Main Body

Chapter 5: A Cleveland Love Song

KYW-radio loved the many good people who lived and worked in Greater Cleveland. Without a doubt, making that station fun for everyone was one of Westinghouse’s primary business objectives. Relying on fast-talking DJs who played only the very best in contemporary music while providing accurate daily weather forecasts, valuable traffic reports, precise sports coverage and in-depth newscasts fulfilled that station’s unwavering promise. Everyone that listened to KY-11 in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s knew that was true. Its many trendy programmers never lost sight of the importance of promoting that happiness factor each and every day. Inserting cheerful jingles hundreds of times a day helped them to achieve that goal successfully.

That being said, this highly dedicated local radio outlet took its latest publicity efforts to an even higher level in 1964 when it proudly released its own 45 single. With music by the popular Madison Avenue composer of the day Mitch Leigh (1928-2014) and lyrics by Jane Griffin, A Cleveland Love Song made its debut on the June 19th edition of the Jim Stagg Show. An immediate hit, it was re-released just in time for the Christmas holiday. Some of you might remember its composer Mitch Leigh. He later gained much acclaim for composing the musical score for the Broadway blockbuster of the ‘60s known as “Man of La Mancha.”

Although the melody of this song was in some ways similar to the contemporary hit by the Ray Charles Singers called Love Me with All Your Heart,” this particular release stood on its own. The chief purpose behind this song was for KYW to praise its newly adopted city and its many great people. The words and the music may seem simple in today’s highly sophisticated world, but don’t let that fool you it achieved its purpose. Most importantly, this very likeable tune forged a strong bond between KYW-Radio and its many loyal listeners, a connection that still exists among its most dyed-in-the-wool fans right to the present day. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s see what was happening before that song’s release. Known at the beginning of the 1960s as “the Station with the Million Dollar Sound,” KYW-Cleveland never disregarded the important role played by its outstanding news team. Who could forget its famous byline “When its news elsewhere, its history at KYW?[1] As we will see later, the frequent replaying of its jingles only served to reinforce that close connection being shaped between its growing fan-base and the broadcasting outlet they loved so much. Abrupt changes in its radio lineup started as early as May 1960 when Dick Reynolds unexpectedly left KY-11 for the bright lights of Philly and WIP 610 AMA freelancer named Keith Morris took over his show.[2]

A May 13th Cleveland Plain Dealer article dealt with a new growing concern that was affecting the broadcasting industry in general. The increasingly high value that major broadcasting networks were placing on owning and operating prime facilities within some of our nation’s biggest markets appeared to be overriding their long-term commitment to provide the very best in entertainment and news 24/7.[3] Few of those networks ever considered the repercussion that might result when their own particular business needs took precedence over the public’s interests. That never ending parade of new station owners within major radio markets proved especially unnerving to naïve listeners who were ill prepared for such frequent, intense changes. Of course, both the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company and KYW radio and television believed in those tenets although officials in both camps remained coy when it came to explaining to the public what exactly prompted their actions. Nevertheless, they rarely tried to minimize or soften the negative aspects of regularly swapping outlets. Instead, they preferred to showcase their many outstanding programming achievements occurring in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. What they didn’t talk much about were their future plans and how they might affect local broadcasting. Some of those long-term plans, if actually adopted, would have radically changed traditional broadcasting norms.

Many of those more immediate, often seemingly cosmetic changes occurring in mid-‘60s radio broadcasting really represented an assimilation of the many suggestions for improvements submitted by its loyal fans over the past several years. As its promoters reiterated “we are dedicated to providing our many fans with what they need and want. What they failed to mention was the fact that most of those new programming initiatives were aimed at one thing and only one thing achieving high returns. After all, KYW-Radio was not some local, non-profit charity, far from it. Whether anyone cared to acknowledge that fact or not was of little consequence to its profit seeking board. This radio station was first and foremost a forprofit enterprise whose very survival depended on a continually expanding listening audience driven by well-heeled advertisers. If that was done effectively that would generate exceptionally high returns. Successful radio broadcasting, from its humble beginnings in the 1920s, rarely deviated from that business model.

Regarding the current legal squabble, the feds reluctance to act quickly on the RKO-General petition surprised many in the broadcasting industry including those at WBC.[4] The disinclination of the U.S. 3rd District Court in Philadelphia to respond rapidly to Westinghouse’s recently filed counter suit aimed at stopping it greatly alarmed its Board of Directors. It was not alone in its concern. The San Francisco Chronicle aided by its very powerful broadcasting arm KRON-TV went through a similar experience when they approached the court. In fact, this highly influential, powerful West Coast media giant was not subtle when it reminded the 3rd District Court that NBC’s high handed corporate dealings had obliged the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company to accept what many experts in the field believed to be a less than perfect business arrangement in ’56. The San Francisco Chronicle insisted that the feds must initiate stricter exchange guidelines before considering any petition submitted by RKO-General.[5]

That California-based broadcasting giant further contended that before initiating any substantial changes to the present station trade guidelines, federal officials must first maintain the status quo regarding the procedures local stations must follow whenever they intended to switch network affiliations. Federal compliance to this West Coast media’s demand would not bode well for either RKO or RCA-NBC. Both networks defended their rather callous actions by claiming that their request would serve the best interests of the public. In their minds, there was no other plausible argument. Furthermore, RKO and RCA-NBC had willingly fulfilled all the legal obligations required of them under the ’59 DOJ consent decree. Yet, in the eyes of Westinghouse’s board members their actions seemed highly orchestrated. The uncanny ability of the National Broadcasting Company lawyers to skirt around the purported business improprieties further infuriated U.S. Rep. Emanuel Celler and his house committee.[6] An outspoken New York politician, with a long history of defending the downtrodden, Celler immediately reconvened his committee to see if any further legal action could be taken to stop the RKO-General deal.

Both Westinghouse and Philco believed that they had every legal right to challenge this swap. They claimed that RKO’s legal actions, occurring only after all the parties involved in the deal had signed the consent decree, seemed to directly challenge both the DOJ’s legal authority and its position in this matter.[7] In this instance, the reluctance of the U.S. Department of Justice to dispute RKO’s rather narrow interpretation of the law followed by a misrepresentation of its own submitted petition sent shockwaves throughout the commercial radio-industry. Some of the best legal minds of the day seriously questioned the DOJ’s judgment. Logic dictated that if the recent actions taken by RKO and NBC were in some way fraudulent then why didn’t the feds just flatly deny the request? Increasing opposition from many legal circles lent further credence to that particular bone of contention. Yet, nothing was done to stop it. As you might have already figured out, there was much more to it than what first met the eye. Clever legal teams representing RKOGeneral and RCA-NBC were very well prepared on a multitude of legal levels. The National Broadcasting Company took the lead in all of this by having its counsel present a most convincing counter argument. It claimed that local broadcasters frequently change affiliations with few ever thinking twice about what had just transpired. Everyday broadcasting pressures that ranged from escalating overhead costs to plummeting profits generally took center stage over such inconsequential things as changing affiliates. The prevailing feeling among most broadcasters of that era was that if one affiliate did not meaningfully improve their local ratings then perhaps another would. That fundamental legal defense proved very effective.

