WKLO Terrell Metheny Memos
This page updated Sunday, July 14, 2013

Terrell Metheny (known on the air as Mitch Michael) was WKLO's Program Director between 1964 and 1968. He has shared some of the memos he wrote during this time. We have reproduced them here to give you an idea of what was going on behind the scenes at Radio WKLO.

June 16, 1967

MEMO:

TO: Airmen

FROM: Terrell Metheny

I am not a fan of memo-writing, however it seems to best way to cover a few points until our weekly announcers' meeting can be resumed. 

First, let me welcome Jim Schneider to our staff and welcome Fletch back to our staff, and wish Reed Yadon good luck during his call to active military duty. 

Here is the new permanent disc-jockey (air) schedule:

Monday through Friday
12-5 – Jim Schneider
5-9  - Bill Bailey
9-12 – Jon Grey
12-3 – Jack Sorbi
3-7  - C.T.W.
7-12 – Wild Willy

Saturday
12-6       
- Schneider
6-10  - Bailey
10-3  - Fletcher
3-7   - C.T.W.
7-12  - Sorbi

Sunday
12-2 – Schneider
9-1  - Fletcher
1-6  - Willy
6-12 – Grey

Production schedule remains the same with the following additions:

Bill Hennes – 3:30-6 p.m. – Monday
Jim Fletcher – 3:30-5:30 p.m. – Tuesday & Friday

Production
With our full load of spots, it is even more important that production work be done in a firs-class fashion. You gentlemen are expected to do two things at Radio WKLO; Your airwork and your production work. The work must be done to perfection.

This stuff of splice dropouts, slow cues, low levels, sloppy work, and mistakes in reading must stop. When you sign your initials to the bottom of a production order, you are, in effect, saying, "I have done my best." Think of that when you sign the production order. 

Your Show
Follow the sound hour. The new sound hour, you will note, has only one D.T. Great per hour. That is all we will play. (Do not play more than one.) 

Going into the news, you must play an up tempo top 30 vocal. If you tighten up, cut your yak and plan ahead, you will have no trouble.  

Balance your music – fast, slow, medium slow, medium fast, and over again. Never play two slow records back to back. Never play three fast records back to back. Keep your tempo going up and down. You must play all the top ten and asterisked records during your show

Do not talk over records. If you were on stage with an act, I doubt that you would step in front of the act, grab the mike and interrupt the song. Please give that act the same courtesy when they are performing on record. To facilitate smooth production of your show, it is permissible and encouraged to briefly talk over the instrumental beginnings of records and fade closes. However, even this should not be overdone. The only information that should be given over the record is information concerning the record itself. After a record begins, until it is completely finished, nothing else is to be mentioned. You may sell the record over the beginning of the record, but do not tell jokes, cross plug, read commercials, do promos, give cash call amounts, etc. (Exception from 5-9 a.m. – you may give the time and weather over the beginning of a record.) 

Effective immediately there will be a change in the method of stabbing. Now this is the only way we will come out of records. As the record ends, first play the stab, second give the Radio WKLO time, then third do the back announce. These three items must go after every record on every show: 1. stab; 2. time; 3. back announce - in that order. Then go directly to your first commercial. This will seem awkward at first but will tighten our production and improve our sound immensely. 

In case of a twin-spin you may back announce over the fade of the record. Then go directly to the twin spin jingle and give the time over the beginning of the second record. Or, you may back announce over the fade and segue directly to the next record, giving the time over the intro, while mentioning your twin spin.  

Do not double thought. When you are in an adlib situation mention one thing at a time. For instance, give the time and temperature or the cash call amount or a cross plug or a Good Buddy, or the Louisville Slugger, or a convention salute, or a promo...but...not more than one of these items at a time without a separator. These bits are used to separate commercials. You should also use commercials and records to separate these bits. Just remember: Do not double thought. Use only one item at a time.

Radio Comes First. Every time you give our call letters, "radio" comes first. We are Radio WKLO, not just WKLO and never WKLO Radio. We are Radio Ten-Eight-Oh, and never ten eighty. The only time we say ten eighty is when saying Ten Eighty Land. 

Record Numbers ---- when giving numerical positions of records, do it one of three ways: "The Sound of ________________" this week on the Radio WKLO Kentuckiana Countdown"; or "_______________ this week"; or "Number One". The only time you say number is "Number One". The rest of the time, it's "The Sound of ___________" or simply the number. Give numerical position only to top ten records, and those with asterisks. Incidentally, we do not print a survey. We do publish, however, the "Kentuckiana Countdown". Never refer to survey. 

