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Remembering My First Job - As the Morning Paper Boy
Recalling the Big Snowstorms of My Pittsburgh Childhood

Memories of Pittsburgh TV & Radio Personalities from My Childhood

Clark.race.kdkaradio

Growing up in the Pittsburgh area in the 1960s and '70s meant that media personalities from KDKA TV/Radio, WTAE and KQV loomed very large in my young life.  (And with no cable channels back then their presence was even more ubiquitous.)  Here, in alphabetical order, are the names and faces from that era that I remember best.  (This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, just the people who made a lasting impression with me.)

 

LEE ARTHUR

She rocked the boat as Pittsburgh's first female TV sports announcer, first appearing on KDKA in 1973.  Not very knowledgeable about sports, she lasted just two years.  She died in 1989 at the age of 49.

 

Lee.arthur.kdka

JACK BOGUT

Bogut came to Pittsburgh in 1968, working for KDKA Radio.  I listened to his show as I got ready for school and still remember his creepy/comical ode to the "Slithery Dee".  He's still on the radio, now on WJAS, and I listen to his show whenever I visit my mother.  Amazingly, his voice hasn't changed.  I'm not certain about his age, but the fact that he was married in 1961 suggests he's in his early-80s.  (Update: WJAS changed to a Talk format in August 2014 and dropped Bogut.)

 

Jack.bogut.kdka

 

CHUCK BRINKMAN

The face/voice of radio station KQV during the 1960s.  He vied with KDKA's Clark Race as the city's most popular DJ.  He died in 2018 at the age of 83.

 

Chuck.brinkman.kqv

BILL BURNS

A legend, the Walter Cronkite of Pittsburgh.  He anchored the KDKA news for 36 years.  All business, Burns had a gruff, Lou Grant type persona and was the consummate professional.  He died in 1997 at the age of 84.  His daughter Patti also worked for KDKA and was very popular.  Sadly, she died of lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 49.

 

Bill.burns.kdka

BILL CARDILLE

Best known for hosting Chiller Theater and Studio Wrestling on Saturdays.  His following from Chiller Theater got "Chilly Billy" a small role in Night of the Living Dead (filmed north of Pittsburgh).  Interestingly, Cardille is the only person on my list from WIIC-Channel 11 (NBC's Pittsburgh affiliate).  Despite undergoing open-heart surgery back in the 1980s, he's still active, with a radio show on WJAS.  Amazingly, at the age of 85, his voice sounds as youthful as it was 50 years ago.  (Update: WJAS changed to a Talk format in August 2014 and dropped Cardille as well as Jack Bogut; sadly, Cardille passed away in the summer of 2016.)

 

Bill.cardille   

MYRON COPE

Cope possessed the most distinctive/abrasive voice in Pittsburgh broadcasting, if not the nation (even more so than Howard Cosell).  He was truly a motormouth, but a beloved one.  His proudest achievement was probably the creation of the "Terrible Towel" for the Steelers in the mid-1970s.  He died in 2008 at the age of 79.

Myron.cope

BILL CURRIE

Currie was the lead sports announcer for KDKA in the 1970s, coming here from North Carolina where he was known as "The Mouth of the South."  He wore garish, brightly colored sports jackets often with wild patterns.  For me he wore out his welcome rather quickly.  He died in 2008 at the age of 85.

 

Bill.currie.kdka

 

JOE DE NARDO

Pittsburgh's most famous meteorologist, De Nardo began his career with KDKA, but is best known for his long career with WTAE from 1969 to 2005.  I saw him a number of times shopping at the K-mart near his home in Moon Township.  Situated close to the airport, he groused about the planes' flight patterns that brought them over his house.  Then shortly after he moved the airport closed and relocated!  He died in the summer of 2018 at the age of 87.

 

Joe.dinardo.wtae

 

BOB KUDZMA

Although Joe De Nardo may have had a higher profile, Bob Kudzma was my favorite weatherman, serving as KDKA's on-air meteorologist for 34 years (1968-2002).  He reminded me of Pat Sajak.  I wrote to him for advice about having a career as a meteorologist and he replied.  He passed way in February 2021 at the age of 81.

 

Bob.kudzma.weatherman

 

PAUL LONG

Best known for his time as anchor on WTAE from 1969 until 1994.  He was very stern looking, even more so than Bill Burns.  Reminded me of Nikita Khruschev (and my Uncle Joe).  He died in 2002 at the age of 86.

 

Paul.long.wtae

 

NICK PERRY

Most famous for a Saturday afternoon bowling show in the 1960s on WTAE (Championship Bowling) and Bowling for Dollars in the 1970s.  (It was a proud day in our neighborhood when our neighbor from across the street appeared on the show and won $500.)  Unfortunately, his reputation was tarnished by a state lottery scandal in the 1980s.  However, since I was no longer living in Pittsburgh when it happened my memory of him is still as a bowling personality.  He died in 2003 at the age of 86.