In an unforeseen reversal in roles, the U. S. Department of Justice openly attacked some of the National Broadcasting Company’s harshest critics. It said that the network had done nothing wrong legally when it submitted to the FCC its NBC-WBC petition in ‘56. The two networks viewed it as an honest swap. Mr. Celler’s committee strongly disagreed with this latest DOJ contention by claiming that the unusually high number of antitrust-related complaints and violations leveled against NBC in the past several years required that the federal courts begin to re-examine whether that network had indeed violated the Sherman Act during negotiations.[8] In an equally alarming move, the U.S. 3rd District Court in Philadelphia in June 1960 rejected WBC’s earlier appeal calling for the feds to deny the current RKO-NBC station trade.[9] The Justice Department’s legal counsel further stunned leaders in the commercial radio industry when it said that if the National Broadcasting Company should decide in the next several months to pull its affiliation from one or more of WBC stations in question that its actions would not be construed as directly violating its ’59 consent decree.[10] That 180degree reversal by the DOJ greatly angered Westinghouse’s higher ups. They felt the U.S. Department of Justice had somehow betrayed them at a time when they needed the feds to remedy this alleged wrong. Of course, WBC publicists were smart enough not to vent out their frustration to the general public. They knew that the adverse publicity resulting from such an unconcealed attack against a media giant, such as NBC, would unquestionably have serious repercussions for both the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company and its many successful affiliates including KYW-Cleveland.

However, the hesitancy on the part of the feds to deny the RKO-NBC petition outright greatly worried Westinghouse’s legal counsel. What if in the process of reviewing the current exchange proposal federal officials should decide that the ’56 station exchange was indeed illegal that might compel NBC and WBC to return their stations to their original cities? Such action might not be viewed as earthshattering by the commercial radio industry in general, but it would certainly prove costly and time consuming for the two networks involved. Nevertheless, both KYW-Cleveland and WRCV-Philadelphia began preparing for just such an event should it developOdds makers in the spring of ‘60 said that the chances of the federal courts reversing that earlier FCC decision were slim to none. They said that the worst might be that the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company would receive a generous check from NBC to cover any inconveniences that WBC might have experienced during its relocation to Cleveland nearly a decade earlier. But, that would surely be the extent of it.

Concerning the pending RKO-General request, WBC’s legal team presented a very strong argument saying that if the feds approved the petition unconditionally that would lead to RCA-NBC gaining control of five of this nation’s top broadcasting markets.[11] Equally important, it would nullify the U.S. Department of Justice’s consent decree. Westinghouse’s legal team concluded that the many complaints leveled against the National Broadcasting Company over the past decade were very much warranted based on its malicious and willfully repeated violations of the current federal law. If that was proven to be true that might well set into motion specific legal actions designed to overturn a rejected WBC appeal adjudicated previously by 3rd U.S. District Court’s Judge William H. Kirkpatrick. You might also remember that in rendering that decision Judge Kirkpatrick had contended that his actions were prompted by his limited jurisdiction powers that only permitted those parties directly involved in the ’59 consent decree to apply to his court for additional orders. After having made the rounds, that yet to be resolved RKO-NBC petition returned to the same U.S. District Court in Philadelphia that July for additional consideration.

As was mentioned previously, Keith Morris’s tenure at KY-11 proved to be very short-lived. However, he soon reappeared on WHK-Radio. His replacement at KYW was a Youngstown DJ called Frank “Swingin’ Sweeney (1933-2017). Joining the Westinghouse-Cleveland radio team that same summer, Sweeney split his evening duties. KYW’s promotional department proudly proclaimed “The Swing’s to Sweeney, Swingin! Sweeney That Is,” As we will soon see, he was a wild and crazy guy who provided all sorts of fun contests for his loyal listeners. Viewed from the beginning as a pacesetter for Cleveland’s growing teen audience, Frank Sweeney was well worth his weight in gold. In terms of the current Philly situation, the National Broadcasting Company proudly declared a small victory in July 1960 when the feds didn’t convene their WCVR license renewal hearing.[12] Federal officials also threw out Philco’s earlier charges against NBC. Yet throughout it all, the RKOGeneral proposal remained on the table. In a last ditched effort, Philco’s attorneys reminded the U.S. 3rd District Court in Philadelphia that the DOJ consent decree specified that RCA-NBC could no longer either own or operate WCVR.[13] Many legal experts at that moment seriously wondered whether that legal argument would hold up in the federal courts should the Federal Communications Commission reverse its earlier decision on the ’56 swap.

Meanwhile on the home front, a July ’60 Westinghouse ad proudly proclaimed that its radio network now broadcasted more music, news, service announcements, traffic alerts and weather reports than anyone else. It also pointed out that its consistent high ratings meant even greater sales for advertisers that bought large blocks of KYW-Radio airtime. The intensifying public demand for more national and international news convinced the WBC Board of Directors to increase the number of its Washington bureau’s phone lines.[14] It said that any financial losses incurred by stations in adding those lines would be made up once the system was fully operational.[15] A new program debuted in the summer of 1960 to very positive local reviews. Called “Poliscope,” it replaced the nightly Jazz Show.[16] Some highly incensed listeners were very much distracted by the booming voiceover now heard at all KYW-FM break. Apparently, it not only overpowered the music being played; but also, repeatedly reminding everyone that the station was a public service.[17] Personnel changes that August saw Jack Linn, a former Accounting Executive at Howson Advertising become KYW’s newest National Sales Representative. That announcement was on the heels of the arrival of Jack N. Bennett. Formerly of WCAR-Detroit, Bennett assumed the role of KYW News Editor. At the same time, Perry M. Beaumont took over as that station’s lead salesmen.[18]

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reminded KYW’s many listeners that if they intended to lodge a phone complaint, any Friday, on “Program PM’s” newest segment “What’s on Your Mind” expect to talk to Carl Stern and not Specs Howard. Stern will gladly tape your complaint for that night’s broadcast.[19] The first week of August saw the hotly contested legal debate over the RKO-NBC petition rear its ugly head once again. WBC’s legal eagles asked the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider RKO General’s petition along with related trafficking licenses and construction permits.[20] The team further reminded the feds that any hasty decision, on their part, might well be perceived as not properly serving the public’s best interests. That same summer, the FCC’s Radio Advertising Bureau released a report that included, among other things, the latest percentages of teenagers listening to commercial radio from 4 p.m. to Midnight. Those percentages hovered around 10% to 11% depending on the hour.[21] During that same period, Westinghouse’s advertising agency boasted that KYW-Cleveland provided the best news coverage in Greater Cleveland. Local ratings substantiated that claim as the station again achieved number one ranking.[22] That triumph seemed even more impressive considering the fact that KY-11 was not technically a Top 40 rock and roll radio station. It still played a wide variety of music geared for different age groups. However, its diverse musical format did not stop it from playing more and more hours of rock and roll music as the months passed. Knowing that rock and roll music was a growing national phenomenon, with no end in sight, had persuaded KYW’s shrewd programmers to devote more airtime to it.

Adding Swingin’ Sweeney to the daily lineup in July 1960 represented a sincere attempt by its program coordinators to appeal more directly to the emergent number of teens that were increasingly listening to KY-11. An offbeat kind of guy, Sweeney appeared to understand the deep-rooted emotions that touched most young people. Without a doubt, he was a “wild and crazy” guy as everyone in local radio knew. But, he was also lots of fun. To illustrate that last point, Sweeney helped many teens overcome the summertime doldrums by offering them a fantastic contest. It began with him dressing up like a jungle character and swinging from cage bars in the Cleveland Zoo.[23] Contestants first had to track him down by following the detailed clues provided by the studio. Once they found him, they then had to carry him back to the station seated in a plush sedan chair. Participants finally had to place him next to his favorite turntable where he announced the winners. His audience loved such wacky adventures!