Going in and out of news. Never say, "I'll be back in five" or "We're gonna cut out for the news", etc. The news is a part of your show. Be proud of it. (It's the best in town.) When you go into news do so with all of an uptempo top thirty vocal record. Then come out with the stab. Radio WKLO News time ____, then back announce and this is ____________ and I have Hit Music. If you must spot into the news, place the spot after the back announce.

Coming out of the news, the newsman is to introduce you with: "It's (time) and here's _____ with more hit music." You go directly to the record and sell the record. Do not kibitz with the newsman over the record intro. The only think you say at this point is something concerning the record. Exception – when you first start your show, you should say, "Hello".

News must get on as near :55 as possible and off as near :59:30 as possible. Newscasts run 4-1/2 minutes with open, close and commercials. Any thing over that is too long and should be written on the trouble report.

Continuous News & Traffic. These reports are aired at the discretion of newsmen. Traffic must be aired at the first available time after you are alerted by the newsman. These are introduced one of three ways: 

1. with produced intro cart;
2. with your live intro, "here's ___________ with a traffic condition report."
3. finger cue – with newsman coming on cold.

These traffic reports are serious, so treat them so. They are an important service, so treat them so. 

Continuous news stories may be intro'd one of two ways: 

1. with produced intro on cart;
2.
with finger cue; with newsman coming on cold.

NEVER say "Here's ________ with a news story." News stories stand alone and identify themselves. 

With the current trend toward long records and our full load of commercials, it is absolutely imperative that all adlibs be short. I realize that it is many times more difficult to express a thought in just a few words, but you must. Our records are good. Put the burden of entertainment on the music. It is not necessary for you to be a Big Personality. It is far easier for you to gain rating success by selling your product. Your product is your music, your station, yourself and your commercials. So, $ell, $ell, $ell. Be interested in and excited about your show. Be positive. Be mature. Be believable. Be a professional man playing hit music. 

Housekeeping. It is still against our policy to bring food or drink into the control room, newsroom, production rooms, or record library. I have closed my eyes recently. However, one spilled coffee cup in the control room has opened my eyes. From this moment on, violators will be dealt with seriously. The only exception is the early morning disc jockey may have coffee during the first two and a half hours of his show. Donuts are not allowed in the control room. You must straighten up the control room and production room at the end of your shift. Ashtrays emptied, records returns, carts returned, copy returned. The man following you is not expected to take over until you have the room in order.

Records. Jack Sorbi is continuing his project of cataloging all records. All Derby Town Greats have been removed from the control room. They have been numbered and filed in the record library. You are to pull your Derby Town Greats before your show and return them to their proper place in the record library at the conclusion of your show. This must be done so that Jack may complete the indexing. Eventually, the Derby Town Greats will be placed in the control room.

You are not to have visitors in the control room at any time. You are not to have visitors in the radio station during non-business hours. The front door of the radio station (the inner wooden door) must be locked from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. daily, and from 12 noon Saturdays until 8:00 a.m. Monday. The shade on the control room window looking into the entrance hall should be closed at all times that the front door is open and should be raised when the front door is locked.

Your dress in the control room should be neat. Coat and tie are preferred; however, neat casual appearance occasionally is perfectly alright.

Concluding. We are #1 and we must stay that way. We are loaded with commercials. You must work harder to stay #1 than to get to be #1. You are expected to work hard. Your job is not meant to be easy. I get pretty hacked off when I hear someone say, "That's hard to do." Baby, you're not being paid to sit on your can do the easy jobs. 

You should pitch in and help your fellow announcers. It's not "square". It's good business. We are a team. 

Whether you agree or not, you must follow the format. I will be happy to discuss any objections or questions you have, but I will not tolerate hearing your format revisions. 

I sincerely believe that we have the strongest, best staff today that we have ever had. There is only one way to…up from #1.

Thank you. 

TLM/sn

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June 22, 1967

MEMO

TO: Staff

FROM: Terrell L. Metheny, Jr.

Your help and assistance is needed. Too many people are entering the control room, too often.

Please remember that all of us depend on the air work being done in the best possible manner. And no airman can do his best when he has visitors in the control room.

Thus, the following rules are necessary and must be followed:

1. Enter the control room only when you have IMPORTANT business.

2. Only one person should be in the control room at a time.

3. If you need to correct logs, please leave the current hour page with the airman and take the rest of the log out of the control room.