 

Nick.perry.bowling

 

BOB PRINCE & NELLIE KING

Prince was the larger-than-life radio/TV play-by-play announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates until 1975.  "Kiss it Good-bye!" was one of his most famous sayings.  He died in 1985 at the age of 68.  Nellie King was his mild-mannered sidekick from 1967-1975.  He died in 2010 at the age of 82.

 

Bobprince.nellieking.pittsburghpirates
Nellie King (L) & Bob Prince (R)

JIM QUINN

Popular KQV DJ in the late '60s thru early '70s, when he was in his 20s.  In the 1990s he went to the dark side and became a conservative talk-radio host.  He's now in his late 70s (as of 2020).

 

Jimquinn.kqv

CLARK RACE

Clark Race was the Dick Clark of Pittsburgh.  He was probably the market's most popular DJ, on KDKA, and also hosted a popular dance show on KDKA-TV that aired on Saturday afternoon; it ran from 1963 until 1966.  His show would begin with the intro, "Hello Clark Race, hello - and welcome to the show!", which was followed by the instrumental String of Trumpets.  He died in 1999 at the age of 66.

 

Clark.race

 

ELEANOR SCHANO

Her signature blonde coif gave her a very glamorous persona.  I remember her best for doing the weather during WTAE's evening news in the late '60s, but she was a constant TV presence with various reporting roles.  Sadly, she died from COVID-19 in November 2020 at the age of 88.

 

Eleanor schano weather lady

 

Eleanor.schano.wtae

 

ED SCHAUGHENCY

Avuncular KDKA radio personality who was lovingly called "Uncle Ed".  He had already clocked many years with the station when I listened to him give the weather report in the morning while I was getting ready for school.  Often mentioned his wife Gertrude.  I also recall that he used to promote Pappin's restaurant.  He died in 1990 at the age of 77.

 

PAUL SHANNON

Host of the children's show Adventure Time which aired weekday afternoons at 4:00 on WTAE.  He sat among the kids as Dick Clark did on American Bandstand.  Famous for the characters Nosmo King and Knish.  He'd introduce cartoons and shorts by The Three Stooges with the line, "So down goes the curtain - and back up again."  He died in 1990 at the age of 80.

 

Paul.shannon

 

DICK STOCKTON

Before he went over to the "network" side Dick Stockton was KDKA TV's sports director from 1967-1971 when he was only in his his 20s.  There was something in his demeanor that suggested that bigger things were in store for him.  He's now 77 (as of 2020).

 

Dick.stockton

 

MARIE TORRE

With her New York pedigree, she was the grand dame of Pittsburgh television.  She was with KDKA from 1962 until 1977.  In my youthful mind she and Bill Burns were the First Couple of Pittsburgh.  Her claim to fame was going to jail for 10 days for refusing to reveal one her sources when she was a newspaper reporter in New York in the 1950s.  She had a charming, sophisticated laugh that brought to mind Kitty Carlyle or Arlene Francis.  She died in 1997 at the age of 73.

 

Marie.torre.kdka

 

RICKI WERTZ

I remember her best for hosting Jr. High Quiz which aired on Sunday on WTAE from 1965-1982.  I always wanted to be on that show but our school district (Sto-Rox) wasn't chosen in the years I was in high school.  Before the quiz show she was known for hosting the Ricki & Copper Show, which starred her dog Copper.  What I remember best about the show was the Hostess cupcakes she handed out to kids in the audience who were celebrating their birthdays.  (Although this show and Adventure Time had a live studio audience of kids I never had a desire to be on either.)  She recently died (July 2021) at the age of 86 in Chicago.

 

Ricki wertz and copper

Ricki.wertz.juniorhighquiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Robert Neuhardt

I remember a character on one of the Pittsburgh tv stations back in the 50's named Uncle Marty who was a cartoonist and drew on an easel wire white chalk and black crayon. Can anybody add to this ?

Pamela Bowen

Rege Cordic was hands down the best! The characters he created were beyond hysterical. Sue, Joe the garbage man, Phylo Pants, can't even remember them all. He would start my school day off right. I was so upset when he went to LA where they didn't really get him.
I do also remember Uncle Marty the cartoonist. I was always amazed.

Barry Spithaler

Does anyone remember Bi Williams. Not sure how you spell his first name. He had a show called THE BIG SHOW. He played the Bowery Boys, Science Fiction Movies and I think Tarzan now and then and maybe the hardy Boys. He's have BIG SHOW partys at local theators. Bi Williams. He reminded me a little of Bill Cardille.

John Cigan

How about Mike Levine, who had the "Open Mike" call-in radio show on KDKA. Topical, and ahead of its time, in a way.

g robertson

...steubenville loved the pittsburgh celebs...God bless you all...

g robertson

...the more i read the more i want to re-live...its so hard wondering how these great times we shared has flew by...i almost feel like that little boy born in 1955 again...words just ain't enuff...i hope this stuff comes back...thanx PITTSBURGH...yinz tc..

Becky Plascjak

What about Ed & Wendy Kings Partyline. Especially in October when they read the spooky stories listeners would write in

Mark Johnson

Ed and Wendy King a late night talk show on KDKA radio. Called the show Party line . Great interesting people to listen to.

