Thursday, March 10, 2016
Joe Ferguson - 1983
In Panama, my biggest complaint with the network was how LA centric the programming was "There's nobody good in New York?" would usually be how that tirade started. They surprised me with series of jocks from around the country with an AFRTS connection.
In the weeks before the Bob Moke show, Joe Ferguson from KUPL in Portland had his turn. Joe also saved the disks and has made them available once again:
First of all, I was an army brat with my dad a 30 year career man. In the early sixties, we were stationed in Germany and I attended high school in Frankfurt. The school had a radio club and produced a weekly program for teenagers. We produced and recorded it at AFN studios just outside Frankfurt. I was part of that club and got my first exposure to radio and was hooked.
When I graduated, I returned to the US for college and got a job as a dj at a local station to pay for my education. After graduation, I went to visit my family, now stationed in Italy. On the way I had a stopover in Frankfurt and went to see a couple of people that were still at AFN from my high school days. They told me there was a civilian announcer job open in Italy and I should talk to the SEN folks, so I did.
SEN was interested and offered me the job. As a result, I was in Vicenza for a couple of years. It was great and I have many wonderful memories from the experience. Next stop, (1971) KFOX AM-FM Los Angeles, where I was the afternoon jock. I was working with people whose programs I had played while at SEN. While I was at KFOX, I was on staff with Charlie Williams, Hugh Cherry and Gene Price as well as some other great talent. I had to pinch myself frequently to convince myself I was actually there.
I also did some syndication work in Hollywood for Programming DB which was one of the pioneers for syndicating long form programming. It was a partnership of two of the innovative programmers of the day, Ken Draper and Chuck Blore. At one time, I think I was doing a daily 4 hour program in 20 or so markets, all via voice track and automation equipment.
My next encounter with AFRTS was in 1983 when they contacted me at KUPL AM-FM in Portland, Oregon, where I was the program director. They asked if I was interested in doing a 30 minute, daily show from Portland for 13 weeks. It was part of a project where they selected a personality from a different part of the country to highlight a new area every quarter. Of course I was delighted to accept.