Advertise on the Tentacle


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Advertise on the Tentacle

July 8, 2014

What an Adventure!

Roy Meachum

Never mentioned: I spent a year in Baltimore, at the 2600 block of North Charles Street. I was a promotion manager of WBAL radio and television; owned by the Hearst Corporation.


During this time I tried to learn the amount of my deafness. I went to Johns Hopkins Hospital. The doctor convinced me that my mind was too quick. I went along with that flattering finding until I worked at WTOP. There, I went to another physician; he gave relief, until his operation collapsed.


D. L. “Tony” Provost hired me off The Washington Post, and I reported to him. He was enthusiastic about many promotional tricks. Particularly, I hired a beautiful female that represented the “new” WBAL radio. I came up with Full Radio Programming (FRP). All the stations were giving up all the mixtures, concentrating on music. We were different, keeping the talk shows, news and interviews; on WBAL, we kept on a schedule that included old-fashioned radio FRP.


Since WJZ-TV, newly arrived, we bought up the MGM movies package. We followed the NBC schedule; there were hours before the network programming kicked in. Tony bought “Sea Hunt” early, and I came up with promotions, including a man who spent hours underwater in the main studio. We would show him on station breaks – every half hour if the program permitted.


My main enemy came in the form of Leslie Peard, the station manager of WBAL-TV. He was openly hostile when Sydney King, the program manager, got fired; Mr. Peard had always kept sullen. Imre (Jim) Kovachs, whom I knew from WRC TV & radio, was hired to replace Mr. King. There was something about Baltimore: camaraderie among the upper class, which I had never encountered before.


As for Jim, we took an apartment together, two blocks up North Charles. My distant friend was guilty of drinking too much. His Hungarian-born mother muttered incessantly. I knew she was not a witch; she gave that impression. She blamed the whole world, including his wife and children.


In any event, from the unpleasant men and women, it was time to move again. Norm Glenn, the publisher of Sponsor, came to call. He was looking for an advertising schedule; we had done business before. Mr. Glenn came away from WBAL with me.


So began my life with Sponsor, in which I encountered many surprises; I choose to call them “adventures.”


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