Mitzie Harvatin

August 24, 2018
Chuck Brinkman passed away on August 24, 2018 at his home in Plano, Texas. Andrew Goldstein of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote this... "Chuck Brinkman, a KQV-AM mainstay in the 1960s who became one of Pittsburgh's most popular Top 40 DJs, died Friday surrounded by family at his home in Plano, Texas. He was 83.

Dennis P. Holly

Sorry to see that Patti Burns rated only an aside and that Vic Miles and I rated no mention.
Many of those who made the list were valued and treasured contemporaries with whom we laughed with (or at in the case of Lee Arthur). I think among many others who deserve mention is Linda Carson (whose husband Bud was a coach for the Steelers).
Perhaps there are some who remember the news promo which featured me doing an on-camera stand-up being assailed by passing motorists interrupting me, asking about Lee Arthur (to my exasperation).
Among those I remember most fondly are the aforementioned Bob Kudzma, Bill Curry, Paul Long, Myron Cope, Marie Torre (a real lady) Bob Prince, and Nellie King.
Although I left Pittsburgh too many years ago, it is still my favorite city and I remain a loyal member of Steelers- (and Pirates) nation.

Kim Stewart

Paul Long and Joe DiNardo! A pair 3 aces couldn't beat. Their back and forth banter was something else. There had been a power outage the previous night. Long said everyone had to watch the show by candlelight!!! Another time he was busting on Joe about all the rain and said that it must be Monseen Soosan. No I didn't make a typo. That's how he said it. Everyone was laughing like mad.

Gary

Great site! Thanks for the memories! I will always cherish Paul Shannon's show when it aired around Christmas. He would send a rocket to the North Pole loaded with Santa Claus letters written by the viewers, including my letter. How did they have that kind of rocket technology back in those days? Did it really go to the North Pole?!

Richard A Moritz

Thanks for posting! I remember them all fondly. Another one of my favorites was the team of O'Brien and Garry, very funny radio personalities on WTAE.

W.B.

About Bill Burns, I wonder if he was one of the models for Joe Flaherty's "Floyd Robertson" character in "SCTV News" sketches for "Second City Television." From the descriptions of Burns, it would seem so.

W.B.

I have to wonder who of these old-line Pittsburgh anchors was the impetus for Pittsburgh native Joe Flaherty's characterization of the fictitious Floyd Robertson on "SCTV News" sketches. I thought I detected shades of Bill Burns in Floyd's persona, in many ways (and especially since Eugene Levy had based his characterization of Floyd's co-anchor Earl Camembert - and Earl's particular journalistic values and sensibilities - largely on Buffalo, NY TV news legend Irv Weinstein).

But as for Pittsburgh legends, there was also longtime KDKA-TV announcer George Eisenhauer, whose "Igor" of the late 1950's Friday night horror movie show "The 13th Hour" was considered, along with Bill Cardille's "Chilly Billy," to be a model for Flaherty's "Monster Chiller Horror Theatre" host Count Floyd.

Ed Sherlock

While going to Point Park College at 19 I was blessed to have my own Saturday 10am-
2pm on KDKA Radio and vacation fill-in. What a thrill to work amoung these legends/
Professionals.
Clark Race Art Pallan were my heroes along with Daddy Dave Scott from KQV,and the
KQVehicle at the South Park Fair,where I stood for hours while my parents viewed
The fair STUFF. Also spent many a day at 7th and Smithfield street looking at that
WINDOW.
The best to all
Ed Sherlock

Dodie Douglas

Hi ! Thanks for the trip down Pgh memory lane ! I Googled KDKA personalities who have passed away and results brought me to this website. I couldn't remember the guy who intentionally pronounced humidity as "humdidity". YES - Ed Shaughnessy [sp?]. (I've seen various spellings for his last name.) I thought he owned or co-owned a restaurant in Station Square, but I could be wrong. While in junior high and high school I listened to Bogut in the morning. Remember Humphrey the Camel, The Turkey Trot, and of course, his tribute to the "Hoe family" - a classic!! And who could forget the Farkleberry cookie, tart and frump during the holidays!

John Markusic

I was cleaning out a drawer and found what is the size of a business card that reads on one side KDKA RADIO 1020 and on the reverse side reads L.O.A.F. Does anyone recall what that stood for back in the 70’s?

Martin J Braun

I am surprised, no mention of the 1970's radio station 13Q-WKTQ, which at the time was the most hip rock music station around, and featured many famous DJ's like Jackson Armstrong, Don Bombard, Don Geronimo, Jim Quinn (dark side??? nope the right side), Batt Johnson, Dennis Waters and many others, the station a brain child of Cecil Heftel. By then AM radio music was on the down slide and it quietly disappeared.

John.       Geeting

Hey don’t forget Ray Tannehill - I remember when he first came on TV had a puppet duck and used to talk and make fun of Ray
And Mr Rogers neighborhood

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