4. Never go in or out of the control room when a mike is open.

5. When you are in the control room, do not talk or move when the mike is open.

6. DO NOT SIT DOWN IN THE CONTROL ROOM.

7. Please do not carry on needless conversation with the disc jockey or newsman on duty.

Let me emphasize Rule No. 2. There is never to be more than one person (other than the disc jockey) in the control room. 

We must have your complete cooperation. 

On behalf of all the announcers, I thank you. 

TLM/sn

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(Undated)

Let's Go Over It Again ---

Our purpose is to SERVE the people of this area. If we serve them better than anyone else, we will be Number One. We are Number One so we know we have been serving the people.

Now, ask yourself: "Am I still serving the people, and how am I?"

Service to the community will change from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. Sometimes you best serve the people by concentrating on weather conditions, at other times by playing lots of music, at other times by airing commercials. The needs of the community will change sometimes in the middle of your show. You must always be aware of the need in order to serve it. 

Our format is designed to accommodate any need of the community. If you will follow the format and stay alert to the current needs, and answer those needs with professional skill and complete concentration, you will serve and be Number One.

Remember, you are here to serve your listener and you are here only because you serve him

Bill Bailey best serves by "waking" his listener, informing him of what happened while he slept, what will probably happen later in the day and putting a smile on the listener's face. Generally, putting the smile on the face is the best way to serve the listener. However, if we had 12 inches of snow during the night, the "smile" would turn serious and he would inform them of the weather problems, the school closings, traffic reports, etc. 

Lee Gray best serves his listeners by identifying with them, playing lots of music, and spreading peace and love. But if we had a four alarm fire in town, he would best serve them by turning over the mike to the newsman who would inform them of what's going on. 

Our format allows all of this to happen in the course of things, with no drastic change in our sound. We can be and must be many things, "the much more music station," "the much more traffic report station," "the much more talk station," without ever using any of those lines on the air. 

How do you serve your listener when you go on the air? Think about this and let's discuss it individually.

You are professional men, capable of doing well any occupation you had chosen. You chose broadcasting. It is a reputable, rewarding Business. Conduct yourselves as reputable businessmen with responsibilities, dignity, and maturity. You are hip, because of the nature of the business, but you are not expected to be "wild" or immature because of the business. Find yourself, mature men in a good profession and reflect that on the air. 

This is basic –-

You have a sound hour which guides you in your music selection. Follow the sound hour and balance your music. Feel it. Realize the hot hits. Get excited about them. Balance not only the tempo of music, but also the degree of popularity and familiarity. Every record we play is A Hit

The STAB is used one of two ways only. Preferably, as the record is ending, you play the STAB on the record then give the time and then the back announce, and go directly into the first commercial. The second way is, as the vocal of the record ends, come in over the record with the back announce, then lay the STAB on the record, give the time and go directly to your first commercial. 

Nothing should be said between the time/or back announce and the first commercial. This is a fast move with NO yak. (Traffic reports and news stories may go before commercials, and Bailey has info that should go here.) 

After your first commercial is the place to give the Cash Call amount, weather, good buddy announcement, Louisville Slugger, Crossplug, etc. You may also feel the need for a jingle as a production aid here. 

Then go to your second commercial. 

DO NOT segue from your second commercial to your next record with introducing the record. You may now want to do a full blown intro, but you must give the record some intro. Such as, "Here's Elvis" or "This is a Hit," or "This'll tear you up," etc. Say something, otherwise it sounds like you're out to lunch. I prefer a good solid sell intro. Every time you intro a record you should sound like it was the First time you were doing it. Remember, about the time you are very tired of a record, the average listener is Beginning to notice it. 

Numerical positions are done one of two ways only: The Sound of _____, this week on The Radio WKLO Kentuckian Countdown, or _______ this week.

It's never "the countdown" or "the survey" or "your countdown" or "our countdown." It is "The Radio WKLO Kentuckiana Countdown." 

You may say "number" only on the "Number One Record." 

The Pick Hit is, "The Radio WKLO Pick Hit of the WEEK." It is the best (regardless of your personal feelings) of the new records of the week. Be proud and sell it. It is not "Our Pick," "A Pick," "The Sound of The Pick," or "The Pick Hit Sound." It is ONLY "The Radio WKLO Pick Hit of the Week." 

The temperature is given between every record. I prefer: "For ______, I have ____ degrees." But, a toss-in is okay as long as "I have" prevails. 

The call letters must be worked in between every record. This is generally done with the time, but in the case of a segue, you still must work in the call letters and time and/or temperature. 

