Mad Dog Morgan Remembers His WTMA Days
This page was last updated Sunday, July 14, 2013

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On June 16, 2004 we heard from Don Hanzlik
(known to mid-1970s WTMA listeners as Mad Dog Morgan).
Here are his WTMA memories:

My first week there, the station was still owned by Ted Turner, then sold to a local group. [TT's Note: Chuck Smith, who owned WTMA before Ted Turner, repurchased it.] At WTMA, my air name was Mad Dog Morgan, I did the 7p-midnight shift in the mid 70s (pulled a 32 share in one book - and that is no exaggeration. I immediately got a 10 percent raise -- then six months later went to 15Q - WQSN for another 10 percent raise!!!).

Don Morgan WTMA 65th Anniversary Greeting
(:38)
228 KB

Lee Richards was the WTMA Program Director who hired me-- and he was abruptly followed by Crazy Bob McLain; John Burwell was Production Director; Bob James was the all-night guy. Al Khami and Steve Bell were the news people. Chris Pinckney [Gery London] was in there somewhere. Can't recall anyone else, off hand. And of course, there was the FM station, WPXI. Pixie in Dixie!


Don Hanzlik in 2004

One of the WTMA sales guys was a real sleaze-ball...but in a good sense. He had an account with a strip club, and most of the girls lived at the same West Ashley apartment complex (Townhouse Village, I think) my wife and I were at, right across Sam Rittenburg Blvd. from where the studios/transmitter were located then, and still may be. The girls would be out tanning every day, along with their pit bull terrier -- NOT an attack animal -- and my wife would get pissed that I'd be ogling them. But, knowing I worked for "Tiger Radio" they would come over and talk from time to time.

  -- Don Hanzlik (Mad Dog Morgan)

John Burwell comments:

Don Morgan! Oh yes! - He was Mad Dog Morgan on 7-mid - Don Morgan everywhere else, and Don Hanzlik in real life. A good talent - kind of a "screamer." The kids loved him, and so did the Arbitron. When he left us and went to 15Q (1450-WQSN) he went nowhere in the ratings. It wasn't his fault - We owned the market - Brand loyalty.

Don gave me the very first Hallmark Christmas ornament I'd ever seen. Dated 1976, it said "Our First Christmas Together." It was a gift from Don and his wife to Sylvia and me. We got married in September, 1976. We got married in September, because it was in-between rating periods. Ratings even controlled my wedding!

Don triggered so many other memories! The "sleaze-ball" sales guy was Rudi Gresham - I told you he was the template for Herb on WKRP!

Rudi was really a fine, fine, honest guy with a heart of gold. He had a used-car salesman kind of persona but it was all an act. I would have trusted my life to him. I did all of Rudi's spots for that strip joint that Don mentioned. It was the Joker Lounge. The owner's name was Lucky. Lucky was reputed to have Mafia ties... Rudi took me down there one time and introduced me. Lucky was from New Jersey and was exactly like one of those secondary characters on the "Sopranos." He said, "Hey kid - I like what you do for me. Would you like me to fix you up with one of my girls?" I declined. This was before I met my wife, but I was chicken!

The abrupt ending of Lee Richards (actual name - Richard Booth) happened this way - Lee opened up a side business selling pots and pans (I am not kidding) in a kind of "Tupperware" or "Amway" sort of merchandising way. Lee and I were good friends, and I knew about the business, but management didn't. He started spending more and more time on his second business and management eventually found out about it. John Trenton treated it almost like adultery. He fired him right then and there. You were either all TMA or no TMA. No exceptions. (Besides that, our numbers were declining and Lee's days were numbered anyway.) I did AM drive for about three months until Bob arrived, and hated every minute of it. I also had to do the morning shift for about 3 months in 1979 after the PD named Randy (and I don't remember his last name) left us.

I remember when WQSN switched from Country to Top 40 - to 15Q. The midday jock called me on our request line - introduced himself, and said now that he was back in town he was going to blow me right out of the water. I told him he was dreaming. I remember telling him a line that was popular back them. I said - "I never worry about the competition - I AM the competition!" I beat him five to one in the next book. No kidding. I sent him a copy of the ARB with my condolences.

_________________________

Are you a former WTMA employee or listener with a story to share?
We'd love to hear from you! E-mail John Quincy.
 


 

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