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Click on any of the below for more information:

General Manager Tenure Where Are They Now?
Arthur Baldwin Curtis 1947- 1948 (FM) ?
Leslie L. Altman 1948 - 1955 (FM) Rock & Roll Radio Heaven
Harry Hayman 1953 - 1954 (AM) Rock & Roll Radio Heaven
Maxwell Richmond 1954 - 1955 (AM) Rock & Roll Radio Heaven
Leslie Smith 1955 - 1956 (FM) ?
Gene Winters 1955 - 1956 (AM) ?
Gene Winters 1956 - 1959 (AM & FM) ?
Bob Howard 1959 - 1974 Sale Rock & Roll Radio Heaven
Glenn Potter 1974 Sale - 1976  Mormon Church
Bill Prettyman 1976 - 1980 Prettyman Broadcasting
Charles Giddens 1980 - 1982 Rock & Roll Radio Heaven
Jeanne Oates 1982 - 1985  ?

 

A Brief History of WPGC General Managers

Leslie Altman

In July 1922, Leslie L. Altman starts the Bradbury Heights Bus Line to Washington with 2 buses. Its garage & offices were located at 1510 Southern Avenue in SE, DC. In 1926 it incorporates as the Washington, Marlboro and Annapolis (WM&A) Motor Lines, Inc.

The Federal Communications Commission grants a construction permit for a new FM station to the Chesapeake Broadcasting Company, Inc. in late 1947 to build and operate a station on 96.7 megacycles at Bradbury Heights, Maryland, "just over the District of Columbia line" which selected and was granted WBUZ-FM as call letters for the 1KW station.

Treasurer & General Manager of WBUZ-FM was Leslie L. Altman, President of the WM&A Bus Line. In late 1948, Leslie L. Altman was named President of the Chesapeake Broadcasting Co. while continuing as WBUZ-FM's General Manager.

 

 

Harry Hayman

On November 12th, 1953, Washington electronics engineer Harry Hayman receives a construction permit to build and operate a new Morningside, Maryland AM broadcasting station on 1580 kilocycles. The call letters WPGC, representing Prince Georges County are issued late in 1953.

Glenn Miller, grandson of Harry Hayman writes:

I am pleased to report that Harry Hayman is retired and living in Boca Raton, Florida. He is 87 years old, has 4 children and 8 grandchildren (I am his second grandchild).

Harry writes:

I rented the original land from Duval B. Evans for the station and tower. He owned a convenient piece of property and he was willing to rent it to me.

I didn't have enough capital to run the station for the length of time that it would have taken me to get profitable. Maxwell Richmond contacted me to take him as a partner. Which I did. But he wasn't a very pleasant person and my wife and I didn't get along with him very well. He made an offer to me for full ownership and I sold out to him.

I then returned to work at the Census Bureau on Univac One. From there I went to work at the Navy. From there I went to work at NASA on the Apollo project. When the Apollo Project was ending, I took early retirement from Federal Civil Service. Then I took a position as Executive Director of the IEEE Computer Society for thirteen years.

And here I am now retired in Florida.

 

 

Maxwell Evans Richmond

Within a month of its on air debut in October 1954, WPGC, Inc (Maxwell Evans Richmond, President & sole owner) purchases WPGC-AM from Harry Hayman for $10,000 on November 10th, 1954. He and his family would control the station(s) for another 20 years.

Pat McCoy, morning man in 1960 writes:

Max Richmond was an even more difficult man to work for than Bob Howard. Max would come down from Boston and harass everyone, Bob the most, of course. He had an office hidden away in the back of a bunch of file cabinets and partitions. He loved to pick up his phone and listen to everyone's phone calls, sometimes butting in, but most often just listening. I never heard him make a positive comment to anyone.

 

 

Leslie Smith

WBUZ-FM's President Leslie L. Altman names Leslie Smith as the new General Manager in 1955.

 

 

Gene Winters

Gene Winters is named General Manager of WPGC-AM in 1955. On March 30th, 1956, WBUZ-FM changes its call letters to WRNC-FM. He is also named General Manager of WRNC-FM in 1956. WRNC-FM changes call letters to WPGC-FM in mid-March 1958.

