Happy birthday to 3, Happy birthday to 3, Happy birthday….

Nice write-up in the Commercial Appeal this morning for the 50-year anniversary of the operation down on the river. The Wooten Radio Electric Company has come a long way since Hoyt Wooten was first drawn to the warmth and humming of radio tubes. I know that in my 16-years there I saw a lot of changes and that was well after they had switched from steam-driven cameras. I know Jerry Tate has worked much of this past year on this special that looks back on 3’s 50-year history.

When I was hired back in January 1989, Olin Morris was the GM and former GM Frank Roberts was head of the NYT’s broadcast group, which I think included four stations. Olin truly made you feel like you were part of the NYT family and you received a handwritten note on your birthday. His calligraphy was beautiful. Frank Roberts was a little more gruff, but he always spoke to me when our paths crossed. I feel fortunate that since I left 3, I’ve been able to pick up the phone and call them and have had lunch with them as I sought their advice. I was fortunate to have met former GM Charles Brakefield while I was covering the MidSouth Fair. I didn’t know who this white-haired gentleman was who walked up to me and asked me if I knew Frank Roberts. I said I did and he told me the next time I saw Mr. Roberts I was supposed to tell him he was a no-good S.O.B.
I told this gentleman I couldn’t do that since I would be fired. It was then he revealed his identity and I later learned he and Frank had a father-son relationship. Mr. Brakefield’s relationship with and support of the MidSouth Fair was such that they named a building after him.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, word on the street is that the operation down on the river plans to become Numeral Uno in all local time slots during this anniversary year. They’re there in at least one position and are making some headway in others. As for other timeslots, it’s going to require some serious mojo to make it happen, especially with the departure of Jerry Tate and Pam McKelvy. But that’s a posting for another time.

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