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Date Posted: 23:42:35 11/18/15 Wed
Author: JM
Subject: Ed King

This week (Nov. 18 specifically) marks the 44th anniversary of Ed's passing, which brought an end to "Party Line" after almost 21 years.

Wendy donated Ed's scripts to Duquesne University's libraries. It would be nice if they were accessible at the Heinz History Center, which gets more traffic.

I've sometimes wondered how long "Party Line" would have lasted if Ed had lived. It was a success for KDKA, but it was also getting more anachronistic as radio continued to change. Jim Jeffrey bombed with a "nice guy" talk show in that time slot in the following year. The 9-to-midnight slot went to John Cigna in 1973, and he successfully reinvented it as a typical talk show with a bombastic approach. It was successful, but it was also about 180 degrees from the gentle nature of "Party Line."

Ed's last "Party Line" appearance was on the Halloween show, Saturday, Oct. 30, 1971. He made the show persevering through great physical suffering from lung cancer. He died less than three weeks later at age 50. What a talented man he was. The specials he wrote for KDKA should be accessible. He was the master of writing for radio.

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