 

 

Bob Howard

Robert Howard joins the stations early in 1959 as its new General Manager. His larger than life character would surface on the air in a variety of guises including 'Mr. Sound Off, 'Captain Good Guy', 'Mr. X', 'The Riddler' & 'Dr. Strangeletter'.

Pat McCoy, morning man in 1960 writes:

Bob was a difficult guy, but a hard worker. I am glad to see he profited mightily before he died. Before 'PGC I worked for Bob in Baltimore (WAQE which later changed its call letters to WTOW). After Bob left, the owner, Sam Booth, hired two successive genuine lightweight managers. Neither of these guys could sell and all of the other salesmen left shortly after Bob did. Business fell off dramatically.

I recall Bob as more relaxed there than at 'PGC. Good Lord, he could not have been more tense. Max Richmond was an even more difficult man to work for than Bob. Max would come down from Boston and harass everyone, Bob the most, of course.

Bob once invited me to the first night of Passover seder, a new experience for me. The two boys were small. Both had water pistols and were squirting indiscriminately before their parents took them away. We sat down to the table, all of us wearing yarmulkes, Bob read from scripture, then we sampled the food, gefiltefish and matzo ball soup, a few other less than appealing dishes. I thought how could these two people, both fat, be so heavy eating like this? How uninformed I was. After the tasting Mrs. Howard cleared the table and brought in platters of roast beef, noodles, vegetables, etc.

Anita Miller ('April May') adds:

Bob was tough but fair and if you did good he was generous with raises and praise. Cross him and he could berate you with equal enthusiasm. He had a pair of lungs for sure. One of his rules was no food or drink in the office as the equipment in the control room was the scene of many spills and the engineers got tired of trying to get cheetos out of the turntables (yes this was the prehistoric era of radio)

I know for a fact Bob came in on weekends to be sure the weekend guys were playing honest and he caught one poor hapless DJ with coffee and a sandwich and gave him the axe. He finished his show and I'm sure the listeners were very surprised to hear Mr. Soundoff doing the pratter and taking requests. He did enforce the rule for everyone so when Mr. Richmond and Associates came to town they had to tke lunch in the hallway or up on the 3rd Floor lobby because Bob refused to send out for lunch saying if my employees can't eat in the office neither can you. My Hero!

Beverly Burch, Sue Gardiner & I used to act as hostesses when the station did Promo Parties for visiting celebrities and we all helped with mail-outs and contests. Boy did Bob love to give away money in those days! The Missing "W" contest, cars and $25,000 at a pop when other stations gave away T-shirts and records. He had trade accounts with different clients and the prize closet had everything you could imagine!

Bob encouraged all of us to come up with ideas to improve the station or the ratings and we were Number 1 all across the board regardless of age, time of day and the fact that we played Top 40 in a town that was pre-dominately Black or at least very conservative. I swear, we had old folks in the home, bikers, good-ol boys and gangsters listening to WPGC just to win money. The Salesmen didn't have any air-time to sell because we were sold out in all times for six months in advance. One year we raised the rate card 3 times and still the spots sold. They were reduced to selling spots when someone cancelled - didn't happen very often.

Ken (Mezger) Carpenter remembers:

During 1963 & 1964, WPGC did live remotes from the Hampshire-Langley Shopping Center in Langley Park. They did the 10AM - 2PM Bob Raleigh (Rolle Ferreria) show the 1st two weeks in June-July-August. The Chief Engineer, Wayne Hetrich, allowed me and another boy named Bob Medve to set up the table, sign, mixer, mic and cord each day. Each day we showed up and set up everything and took it back down at 2PM. At 13 years old, we felt very important!

One day, General Manager, Bob Howard showed up unexpectedly to do the show. While a record was playing, the person running the control board at the station would get his instructions and "cue word" from the announcer on the air. At one point I heard Bob saying something like, "OK if you keep missing my cues I'll come back there and clean house today". His on-air name was, "The Mystery Voice." When I saw this spectacle, I just started laughing
and couldn't stop for a long time, but I wouldn't let him see me laughing.

BD Howard writes:

I remember well the glory days of WPGC during 1960's. Bob Howard was my father.

