Thruout my 50 years broadcasting career I have received freebies...from big on down to little (but good).
I’m gonna list as many as I remember and “cleanse my soul” for the world to see!
Before I do...let me say that nothing I got for free damaged anyone or anything and it was never cash (sorry Arnie!)
The biggest gift was two first class tickets on Swissair from the states to Zurich and back. This was from the Swiss Counsel in Miami in 1988. He was a big fan of the Neil Rogers and Stan Major shows and invited me to enjoy Switzerland and Europe with my wife. How could I refuse?
The smallest was very tasty. While doing a show on WWDB Philly we had a sponser...a nice diner in New Jersey just across the bridge. Sadly I forgot the name but they used to send over their fabulous cherry cheescakes...big ones...that would last a couple of weeks! Thankfully I moved to Miami before I weighed in at around 200 pounds!
I got a lot of fancy hotels...suites...free for years....usually in three day stays. Top of the list would be a marvelous Peabody Hotel in Orlando where I broadcast my national talk show at least once. A terrific PR person named Maureen was the cream of the crop in her business and she set me up with dinner for four in their fancy restaurant. All I had to do was write a review which they gladly posted right at the entrance so it worked out well for both of us.
The kids were still young enough to enjoy the duck march through the lobby so that was a plus.
We did a lot of traveling when my son Chris was young and I had made an important connection with the PR woman of ALL the Ritz Carlton Hotels who used to listen to me in Philadelphia. She set me up everywhere...San Francisco, Cancun, Mexico and Naples, Fl. were prime examples....in addition to Philly. The Ritz restaurant in Frisco was one of the top five restaurants in the world and we were getting a free dinner for four plus little Chris but after we sat down and before we could order his “terrible twos” kicked in and he was just impossible...all over this fancy place beginning to disrupt so we had to exit! I never let him off the hook for that and kid him all the time because he turned into a pretty good judge of eateries and appreciates fine food and wine now in his mid twenties. But he takes the kidding okay.
One of the great resort hotels on the Keys gave us the penthouse which included our own private pool on the roof and a room with a pool table!
This was Hawks Cay and boy it was a blast. No free food but I’d hate to find out the actual cost of the penthouse for three nights!
I think this was the most fun for the kids...ever and they still talk about it...and...it’s still going strong...about half way to Key West.
That’s about it for the trips and hotels.
Then there’s Broadway!
IN 1959 I was Program Director and jock at WPGC (AM-FM) Washington D.C. The record company guys let me know that I could have two 10th row center seats for any Broadway show I wanted to see. I took advantage of this several times...got to see Jackie Gleason and Walter Pidgeon in “Take Me Along” and I sat right in front of the redhead...Gwinn Verdon who enjoyed the show. I may have also seen “Camelot” with Richard Burton and Robert Goulet. I remember waiting outside at the actors entrance with all the paparazzi for Richard and Liz Taylor to come out. That was my first and only real taste of the craziness like that.
So...I have confessed. I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much and me and my family loved doing all that. There may be some stuff I missed but you get the general idea...right!