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Date Posted: 00:47:44 10/06/12 Sat
Subject: Re: How Cordic took Bob Trow to California
In reply to:
's message, "Re: How Cordic took Bob Trow to California" on 20:04:17 10/02/12 Tue
Thanks, Ed and Ray.
According to Karl Hardman and Rege's attorney, Arnold Wilner, KDKA came to Rege with a last-ditch contract offer. It was apparently a deal that included everything he had ever asked for -- more money, more time off and the five-day work week that he coveted. But he'd made up his mind to go to LA, and that was it.
He was 39 when he accepted the offer from CBS to work at KNX. That's pretty much a perfect time to assess where you are and where you're headed. Between WWSW and KDKA, he had done the morning show for 17 years. It couldn't possibly get any bigger. Was he going to be content being No. 1 in Pittsburgh, or was it time to try radio in a new market and take a shot at acting? We know the answer.
KNX pulled the plug on the show in the summer of '67. That was around the same time KDKA was getting restless about Pallan & Trow and started looking around. Brunhilde was the one "Cordic & Company" character who had endured on Pallan & Trow, even carrying on a romance with Joe DeNardo, her beloved "Joden." Jack Bogut was in Salt Lake City and rejected KDKA's first approach. They went back to him and brought him into Pittsburgh to show off the city. He said he asked for a "ridiculous amount of money," they agreed, and he started at KDKA in April of '68. So all traces of "Cordic & Company" were gone from the airwaves about two and a half years after he left KDKA. Of course, the show would be resurrected on WTAE for Sunday mornings in 1969, but it lasted just over a year.
Someone in the thread mentioned that Rege returned to radio. That was at oldies-formatted KRLA/Pasadena in late 1981. The best information as to why he went back was he had just gotten divorced and probably took a financial hit. He spent just about four months at KRLA, then resigned and recommended Terry McGovern as his replacement. Terry didn't enjoy it any more than Rege had, and that was the last time either of them did a radio show. Cordic used some of the old drop-ins on the KRLA show (and Karl and Marilyn recorded some new ones), but basically he executed the format and didn't have time to do much entertaining within the constraints.
I remember interviewing John Rook, who was PD at KQV from 1963-67 about the station's inability to dent Cordic's ratings. He said, "I always said that show wouldn't make it anywhere but Pittsburgh, and that's what happened." To me, that just reinforces how much Rege and the rest were plugged into Pittsburgh and its quirks and foibles. That's basically been the same formula that's made the WDVE morning show so successful for so long, although the style of humor is much different. I think Rege made his peace with the "flopped in LA" shorthand, but I know it irritated Karl Hardman for decades after the KNX show ended.
By the way, I've never heard any tape of the KNX show. There are airchecks of Bob Crane that have survived all these years, but I've never heard anything of Rege on KNX.
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