My dad was born Robert Howard Rosenthal. As a youngster growing up during the depression, listening to the radio was an important part of his life. He was born just over a year before the 1929 stock market crash. He worked his way through Ohio State University as a women's shoe salesman (a job he hated), graduating at the age of nineteen.

My parents met while both attended OSU. Upon his graduation, he began his radio career at WVKO (1580 AM) in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, and legally changed his name by dropping the last name. While under the tutelage of station manager Bert Charles, he became a deejay, a sportscaster, a salesman, an emcee at big band concerts, etc. He learned every facet of the radio business while working seven days a week for a whopping $50 per week.

Of possible interest is his grandfather's story. My father's father's father came to America from Romania in 1890, settling in Key West, Florida. He finally brought his wife and four children over in 1899, the same year that my grandfather was born (the first family member born in the U.S.). They moved to Tampa in 1915 and ultimately had a total of ten children. Tragically, this family patriarch was accidentally shot and killed just a week after my dad was born.

My brother Steve was born in '51 and I came along in '55. In '56, my dad left WVKO to take his first management job at a station in Burwick, Pennsylvania. He left about six months later, to take the job of station manager at WAQE in Towson, a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. About two years later, he came to WPGC.

As a kid of perhaps six or seven years old, I did a few spots for WPGC airplay. I particularly remember singing the jingle for Foley Ford, 'Get your Ford from Foley Ford, it's the thing to dooooo'. My brother and I were the big kid and the little kid on the block, giving safety tips to kids in PSA's. The union put an end to that!

I remember that when Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side' came out, WPGC played it with its interesting themes but cut out the word 'colored', just as when the 'Ballad of John and Yoko' was played, the word 'Christ' was deleted. Although I understood the controversies they wished to avoid, I thought that they should either play these songs intact or just not play them. (Whereas equalization is now used to suppress something for airplay such as the four-letter words found in many songs today, back then they edited a tape so that the word and that beat were deleted, repeatedly breaking the rhythm of the song).

My dad knew little of the current music they played on the air; he preferred the big band sound that he grew up with (Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, etc.) when not monitoring the station. He never understood the psychedelic culture of the late sixties and tried not to air any songs with drug references, although the more subtle ones ('Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds', 'White Rabbit', etc.) were aired. He was quite entertained by the names of some of the bands, his favorite was 'Big Brother and the Holding Company'.

During the '60's WPGC was always being played in my house. Whenever my dad heard something he didn't like (such as dead air), he would call the DJ and explode with an abusive tirade that I found embarrassing. I remember hearing of that episode when Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) crawled through the roof after locking himself out of the studio. After that, my dad always liked to call him 'Tiger Dumb Raleigh'.

My folks split and my dad remarried, and he and Solange had twin daughters, Nancy and Yetta (named for my dad's mom, who passed away in '66). It was Yetta's curiosity that found this site.

My dad once tried to parlay the minor celebrity of being Mr. Soundoff into a failed attempt at running for congress during the mid '70's. Had he sought my advice…

As he approached retirement, he amassed a collection of movies from the era of his youth in VHS format. Then, he collected baseball cards from this same era, an effort to replace a prized possession from his youth that had been thrown away by his mom several decades earlier. These complemented his enormous collection of albums from this era.

 

 

Glenn Potter

The estate of station owner, Max Richmond receives FCC approval on August 7th, 1974 to sell the stations for $5.8 million to First Media Corporation (Richard E. Marriott, Chairman & 44% owner).  The transaction is finalized on October 17, 1974. Outbid for the properties, Bob Howard exercises his right of first refusal, leaves the station and purchases WYSL in Buffalo.  First Media Corporation names Glenn Potter as President and GM. 

 

 

Bill Prettyman

Long time salesman Bill Prettyman was promoted to Vice President and Station Manager in 1976. Glenn T. Potter continued as President of First Media Corporation.

Anita Miller ('April May') writes:

Bill was a trip! He got me involved in a remote broadcast one time in one of the shopping malls just before Easter and I may never forgive him. He planned to give away plastic eggs to the shoppers with prize slips to get records, gift certificates to the different stores or cash. His wife Sharon and I were supposed to man the prize booth. The plan was for him to wear an Easter Bunny costume as he gave out the prize eggs but he waited til the last minute and no costumes were available. So he tells me the Friday before the remote that the only costume he could acquire was a Playboy Bunny costume and guess who had to wear it?!

