Tuesday, June 17, 2008


In the early 1980’s, I arrived at WQFM (93QFM) in Milwaukee to be the new Program Director.
The previous PD, Brent Alberts, had put a really terrific air staff together.

I knew that they just needed focus and some attitude adjustment to be Killers.

This staff with few changes went on to help the station post an 8.5 12+ share that drove our direct competitor, WLPX, out of the format.

When I first got there, I did the standard one-on-ones with each air staff member. After two or three days, I realized that I still didn’t remember half the names of my staff. Those that I did remember were my morning team (Rodio and Mueller), the show was called Morning Sickness and my 10 PM to 2 AM jock, Tim The Rock N’ Roll Animal. The rest of the guys’ names were a blur.

Then, it came to me, another epiphany.

If I was having a hard time remembering the names of our talent, it was either because of my years of damaging my brain or THEIR NAMES WEREN’T THAT MEMORABLE. I figured even if it was the brain damage reason; this was something I shared with a large segment of our listening audience. I wanted our talent to be known, to be bigger-than-life rock radio stars with our listeners. They needed radio rock star names.

First, I met with my 10AM-3PM star, Jeff Peterson. We discussed nicknames and decided on Mr. Midday for him. Next was Terry Gibson, my afternoon drive killer. He came up with Terry “Twelve String” Gibson.

My daytime lineup was now: The Morning Sickness Show followed by Mister Midday followed by Terry “Twelve String” Gibson. Nights were Mike Wolfe (catchy enough) followed by Tim The Rock N’ Roll Animal. Memorable names to go along with top notch rock radio stars.

What’s in a name? Everything when you’re in show business. It was the first step toward ultimate victory and. market dominance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The final spelling of my "air name" last name occurred as a typo from my PD. I liked it and kept it. He (Big John Gillis of WVBF...the 70s) also came up with the first name (another long boring story) which I hated ! He said, "Hey, just try it for a couple of weeks and if it still make you gag you can change it." Well, the two weeks came and went and, as they say, the rest is/was history.

As for the evolution of the actual full name - that would be a bit long for this comment column
and would put people to sleep...

The former Harvey Wharfield
WVBF / WAAF / WCOZ / WZLX / WCGY, etc., etc., etc...

4:28 PM  

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