↑ Return to 2001 – 2003

February 2003

[important]To read in chronological order, start at the bottom and work your way up.[/important]

Eric: My sincerest compliments to you on a wonderful tribute to Mr. Rogers in your ‘Musings.’ As I was telling my co-workers here at Nick Sommers Productions, only moments ago, of all the broadcast legends I grew up watching and eventually knew on a first-name basis, I never EVER could bring myself to call this great individual anything but MISTER Rogers. Like most people, I first met him as a kid in Latrobe and ran into him several times over the years–including the AFTRA 50th Anniversary, held at WQED (with all the ‘Neighborhood’ props prominently displayed). He received an award that night; I think it was some sort of lifetime achievement honor. (Come to think of it, that was also the last time many of us ever saw the late Dan Mallinger, Executive Director of AFTRA) My last contact with Mr. Rogers was after Don “Chef” Brockett–a great pal I’d see every day at Point Park college–passed away. All the great childrens’ show hosts are gone now, it seems: Buffalo Bob, Bob Keeshan (still alive, but off the air many years now), Captain Jim..and now, the greatest one of ’em all. Take care! Ed (February 27, 2003)

Hi Eric. Thanks for the opportunity to meet Fred Rogers through your rememberance. With the death of Mr. Rogers, the worst winter in history just got bleaker. Your story should be a reminder to all that every time we crack the mic, smile for the camera or meet the public, we have an opportunity to make a positive impression. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. What a consistent body of work! What a great way to be remembered!!! Paul Mullan, WMSG, Oakland, MD. (February 27, 2003)

Good Morning Eric, It was very sad to hear the news about Fred Rogers. I watched him since I was a kid & 32 years later, I am still watching him through my TV master control job @ WQLN. I had just saw him on TV @ the Rose Bowl parade riding with Bill Cosby & Art Linkletter. He looked fine at that point but I wasn’t aware he was sick. Last evening, I was at one of those dollar store & found a book on Captain Kangaroo. There were 2 pictures of the Captain with Mister Rogers, now talk about true role models. There is no doubt that Mister Rogers was well respected even loved. I recall a Burger King ad years ago where there was an actor pretending he was Mister Rogers & poking fun at him. This hurt Rogers & he asked Burger King to stop running the ad. They immediately stopped running it to their credit. That was the power of Fred Rogers. He had a mission to teach kids & it was a mission accomplished in my opinion. People can joke about him but there was no doubt he knew what he needed to contribute to this sometimes hectic world. He is not only a great Pittsburgher, but also a great man. Fred will be missed & my prayers go out to his family. Take Care, Tom Lavery – EMRTV (February 27, 2003)

hey eric, how ya been? i haven’t been in touch and i apologize for that…regarding someone’s request for old wydd airchecks, that’s a tough one! i worked there from ’78’ to 1980..our aircheck skimmer was frequently broken!…i worked with steve downes, who hired me, and jack robertson and jim dicesare and kevin carroll and mike butscher, to name a few…tab douglas and rose ryan too! i have only ONE reel to reel tape of me at ydd, though, over the years, listeners have told me they have cassettes of us on the air way back then but i’ve never heard these cassettes…people always say, “you know, i’d have to find them, but i know i have them somewhere around here!” steve downes is at “the drive” in chicago, jim dicesare is still in town somewhere locally, jack robertson i think is still in florida, butscher has dropped off the map and kevin carroll was a very successful label guy last i heard…jimmy d. may have some old ydd airchecks…good luck…if our skimmer back then worked more reliably, there would be more wydd airchecks floating around…sean mcdowell (February 24, 2003)

What about poor me? (John Garry) Bounced out of now-defunct 1250/WTAE in November, 1997, after 5 months of solo morning effort following Larry O’Brien’s retirement in May, 1997….now happily retired and living in semi-luxury with at least 8 cats in lovely Murrysville, PA O’Brien would live here too,but he can’t afford it. Respectfully submitted! (February 23, 2003)

Eric’s Response: I love it when you famous guys find me!

