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Date Posted: 16:06:08 02/02/15 Mon
Author: JM
Subject: Re: Uncle Dougie
In reply to: Sol 's message, "Uncle Dougie" on 16:59:53 01/28/15 Wed

He was one of the most interesting characters in Pittsburgh radio, starting with the fact that he lasted more than 25 years without ever having great ratings.

I thought it was a great move when WWSW brought him to town as counter-programming to the angry issue-driven talk on KDKA. That's when all his material (trivia, Americana, dating show, "the group") was new and fresh. He did great interviews and had a knack for keeping them conversational, which probably blunted the appreciation for just how much research he put into everything.

For a long time, his joy in being on the radio was always present and palpable. In the last years at 1360, I always had the feeling he knew the ax was coming and was just waiting for it to fall. It seemed like he was putting less into the show and relying more on repetition of familiar themes. Trading lines from "The Godfather" eventually got stale.

There were some missteps along the way. It was awful when WTAE tried to steer him and Lynn Cullen into "hot talk," complete with a lot of risque material. I didn't like his exchanges with producer Laurence as much as he did, mostly because they were not equal partners. Laurence was often on the intercom rather than a mic, and that usually made it tough to hear him, as did Laurence's rushed delivery.

I think he could have been successful nationally doing a show that focused on pop culture rather than issues. Too bad he never got the chance.

His was a tragic end for a guy who had a lot of fun on radio for a lot of years.

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