The News Crew

Vickie Jenkins (pictured at right) did the morning news and couldn't stand it when I filled in for Bleu -- which was whenever he was on vacation, pretty much. I enjoyed playing up the tension by taking cheap shots at Vickie whenever possible as the audio clip illustrates. It gives new meaning to the term "sound bite". Kevin "Whitey" Gleason handled sports and started as Bleu's producer. He was a good kid and something about him reminded me of Leonard Nimoy. Sort of a blond Mr. Spock. But a lot funnier in a controlled sort of way.

Gil Haar (pictured on left) was the news director and did the afternoon drive news. Gil was a classic "old time" newsman. Very straight, sober and conservative. Oddly, he and I got along famously and he good-naturedly played back when I'd lead into the news or go back to the music doing something screwy. Jackie Skarr would try to get a chuckle out of Gil when she'd fill in for me and her attempts at humor would completely baffle Gil. I knew because he'd later tell me. Poor Jackie. Gill had back problems and wound up in the hospital for a week or so. That's when I started doing the "Gil Haar In Traction" bits, in which Gil would be tortured by various staff members while lying helpless in his hospital bed. Gil had an off-air trademark that was a regular as his signature line. He'd carefully weave his bow tie back together during the last weather report and by the time he finished the line "And that's the newws.... Soooo nowwww ya know... I'm Gil Haar", the tie was done and he'd be outa there. Gil, by the way, could hold his own against Morley Safer, Mike Wallace or any other TV newsman from that generation. The only difference is, Gil stayed on the radio, and has bigger ear lobes. I used to joke that Gil was someday planning on donating those ears of his to the Smithsonian Institution. Helluva newsman.

Peter Laufer was one of the original hipsters in the KYUU newsroom. Ann Marie McSweeney, ace cub reporter Nick Thompson and news part-timer/erstwhile weekend talk host Aldy Swanson completed the news staff. Nick was always in some sort of pissing match with the NABET engineers, and he had a delivery that sort of sounded like a cross between Kermit the Frog and Ted Baxter. Gil hired Nick from Bakersfield. Ann Marie McSweeny was constantly depressed and always speaking in hushed tones to the NABET engineers -- probably about Nick, ha ha. Don't get me wrong, Nick was a good guy and we got along fine. There was just little love lost between he and the Nabets. Interns came and went, but one of them lasted longer than most until he was dryly advised by Gil to go out and get a real job. Paul Tonelli was on staff for about 14 months beginning in November '84 and the last I heard, doing mornings in San Jose.