Sunday, November 17, 2013

good times before the Sun sets...

Stations and checks keep rolling in...

Throughout 1992 my station list, with Bill Miller’s help, just kept growing.  And the advertising picked up as a result.
I did a lot of monitoring of ads when I was driving back and forth weekends and noted that Gold Bond and Ovaltine were heard more than anything else.  They were products from Himmel Equities in New York City and I made an appointment to fly up and chat with Nick Conforti who placed the ads.
Nick at Himmel was the leading advertiser on national radio but he was a gracious guy and well met.
I showed him my station list and he glanced at it and passed it on to a staffer.  I was careful to list only stations that were actually carrying my show.  Others don’t do that...and they hope their embellishments are not caught but Nick was through.
He called me in Clearwater a few days later and said the station list checked out and was impressive for a new show.  He said he’d like to place some spots but wouldn’t exceed a $10.00 rate and I agreed with that.
We got the first taped commercials and the orders and before we knew it he was up to four thirty second commercials each hour five hours each night....five nights a week.  The math was pretty good!  
Himmel was sending me nice checks each month!
  This would go on for years!  You could see how Himmel was the top spender on national radio....and how the sales of their products remained vibrant.
Also with me was Oreck Vacuum cleaners out of New Orleans and Pine Plus from Mississippi...and great cleanser well received by my listeners.
On the programming side the boss, Bill Wardino, invited all the program host-producers to Clearwater for confab.
I met the car guy...Bob Long of “Motor Trend” magazine who had a show called “Autoworld” and still does, on another network. I would do car reviews on Bob’s Sunday show for years to come. 
     We had the gun guy...the pet guy...the travel folks and the money folks...all with interesting weekend shows on Sun Network.
Tom Valentine was extremely happy that he’d picked up some stations because of my show.  One was KVI in Seattle and I thought to myself how those free spirited Seattle kids would respond to Tom!
So far 1992 was good and Laurie’s Toyota Camry was holding up under pressure of the weekend round trips. The only thing I didn’t like about the drive was crossing that damn high, high bridge south of Clearwater called the Skyway Bridge.  As I drove up and up on it I tried not to look down (I hate heights!) because after the terrible accident in 1980 when a boat rammed the original bridge causing it to collapse and a bus full of people died a violent death, they rebuilt it...leaving the ground base of the old bridge for fishing piers.  Seeing that was scary.
On the way back each week I stopped for a nap at a rest area near Naples, Florida.  I was cognizant of the stories of murderess Aileen Wuornos killing men at rest stops in northern Florida. She had been caught years before but the memory lingered on.
Also one of the largest highway construction projects ever was underway..four lane divided interstate 95 across the Everglades causing slowdowns and delays each way.  Fun! 
I’ll bet the wild Florida Cougars in that area weren’t happy about it either. I never saw one crossing the highway.  I guess I already had my only vision of that out in Arizona when the cougar there ambled across the road in front of me as I was on my way from Phoenix to “Lost Wages”.  One is lucky to see that even once.
Next...Hurricane Andrew hits to Miami...and money problems cause me to jump to another network quickly.
Hang on tight...don’t look down!

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