny Green (yes no h in the name) became the first host to sit in the overnight chair at WTVN. Green was already on staff doing some weekend work and came to Columbus to do studies at Ohio State. He had previous experience at WLEC in Sandusky.

Jo Bradley Reed in that days edition of the "Citizen-Journal" announced that the overnight hours would be staffed by Green from midnight to 5:30 am. Well that was caption under the picture. The portion of the article dedicated to announcement had Green being on air from 2 am to 5:30 am. And also from 2 am to 6 am. Proofreaders anyone?

It was the same seat I would occupy for about a year weekends on 610 some 12 years later.

Reed noted that Jonny would call his show the "Greenhouse Show" and take requests. Oh, and he had pretty red wavy hair. Yes, she noted that.

Green, according to the WTMJ website where he currently hosts afternoons, joined the Army that same year, worked on Armed Forces Radio and upon leaving the Army in 1969 moved to Milwaukee. He joined WTMJ. Besides a short stint in Florida and another station in Milwaukee, Green has been with WTMJ ever since.

He currently hosts the Green House in afternoon drive on the station.

But what happened to all the pretty red wavy hair?