http://www.radio-locator.com/ As you can look up and see WPTT has a lobe of radiation that goes northwest ,I worked with the chief engineer of then wixz when we did a proof of preformance test and we recieved a qsl card from Manitoba Canada,so 1000 watts beamed in the right direction will do a great job.also 2 miles from the night time transmitter on Glassport- Elizabeth road the signal is almost unreadable.wptt has a very tight night time pattern . beamed north west. like the news letter keep it up An old WEDO dj Craig Kirschner (February 23, 2003)

Just a note that WPKL “The Pickle” had a switch in personnel back in April of last year. Morning host Jim Harrington went to to WWVA to host mornings and former WJPA afternoon drive/evening jock “Fish” hosts 6 a.m.-10a.m. on the Pickle. Terry Hunt became P.D. during this time. Just wanted to let you know. Keep up the great work. (February 21, 2003)

Hi, Eric! Now, usually when I ask this question, it’s some temporary glitch on my end–But: Is there a problem with the website? I’m only getting Tripod’s home page. Ed Weigle (February 17, 2003)

Eric’s Response: It’s just that stupid “bandwidth” that I think most of the companies use as a way to convince website owners to either begin paying or pay more for webhosting!

I am searching for a photo or any information relative to a hand puppet from the Rodney and Knish program-I believe-that was called “Fenwick Bitty Bit Bit.” Any information you can lend would be most helpful and appreciated. Thanks. John Liberatore – Former Ingram Resident (February 16, 2003)

Eric, Many years ago Wendy King donated many of Ed King’s scripts to Duquesne University. They were supposed to be added to the library there. I would suggest that the person who is interested in them should contact Duquesne and find out if they have the material and if it is accessible to the public. I would also ask that he report back here to PBRTV Mailbag with whatever information he gets. Thanks. Vic (February 15, 2003)

Regarding WYDD airchecks, I don’t know if I have exactly what he’s looking for but the folks at broadcast-airchex@broadcast.net might. (February 14, 2003)

I am an ‘old coot’ so forgive me in advance. I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction so that I might aquire a couple small pieces of my past (and maybe yours too?) Remember WYDD? When FM was in it;’s infancy the FCC required these folks to go,off the air at midnight. The very last clip they would play said (and I QUOTE): “The preceeding portions have been live. The following will be dead!” At that instant there was a sound of a rusty coffin (?) slamming shut then they were gone till the next broadcast day. I wouldLOVE to have a copy of that to use on my computer.Suppose it might still exist somewhere? The second item I’m looking for would be a copy of the late Ed King’s radio documentary “The Glory and the Grave.” KDKA would play this as a tribute to our service people every Memorial day up until his passing in 1972. After thatI believe they ‘retired’ it. Is there any possible way to obtain a copy of it or possibly a transcript? Any help anyone could provide would be most appreciated! Thanks! Scott (February 13, 2003)

Eric’s Response: Might anyone have this stuff in their archives or attics or whatnot. We had another request for an Ed King story a while back, but nothing could be found.

I wonder if anyone (besides me) listens to WURP, including the station staff. This morning during the Imus In The Morning program, they continually ran the weather forecast from last Friday. I’m sure that stuff is all pre-recorded, but couldn’t *someone* at the radio station be assigned to actually listen to the station? Frustrating, because I like some of their programming and hope they succeed. But why would a business advertise with a radio station that runs the same two PSAs (If I hear any more about little Madison and how her daddy is ignoring after school programs, my brain may explode) and three-day old weather forecasts? Matt (February 10, 2003)

Eric: In your Pittsburgh Area Radio/TV Callsign Cavalcade is lists “WYEP – Current callsign for 93.1 FM in Pittsburgh”. It should be 91.3. (February 8, 2003)

Eric’s Response: Congratulations! It only took someone 4 years to notice that! Thanks for the heads up.

I see that Leslie Merrill is back on local commercials. Do you know if she is back in the area? I think she has a lot of talent and would like to see her on local television. Thank you (February 4, 2003)