Friday, May 18, 2018

First Stop, Cinncinatti

(This story is about my attempt leave WSOC-TV  in 1961 and  gain employment in a larger TV market.


The Cincinatti TV executives were gathered in the studio control room....waiting to see if this kid from Charlotte  (me) was worth considering for a job at their station.
I began to get nervous as I realized that my life could completely change direction....depending on how I performed during the next 5 minutes.
The "floor director" handed me a piece of paper...on which was a 60 second commercial for an automobile windshield repair shop "The Glass Doctor"  I was told to look it over, then read it as if I were actually "on the air"...…..although the signal was only being sent to  the executives gathered in the "control room."

So, I cleared my throat a couple of my best "announcer's  voice began reading  about how …"If your car's windshield is broken or cracked...NO PROBLEM...let the "Glass Doctor " make it all well again!  Drop off your car  in the morning..any day of the week.....and a few hours l will be completely like new again.....and if you need  a ride to work....NO PROBLEM...we'll drive you there.....and if you don't have a ride back.....NO PROBLEM....we'll come and pick you up....and even if your credit is not the best...NO PROBLEM....

(I thought I did pretty good.  Heck, it should have been...I had been reading commercials since high school.....beginning in 1951 at WGIV radio.)

Then......a voice from the control room said, "Now, drop the copy to the floor.....and ad lib the commercial."

Do what?   I wasn't expecting this.  I suppose they wanted to see if I was "really into "The Glass Doctor"....or only "reading" the words on paper.

Whatever, a future for me in Cincinatti was starting to look dim..

I dropped the copy  and bgan to "ad lib" what little I remembered about "The Glass Doctor"

I was kind of pleased with I rambled on..about "If you don't have a ride to work....and 
"if you don't have..(.this or that.)...and if you don't have a car...….."

"if you don't have a car...?   did I actually say that?

Well, there's an old saying among announcers that says....if you make a mistake or bobble a word....don't try to correct it....that will just bring more attention to it....simply ignore it...and keep on going!

Well, that's what I did..."Yes, I continued...."That's right, if you don't have a car....."  ("Holy Mackerel," I thought..where do I go from here ?.............I  continued "they will sell you one from their huge collection of used cars from their lot next door......crack the windshield and  repair it.;..while you wait."

They were not smiling in the control room....apparently they weren't thrilled over some young whippersnapper from Charlotte North Carolina making light of their commercial.

So, with Cinncinatti in my rear view mirror, ...I headed for my next targeted city, Washington, DC.

(to be continued....)