A former WGAR jock named Hal Morgan (1916-1988) joined the KYW staff at the end of August where he stayed for four years. He replaced Ronnie Barrett whose job responsibilities were changing.[24] An article published in the October 1960 issue of U.S. Radio explored the many reasons why Westinghouse’s successful new business model worked so well in so many places. Now a listening companion at both home and work, modern-day radio fans more and more turn to one station to supply them with their daily news and entertainment rather than skip around the AM dial.[25] According to Don McGannon, Westinghouse’s jocks not only encouraged a loyal following by offering them exactly what they wanted most; but also, did everything within their power to become active members of the community they so proudly served. He further stated that the news coming out of the Washington Bureau was far superior to many of its competitors in that one size did not fit all. In fact, the news items broadcasted daily out of the Washington Bureau were customized to suit the needs of its different stations. A staple of all WBC outlets; “Program PM” had done the unthinkable when they successfully combined the best in local news coverage with the finest commentary.

Don McGannon additionally reminded everyone that the emerging electronic media represented a new and effective way in which to advertise the latest products and services to the biggest possible fan base. Since Westinghouse led in this up and coming field it made perfect sense for advertisers to avail themselves of that network’s many affordable new services and vast technical resources.[26] Following an eighteen month pause “Traffic Court” returned to the KYW airways starting October 4th.[27] The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Municipal Canon # 35 did not apply to courtroom sessions scheduled to be broadcasted at a later time. That court ruling overturned an earlier decision that had banned it. Some new industry-wide guidelines strongly recommended that AM radio stations should make every effort possible to air more home grown programs. They should also try to be friendlier; more humorous and show greater empathy for the problems affecting their listening audience.[28] KY-11 did all of that admirably.

Nineteen Fifty-Nine expenses for select Cleveland radio outlets stood at a whopping $5.44 million while their combined annual incomes topping $634,628.[29] Sales for that year had exceeded the $3 million mark with national and regional sales equaling $3.12 million. The return of Ken Courtwright (1935-2010) to the KYW airways revitalized weekend radio newscasts.[30] Unexpectedly, one of KYW’s Chief Promotors Janet K. Byers resigned to assume similar duties at KFWB in Los Angeles. A highly-respected business manager from KQV-Pittsburgh Frank Maruca took over her responsibilities.[31] KYW’s VP Frank Tooke proudly announced that this AM station would continue to play lots of rock and roll music along with plenty of folk music, jazz, standard ballads and show tunes. He believed that the key to success in local broadcasting was to maintain a balance in the kind of records played daily.[32] November 1960 saw the return of the highly anticipated Higbee’s Christmas Open House. As always, it showcased KYW’s top radio personalities as well as some of the best performers in the recording industry.[33] That year’s lineup included Conway Twitty, the Playmates, the Orchettes and Carl Dobkins Jr.

A new and exciting broadcasting personality entered the local radio scene later that month. Tom E. Griffiths (1937-2011) was undoubtedly an important part of that new exciting sound that made this particular radio station so great.[34] WBC board members congratulated Barton Clausen on his recent election to the Cleveland City Club’s Board of Directors.[35] The Kiplinger Report, a daily business synopsis that among other things rated the sturdiness as well as quality of consumer products, now filled the 10:30 p.m. weekday slot.[36] It fitted in well with the existing evening newscasts and talk shows. A year-end investigation by the National Labor Relations Board based on assertions made by the National Association of Broadcasting Employees and Technicians that KYW had improperly discharged several custodians before moving into its new studios was little more than a misunderstanding. Their contract with WBC did not expire until January 31, 1961.[37] On a more personal note, KYW commemorated Christmas Eve by broadcasting a threehour tree trimming musical extravaganza hosted by Tom Griffiths.[38] The show was intended to make that challenge easier.

Nineteen sixty-two began with the U.S. 3rd District Court in Philadelphia denying Westinghouse’s latest appeal disallowing the RKO-General petition.[39] On a much brighter and happier note, the improved KYWFM signal now covered twenty-seven Northern Ohio counties. That represented 33% of that station’s listening area.[40] In order to keep the enthusiasm of its listeners up during the dreary winter months of 61, KY-11 introduced yet another promotional campaign. This time, the station asked everyone to come up with a catchy new stage name for its latest jock Tom Griffiths.[41] After some deliberation, the listeners decided on Griff ThomasThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that the need for well-paid radio announcers had lessened considerably in many of this nation’s largest markets due to the growing industry-wide dependence on a new technical breakthrough called automated broadcasting. However, broadcasters within smaller communities still relied on them. In our biggest cities, broadcasters might earn anywhere from $13,000 to $25,000 a year.[42]

Cleveland newspapers that February reported that negotiations between WBC officials and KYW engineers had reached a feverous, new pitch.[43] The National Association of Broadcast Engineers & Technicians repeatedly complained that the station’s recent wage offers were utterly unreasonable. Union reps sought out a $17 wage increase for employees who made $171 a week. Westinghouse’s shrewd negotiating team responded to that demand by pointing out that the present salary cap for KYW employees was not $171 a week; but rather, $162.50 and that the team was prepared to offer $175 plus the right to discipline workers who refused to cross union picket lines during strikes.[44] Before agreeing to the new wage package, the union insisted that the station hire more part-time employees. On a positive note, KYW’s Road Show proudly announced that it had contributed $53,000 to local charities over the past three years.[45] Many listeners were sad to learn that Tom Manning was about to retire from broadcasting. He had been a sports announcer at WTAM and KYW for the past thirty-five years. Among his many achievements, Tom Manning had received Sporting News Outstanding Sports Announcer Award in 1938.[46]

In early 1961, “Program PM” introduced a brand new segment to its night broadcast called “Counseling Session. Hosted by Carl Stern, it examined some of the recent divorce cases handled by Cleveland’s Jewish Family Services.[47] Social workers from that very respected locally-based institution carefully examined and then discusses those files in detail. That February, KYW programmers introduced a new, abbreviated newscast that was broadcasted right in the middle of “Program PM.” In an unexpected move, WBC’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of Perry B. Bascom (1924-1997) as KYW’s latest GM.[48] This highly experienced manager replaced Carl Vandergrift who had taken over the responsibilities of WBC Special Programs Coordinator. Before coming to Cleveland, Bascom had served as an Account Executive at WIPPhiladelphia as well as the National Radio Sales Manager for Westinghouse in New York.[49]

Beginning that March, Eugene M. Plumstead (1916-1992) took over the reins as KYW’s state-of-the-art Program Coordinator. Previously, he had been VP at Plough Broadcasting Company.[50] At the same time, Bud Wendell, KYW’s highly distinguished nighttime talk show host, had become its Late Night Programming Coordinator. For the second year in a row, Westinghouse corporate earnings reached an impressive mark of $79 million.[51] The dazzling March 61 KYW-Cleveland lineup began with Big Wilson mornings followed by Ronnie Barrett and Specs Howard mid-day and “Swingin’” Sweeney afternoons. Program PM assumed the early evening broadcasting chores followed by Griff Thomas who lit up the late night skies.[52] A new 7:00 p.m. national broadcast called “Radio News Day “with Jerry Landay debuted at month’s end. It dealt with world news, in-depth stories and important events.[53] New developments, stemming from Philco’s latest attempt to stop RCA-NBC from obtaining its WRCV license renewal, suddenly appeared on the legal horizon.[54] The DOJ again reminded the FCC that it must not ignore its consent decree when evaluating the National Broadcasting Company’s current request. Even if that particular regulatory agency had the legal authority to grant that network its request without any further discussion or review that did not mean that it should deny the Philco Corporation the legal opportunity of trying to convince it otherwise. The U.S. Department of Justice further reminded the commissioners that once NBC divested itself of WRCV-Philadelphia it would no longer have the legal right to exchange any other company-owned station for the desired Boston radio and television outlets.