I'm sure you can figure out the ending to this story. Stop laughing - it was not exactly my finest hour! Still, I heard later that the stores claimed it was the best remote ever...business must have been booming. To my knowledge Sharon wouldn't let Bill take any photographs. But I know people at the mall (shoppers and merchants) took some. Visitors the site may still have some from their private collections they could send in. I still have the hit man on retainer to get Prettyman!

 

 

Charles Giddens

Charles Giddens is named the new General Manager in 1980 when the venerable Bill Prettyman leaves for station ownership on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

 

 

Jeanne Oates

Charles Giddens leaves the station in December 1982 for station ownership and is replaced by Jeanne Oates. Ratings tumult, as a mindblowing 50% of the station's cume leaves too.

 

 

We are very sorry to report the untimely passing of former WPGC General Manager Charles Giddens on Sept. 12th, 2001. 

Media Broker Charles Giddens Dies

Giddens, who co-founded and was Managing Director of Media Venture Partners, died yesterday morning in a Naples, FL hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage on Monday. He was 57. Giddens, who lived in Naples, spent more than 30 years in broadcasting. He was a station owner and Group VP of Marriott’s First Media in Greenbelt, MD before Media Venture Partners was formed in Washington, D.C. in 1987.  In lieu of flowers, Charles' widow, Joanne, and their daughters Cassandra & Kelly have requested that donations be sent to the Garden of Hope and Courage at Naples Community Hospital, P.O. Box 234, Naples, FL 34106.

Charles Giddens Scholarship Fund Formed

The fund was created in memory of the Media Venture Partners co-founder, who died last week at age 57 of a brain aneurysm. Contributions can be made payable to the University of Georgia Foundation, with "Charles Giddens Scholarship Fund" in the memo line of your check, and mailed to the foundation (attn.: Bill Herringdine) at 824 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA 30602. The fund will be directed to the Grady College of Telecommunications and Journalism, where it will provide a yearly scholarship to a student attending the Univ. of GA & Grady College.

 

 

Photos

Click on images below to see enlargements.

Bob Howard


With Chief Engineer, Wayne Hedrick in 1968 


With B. Prettyman (l) & Nils Seibold (r) in 1968

Circa 1973

 

Bill Prettyman

Taking an order in 1968

With Bob Howard (c) and Nils Seibold in 1968

Publicity shot
from 1974

 

 

Print Materials

Click on images below to see enlargements.

Print Ads

Bob Howard

American Top 40

© Billboard, 09/05/70

 

 

'I Won $1,000 Cash'

© The Washington Star News

October 1973

 

'WPGC AM/FM IS No.1 Again'

© Broadcasting Magazine, 5/27/74

 

Articles

Bill Prettyman

 

"WPGC On-Air Personalities Strike"

© The Washington Post - May 5, 1977

 

Charles Giddens

 

"Giddens Resigns as WPGC GM"

© Radio & Records - November 1982

 

Client Letters

Bill Prettyman

Bostonian Shoes

Carnation

Marlow Heights 
Merchants Assoc.

 

Memos

Charles Giddens

Farewell To Staff - December 1982

 

Miscellaneous

Bob Howard

 

Liner Notes: Cousin Duffy's Original 22 Smash Hits album

 

 

Sound Files

Newscasts

Bill Prettyman

May 1977 Tease @ 5:53AM - :11
May 1977 Tease @ 6:20AM - :17

 

