Famous WTOP Radio and TV Quotations
From the 60’s:
By Lee Shephard
“I hear they’re letting you go!”-John Hays (who made every decision ever implemented at the station, including where the ashtrays and trashcans were located.)
“Oh, before you leave, be sure to turn in your keys.”
-Jay Cleaves, Building Engineer, to Jim Meyers shortly before Meyers learned of his pending departure.
“That poor (expletive deleted. Rhymes with click)”
“Save up for your hotdog stand, buddy.”
-Don Gaynor’s advice to all announcers.
“From now on, only film the touchdowns.”
-Memo from news department to photographers in reply to complaint from management that too much expensive film was being used up on sports.
“You cannot air the old Pick Temple theme song because it mentions Giant Bread, and that’s a commercial. We don’t air free commercials on this station.”
-George Hartford’s reaction to the proposed Cadence documentary about Channel 9’s original Kiddie Show host Pic Temple.
“Wait until Catherine Graham learns about this, she won’t stand for it.”
-Most of the staff right after Larry Israel and his henchmen started dismantling the station, and BEFORE we realized the SHE was orchestrating it all.
“________________ has been promoted to AREA VICE PRESIDENT…..”
-Press release issued by Larry Israel about 2 months before each top executive was to be fired.
“________________ has been chomping at the bit to explore other opportunities….”
-Press release issued by Larry Israel two months after each AREA VICE PRESIDENT promotion announcement..
Other famous L.I. quotes:
“Don’t bother to learn these old people’s names. They won’t be around long enough for it to matter.”
-Larry Israel’s advice to the new staffers.
“This is not going to be a retirement home.”
-Larry Israel in his first speech to the entire staff in studio 11 right after he arrived on the scene. Only the engineers proved him wrong.
More notable quotes
“That’s our 11 o’clock news for tonight, thanks for joining us. Good night.”
-Martin Agronski opening the 11 o’clock news one night when the floor director forgot to rewind his teleprompter. (I was the announcer in the booth.-ls)
“Come on guys, you’ve got to give the listeners more hints!”
-Memo from radio promotion to the DJs in response to the fact that too few listeners guessed the exact score of the previous weeks football contest.
“I’m surrounded by idiots!”
“You guys who have music shows should pick ONLY songs that have “whistle-ability.”
“And now with the CBS news, here’s FALLS CHURCH.”
-Gregg Oliver introducing the early morning CBS radio news with correspondent WELLS CHURCH
“Don’t say DRUG FAIR, say DRUG STORE.”
“Frank Frack is back in the news this morning…….”
-Lee Shephard opening a “rip and read” early morning newscast and not realizing until too late that he had grabbed a local North Carolina summary instead of the National summary.
“Stay tuned for the Kenturkey Debbie.”
The old timers tell me that Arthur Godfrey used to take great delight in saying,
“This is WTO PEE on your dial.”
“Well, it’s Christmas morning, so instead of starting right off with phone calls, let’s hear a little music…”
-Bob Raiford’s last words on WTOP radio after he played a record on his show shortly after the new “all-talk” format of the station began. He was fired the next day.
“That’s the news from ABC radio, this is Peter Rabbit reporting.”
-Martin Agronsky. As first told to Ted Miller by the producer who, as a joke, handed Agronsky the closing card with those words on it. The story was recently confirmed by Bob Sheiffer of CBS news in his latest book.
“I sure hope they don’t promote me to one of them Area Vice President jobs.”
-Stokes, mailroom clerk
More Executive Decisions of the (Larry Israel/Kay Graham) 60's":
By Steve King:
"Let's show 'Hawaii 5-0' at 11:30pm at night after the news...we'll use the prime time for something else."
(That year "Hawaii 5-0" was the only hit for CBS and went on to be a TV classic -- WTOP chose not to run it in its regular time period.)
"Let's give away WTOP-FM to Howard University (now WHUR-FM) it's not a money-maker." –1969 It wasn’t. He did.
"Let's get rid of these people...after all, we're the smart ones from Westinghouse." (He did.)
(News ratings dropped from their usual Number 1 position and took years to rebuild.)
"Is it John Baker who alone is wrong, or is it all the other people he is complaining about?"
-Bob Reirson (WTOP-TV Program Director) to Steve King: