Where Are They Now?


Gene Lindsey

“I started dreaming of a career in radio at age 8, when my Dad bought me a primitive reel-to-reel tape recorder. My childhood goal had been to do cartoon voices for a major studio. So I taped mock newscasts, plays and lots of silliness back in 1962 on that Lafayette RK-142 with the ‘Magic Eye’. By the way, that machine lasted about 30 years.

“I found my way onto the radio for the first time in 1968 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where my older brother’s college class was producing a bi-lingual music, poetry and drama show on a local AM radio station. I got that first scent of a radio studio, but didn’t get really addicted until college.

“In the 1970’s I did some college radio jocking in Madison, New Jersey, mixing an AOR format with campus ‘news’ reports. I started using the air name ‘Bob Dark’, and honked a Claxton horn at inopportune moments on the air.

“In 1979 I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where my radio career started to unfold. Besides managing the studio radio stations at the University of Michigan, I did jock shifts on both the AM and the FM, anchored and produced several 10-person half-hour news shows per week, and worked part-time as a news reporter and anchor at commercial station WAAM in Ypsilanti Township.

By 1985 I had had enough of life in a totally fun college town, and decided to pursue radio full-time, taking a job at WOOD AM/FM in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was hired by Greg Moceri, who went later went on to WSB. After 18 months in Grand Rapids, interviewing folks like Jack Kemp, Gerry Ford, Chevy Chase, and Harry Belafonte, I felt I was ready for a bigger market, and in 1987 headed back East, to WFAS AM/FM in White Plains, New York.

I spent seven years covering news in Westchester County, with great opportunities for in-person interviews with people like Governor Mario Cuomo, Vice-President Al Gore, US Attorney Rudy Guliani, Stan Kenton, Bonnie Raitt, Pete Seeger and many others. I also got a chance to cover oral arguments of a case at the US Supreme Court. I was eventually promoted to News Director, and supervised a team that won many news awards at WFAS, including an RTNDA Overall Excellence award. But staff cuts and management changes eventually took their toll, and I decided to try something else.

“After less than a year doing ‘public relations’ at a small firm in Westchester, I jumped back into radio, taking a job offered by Rich Carey at 570 WHNZ in St Petersburg. It was my first stint anchoring an all-news format, but how hard could it be? Besides getting our asses kicked in the ratings by WFLA and having virtually no budget to work with, and no promotions or marketing of any kind, we won some great news awards and had a damn good time. About a year after I got there I was promoted to News Director when Ken Stevens left, and then Program Director when Rich Carey quit.

“That’s about when Clear Channel bought out Paxson, and the rest, as they say, is history. WHNZ moved it's physical plant twice in a year’s time, changed frequency to 1250 in a three-way frequency swap that confused everybody, and got a power increase to 25kw. Now I serve as Operations Manager for WHNZ as well as ClearChannel Traffic Tampa Bay, feeding 16 stations (currently) with about 1400 Traffic reports per week. I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, except maybe doing cartoon voices for a major studio.”

Copyright © 2002 By TEDD WEBB • All Rights Reserved