Reb Foster (1936-2019) was the latest addition to the growing list of groovy jocks that now called KYW their home.[55] His fast-paced approach towards radio broadcasting was the antithesis of his immediate predecessor the softer sounding Dave Hawthorne.[56] WBC’s revolutionary Megatown marketing plan radically changed U.S. retailing practices forever. Pre-selling items and services through unfiltered advertising means eliminated, once and for all, cumbersome geographical lines and unwanted middlemen.[57] Many listeners were sorry to learn that Big Wilson was leaving KYW for WNEW in New York. A popular Boston radio celebrity Dexter Card (1933-2018) took over his popular morning gig.[58] In an enlightened piece of journalism, U.S. Radio that June presented a very thoughtful account on the surging $10 billion teen market.[59] A recent Seventeen magazine survey found that this nation’s teenage population had increased from 10.7 million to 13.5 million over the previous decade. In terms of spending habits, that magazine soon discovered that teenage girls spend more than $300 million a year on beauty aids and cosmetics.[60] This was a very impressive sum even if their parents still bought most of those items. The teen market was there for the taking, yet few in radio actively pursued it. The article argued that AM stations nationwide should more actively pursue that growing market especially as broadcasting expenses continued to rise at an alarmingly pace.

One reoccurring complaint made against many popular AM stations, such as KYW-Radio, concerned the frequent hiring and firing of locally-inspired DJs. Some critics perhaps correctly likened it to a revolving door. In the case of KYW-Cleveland the rapid departure of many local favorites such as Ronnie Barrett, Gloria Brown and Dave Hawthorne seemed to bring that point home to many Clevelanders. Even if those same radio personalities quickly resurfaced on other local stations it was never the same. In fact, that hard to describe magnetism that first brought them together with their many fans in rarely reoccurred in another setting. However, the business aspects of broadcasting were ever demanding and frequently unkind on the personal level. Everyone involved in the managerial side of commercial radio in the 1960s knew the critical importance of regularly balancing their company’s books.

The question continually plaguing them was whether balancing the budget should always take precedent over important human aspects of the business? There was no right or wrong answer; however, much confusion. As everyone readily conceded, the individual choices made by the listening audience, as reflected through local ratings, ultimately determined the winners and losers within the local AM radio game. Some critics contended that business managers might want to listen more attentively to the wishes of their listening audience rather than follow the stern advice offered by their accountants. We must also remember that many listeners long-term loyalty towards one outlet over another could literally disappear overnight once their favorite jocks were no longer there.[61] Looking at it from the DJs perspective, how could they establish any real connection with their fans from the community that they served if their future employment was so indefinite? As everyone knew, one false move and you were gone.

We must remember that Joe Finan, Wes Hopkins, Frank Swingin Sweeney and Big Wilson came and went in no time. Many broadcasting veterans wondered who might be thrown under the bus by their employers next. They rarely had to wait too long to find out. If you’re thinking there was more to hiring and firing than what first met the eye you’re right. The fundamentals guiding business principles for virtually all commercial radio stations in the U.S. during the 1950s and 1960s centered on two things balancing the books while staying at the top of the game. If broadcasters, like KYW, didn’t do that then their rivals would not hesitate to seize the moment if they could. Any station might win or lose instantly especially if their loyal fan-base should for one reason or another suddenly sour towards themPaying smaller salaries to lesser known radio personalities at the expense of high paid celebrities certainly represented one very credible way in which to balance the books. Although the local press and eager listening audiences might not have liked the results, radio outlets everywhere did just that as a way of ensuring the status quo.

Let’s pursue this accepted practice of rapidly firing and hiring of broadcasters a bit further. If a top notch DJ should discover without any previous warning that his show was rapidly dropping in the local ratings that might be enough in itself to guarantee his prompt dismissal. Troublesome behavior on the part of that same jock might also hasten his release. In both cases, the station responsible for the firings rarely suffered financially from such decisive action. In fact, shrewd radio managers knew full-well that there was a slew of equally talented broadcasters ready on a moment’s notice to replace veteran announcers at a fraction of the cost. That need to up their game by rapidly firing and hiring radio celebrities proved crucial to fledgling AM outlets that were forced to repeatedly cut soaring overhead costs while still maintaining the appearance of being winners. Critics outside this field often looked the other way when stations aggressively and repeatedly employed such cutthroat business practices. However, the majority of disc jockeys knew exactly what led station managers to act so cold-bloodedly. A sudden plunge in revenue or rocketing overhead costs frequently overrode any personal feelings station managers might have towards specific radio personalities.

For its consistently high quality reporting on locally important education issues, KYW received the National Education Association’s School Bell Award.[62] The Cleveland Plain Dealer was surprised to learn that KYW’s management had agreed to permit its new morning man Dexter Card to use his real name both on and off the air.[63] A Maine native, Card had previously worked in Portland, ME; Providence, RI and Milwaukee, WS prior to joining the WCOP team. Several leading KY-11 personalities led by Reb Foster made positive news headlines that same summer by participating in amateur baseball games courtesy of the Cleveland Recreation Department. They wanted to keep the kids out of trouble and off the streets.[64] In late August 1961, the press praised one of KYW’s chief radio rivals WERE for actively promoting “good music” programming over traditional rock and roll. WERE officials said that its earlier rock and roll format had not sufficiently improved their ratings and that station managers were ready for a major change.[65]

The questions surrounding the NBC-WBC swap in 56 and the current RKO controversy brought to light some overlooked legal issues pertaining to certain license agreements. Federal courts concerns centered on such things as to whether two year television affiliation contracts with successive two year terms could be or should be considered depreciable assets or not? The legal ruckus that ensued over that specific, contentious issue encouraged the U.S. Tax Court to reconsider the unique tax arrangement it had made with Westinghouse following the Philco deal in 53. Apparently, the court had empowered the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company to repay all advances it made towards spot advertising through a special fifty-five month depreciation schedule. That schedule consisted of two independent, two-year renewals.[66] Under this agreement, the federal court required WBC to repay the more than $1 million it saved by the end of FY-1955. That repayment would be added onto the federal income tax the company already owed to Uncle Sam.[67] Unfortunately, Westinghouse officials never fulfilled their obligation.

After due consideration, the U.S. Tax Court in September 1961 reversed its earlier ruling which meant that Westinghouse must pay back taxes owed. WBC’s legal counsel promptly appealed it.[68] Its appeal emphasized the fact that the value of the Philco station at the time of purchase was $5 million and that figure included all depreciation costs. Understandably, WBC’s legal team furnished that crucial piece of information in the hope that the court would reverse its stance in May ‘62. In Westinghouse Broadcasting Company v. Commission of Internal Revenue, the court made it quite clear that the plaintiff’s arguments were not convincing and that Westinghouse did indeed owe the back taxes.[69] Part of the backlash from that ruling led U.S. Senator Gale McGee (1915-1992) to request the FCC to reconsider the implications of automatically granting television licenses to very large corporations such as General Electric and Westinghouse Electric.[70] The senator saw potential conflicts of interest especially for the subsidiaries held responsible for operating those outlets. However, further probes into that matter turned up nothing

Late September 1961 saw a further shakeup of the KYW lineup. Reb Foster and Joe Mayer (1926-1997) replaced Frank Swingin’” Sweeney.[71] Thomas (Harve) Morgan (1927-2003) also joined the exciting team.[72] Harve Morgan had previously been the News and Program Director at WHMCharlestown, WVA and at WMNIColumbus. He had also briefly hosted a morning show on WCAOTV in Baltimore. He was hired by KYW officials to host an overhaul of “Program PM.” That autumn saw further changes when the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company purchased the rights to a series of special radio shows on some of Hollywood’s greatest movie stars.[73] Behind the scenes, this very forward thinking enterprise was rapidly transforming itself from a local middleoftheroad music station into a regional Top 40 rock and roll music contender. The brand new Rod Roddy Show represented a major departure from earlier milder shows that mostly played different kinds of popular records highlighted by occasional banter and plenty of ads. Rod Roddy (1937-2003) broke away from the humdrum with a healthy dose of corny jokes and all sorts of bells, shouts and whistles.[74] Roddy’s zany antics, both on and off the air, definitely woke up his fan-base to the undeniable fact that major program changes were rapidly occurring at KY-11.

