It's not a person. It's something less-and yet, far more. And it's the fault of the rudeness of men, the greed of corporations- and yet, we share in the blame.
WOWO radio was, when I was a child, the pinnacle of how radio should be. In the morning before anyone but the farmers (and mothers waiting for news of snow days) were awake, Bob Seivers, Jay Gould, and Nancy Lee and the Hilltoppers would kick the day off with the Little Red Barn program. Farm news, Jay's years of wisdom, the down home bluegrass/hill country sound of the Hilltoppers. And ALL the news you needed to know from professionals like Victor Locke and Art Salzberg. With real in-field reporters and a news director that knew the rules and followed them.
Then Bob would take over with his big baritone that always made you feel safe and watched over, spinning records untill Jack Underwood and "young" Chris Roberts took over. These were on air PERSONALITIES, and never needed to offend anyone to be entertaining. You can tell me all you want that people don't want to be entertained like that any more- it's too "boring"- and my response will always be, that's a damn shame.
I spent most of my childhood nights with one of two men. Ron Gregory was the quintessential "personality", and gave us the Holly-weird report (with our own live reporter from Hollywood), Bodie the world famous janitor, and the music that tugs my heart to this day. Bob Chase is still the voice of the Komets hockey team, and he was a voice of WOWO too, along with all these others. Add them all together and you get CLASS.
Group W gave you the best in national news at night, and insightful commentaries from people as varied as Vernon Jordan and Jacqueline Grenin-Wexler. And at night was when WOWO really shined. The "50,000 watt blowtorch of the midwest", heard in "23 states and all the provinces of Canada." I can attest it came in in Cartersville, GA, better than local stations. Great place to hear the Komets beat Dayton via Bob Chase.
Over the years, change came, as it always does. The turntables were abandoned, Group W gave way to more "competitive" ownership. Bob, Jack, and Ron gave way to Rush, Sean, and Glenn. Still, for the most part WOWO kept its commitment to family programming, news, and helpful commentary.
Now, a new way of doing things has begun. Rumours abound that WOWO is just this side of being scrapped for parts, being sucked into the same abyss that the similarly -missed WKJG TV and relative newcomer WFFT TV have fallen into. Worse yet, the bedrock 3-6 pm timeslot has been... well, I don't want to give any further props to the personnel in that slot now, but suffice it to say that their idea of broadcasting has nothing to do with what the proud call-letters WOWO mean to those of us who were weaned with it.
I know you can't go back in time. And America's listenership may well be so-dumbed down that what passes for their programming now is the way to get ratings. I don't know, I don't really care. I just wish that before they did this to our proud Lady, they would have just changed the call letters. WDIK comes to mind, as does KRAP and WTF. WOWO didn't, and does not, deserve to die this way.