Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More to Find

One of the things of wading through all the information on Columbus radio past is once you think you've got everything nailed down, you find something new.

I found something that sent me back to 1950.

Honestly, what started as a search to solidfy my memory of radio in my pre, teen and post teen years has turned into something beyond the original scope. So that's why I'm scrolling through newspaper articles in 1950. The old Columbus Citizen before it became the hyphenated Citizen-Journal.

One familiar face was there. Jo Reed, radio and tv reporter. Same picture I believe that was used until her retirement in 1970 too! Her column was pretty much limited to the Sunday edition of the paper.

But even more interesting was the info I found.

I did know that WTVN radio was known as WHKC prior to the mid 50's.

What I didn't know was that it had an FM component at the time. WHKC FM broadcast at 98.7.

My understanding was WTVN/WHKC AM had no sister FM until WTVN FM signed on at 96.3 in late 1959. Prior to that, 96.3 was known as WLWF and appears to have simulcast Cincinnati sister station WLW radio. I'll have to go digging to see when Crosely gave up or sold the license. (UPDATE) WLWF was granted permission by the FCC to go silent on May 14, 1953 along with sister FM stations WLWA in Cincinnati and WLWB in Dayton. The Commission granted cancellation of the licenses and deletion of call letters.

But back to the 98.7 frequency. I'll have to do some digging, but it appears that it disappeared sometime in 1951 or 52. (UPDATE) WHKC-FM was granted the ability to go dark by the FCC on June 30, 1953. The station and the license ceased to exist. It was announced on July 7th.

Even more strange was WRFD-FM. No not the one at 97.9 on the dial that later became WNCI. The one on the air for what appears to be only during 1950. After that, I can find no information on it until it re-appears in 1961.

And for the record, WBNS FM was known as WELD. Carried the same programs as sister station WBNS AM and was on 97.1.

Looks like more time in the library is in my future.

Friday, November 12, 2010

WTVN Mornings-Late 50's

Before Bob Conners, John Fraim, Dave Logan, Johnny Dollar, Tom George, Dave Hull and Bob Ancell (did I overlook anyone?), Maurice Jackson was the morning man at WTVN.

Maurice joined the station in the spring of 1956, having worked at WVKO in the city prior to his voyage to WTVN. Interestingly, Maurice was at WVKO prior to WVKO AM signing on the air in 1951. Of course that was at the time that FM wasn't the preferred frequency to listen to the radio and even with a daytime only signal, the arrival of WVKO AM was a big deal.

Maurice left WTVN in August of 1960. Taft broadcasting had hired Lawrence Rogers to come in and shake things up in the organization. When Rogers landed at 610, he found a station that in his book "The History of Television" was bleeding red ink and it was in his estimation due to two "low class hot shots" Maurice Jackson and Spook Beckman.

Jackson formed his own consulting group, went to work for WHOK, later sold time at WMNI and eventually found his way to San Antonio and later Phoenix in 1966. There the trail goes cold.

(EDITED TO ADD on 04-08/11) I found a note in a column in the Citizen-Journal where Jackson sent a card to radio/tv reporter Jo Bradley Reed over the 1966 Christmas holiday that he was in Kansas City working at KUDL and was loving it. Now the trail goes dead again.

I don't ever recall hearing Maurice Jackson on the air. He departed WTVN just before I turned 5. But through the years I heard of him. If I ever mentioned WTVN mornings and the name Maurice Jackson would be spoken just as quickly as someone would say the Earlyworm or Irwin Johnson when talking about WBNS.

Update 10-10-2012  Finally found out what happened to Maurice.  Jackson had moved the Space Coast (Cocoa, FL) sometime in the late 60's.  He lived there for about 20 years.  He hosted a radio show at then WKKO radio 860 AM.  Later he was an account executive for the Orlando Sentinel's Brevard County bureau and at his death he was working for Stateside Auto Supply on Merritt Island.  He died of a heart attack in Birmingham, AL on May 13, 1988.  He had returned to Birmingham to attend his High School reunion.  He was 70. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mr. Ohio County DJ

Jack Bartley was well known around the Xenia/Dayton area as a country radio announcer and performer. He came to WRFD in 1970 when the station converted to Country. He stayed until the station made the switch back to oldies in the spring of 1972.

Jack eventually found his way back to the Xenia/Dayton area and worked for WBZI radio doing mornings. After finishing his morning show on New Years Eve 1988, he passed away later in the day.

Jack was a great entertainer.

Anthony in the Morning

Len Anthony came to Columbus and WRFD in October of 1970 replacing Tom George in the morning slot. Anthony would later become program director when Bill Preston stepped down.

He would later be the program director that led the transition to an oldies or all the hits all the time format in the spring on 1972.

Was Radio Really This Laid Back

Scan the AM and even to a point the FM dial today and you probably won't find a station positioning themselves as a station with music to relax to.

This was an advertisement for WBNS radio in February, 1960.

No hot talk. No Howard Stern, Bubba the Love Sponge, Mike and Mike, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ed Schultz or Randi Rhodes.

Just a fellow by the name of Don Smith hosting an evening music to relax to.

Novel concept?