Tulsa TV Memories: Tulsa pop culture      

 Charlie Mitchell - soccer player and restauranteur (card courtesy of Bill Groves) Tulsa

KTEW's Jerry Webber

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Mack Creager, longtime Tulsa sportscaster with
KOME, KAKC, KRMG and KOTV, passed away
on March 2, 2001.

See photos and read comments about him
from Tulsa TV Memories contributors on
Mack Creager: In memoriam

Mack Creager

Here are 1955 and 1962 Oiler Park Radio-TV Night photos.

1955 IDs; 1st row: Tom Jenkins, Ken Vandever, Mack Creager,
Hugh Finnerty, Bill Hyden; 2nd row: Tony George,  ?  ,
Perry Ward,  ?  , John Turner, Ed Neibling, Bat Boy: Mark Finnerty

Sam Stewart, Don Woods and Hal O'Halloran, courtesy of Bud Blust
News anchor Sam Stewart, WX man Don Woods and sportscaster Hal O'Halloran
(courtesy of Bud Blust)

Johnny Rauser

Johnny Rauser (courtesy of Bud
Blust). Johnny today

(from Guestbook 2) Mike Bruchas said:

Hal O'Halloran was replaced at KTUL for reasons never understood. He tried a fishing show after that for a while shot by former KTUL photog, Johnny Rauser - maybe Looboyle's or someone sponsored it.

Reallly old Tulsa radio Trivia. Your remember Harrington's Men's Store. Sometime in the 70's they had to move - I guess they were once by the PAC site. A TU friend worked at the new Harrington's building and took us to the abandoned upstairs. I cannot rem mber if it was KRMG's or KOME's old studio site. We wandered thru the studio space and offices - a flashback to the 50's though almost all of the gear was gone, I think some consoles remained.

On a glass door was Hal O'Halloran's name stencilled as Sports Director - which blew us away.

(from Guestbook 12) Mike Bruchas said:

Chris Lincoln...used to have a picture of him at KOMU as a sportscaster and pre-his diet days. He is a big-framed guy. He told us how much he lost once and I can't remember. When he came to 8 - he was big but not that large-girthed.

Don't think he was EVER as big as Farm Director (at KOCO) Gene Wheatley. Didn't Gene work in Tulsa, too?

Chris Lincoln and F.A. DryWebmeister Ransom has a pic of Chris and one-time TU football coach F.A. (Fine And?) Dry which he has yet to post. (displayed at left...webmaster)

Okay here it is, secrets revealed - we used to call the jumbo hamper Chris' former wife Debbie brought lunch in --- "the wicker semi-basket" because of its magnitude. It was about 36' long!

Not that Chris ate that much but Debbie cooked a lot and loved to share food with folks in the newsroom....

(from Guestbook 12) Erick Church said:

Chris Lincoln is, of course, running Winner Communications out of Tulsa. This is basically a free lance company that will tape and cover sporting events. Some of Chris' proteges include Becky Dixon and Jeff Medders. Current KTUL sports photog/anchor Jon Klaussen works for Winner, I believe. Winner has been going since 1981, I don't know when Chris left KTUL. He also does a horse racing show for the ESPN networks, and it runs weekly at various times. I believe you can catch it on ESPN Wednesday afternoons at noon or 1pm CT. He looks pretty much the same these days, big guy, big thunderous voice. I dropped him an email about the site sometime ago. He's a busy guy this time of year, though.

Chris Lincoln in the mid-70s Chris Lincoln today

Chris Lincoln in the mid-70s

Chris Lincoln today (5/2005)

Roy Clark gets a grip with Becky Dixon

Becky Dixon today

Roy Clark gets a grip with Becky Dixon.

Becky Dixon today (5/2005)

1/17/2006: Former Tulsa sports journalist Larry Burnett has launched a new sports blog, larryBsports.com. It will feature his Emmy-award winning sports analysis, as well as rants and raves on the NBA and on all things sports. He previously hosted Los Angeles Lakers radio broadcasts on KLAC in L.A. He also anchored The NBA Today, SportsCenter and two Olympics for ESPN.

5/2008: Former Tulsa TV sportscaster Larry Burnett and basketball great Lisa Leslie have written a new book, Don't Let The Lipstick Fool You: The Making of a Champion.

(from Guestbook 12) Mike "Bubba" Bruchas said:

Football football football!

If you worked at KTUL in the 70's - you got it a lot! Webmeister Ransom has pix of a KTULWFAA truck with David Finch riding shotgun crew doing an NCAA "split" for ABC sports. (displayed on the right...MR) We used the WFAA truck because it was "network class" compared to 8's rehabilitated mobile post office white whale. Jimmy Leake liked buying this icons of American postal history then turning them into custom car haulers for Horseless Carriages Unlimited. KATV had one of the last ever made - KTUL's was a lot older. Our place in the corporate pecking order with company President Bob Doubleday in Little Rock meant 8 was a second-class winner...

