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David Michael Potts

aka Dave Michaels (on TV)


For Radio Veterans!

You know you're an aging Radio Bum when.....


Aside from hosting AM Los Angeles at KABC-TV I believe the greatest fun I had in this business was working in radio in New York's Triple Cities - Binghamton, Endicott, Johnson City. I met and worked with wonderful people who were extremely kind to me. It was a perfect place to begin my career. I started at WENE in 1953 filling in for an announcer who was in the Navy. I knew the job would only last 'til he returned from service. It was a good introduction to the Triple Cities! When he came back I went down to NBC as a Page. But, I stayed in touch with friends at WENE!

WINR, Binghamton, NY

I was known in the Triple Cities by my full name - David Michael Potts. I had been a big fan of WNEW's William B. Williams and liked the idea of using all three names. Amazingly enough three young couples called me over that period to tell me they had named their sons David Michael.

WINR was my last job in Binghamton. I left to join old school chum Edward Brown at WGBB in Freeport, Long Island.

I'm seen here at WINR's Gates board (my favorite) doing my all night show Night Club. It was a great experience. I always imagined myself working on New York's WNEW-AM and played the finest music. My theme was Harry James' recording of Ultra. I still have it in my collection. We formed Potts' Pooped-out People's Club, showed silent movies, and took any reasonable request.

WINR, Binghamton

True Story......

A number of years ago I had the pleasure of talking with Rod Serling at WAGA-TV in Atlanta.

Rod and I had something in common - we both worked as announcers for WINR Radio in Binghamton - obviously, not at the same time.

Rod said they fired him because they said he had a terrible voice.

Can you imagine that? Rod had one of the most memorable voices in the history of TV.

When I was working at WKOP friends at WINR wanted me to come down the street and join them to do their all-night show.

The guy doing the show had a tendency to fall asleep during those overnights and his GM told him if you fall asleep one more time you'll wake up and find David Michael Potts doing your show. And, of course, that's exactly how I got there.

WKOP, Binghamton, NY
After I worked at NBC in New York as an NBC Page I returned to the Triple Cities to WKOP. I worked there about two years before going down the street to WINR.

I replaced old friend Joe Julian to host the areas most popular show Moonlight Serenade from 8 PM to Midnight, Monday thru Friday.
I had three fan clubs one of which had my name sewn on the back of leather jackets.

When I would sign WKOP off the air at midnight I would gather with good friends at Delanos Bar & Grill on Chenango street. They were Editors and Reporters from the Binghamton Sun. It was my Cheers where everyone knew my name - and I theirs!

WKOP, Binghamton

Rod Serling was a very close friend of Binghamton Press Columnist Tom Cawley.

Tom worked with us at WINR doing commentaries. He told me a wonderful story how he was hired at the Press.

He said he was being interviewed by the Publisher high up above Chenango Street in the old Binghamton Press building - the tallest on that street.

Tom was sitting across from the Publisher’s desk and behind the Publisher were windows looking down on Chenango Street.

During that interview Tom saw a body falling outside the windows. Someone had apparently jumped. Tom interrupted the Publisher and told him a body just fell past the window.

The executive thought Tom had gone nuts and simply said something like, “Oh, yeah. Sure.” But Tom insisted and the two got up and looked down on Chenango Street. And, there was indeed a body on the sidewalk.

The Publisher turned to Tom and said, “That’s your first story. Go cover it!”

And, that, Tom said, is how he got hired at the Binghamton Press.

WENE, Endicott, NY In 1953 I had the good fortune to wind up at WENE in Edicott. They needed someone to fill-in until one of their announcers returned from the Navy. My assignment was the morning schedule and I worked with wonderful people over that winter of '53/'54. When the Navy Vet showed up I spent most of '54 as an NBC Page. It worked out just fine.

Len Hathaway was my Program Director and my mentor. I was pretty rough and he spent lots of time with me. He was a great friend. Len went on to broadcast the Washington Redskins games on WMAL years after I worked there.

Another great friend from WENE was Pete Papagelis, aka Pete Ellis. Pete announced the evening schedule. He and his future wife Olga took good care of me during those days.

WENE, Endicott

WGBB, Freeport, L.I.  Old friend Edward Brown was helping put together a L.I. version of WNEW at WGBB in Freeport. He invited me to join him.

Years later, Ed joined WNEW, and became one of New York's most familiar voices broadcasting News.

Retired now in Florida he has built an excellent web site honoring the memory of New York's great WNEW-AM. (TAP HERE)

This is a shot while we were originating our weekends from the beach at Point Lookout in 1957. It was a very active operation with an energetic and creative General Manager.

WGBB, Freeport, NY

But, with my military obligation hanging over my head, and unsure about what I wanted to do in the future I volunteered for the draft. About this time I was thinking seriously about attending the Pasadena Playhouse to study film acting.

I was soon in uniform. After training at a garden spot called Ft. Dix the Army sent me to Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC. A short time later I was under orders to report to Fort McPherson, Third Army Headquarters, Atlanta. They needed my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) at the 3rd Army Public Information Office as a Broadcast Specialist. Fort 'Mac' was a choice assignment.

Somewhere during my service years I gave up the acting idea and concentrated on Television.

During my last year of service I worked nights at Georgia Tech's ABC affiliate, WGST Radio. A great station with a terrific staff. So many memorable names - Al Ciraldo, Jack Hurst, Lou Morton, Johnny Murray, and Skinny Bobby Harper. Today it is an all Spanish format - ESPN Deportes. When I left the Army I worked for a short time at GST reporting and writing news.

Within a few weeks WAGA-TV called and asked me to join their Announcing Staff. And, that I did.

Between stints at Channel-5 I worked for a couple of years at WMAL Radio -TV in Washington, D.C. It wasn't much fun! It was like working for an insurance company that just happened to have Radio & TV studios. I returned to WAGA-TV.

My Radio Days started at SEWANHAKA HIGH SCHOOL, in Floral Park, New York
Sewanhaka High School Pictured here is Radio House on the school campus.

At 90.3 on the dial we occasionally splattered into Fordhm's WFUV at 90.7.

Much of our programming was aimed primarily at 'in-school' listening for Nassau County.

It was run entirely by students.

David Michael Potts, Sewanhaka High School Here I am at our classic RCA Board.

Programming between 5 and 7 PM was controlled by a student group called The Radio Guild. I was President three years in a row.

We did Talk-Shows, played records, covered school Sports, and broadcast our Home Football and Basketball games.

The station went on the air in 1947, but was closed down years ago.

The call-letters are being used by Sheboygan High School's WSHS 91.7 FM, Sheboygan, Wi.

"Mention my name in Sheboygan..." Never mind - only "Bob and Ray" fans would understand.

The tower was taken down, and most of the equipment went to C.W. Post College on Long Island. "Radio House" is now used to store sports equipment.

Sewanhaka now has a television studio. Radio was more fun.

The New York Times came out and did a picture story. Mechanics Illustrated also did an article. The house picture above is from that article.