Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mamas, Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Be On TV

Jimmy Kilgo and I both knew....when we learned..around  1959 or 60, I believe,  when the original owners of Charlotte's second TV station, channel 9 sold it to the Cox organization out of Atlanta...we knew that sooner or later,  our days at the station were numbered.

That's what they teach in TV management class 101:  "When YOUR guys take over a station.....get THEIR guys the HELL out of there.

The first thing the new owners did.....was to install a "Time Clock." 

This was to obviously discourage friendships from developing among staff  members, so as to avoid such topics as..."Guess what these new management Bozos are doing now!"

The next  thing the new owners did was to give the WSOC-TV  building.....still sitting prominently on the left hand side of Tryon Street....as you're going North....was to give it a NAME.

They made it quite clear that they DID NOT want any input from "any of the old...soon to be fired....staff members.
\Hence, they wound up naming the place....get rready for rthis....GREEN ACRES.

….which any of us could have told them was already the well established name of  THE OLD FOLKS HOME.

Someone must have told them that later,  because they canceled the planned big announcement party.

I left for vacation a few days later....and proceeded to look for employment elsewhere...which was what 95 percent of young radio and TV announcers did back then, and probably still do.
My first was Cinncinatti, a larger market....presumably paying more money than I was making in Charlotte.

I walked into the station cold....and simply asked for an audition.

Lo and Behold, an hour later...I was standing in one of their studios....reading copy in front of 5 or 6 executives of the station.

(to be continued)