8's truck was used for smaller more local sports events or doing pick-up feeds for out of town stations like WAVE-TV in Louisville that covered all the Univ. of KY bassetball games.

The one thing we all learned in working at the Skelly Stadium or Fairgrounds Arena - was have a man shadow the building electrician. When games end - in Tulsa to shoosh folks out - they start turning off or flashing lights. NOT GOOD when you are broadcasting live. Several times during 10pm post game basketball feeds we had someone literally pull the plugs on lights - no matter whom we cleared staying on with AFTER a game. I remember a WAVE feed where all went well till wrap-up time. The electrician stayed clear of the power box after many admonitions not to touch (I think I gave him a $20) but a doofus guard at the Fairgrounds turned off the lights mid-broadcast of a feed to Louisville - which trashed someone's newscast mid-feed.

The white whaleBack to footsball. 8 produced the Barry Switzer OU show (which we won away from KTVY), a Jimmy Johnson (then who??) OSU Show, numerous TU football coach shows - though these only ran 30 minutes - the "biggies" OU & OSU ran an hour. We also carried KTVY's Bob Barry OU football show at a later time; the Larry Lacewell Show - who was OU defensive coach at one time and may have done this at 8; and the most painful show till Lou Holtz appeared at Arkansas - THE FRANK BROYLES SHOW!

Sister station KATV did the Broyles show and we ran it Monday nights after ABC's NFL Football and the late news. The idea was to boom into NW AR and do big spot sales - it never happened sales-wise. We could not stand Broyles, after a while he sounded like Foghorn Leghorn with his,"Ya see now, don't ya see..." remarks (about 500 times in an hour - grrrrr.). It may have been also 60-90 minutes in length.

After NFL who would be up till 2am on a worknight watching this? This was probably 1 night of the week the KTUL night staff got no viewer phone calls unless we had bad weather!

Zabriskie ad (from Guestbook 2) Mike Bruchas said:

Steve Zabriskie - the BIG Z came in later to replace Hal. Don't remember who did Sports in the interim. In Austin, TX, where Steve came from - Zabriskie sounded "too Polish" to management there so we were told he was Steve Zanon there. Zanon sounds too ??? Weird.

(from Guestbook 12) Mike Bruchas said:

Where is Steve Zabriskie these days and did any one find out which radio station Larry Burnett might be working at in LA?

(via email 7/11/2004) Gil Adams said:

While working at KTUL in the early 70's we used to do a lot of newspaper advertising to promote the news..here's one ad  (left) for Steve Zabriskie that we ran shortly after his arrival. I think it was early '72 or '73.

This was the logo that former art director Rick McCollum developed along with Dennis Paine around 1970.

Steve Zabriskie - The Big Z Steve Zabriskie has written a book: Be A Hitter! Be A Hitter!

(from Guestbook 11) Erick Church said:

Dwayne Parsons was at 6 for awhile in the early 90's. He's now at KBTX in Bryan, TX: http://kbtx.tca.net/newscrew/parsons.html

Dick Pryor had a stint at KJRH in the early 80's. Although I remember him for his loooong tenure at KOCO in OKC. He's now a lawyer, and news anchor for OETA: http://www.oeta.onenet.net/dickpryorbio.html

I also located John Anderson, who was at 6 in the early and mid 90's. He's at KPHO in Phoenix, but there's no bio for him there.

Oh, and Larry Burnett is at KLAC in LA.

Bill Teegins

Bill Teegins

Bill Tietgens (or Teegins)

(from Guestbook 12) Mike Bruchas said:

Webmeister Mike Ransom has an off air shot of Bill Teegins (his name is really spelled Tietgens as I recall) from his "big hair" days in Amarillo at KAMR/Ch.4 - the NBC station there - which should soon be appearing here shortly.  

See Guestbook 71 for more about the tragic OSU plane crash of 1/27/2001.

Ken Broo

(from Guestbook 12) Mike Bruchas said:

...We also hope to get an updated picture of a skinny Ken Broo from WUSA, too. The catcher's garb pic looks like it came from an old KOTV ad

Broo could be hilarious on the 2 way radio at 6. I remember something about him playing assignment editor (not really) and "dispatching" Losure and me (after I job switched to PT news shooter) to an "exploding dog story" in South Tulsa at some arcane far South address - I think we about had a wreck laughing at this, though I think either John Hillis or Doug Dodd may have been the originator of this joke. It was a hot Summer in '77 and a lot of things were inexplicably exploding then.

(from Guestbook 12) Ken Broo said:

WOW! What a great place to conjure up memories. You're doing a terrific job.

I started at KOTV in 1977, hired away from KWTV in OKC, by then news director, Doug Dodd. Great guy, good 'pipes' and I hear a terrific lawyer.

Working with Pitcock, Vaughn and Lee was an absolute trip. The newscasts, particularly the 6pm show, were never strictly formatted. We could break format, it seemed, anytime. The highlight was the end of show schtik with Lionel. I tell co-workers today about a newscast that ended with the anchors talking to a puppet and they look at me like I'm crazy.