Community-minded KYW-Radio proudly hosted a special performance of the “The Miracle Worker” geared for blind and deaf persons.[75] On the business front, radio experts repeatedly emphasized that the current switch from nationally-based to locally-oriented programming did not exclusive belong to WBC. Other broadcasters like McLendon, Plough, Storer and Storz had also experimented with it. However, those competing radio broadcasters had to admit that the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company’s recent success was like no other. Relevant programming on all levels seemed to separate WBC broadcasting from its rivals.[76] Independents, such as WBC, swept aside the earlier held notion expounded by many radio leaders that nationally-based programs whether comedies, dramas or soap operas would be more than adequate when it came to fulfilling the growing needs of their many listeners. Literally overnight, WBC’s shrewd business managers and programmers had reinvented locally-based radio stations with KY11 playing a foremost role in its development stage and implementation cycle. Regularly achieving high ratings in a highly competitive market showed all doubters that this kind of independent programming did indeed work over the long haul.

The station scored another ratings victory after co-sponsoring Higbee’s One Day Only Christmas Open House in 1961.[77] Its many lively musical performances enhanced by KYW radio and television personalities and helpful household demonstrations appealed to nearly everyone. KYW’s radio personalities such as Dexter Card, Reb Foster, Tom Griffiths, Specs Howard and Rod Roddy added their own flair to this very festive event. On another note, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA) union announced that it would accept WBC’s latest wage offer.[78] It specified that 5% of employee wages be deposited into a newly created AFTRA pension fund. On the broadcasting side, Al James, one of the station’s newest stars, took over both the early evening and late night weekend slots.[79] He remained a fixture of Cleveland radio into the 1970s.

In another federal related matter, WBC that December turned over to the FCC legal documents proving that this broadcasting arm of Westinghouse Electric was truly independent of its parent company.[80] That formal separation occurred in 1953. As part of a continual effort to provide the very finest in both news and commentary, KYW-Cleveland expanded its daily Noon newscast beginning in January 1962. Jack Bennett broadcasted from the studios while his partner Hugh Danaceau (1929-2003) read the news from the nearby Citizen’s Federal Bank Building on East 6th Street.[81] Two months later, the feds renewed the station’s license for an additional three years.[82] Also, Harve Morgan wrote a fascinating book on President Lincoln later that same year. Thousands of phoned-in questions he received during his Lincoln-a-Thon program that February led him to write it.[83] In a candid Cleveland Plain Dealer interview with KYW’s chief publicist Mike Ruppe Jr., he admitted that his clever advertising campaigns had played a key role in that outlets recent power climb to the top of the local ratings.[84] Building up its image by telling its many listeners about upcoming station events and hiring exciting new radio personalities was exactly what winning promotion departments did regularly. Ruppe concluded by saying that KYW’s many catchy jingles definitely separated this enterprise from its rivals. He reiterated that a happy listener is a loyal listener.

That same March, an NBC Accountant Robert D. Johnson became KYW’s latest business manager. He replaced Irv Ruby who assumed similar responsibilities at Westinghouse’s West Coast radio affiliate KEX.[85] KYW thanked everyone for the positive feedback it had been receiving regarding its latest brochure entitled “If You Are Arrested.”[86] Without a doubt, this popular broadcaster had gained a well-earned reputation for helping those in need. The lucky winner of the “Why I’d like to be Dex Card’s Boss for a Day” contest had him clean her house top to bottom.[87] WBC’s rosy financial picture in early ’62 convinced its corporate heads to move ahead with plans to purchase one of New York City’s most prestigious AM outlets. The addition of 1010WINS to its growing list of well-respected stations brought the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company’s total number of stations to nine.[88] The May 14th edition of Broadcasting, The Business Weekly of Television & Radio explored the extraordinary renaissance of U.S. commercial radio over the past ten years.[89] Many experts agreed that, in all probability, the future of commercial radio in the U.S. would be closely connected to the willingness of local broadcasters to relate more directly to the ever changing needs and wants of their loyal listeners.

Automation in broadcasting was making tremendous strides in radio over the past several years.[90] In fact, more and more programmers were relying on it when developing their playlists and new advertising strategies. The number of stations changing hands skyrocketed in the early ‘60s as the abundance of advertising dollars and the gradual lifting of severe federal restrictions freed up the buying and selling of AM outlets. The unrelenting competition among leading radio broadcasters was responsible for much of it. Buying numerous stations at a drop of a hat demonstrated two important things about contemporary buyers. First, it confirmed that the buyer had the extra capital needed to embark on such ventures and second that it expected its efforts to do very well financially. If that was not true then why expose yourself to such a risky thing? Whether that symbolized an accurate portrayal of an outlet’s financial picture, in the early 1960s, was of little consequence in that most big city radio stations appeared to be building up enormous profits with only minimum debt. As nearly everyone involved in radio broadcasting knew then allowing an outlet to stand still while a parade of your closest rivals marched by triumphantly was no longer a viable business option. The prevailing attitude was that you’ve got to fight for what you want right now or all may be lost very quickly!

Experts in broadcasting repeatedly reminded everyone that much of radio’s fantastic resurgence during the late 1950s and early 1960s reflected the unbelievable increase in the number of inexpensive transistor radios available in the market.[91] That was enhanced even further by many programmers who relied on the many very desirable broadcasts available through emergent independent entertainment companies to help fill their days. Those sources specialized in providing surplus shows to money-strapped broadcasters that had some difficulty filling up their airtime. Critics strongly recommended that all radio outlets regardless of their influenced and size should follow three basic rules. First, they should limit the number of commercials they broadcast per hour. Second, they should insist that their advertisements follow the script. Third, they should demand flexible programming at all times.

Shrewd executives at KY-11 closely followed those guidelines. However, they also knew that when all was said and done high ratings and increasing revenues were really all that mattered. As we saw earlier, that precarious balance had to be maintained even when it limited program creativity. That was especially true when big city stations unexpectedly introduced pie in the sky programs without first examining the possible pitfalls that might occur from such actions. That proved especially dangerous for smaller outlets. Any misstep by those operating on a shoestring might prompt disaster. But, don’t think for a moment that large city radio broadcasters were immune from it they weren’t. Thats where shrewd business managers often came into the picture. Many leaders in the radio-industry depended on versatile promotion departments and outspoken public relations specialists to handle just such emergencies when they occurred. KYW’s Public Relations Director Charles L. Getz Jr. (1924-2008) was just that kind of seasoned executive they relied on. Part of his responsibilities included handling any unexpected programming glitches that might suddenly pop up out of nowhere.

