#21.  The stars were aligned perfectly

I inherited a great team. I think there was devine intervention in the assembly of the WHAS program staff.  These are the people who made me look real good.  Wayne Perkey, Jack Fox, Milton Metz, Terry Meiners, Diane Williamson, Joe Donovan, and Doug McElvein. Not pictured are Joe Elliott, Terry Dismore, and John Ross – the weekend warriors. Plus there was a large news department headed up by Brian Rublein, Van Vance, Paul Rogers, and Smooth Talking Sid Jenkins on Sports. In the air, Ron Robertson in Skywatch 84. We even had an on air staff psychologist, Dr. Stan Frager.  Randy Davidson and Scott Goettle headed up our production department.  Of course nothing would have happened without Charlie Strickland, the chief engineer. Charlie worked his butt off. And, he was a gentleman.

WHAS had it all. Power – 50 Thousand Watts, the news and sports franchises, the top air talent, excellent sales and marketing.  It came down to this for me – don’t screw it up!

As I said a couple of blogs ago, a lot can be written about WHAS and I’ll do my best to keep it a “best of” my 6 years.

Milton Metz was one of the most dignified,  well spoken pros I ever worked with.  He had IT. A class act. Milton could even make cussing sound refined.  His nightly talk show “Metz Here” was a staple. “From the nighty banks of the Ohio on good old 84WHAS” The show was a general talk show. Metz didn’t need to cater to the right or left to get ratings.  The topics  ran the gamut. Metz had friends in high places, local and national politicians, movie stars, sports celebrities. His interviews of the rich and famous at the Kentucky Derby were legendary.  Metz was unflappable.  Except once. Metz would occasionally have sex therapist Dr. Jean Koehler on his show fielding rather delicate questions from the audience.  One night, in 1989, Metz lost it.

Milton’s age was a secret.  I knew he had to be well into his 60’s or early 70’s when I joined WHAS in 1989.  But he was the hippest senior citizen I ever met – except perhaps my father.   Milton retired from his weekly nightime show in the early 90’s but continued to be a part of the staff doing daily commentary’s.  The tributes rolled in last year when Milton passed away at the age of…well, I won’t tell you.

I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years.  And I hate to pick favorites..but if Wayne Perkey isn’t my favorite, he would be tied with Terry Meiners.  These guys were the drive time bookends on WHAS..and they’re the next blog.

For now, this is Skip Essick signing off.



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