CHED: Comics on Radio, when not in newspaper

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CHED: Comics on Radio, when not in newspaper

Postby jon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:23 pm

How Edmonton's CHED radio station kept comics alive in 1973
Chad Huculak
Published on: April 13, 2018

In the waning summer days of 1973 if you wanted to catch up on the latest exploits of Charlie Brown you wouldn’t pick up a copy of the Edmonton Journal, you’d turn on the radio.

Due to a newsprint shortage, the Journal discontinued several features, including its comic pages. It was no laughing matter for CHED radio station announcer Bob McCord, who was quoted saying, “With all the world’s troubles, it’s no time to be without the funnies.”

Not wanting the residents of Edmonton to be devoid of their daily chuckles, McCord picked up the phone and dialed up city dignitaries to pitch an idea.

“I had free rein and I’d go in and see living legend Jerry Forbes (CHED radio manager) and say, I want to try this thing,” recalled McCord.

McCord’s idea was to have the comics read over the air during his daily afternoon program on CHED. He managed to convince numerous high-profile Edmontonians to “ham it up” during his radio show and breathe life into the cartoon classics. Mayor Ivor Dent read the Wizard of Id, Ald. Dave Ward narrated Tumbleweeds, Edmonton Journal editor Andrew Snaddon read Peanuts, Journal publisher Ross Munro also lent his voice talents to Peanuts, and CHED news director Eddie Keen voiced Hagar the Horrible.

Using scripts of the unpublished comics, the actors gave voice to the cartoon characters, with McCord jumping in to fill in the cast.

“It was fun, a lot of people got a kick out it,” said McCord, recalling phone calls to the station from parents saying how much their children enjoyed it.

The experiment ran for three to four weeks before the comics returned to the Journal’s pages.

For McCord, who currently lives in Laguna Beach, Calif. after hanging up his radio headphones in 1988, reading the newspaper comics remains part of his daily routine. “It’s the most important part of the paper,” he said. “I’m a big kid, I enjoy the comics.”
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Re: CHED: Comics on Radio, when not in newspaper

Postby albertaboy4life » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:50 pm

That year Bob was at certain times recording a 49 share, in the Edmonton radio ratings, during his show. For his entire show (Monday to Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.) he was pulling in a 41 share.

Edmonton had 10 or 12 radio stations at the time.

Barry Westgate, Edmonton Journal, August 18, 1973

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Re: CHED: Comics on Radio, when not in newspaper

Postby CubbyCam » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:48 pm

One of the best jocks EVER... In fact, I don't think I've ever heard another better... right up on top of my list with the late Fred Latrimo... Those were great days to be in radio... :worthybow:
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Re: CHED: Comics on Radio, when not in newspaper

Postby drmusic » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:23 pm

"Reading the Funnies" was a long-running show on CKCK Regina during the 1960s and 70s. Johnny Sandison and Porky Charbonneau hammed it up with the comics, and especially the commercials, and the tradition continued when Porky returned to Winnipeg and was succeeded by Doug Alexander. In those days, the Sunday-less Leader-Post ran the Sunday comics on Thursdays, which gave the hosts plenty of time to tape the show for Sunday morning airing. It was later revived for a couple of years in the early 90s by Alexander and "Chester Drawers" (Ken Singer).

But wait! Here's an even earlier example: During a 1940s polio outbreak, with kids being kept indoors, then-Minneapolis mayor Hubert H. Humphrey reads the comics on WCCO. http://radiotapes.com/WCCO/WCCO-AM_Stay ... 8-1946.mp3
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Re: CHED: Comics on Radio, when not in newspaper

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:42 am

While working afternoons for Keith James at CKXL, I always felt this comparison hanging over me as Keith had just previously PD’d CHED before Moffatt brought him south to get Calgary up to standard (...he did, and then some, but not with me around for the glory days).
Once, during our frequent and painful aircheck sessions, he played a current tape of Bob McCord and put it straight to me: “Now, what would you do to beat this guy”?
God knows, I had no answer.
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: CHED: Comics on Radio, when not in newspaper

Postby CubbyCam » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:27 pm

Neumann Sennheiser wrote:Once, during our frequent and painful aircheck sessions, he played a current tape of Bob McCord and put it straight to me: “Now, what would you do to beat this guy”?
God knows, I had no answer.


Exactly what I'd have responded as well... ;-)
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