Sound Offs

Bob Howard

01/06/65 Kids Smoking - :37
07/10/66 Noisy Dogs - 1:08
08/30/66 Lack Of Sidewalks - 1:02
12/24/66 Banged Up Car Doors - :59
02/04/67 Boys Shooting Birds - 1:00
03/25/67 Construction Noise - :46
Aug. 1967 Littering - 1:03
08/09/68 Phoney Phone Calls - :42
08/10/68 Excessive Road Speeds - :47
08/11/68 Kids Gorging Themselves - :40
08/12/68 Sirens At Night - :45
08/13/68 Beltway Signs - :50
08/14/68 Kid Vandalism - :44
08/15/68 Post Office Blues - :44
05/27/69 Bad Fad - :38
1969 Mud Flaps - :36
1969 Abandoned Pets - :38
1969 School Supervisors - :43
07/20/69 Bank Security Guards - :36
07/20/69 Radar Speed Traps - :50
09/11/69 Unattended Children - :35
Fall 1969 Visitor From Chicago - :48
12/31/69 Accident Sideshow - :38
12/31/69 Model Rocketry Ban - :35
03/11/70 Washington Birthday Sales - :44
01/01/71 Draft Lottery - :46
April 1971 Guidance Counselor - :41
08/12/71 Hospital Parking - :43
10/11/71 Overworked Waitress - 1:04
12/31/71 Abortion - :48
12/31/71 Veterans Hospital - :54
01/01/72 Give Blood - :59
01/01/72 Parking Problem - 1:01
04/10/72 Big Words - 1:10
04/12/72 Trash Troubles - 1:04
05/01/72 Permanent Stickers - :47
08/27/72 Name Calling - :45
08/27/72 Speed Bumps - :55
Oct. 1972 Spoiling Movies - :56
01/01/73 Wax Poetic - :45
01/31/73 Movies On Too Late On TV - :44
1973 Machines Taking Over - :39
09/30/73 Jumping Through Articles - :46
11/21/73 Health Care - :37
Nov. 1973 Inoperative Brake Lights - :32

 

Bill Prettyman

May 1977 Supermarket Doors - :35

 

Promos

Bob Howard

1966 Man On The Street Montage - 3:52
01/01/67 Captain Good Guy Yoo Hoo Club - :55
Aug. 1967 As 'The Riddler', Chewing Out
a jock about the Missing 'W' - :19

 

Bill Prettyman

May 1977 Your Own Country Home - :45

 

Sweepers

Bob Howard

Approx.
1959 - 62

Headline Deadline Open - :13

Approx.
1959 - 62
Headline Deadline Close - :14
Aug. 1967 As 'The Riddler', with Missing 'W' Legal ID - :13

 

Contests

Bob Howard

08/30/66 Good Guy DJ Derby - :51
04/10/72 Good Guys Baseball - 1:40 (w/big Wilson)
04/10/72 Good Guys Baseball - :59 (w/Johnny Jones)

 

Miscellaneous Audio

Bob Howard

07/10/66 As Ed Sullivan for Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) - :08
Mar. 1967 Captain Good Guy Birthday Club - 1:05
03/25/67 Captain Good Guy Birthday Club - :51
03/25/67 Dockely Dockely Doodily Doo - :02
1968 Convention Hotline Report - :37
Nov. 1968 Magic Carpet Ride underground show poetry - :51
01/01/72 Fine & Dingle Dandy - :01
1994 Harv Moore & Marv Brooks from WXTR on:
Production, Bob Howard & sweatshirts
- :56
1994 Harv Moore & Marv Brooks from WXTR on:
Bob Howard & Lustine Chevrolet spots - 1:55
1994 Harv Moore & Marv Brooks from WXTR on:
Missing 'W' contest & Bob Howard
- :57
1994 Harv Moore & Marv Brooks from WXTR on:
Marv coming to town, & 'house' DJ names
- 1:23
1994 Jack Alix from WXTR on:
Bob Howard, Capt. Good Guy & Mr. Soundoff
- :27
1994

Bob Raleigh (Rolle Ferrar)
& Caroll James of WEAM from WXTR on:

Bob Howard, house names & Jamboree Jones
- :39

April 2002

Dean Griffith (Dean Anthony) on:
Bob Howard & 'Mr. X' taking over WPGC - 3:13

April 2002 Dean Griffith (Dean Anthony) on:
Bob Howard & Phyllis Diller - :33
07/28/04 Davy Jones on: Bob Howard - 1:04
07/28/04 Davy Jones on:
Bob Howard in Charlie Scheu's Corvette - :39
08/28/06
08/28/06
08/28/06

 

Charles Giddens

10/20/80 26th Anniversary 1954 Sign-On Recreation
(with Scott Shannon & Dave Foxx) - 1:13

 




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