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Dedicated in memory
another WPGC 'Sound Off'!
of the Sound Offs
an era long before deregulation, when Public Service commitments
still counted, Sound
an effective means of fulfilling the station's obligations for
license renewal purposes while simultaneously served to reinforce
its localism in the Washington metro area.
week, half a dozen or so one minute
'Bitch Offs' as they were known internally) usually ran once an
hour, 24x a day, 120x a week. Plus another 48 over the weekend
added up to nearly three hours of programming devoted in the public
interest and greatly reduced the length of similar material buried
early on Sunday mornings.
were encouraged to submit their pet peeves about seemingly anything
under the sun (see table below). Perhaps best remembered
was the infamous
of all things, Sound
and the declining importance of topics addressed in them!
the week was awarded a cash prize. Initially, the amount
was a whopping $10. Gradually, the amount increased over
the years to $20, then in 1972 to $30. Why the
an obvious $15.80 or $95 is anyone's guess, but suffice to say,
there was rarely a shortage of submissions for consideration.
voiced by the anonymous, 'Mr. Sound Off', (in actuality, General
Manager, Bob Howard),
Raleigh (Bill Miller) would periodically fill in for him as
'Lieutenant Tweety', took over permanently in 1974 and continued
until his departure with The
Great Strike That Struck Out in May of 1977. Thereafter,
the voicing duties rotated amongst the air personalities (and
Public Service Director Sherry
Berger), with each jock usually doing one a week.
the advent of the first wave of deregulation in the early '80's
and the reduced requirements to carry Public Affairs programming,
which by then had become a fixture on the station, were gradually
phased out and disappeared altogether with the station's tragic
abandonment of its heritage TOP 40 format in 1984.
Dad (General Manager,
Bob Howard) once tried to parlay
the minor celebrity of being Mr. Sound Off into a laughable, failed
effort to run for Congress during the mid '70's. Had he sought
While very few people ever thought about anyone
associated with the station other than the on-air talent, occasionally
I'll mention in passing that my Dad ran WPGC during the '60's
and some baby boomers still seem impressed all these years later.
But on the rare occasion that I reveal that he was Mr. Soundoff,
many immediately remember him still to this day. And I am often
told that my voice sounds very much like his did.
All I can
say in reply to this is, 'Your response is welcome!'
the rebutal letter the
White House sent to Mr. Sound Off!
Alix from WXTR on:
Bob Howard & 'Mr. Sound Off' - :27
Duffy on: Sound Offs - :30
the various Sound Off Open
& Close over the years:
to hear the
or go to that person's page.
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