Lee Woodward is easily the most talented person I've ever worked with. He could have done anything and gone anywhere in television.

My wife was with an ad agency then. She got ahold of the 'Q' ratings, or likeability studies, for local television talent. Lionel was number one. Lee was third. I teased him about that.

I ran into his brother, Morgan, in LA about a year ago and was happy to hear Lee is doing well.

I can confirm the Moose teleprompter story in an earlier posting. I was there.

Henry Lile, a terrific person, was the prompter operator. He was in stitches.

I learned two valuable things from Clayton: bring your 'A' game everynight, because he would. Secondly, never take the newscast home with you. "Seven O'clock comes every night" was one of his favorite quotes.

Ken Broo - July 4, 1999 When Clayton left to go to NJ and a public TV newscast, we acquired Jim Hale and Melanie Roberts. Hale was legend in Cleveland, OH. Melanie, I believe, came from Lexington, KY.

They never had a chance. Corinthian, for whatever bizarre reason, decided to 'can' the 6p news and move the early newscast from 5-6p. Needless to say, most of our viewers were on the Broken Arrow expressway at that hour.

At 9p (like now) CBS was non-existant, save for "Dallas" and we had little lead in audience.

Most of all, KTUL was so dominant. They had some terrific anchors.

The 'Moose' return tour, that lasted about a week, was another bizarre KOTV episodes. I think they had him doing commentaries, at the end of the shows. "Kamikaze Television" is how Vaughn referred to it, on Clayton's return from NJ.

Lionel was told not to refer to Pitcock as "Moose" upon Pitcock's return. It was a 'bit' for about two days. After that, "The King" called Bill: "Moooooooster Pitcock". I thought our illustrious management team was going to gag.

We did a weekly fishing segment with Joe Krieger. I called him "Mr Live Bait". I'll never forget a morning in the spring when Krieger took Clayton and I out bass fishing. Had to be at the dock at 5:30am after anchoring the night before. Couldn't figure out whether Vaughn was comatose or sea sick! Incidentally, we both worked that night.

Nice to see postings from John Hillis. Have only seen him once here in DC. He was a talented producer when I worked with him at KOTV.

After Tulsa, I worked in Tampa-St Pete for six years, then Cincinnati for nine, on both TV and radio. I've been in DC since 4/96.

It's been awhile since I've been back to Tulsa. I've always said, it is the most comfortable place I've ever lived. And for someone who was just 'cutting his teeth' in the television news business, a town that was very, very kind to me.

I'll keep reading. Hope to see more postings. And keep up the good work.

Today, Ken Broo is the sports anchor at Channel 5 in Cincinnati (pay no attention to that "9" in the picture). Ken Broo

(from Guestbook 14) John Hillis said:

I think the exploding dog story was born of a too-hot summer afternoon (never many of THEM in Tulsa!) and the knowledge that KTUL was monitoring the two-way. Somebody decided to see how far we could string them along, so Losure and his tyro photog were dispatched to a scanner report of an exploding dog at about 121st and Memorial, or however far south we thought might realistically be able to lure 'em off Lookout Mtn. It was hot then, and streets were buckling, so dogs exploding might not be a big stretch.

(from Guestbook 24) Jim Ruddle said:

I remember Creagar's baseball broadcasts at KAKC very well. I used to drive him nuts by playing Ravel's "Bolero" between halves of a double-header. It ran twelve minutes and allowed me some time away from the board.

My first job at KSEK (The Keystone of Southeast Kansas), in Pittsburg, required me to do both live and wire report baseball games of the Pittsburg Browns. The wire reports came in on a ticker with a superannuated Western Union guy handling the tape as it came in. This was a paper tape, with small characters printed on it. "S1S" was "Strike one, swinging," "B2O" was ball two outside, and so on. The crack of the bat was accomplished by hitting a small baseball bat, about a foot long, that hung on a string near the mike. It was rapped with a xylophone mallet.

The best at game recreations was, hands down, Gordon McLendon, aka "The Old Scotchman," who owned a string of radio stations, starting with KLIF, in Dallas. McLendon created the Liberty Network which broadcast recreated games, that is, wire report games that were eventually outlawed by the FCC.

Two of his most memorable broadcasts involved wire breakdowns. In one, he had the batter hit something like forty-five foul balls, each one colorfully related by McLendon. He would say things to his sidekick, Jerry Doggett, such as "Jerry check and see if the record books have a section on foul balls. This must be close to the record." The best though was one time the wire went down for ten or fifteen minutes and McLendon invented a dog that ran on the field. For the entire period until the wire was restored, McLendon described the delightful chase of the dog, the involvement of the umpires and the players as the beast cavorted around the diamond, always eluding the grasp of those who were chasing him. It was as good as a movie.

See pictures of McLendon in action, doing wire recreations at The History of KLIF Radio. Read about Gordon McLendon's movie, "The Killer Shrews", on this site.

Try Tink (Wilkerson)

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