Those scenarios repeatedly played out throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s. High revenues often encouraged wildcat program speculation sometimes with awful results. At one time or another nearly every radio programmer working at a major outlet believed that his or her suggestion for a new show would be an instant hit with listeners. Positive thinking like that might have been more welcomed by radio managers if those same program planners had successfully ironed out any of the problems inherently a part of introducing most new shows. However, few followed that logical line of reasoning. That promulgated program speculation throughout the crazy 1950s and 1960s. Potential pitfalls resulting from such maverick actions covered the gamut. They ranged from previously unimagined high production costs, particularly during the initial phases of production, to whether or not the local audience would accept this new radical programming concept. Certainly, surprising breakthroughs in broadcasting such as “Program PM” and the Mike Douglas Show encouraged many others in the field to experiment with a wide range of similarly inspired programs. The fact that those programs were immediate successes did not mean that analogous endeavors would be as profitable.

Regrettably, impractical programs and promotions rarely fared well in the open market especially in cities such as Cleveland. Let’s not forget the recent Big K promotional disaster. That was why most station managers including those at KYW increasingly turned to recognized experts in the field such as Getz to come up with new programming ideas that would excite audiences without straining the station’s budget. They knew full well that any miscalculation on their part might produce a negative ripple effect that might reduce profits in the years ahead. Prior to approving any new show, Charles Getz’s had WBC’s shrewd accountants analyze its prospects. The corporate higher-ups determined whether those new programs would fly or not with local audiences based on earlier, similar offerings broadcasted by KYW-Radio. Modifying existing shows, based on the changing needs and wants of its fan base, represented an easy way to ensure continued success. Unfortunately, hastily conceived shows by eager programmers wanting to make a name for themselves might have serious financial repercussions further down the road.

As we saw earlier, the frequent hiring and firing of radio personalities might be viewed by some critics as very impulsive behavior displayed by tight fisted business managers or program executives leveled against defenseless employees. In reality, such decisions were considered as necessary stop gap measures all a part of running a successful radio station. Program cutbacks and frequent changes echoed the many budgetary constraints facing most broadcasting companies during those anxious times. They were often triggered by economic and social forces that were slowly unwinding within the existing market. Very powerful businesses and equally determined federal regulators encouraged much of it. Sadly, the listening public had little empathy in that regard. Whether the actions taken by KYW leaders to counter those limits were appropriate or not is probably not the right question to ask here. Given the growing rivalry among local AM stations and the accelerating costs involved in running those operations, a more appropriate question might be whether those station managers really had any other choices? In all likelihood the answer is no. Therefore, when radio broadcasters suddenly suspended shows or fired high paid celebrities, without apparent cause, most fans wrongly presumed that the station’s own selfish interests governed their actions. In reality, outlets like KYW had little choice if they wanted to sustain high profits year after year. You have only to follow the careers of two local radio personalities Mark Allen and Jim Runyon to see how that played out in real time. Both joined the KYW-Radio team in the spring of 1962.[92] Allen symbolized the typical freelancer of his day who was looking for his first real break in broadcasting. Unfortunately, that was not in the cards for him at least not at KYW-Cleveland and here’s why.

A good announcer with great possibilities, Allen apparently did not overly impress his management team who quickly dismissed him. Fear not, he soon reappeared as the first nighttime DJ on Cleveland’s new rock and roll sensation WIXY-1260. Allen later relocated to WCFL-1000 AM in Chicago where he was known as Bob Dearborn. He remained active in radio broadcasting into the Millennium. On the other hand, Jim Runyon climbed the ranks at KYW-Radio very rapidly. A Korean veteran, he first hosted a radio show on WLW-Cincinnati followed by stints at WLWDDayton and WTVNColumbus. He remained in Cleveland for three years before moving to WCFL. Four years later, he returned to Cleveland as WKYC’s new morning man. He may or may not have been as talented as his colleague Mark Allen, but he sure had better luck at least at KYW-Radio. After receiving his pink slip in April ‘62, Dexter Card appeared on WERE-Radio; however, not before engaging in a legal fight with his old bosses.[93] In fact, Westinghouse had threatened him with a court injunction if he started to broadcast on WERE right away. His contract at Westinghouse expressly prohibited him from broadcasting on any other station within a fifty-mile radius of Cleveland for twelve months. The rapid firing of several other KYW jocks resulted in Joe Mayer assuming both the late afternoon and early evening slots. Later called Emperor Joe, Mayer remained a Cleveland favorite for over two decades.

As Cleveland Plain Dealer channel checker Russ Kane so carefully pointed out that June the non-stop merry go round of radio personalities continued at KY-11 with Al James expanding his duties after the firing of Reb Foster.[94] In mid-1962, Cleveland ranked seventh nationally when it came to the percentage of families listening to FM radio.[95] That breakthrough in listeners enabled KYW-FM to retain a sizeable lead over its closest rival. After all, it featured the very best in classical music and cultural features. Pulse Incorporated, a very trusted name in the ratings game, helped substantiate that claim by announcing that 36% of all Cleveland families listened to FM radio. That signified a major jump over the previous year’s percentage of listeners. KYW’s Chief Publicist Charles Getz resigned that same month to join an ambitious Cleveland-based public relations firm headed by Norman Wain (1928-2020).[96] Getz later partnered with Bud Wendell before establishing his own firm at the end of the decade.

The pairing of Harry Martin (1928-2009) with Specs Howard in July 62 to create the all-new KYW morning team was pure genius.[97] It changed the nature of Cleveland broadcasting forever even though some successful radio duos already existed. Klavan and Finch on WNEWNew York and Baxter and Riley on WERE-Cleveland immediately come to mind. But what made this pair so different from their competitors was that KYW matched a straight man Specs Howard with the outrageous Harry Martin. Many critics, at the time, wondered if such vastly different personalities could work together successfully in this conservative blue collar town. However, KYW’s programmers were willing to take the chance.

A madcap jock from KCBQSan Diego, Harry Martin shook up his local listening audience whenever and wherever possible. Meanwhile, Specs Howard handled everything else. You’ll never guess what happened. Clevelanders loved this radio duo from the very start. The whole Martin and Howard radio stick began when Harry Martin, dressed in full Indian garb, jumped onto Cleveland Municipal Field during an Indians home game and began dancing around.[98] Much to the dismay of KYW’s creative promotional department, WERE, the radio home of the Indians, paid little attention these antics. However, that did not stop Martin and Howard from shaking hands and signing autographs much to the delight of the many Indians fans. Martin’s pranks may have seemed out of character in good old Cleveland; however, that did not slow him down not for a single minute. If anything, it encouraged him to do even crazier things in the years ahead. KYW promoters that July hosted a special night cruise as a way of introducing this new morning team to the public. Over eleven hundred fans paid $2.75 a piece for this special trip. Cruise goers participated in amateur performances, a sing-a-long, a puppet shoe and, of course, various prize winning contests.[99] It proved very successful and within weeks Martin & Howard’s morning ratings shot right through the ceilingThey dominated the Cleveland morning radio scene for the next several years.

