I was very surprised when Mike Boudreau called me and
asked why I hadn't called on behalf of myself. I reminded
him I had called Bill Crawford before I went into sales
to ask for a job in sales at Big D. Bill responded
something like, "I had to fire you once as news director.
I wouldn't like to have to fire you again." Mike
said he wanted me to come to work for him. Wanted to
take me to lunch. I demanded that Crawford be at the
showed up with Bill and we got together.
hired me in spite of what I did to him when I was news
director in 1960. I had dropped in his office to tell
him about our great election coverage plans and urged
him to sell this special programming. He told me he
would not sell it. I immediately drafted a memo to New
York detailing our news plans and urging sale of the
special programming, going over Mike's head. The word
came back to Mike that, indeed, this must be sold. Mike
sold it. And I wondered how much of an enemy I had made.
I learned later he was too big a man to be vindictive.
Dick Buckley cut our sales commissions or guarantees,
I arranged a meeting with the other two account executives,
Mike Drechsler and Bob Kursman, at a park in West Hartford.
I suggested we all resign at once. I suggested we invite
Mike Boudreau to join us in the walkout. He met with
us and explained that with his twins in college, and
his advanced age, he could not leave a good paying job
and probably could find no other employment. I vowed
I would be gone before the end of the year. Mike and
Bob elected to stay on. When I turned in my two weeks
notice and resigned Mike Boudreau phoned Dick Buckley
in New York. Dick told Mike to reinstate my old deal
to keep me on at WDRC. Mike showed management
skill and fairness as a man. "What about the other
two?" said Mike. He told Dick the company would
have to do the same for all three account executives.
Dick wouldn't hear of that. Buckley's answer would not
affect me. I was no longer available to WDRC.
I was ready for the new challenges of managing WCCC
Doing "Round Connecticut column
- April 17, 1966
you don't hear much anymore is live commercial copy. How did
you feel about the Big D personalities delivering live
copy for your clients?
I will never forget Sandy
Beach and my campaign for Windsor Furniture. This was
a GOB (Going out of Business Sale) that went on for months
and months. I used the Beatles Yesterday as a sound
logo. The lyric, "Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far
away" was always integrated into the commercial and often
lead off each announcement. Each message was delivered by
paced, somber, regretful tone. "After 30 years Windsor Furniture
soon will be no more." The change in pace made the listener
want to listen to see what was wrong. Each day Sandy
just could not resist responding to the latest in a frequently changing
message. His ad lib remarks added greatly to the value of the campaign.
As a matter of fact when the GOB started WDRC was one of
13 media purchased to promote Windsor Furniture. After a couple
of months WDRC was the only medium they bought since we were
pulling results better than all the others. One Monday my new campaign
revealed safe crackers had broken into Windsor Furniture and took
cash from the metal box. In my copy I referred to the criminals
as "yeggs", baiting Sandy,
who flipped and my client got big bonus boosts on his show.
I left the second time (1967), Bill Crawford was canned. Mike Boudreau
was promoted to vice president/general manager at WDRC A/F.
Mike was a "homebody." He liked to be at home every evening and
weekends with his wife Kay and the kids. Extensive travel in his
new VP position to and from New York City calling on agencies did
not agree with Mike. The added layer of ratings talk was probably
alien and suspect to his intellect. He joined the parade of fired
years later, in the late 1970's I visited Hartford, checked into
a downtown Hartford hotel and phoned Mike Boudreau. He came over
on the bus to visit me. He was surprised that I would take the trouble
to look him up. It was a chance for me to tell him how good an influence
he had been on me and my appreciation for his mentoring and most
of all his examples of even-handed fairness.
else you don't hear much anymore is a single commercial surrounded
on either side by a song. How do you feel about clustering spots
in four or five minute blocks instead of the 1960s-way of integrating
them into the program?
In the Swingin' Sixties most portable radios did not have push buttons
so it wasn't as easy to dial from 1360 WDRC to 1410 WPOP,
the other rock 'n roll station. Therefore spot clusters weren't
as dangerous to program for fear of losing an audience. Newscasts,
however, did cost us the rock-n-roll lovers. As soon as a newscast
on either of the stations came on you could almost feel the audience
leave for the other top 40 station's hit music.