MORE FROM BILL WIPPEL:
Bill Wippel remembers:
While at KUTI, Yakima, winter of 1955-56: One cold day (-25) mice
started to invade the xmtr. Their tails would get caught in the mercury
vapor tubes, throwing us off the air. We put in mouse traps. The xmtr was
right next to board (no glass between). While reading a funeral home
Christmas greeting, a mouse trap went off, de-capitationing a vermin. I
began to laugh and had to tell listeners what was going on (it's what my
high school radio teacher Ms. Ruth Argall told me to do). 45 minutes later
dozens of cars were lined up in front of the station, listeners offering
their cats to chase the mice to keep the station on the air!
While owner of KOFE, Pullman, WA, 1959-64: Created character called
"Lorenzo Toad", popular with WSU and IU students, "a former nuclear
physist, while lost in the arctic, willed his frozen assets to 'Palouse U'
(WSU) and 'Panhandle Tech' (Idaho U). 820 episodes on local situations and
characters. Did most of the voices. Also did "Bed Pushing Contest" betweem
WSU and UI studnets. Our competition, KRPL, used to say on the air, "we
don't run down at sundown, referring to our daytime signal. We said, "When
daytime turn to dark blue, we watch TV don't you?" Our station breaks
were sold to Folger's "When I say KOFE, I mean Folgers." It was a great
time of service to the community. The town of Pullman needed new Christmas
decorations. I turned the station over to the chamber of commerce for one
day. In 1963 they raised $4,000 in revenue for that day, more than I
grossed in a month! The local bank bought the spot for Seattle First (now
Bank of America) and said, "see that sign out in front of Sea-First,
that's not a temperture guage that's their rate of interest!" (The broadcast
was in July when the temp reached well above 80 degrees). Meanwhile
Sea-First bought the local banks spot and said, "See that clock out front
of the bank? That's because inside they won't give you time of day!" I
miss this kind radio today. It's all so 'generic'. I wish I had my own
station again in a small community. That was the highlight of my career.
While at KIXI, Seattle, news beat reporter, working with Don Riley, Martin
Tobin, Dave Ballard, Wally Nelskog. Won several journalism awards for King
County Courthouse scandal. Had my life threatened by one of the officials
When I was at KIRO, Seattle (I had been in TV news for 5 years, taking a
hiatus from radio and missing it terribly) started as street reporter,
became Director of News and Programming in 6 months. Station went from #8
to #1. Hired Dave Ross, who has become an instition in Seattle, now in his
25th year at the station and his show is #1.
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