In a far more serious vein, the FCC in July ’62 held a special hearing on broadcasting monopolies and their impact on present day network practices.[100] The U.S. Attorney General and representatives from NBC and WBC testified in front of this committee regarding the proposed RKO-NBC exchange. The National Broadcasting Company had made it quite clear that it wanted to receive two WRCV renewal licenses one for 1957 and another for 1960.[101] As you might remember, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia had overruled a similar request made by RCA-NBC previously. Increasing accusations by both government and business leaders over potentially serious violations of federal antitrust laws committed by that same network continued to pester NBC’s very sharp legal counsel. Topping that list of complaints was again the unwarranted threat made by NBC that it would have pulled its affiliation from certain Westinghouse owned television stations if that trade had not proceeded along as planned. Some critics went do far as to claim that NBC’s actions constituted outright blackmail. Of course, NBC denied all charges leveled against by its opponents by saying that its officials had scrupulously followed accepted procedures. A new radio personality Jim Stagg (1935-2007) made his 2 p.m. debut on KYW-Radio in August ‘62.[102] Prior to his arrival in Cleveland, he had worked at WYDE-Birmingham, AL; KYA-San Francisco and WOKY-Milwaukee. Stagg remained an important part of Cleveland radio until a shrewd new manager named Ken Draper recruited him for WCFL three years later. WCFL soon featured a very hip lineup. Not only did it include the likes of Jim Stagg and Ron Britain; but also, Jerry G, Larry Lujack, Barney Pip, Joel Sebastian and Dick Williamson. They quickly became major forces in Top 40 radio.

The September 17th issue of Broadcasting, The Business Weekly of Television & Radio focused on what was radio’s secret to its current success. A new study conducted by CBS of its affiliates came up with the seven common denominators most responsible for radio’s incredible accomplishment.[103] First, successful stations display their new found confidence by following a reasonable business agenda intended to promote their long-term success. Second, profitable outlets encourage their many employees to be actively involved in community affairs. Third, well-respected radio enterprises establish a dependable local news operation that complements their national affiliates. Fourth, they hire strong radio personalities for all shows but most especially their morning gigs. Fifth, successful broadcasters emphasize music diversity. Sixth, leading broadcasting entities feature extensive local sports coverage. Seventh, they actively promote their efforts by seeking out advertisers who think the way they do. That same CBS poll strongly hinted that Top 40 radio was rapidly losing its luster in the radio market.[104] Of course, that was not true at all. In fact, Top 40 stations were popping up in more and more places nationwide each and every day.

The drawn out legal battle being waged between Philco and NBC over the right to control WRCV’s license was far from over.[105] In late October, the FCC under the watchful eye of its Chief Examiner James D. Cunningham (1900-1976) attempted to settle this rather awkward issue through a special hearing.[106] This licensing case in some ways bore a resemblance to the 1956 swap especially when it came to the National Broadcasting Company threatening to pull its affiliation from select television outlets if their parent companies did not comply with the many stipulations contained in their unique agreements. It is interesting to note at this time that the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, for a brief interlude in ‘54, seriously considered exchanging its highly sought after Philly station for an equivalent CBS outlet.[107] Had that ensued, then this whole legal mess between NBC and WBC would never have happened.

In the autumn of 1962, KYW negotiators met with representatives from the American Federation of Radio and Television Artist (AFRTA). They wanted to not only resolve the present chaos resulting from the sudden firing of Kenneth A. Bichl; but also, hammer out a new contract.[108] The unexpected firing of Ken Bichl who had served as the AFTRA union president and chief steward led to a massive station walkout that had lasted for weeks. The final agreed-upon contract gave station announcers making $156 a week a $10 weekly raise for year one with an additional $10 the following year. Also, in one fell swoop they updated out-of-date termination rules while increasing the amount of compensation for performance time.[109] Traditional talent fees paid for spot announcements were increased from $5 to $7.50. Meanwhile, Bichl’s case went to a special arbitration board for its consideration.

A new corporate-wide strategy first introduced that November changed the name “Program PM” into “Contact.[110] Not surprisingly, the feds unanimously denied RKO’s most recent petition that had asked for a temporary exchange of stations with the National Broadcasting Company.[111] Had the U.S. 3rd District Court in Philadelphia upheld the ’59 DOJ consent decree and refused to extend NBC’s December ’62 deadline then that network would have had to forfeit its Philly license at an estimated loss of $20 million. Of course, the FCC did not hesitate to grant NBC its deadline extension while rejecting Philco’s latest petition calling for it to operate WRCV-TV for the time being. However, that denial in itself did not stop Philco from seeking a building permit to erect a new WRCV television antenna. Both the U.S. Justice Department and the Philco Corporation continued to oppose NBC receiving any kind of a deadline extension.[112] NBC said that it would never have agreed to sign the consent decree in the first place had it suspected then that it might lose its rights to its Philly station.[113] The network further argued that its board members had not violated any antitrust laws and that it should be allowed to exchange any station it wanted to anyone at any time. Over the past five years, NBC’s nearly $5 million investment in WRCV-Philadelphia had yielded it very impressive returns.[114]

Nineteen sixty-two ended with NBC repeatedly denying allegations that it had coerced WBC into accepting the trade in ‘56. NBC’s chief negotiator Charles R. Denny (1912-2000) who had previously served as the FCC Chairman as well as NBC’s VP and General Counsel further claimed that the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company had always been treated fairly.[115] He also reminded everyone that the Westinghouse Electric Company was nearly twice the size of the National Broadcasting Company.[116] RCA-NBC’s negotiators had considered the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company trade as part of the much larger Denny Plan.” That strategy had mandated extensive improvements for company-owned facilities nationwide once the commissioners had granted RCA-NBC control of WBC’s station holdings in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and San Francisco. In exchange, the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company would have received NBC’s very profitable radio and television outlets in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. However, problems soon popped up regarding the WRC-Washington, D.C. part of the deal. According to Denny, Westinghouse’s disinclination to handle the red tape equated with owning and operating a major outlet in the District quickly narrowed the playing field down to only the Cleveland outlet.[117] During the winter of 1954 negotiations between the two networks suddenly came to a screeching halt when WBC redirected the bulk of its daily attention towards purchasing the Pittsburgh television station owned and operated by the Dumont Network. That delay lasted for months.[118]

