How Radio Has Changed in 30+ Years
I have worked in this building in West Shreveport since May 4th of 1984. I did move and go downtown to Spring Street for a few years, but I've been back in the Westport radio station since 1995.
So this place is home. I started working here when I was just 22 years old. We had KWKH and KROK in this building. I was one of four members of the news team. John Lee was the News Director and he retired several years ago after a long and distinguished career in radio. He taught me so much about radio and being a good reporter. I was just 1 year out of college. What a great place to start.
Bess Maxwell was the Assistant News Director and did the afternoon news. Darrell Johnson was the nighttime news anchor. I did the mid-day news. But a big part of the job was going out every day and covering news stories. I went to government meetings all over the region. I went to crime scenes. We went to house fires and other tragedies. Every day was something different.
Take a look at this photo and go back in time with me for a minute. We each carried one of those big cassette decks and a mic (or a patch cord to record from sound systems). We would come back and pull audio cuts from the cassette.
Our team also did thousands of phone interviews with local news makers over those years. That began years of relationships with people who would later go on to become valuable sources over time. I am so proud to have been a part of this team
One thing we did that was exciting, but a little frightening, was our weather coverage. We were trained weather spotters and would go out in station mobile units and do live coverage as severe storms moved through the region. We also would be out driving around in flash flood warnings.
That brings back quite a memory for me. I am passenger in one of our mobile units training a new guy (Brady Boyd) during flash flooding. I instruct him to go toward Youree and Southfield where the water is rising. He did as told and before you know if, we drowned the mobile unit. Our two-way radio box was on the floorboard in the back seat and it immediately cut out because water rushed into the car.
We have to walk over to the K&B Drug Store at Youree and Southfield to use the pay phone (remember those?) to call the station and let them know we were dead. Pretty embarrassing to have your mobile unit towed away from a breaking news scene. But I guess it happens to the best of us.