1957.………I MAKE IT TO THE “BIG APPLE”
I was three years out of college in 1957 and my feet were itching to get where the action was…and in those days it was New York City. I already had three jobs under my belt (a short stint with an Ad Agency in Boston, 6 months at WWNY radio station in Watertown, NY and over a year at KEYT TV in Santa Barbara, Ca.) and felt I was ready to compete.
I found an affordable room at the Ferguson (a hotel for women only) on the upper East side and started my search for a job. I had good references and within a week I was working for WABC radio.
This was a very shaky time for that industry. The stations were losing audiences by the droves, as TV was just cresting on the horizon, and WABC was making a last ditch stand with their promotion, “Live and Lively Radio”. My job was to write promotional material aimed at selling time on the live shows. We had “Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club”, out of Chicago and the NY based “Jim Reeves Show” and “The Merv Griffin Show”.
Our studios were on West 86th St. and we were in a constant state of turmoil. We were either writing a proposal, presenting one or re-doing it. This was where I learned that it is possible to manipulate facts and figures to say what you want (inferences, leaving things out, etc.) and I’ve never trusted advertising since then!
I found a great way to save money during that time. Our bosses (all men, by the way) had expense accounts and they would gladly include me in their “business” lunches. I would eat to my heart’s content and not worry about food for the rest of the day…great on the pocketbook and the waistline.
A lot happened during my 3 years at WABC. I moved to Tudor City, near the UN, met my husband and married in 1958 and finally left the job when our first child was born in 1959. (That’s a pregnant me in the picture above). Live radio shows were destined to fail, especially when NBC TV came out with color, but at least I had my small bite of the Big Apple while it was still ripe and juicy.