From:  Walt Christiansen

     Date:  September 3, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

Ahhhhh yes.  Never a dull moment in our AFVN newsroom...and studios, for that matter. 

Good to remember.

Walt Christiansen


AFVN News 1971-72

    From:  Frank Rogers

     Date:  September 3, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

Setting copy on fire long was a staple.  AFKN TV newsman had his chair slowly pulled from under him, and he had to maintain the sitting position.  Once I cut in Seoul for late night news and all I heard was laughter.  I put up with it for a short time before going to the weather.  I didn't think to also laugh for that. The "best" case happened at my first station, WGFS, where the station engineer had his "female friend" go into the studio while Larry Calloway was reading the news.  She bared her lower half through the cast but Larry "never missed a beat."  In the words of an old radio show, "Can You Top This?"  Maybe if she had bared HIS lower half, a la "Police Academy."  Larry joined the Marines and afterwards had a west Georgia mountain retreat.  I spoke to him more than ten years ago, but the next time I called, he had passed away.


    From:  Steve Rogers

     Date:  September 3, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

Before the Army I worked in a succession of small town - small time radio stations.   We too had our moments.  The following excerpted from my forthcoming book of true short stories


Beau Brummel

Beau Brummel was a real person, born in the late 18th century he became a friend of the prince who was to become George IV. Known as a fastidious dresser, he championed long trousers as opposed to knee britches.  For further information look him up on Google.  For the purpose of this narrative it is necessary only to be aware that at one time people knew what you intended when referring to an exceptionally well groomed man as Beau Brummel.

And so it was, a very accomplished DJ I met at this small radio station who was very particular about his hair wax was dubbed as “Beau Brummel.”  We became friends and he twiddled the knobs and operated the switches in the control room while I read news from the studio on the other side of the control room window.

Sometimes during hours when management personnel were not on the premises or holidays or weekend days, on-air personnel might play small pranks on each other trying to get one another to break up or giggle over the microphone.

The DJ sat at a control console with a large record turntable on either side.  The control board, or “board” as we said in the broadcast business had a counter no more than a foot wide on which the DJ or announcer could place papers, a pencil or even a cup of coffee.

The only voice communication between the control room and the news studio would be when a switch would be thrown and an inter-com like system activated.  Season this mix with nobody of authority to squelch our childlike behavior and the stage was set for the disaster soon to happen.

We went into news on schedule.  At this time my cohort made the impromptu decision to disrupt me and get me giggling.  He mounted the small counter in front of the control board where pencils and coffee normally found a home. Unbuckling and unzipping his trousers, the DJ with the well groomed hair, started doing deep knee bends.   Each time he would stand up, his trousers would go to half mast to be pulled up again when he bent his knees.  It was a ridiculous sight sufficient to disrupt my attempted professional demeanor.  My peripheral vision detected his movement capturing my attention.  The sight of my friend doing deep knee bends with lowering and raising trousers was so outrageous that I lost my composure and started to stare, loosing my place on the printed page before me.  As an additional complication I started to giggle not unlike a third grade school girl.  The giggles were not yet full blown, but they were coming.  The one refuge a newsman has when he runs into trouble is to call for a pause and go to commercial.

I made an unscheduled retreat by saying “more news after this word from Beau Brummel.”  I caught him off guard.  He was in no position to do anything coherently.  He could not reach his microphone switch to read a commercial or tell the time and temperature, he could not reach any of the equipment to play a pre-recorded commercial.  He did the only thing possible under those circumstances, tumbling backwards off the control console, with his trousers still at half mast.  During this acrobatic maneuver he managed to kick open his microphone switch.

Although no tape recording of this brief drama exists, I will do my best to reconstruct, in print, a transcript of what went out over the airwaves.

                Steve: in the earliest stages of getting the giggles) “…more news after this word from Beau Brummel.”

                Brief silence

                A resounding crash from the control room as the DJ falls and kicks open his microphone.

                More silence

                “Oh s***,” heard from a distance as the DJ was on the floor several feet from his microphone.

Shortly thereafter I left the employ of this radio station, a move of my own choosing.  Well, what kind of help did they expect for a lousy $80 per week anyway?

    From:  Bob Morecook

     Date:  September 2, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

Good story,  Tim

    From:  Steve Sevits

     Date:  September 2, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

Petty Officer Ramsey once set my news script on fire, but most of the effect was lost because it was radio.  The CO related years later said he knew about the arson, but ignored it.


    From:  Mike Jackson

     Date:  September 3, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

I never set copy on fire, but I did something just as stupid.  One night at the top of the hour, one of the newscasters on radio (I can’t remember who) was just beginning to read his copy after the ID.  I opened the door to the studio and set one of those laughing dolls that you pull the string out of it to start it laughing.  It was too far for the newscaster to reach and turn off so it continued to laugh throughout the newscast.  Glad Col. Souville never heard about it or I would have been busted to butter bar and sent to some motor pool in Quang Tri.  Actually, now that I think about him, he probably would have thought it was cool.


    From:  Ken Kalish

     Date:  September 2, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

Much of the success news people achieve has a great deal to do with in-house humor.  Our Duluth crew once set the anchor’s script on fire.


    From:  Tim Eatman

     Date:  September 2, 2014

Subject:  AFVN Memory

In 1970 at AFVN Saigon, I was directing the 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock nightly newscasts.  My good friend and roommate Bruce Blackburn was the news anchor.  I heard rumors the  NCO's at AFVN were complaining that Bruce was not "warm" enough on the air.  He never smiled.

One night during his newscast he started smiling.  He kept it up for a week and they got off his case.  They said he got with the program and started doing his job.

As his director, I say I inserted pictures of naked women into every three or four pages of his script.  We had to laugh sometimes to keep from crying.

Tim Eatman

Memories and Hi-Jinks

September 2014

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