  1. Russell W. Kane, “Bob Hope to be Star of TV Political Farce,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 13, 1960. 
  2. Russell W. Kane, “Rebirth of Germany’s Military Documented,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 10, 1960. “KYW-1100 KC,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 17, 1960. 
  3. George E. Condon, “Battle of TV Chains is Boiling Once Again,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 13, 1960. 
  4. “NBC-RKO Swap Under Fire,” Broadcasting, May 16, 1960. 
  5. Ibid.
  6. “NBC-RKO Deals Under New Fire,” Broadcasting, June 6, 1960. 
  7. “New NBC Roadblock: Rep. Celler,” Broadcasting, June 13, 1960.
  8. Ibid.
  9. “NBC-RKO Deal in Court Again,” Broadcasting, July 4, 1960. 
  10. Ibid.
  11. “New NBC Roadblock: Rep. Celler,” Broadcasting, June 13, 1960.
  12. “NBC-RKO Deal in Court Again,” Broadcasting, July 4, 1960. 
  13. Ibid.
  14. “WBC Makes Own New Network,” Broadcasting, July 25, 1960. 
  15. Ibid.
  16. “KYW-1100 KC,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 29, 1960. 
  17. Emerson Batdorff, “You and Your Hi-Fi,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 30, 1960.
  18. “Fates and Fortunes,” Broadcasting, August 1, 1960. 
  19. Russell W. Kane, “From Mouse Club to Zorro,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 6, 1960. 
  20. “WBC Asks Transfer Hearing,” Broadcasting, August 8, 1960. 
  21. “Who Listens?” U.S. Radio, September 1960. 
  22. “KYW is Way Up in Cleveland!” U.S. Radio, September 1960. 
  23. Russell W. Kane, “New Disk Jockey Swung Into Town on Big Grapevine,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1960. 
  24. Russell W. Kane, “Paige to Have Male Exercise Competition,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 22, 1960.
  25. “The Westinghouse Approach to Radio,” U.S. Radio, October 1960. 
  26. Ibid.
  27. Russell W. Kane, “Traffic Court Returns to Radio,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 2, 1960. 
  28. “The Real Meaning of Modern Radio,” Broadcasting, October 3, 1960. 
  29. “Selected Revenue Items and Broadcasting Revenues, Expenses and Income,” Broadcasting, October 24, 1960. 
  30. Russell W. Kane, “Takeoff on Politics Too Light Hearted,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 25, 1960. 
  31. “Fates and Fortunes,” Broadcasting, October 31, 1960. 
  32. George E. Condon, “Beautiful Music Pays Big Dividends,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 6, 1960. 
  33. “Christmas Open House,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 13, 1960. 
  34. “Saturday Radio Program Schedules, Schedule of Sunday Radio Programs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 19, 1960.
  35. “Four Elected as Directors of City Club,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 6, 1960.
  36. “Cleveland Plain Dealer Radio Programs, KYW-1100 KC,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 8, 1960.
  37. John W. Rees, “Ohio Forge, Union Agree on Contract,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 9, 1960.
  38. “Music to Trim Your Tree By,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 24, 1960.
  39. “Westinghouse loses NBC-RKO Appeal, Supreme Court Denies Status in Station Swap Case,” Broadcasting, December 26, 1960.
  40. “FM Station Key,” U.S. Radio, January 1961.
  41. Russell W. Kane, “Mozart Lovers Unite and Swamp WDOK,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 17, 1961.
  42. Bureau of Labor Stats, “Radio and Television Announcers,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, 1961.
  43. John W. Rees, “KYW Pact Talks Go Past Deadline,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 1, 1961.
  44. Ibid.
  45. “Fund Raising,” U.S. Radio, February 1961.
  46. George E. Condon, “Manning Ends 35 Years on Air,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 1, 1961.
  47. Russell W. Kane, “Real Divorce Cases to Be Dramatized,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 7, 1961.
  48. Russell W. Kane, “Spring Must Be Near; Radio Stations Buzz,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 14, 1961.
  49. “Fates and Fortunes,” Broadcasting, February 20, 1961.
  50. George E. Condon, “Life’s TV Show: One Thing after Another,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 3, 1961.
  51. “Westinghouse Report Cites Broadcast Property,” Broadcasting, March 6, 1961.
  52. “KYW-1100 KC,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 8, 1961.
  53. “Westinghouse Starts Own Network News Show,” Broadcasting, March 27, 1961.
  54. “New Broadcast Licensing Criteria?” Broadcasting, April 3, 1961.
  55. “KYW-1100 KC,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 12, 1961.
  56. “Questions, Answers on Timely TV Topics,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 15, 1961.
  57. “Electronics Determines Market Limits-Goldberg,” Broadcasting, May 22, 1961.
  58. Russell W. Kane, “Arise! Valentino Fans and Flip to Channel 3,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25, 1961.
  59. “$10 Billion Teen Market-And Radio Owns ‘Em,” U.S. Radio, June 1961.
  60. Ibid.
  61. George E. Condon, “Broadcaster Aflutter in New Payola Scare,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 9, 1961.
  62. Russell W. Kane, “TV in Paris Could Revive Old Thriller,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 29, 1961.
  63. Russell W. Kane, “It’s Rare DJ Who Keeps Own Name,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 15, 1961. Russell W. Kane, “Disc-gusted Jockey Gets His Name Back,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 31, 1961.
  64. Chuck Heaton, “Radio Gives Sandlots a Boost,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 15, 1961.
  65. George E. Condon, “Good Music to Get Trial Spin on WERE,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 28, 1961.
  66. “Tax Court Disallows Affiliation Writeoff,” Broadcasting, September 4, 1961.
  67. Ibid.
  68. “WBC to Appeal,” Broadcasting, October 2, 1961.
  69. Westinghouse Broadcasting Company v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 36 TC 912, (1961). “Westinghouse Loses Round in Tax Fight,” November 5, 1962.
  70. “McGee Poses Questions on GE, WBC Licensing,” Broadcasting, September 25, 1961. “Those WBC-GE Renewals,” Broadcasting, November 13, 1961.
  71. “KYW-1100 KC,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 5, 1961.
  72. “Schedule of Saturday Radio Programs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 30, 1961.
  73. “First Oral History Series Covers Movies,” Broadcasting, October 16, 1961.
  74. “The Roddy Thing,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 14, 1961.
  75. “KYW’s Deaf and Blind Guests,” Broadcasting, October 24, 1961.
  76. “Radio Highlights: 1957-61,” U.S. Radio, October-November 1961.
  77. “Higbee’s One Day Only Christmas Open House,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 12, 1961.
  78. “KYW and AFTRA OK Pension Plan,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 20, 1961.
  79. “Schedule of Saturday Radio Programs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 9, 1961.
  80. “Charges Refuted by Westinghouse,” Broadcasting, December 18, 1961.
  81. “See and Hear KYW Radio Noon News,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 22, 1962.
  82. Russell W. Kane, “Challenge to Ponder Changing U.S. Scene,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 1, 1962.
  83. Russell W. Kane, “Poor British! Lag in Commercials,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 11, 1962.
  84. Russell W. Kane, “Dream Men Zero In on Swingin Air Fans,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 18, 1962.
  85. “Business Spotlight,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 21, 1962.
  86. “Drumbeats,” Broadcasting, April 16, 1962.
  87. Russell W. Kane, “No, Jonathan Winters Didn’t Flip His Top,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 3, 1962.
  88. “Westinghouse Buying WINS,” Broadcasting, May 7, 1962.
  89. “Radio Feels Confident in its Future,” Broadcasting, May 14, 1962.
  90. Ibid.
  91. Ibid.
  92. “Schedule of Saturday Radio Programs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 19, 1962.
  93. Russell W. Kane, “Ruark Safari Nothing of Value,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1962.
  94. Russell W. Kane, “Condon Blacked Out for Jury Research,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 6, 1962.
  95. “FM’s Zing Shown in Market Study,” Broadcasting, June 11, 1962.
  96. Russell W. Kane, “Policemen Object to Portrayal on TV,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 18, 1962.
  97. Russell W. Kane, “Yuk, Yuk, Yuk Team Takes Over Early Show,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 1, 1962.
  98. Ibid.
  99. “Get-acquainted Cruise,” Broadcasting, July 2, 1962.
  100. “FCC Sets NBC-RKO Hearing,” Broadcasting, July 23, 1962.
  101. Ibid.
  102. “Schedule of Saturday Radio Programs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 11, 1962.
  103. “What’s Radio’s Success Secret?” Broadcasting, September 17, 1962.
  104. Ibid.
  105. “Showdown in NBC, Philco Dispute Arrives,” Broadcasting, October 22, 1962.
  106. “A Muscling Job in Philadelphia,” Broadcasting, October 29, 1962.
  107. Ibid.
  108. “Strike Looming at KYW Radio,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 29, 1962.
  109. “Strike is Ended at KYW; Bichl Firing to Arbitration,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 19, 1962. “KYW-AM-TV Strike Ends After Two Days,” Broadcasting, November 26, 1962.
  110. “Plain Dealer Radio Programs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 18, 1962.
  111. “FCC Vetoes Temporary NBC-RKO Swap,” Broadcasting, November 12, 1962.
  112. Ibid.
  113. Ibid.
  114. “Denny Denies Threats to Westinghouse,” Broadcasting, December 24, 1962.
  115. Ibid.
  116. Ibid.
  117. Ibid.
  118. Ibid.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

KYW Radio by Richard Klein, PH.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book