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.