You name must be worked in between every record. As in the case of the call letters, this is done with the time. 

Between every record you must you the STAB, the call letters, your name, the time, and the temperature.

Also, try your best get in a crossplug. In the past this was format "must" and will be again if don't try hard enough. 

Full weather forecasts are given every fifteen minutes. At :15 and :45 with the weather jingle. On the hour (and during Drive Time on the half hour) it is broadcast in the newscasts. If you have no news at :25, give the weather forecast as near the :30 mark as possible. Always ready the weather as it is given to you. Don not play with it or change it. If you question it, give it back to newsman with instructions to call the bureau for explanation or revision. But, do not "question" it on the air or change it. Weather forecasts are serous business from the trained men at the United States Weather Bureau. 

Now, you may toss in brief weather bits at other times, like "it's cloudy and 52" or "it's raining," etc. But realize the difference in a weather forecast and your casual report on the weather. 

Traffic Reports – go immediately at the request of the newsman. When the newsman alerts you for a traffic report, it means, "I have something important that can't wait." Don't argue with him. Give him the mike, immediately. There are three ways of introing traffic reports: 

(1)    With Traffic Condition Red cartridge intro.

(2)    Live with these words, verbatim: "Here's _____ with a traffic condition report."

(3)    Cold, with a finger cue. 

News Stories – go at your next available opportunity. The immediate urgency is not as great as a traffic report, so you may play a commercial first in order to balance your set with the news story as a spot breaker. But, get the news story on the air before you play another record. 

News stories are introduced one of two ways only: 

(1)    With news story open and close cartridge

(2)    Cold, with finger cue. 

Never say, "Here's ______ with a news story." 

News Bulletins – go on the air immediately. 

Stop and think about what you say and why you say it!!!! Why do you say "This _______, and I have hit music"? What does it mean? 

Every time you open your mouth, be certain you are saying something that is of concern to your listeners. Entertaining you is not important. Serving your listener is important. 

Your records are plenty of entertainment. There's no need for you to work to contrive other entertainment. So, Sell the music. 

When you start a record, the only thing that should be said is information concerning the record. Intro the record and Shut Up. Anything else you might say will only be a distraction from the importance of the record. 

The Showcase Window – 

Is a great asset when used properly. It can be a terrible distraction if you talk to it. Remember this, at 7 AM, we have between 80 and 100 thousand people listening. At 5 PM we have between 70 and 80 thousand, and so on. If four of those listeners are in front of the studio and you talk to them, you are pleasing four people and ignoring thousands. And, if a person in front of the window wants you to play a record that bends or breaks the format, send that person to me. If his programming ideas are good, we'll hire him. Use the window to see what's going on in the world. Smile at the people, wave to them, write them notes, look neat, but do not talk directly on the air to people on the other side of the glass. This is serious and must be corrected now. 

This entire "Annual Epistle" can be summarized in one word: "SERVICE." I go back to the first line: "Our purpose is to Serve." Are you serving Louisville? How? Why? Serve the market better than anyone else, and you'll go up from Number One. And that's where we gotta go. 

Terrell Metheny, Jr.

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WKLO NAMES VICE-PRESIDENT

The architect of Radio WKLO's "sound," Terrell L. Metheny, Jr., has been named a vice-president (programming) of Mid-America Broadcasting Corporation, Inc., licensee of Radio WKLO. Metheny, who is know to Louisville radio listeners as Mitch Michael, joined WKLO as program director in August, 1964, and just recently retired as an active program personality.

The 32-year old native of Fort Smith, Arkansas attended the University of Tulsa, and has had 15 years of radio broadcasting experience. Under the air names of Mitch Michael and Ron Terrell, he has host disc jockey shows at WKDA, Nashville; WQXI, Atlanta; WABY, Albany, N.Y.; and WOKY, Milwaukee. Terrell Metheny was married in 1962 to the former Carolyn Johns, and has received recognition from the Louisville Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Marines for particular public service projects. Metheny is also a "Kentucky Colonel" and an "Ambassador of Good Will" for the City of Louisville.

The announcement was bade by E. A. Gudridge, vice-president and general manager o Radio Station WKLO. WKLO is a member of the Air Trails Network, whos other stations are WING, Dayton, Ohio'; WIZE, Springfield, Ohio; WCOL, Columbus, Ohio; WEZE, Boston, Mass.; and WRIT, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

(1967 Press Release)

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February 12, 1968

To: E. A. Gudridge

From: Terrell L. Metheny, Jr.

Please accept this as my letter of resignation, effective at your convenience during the next thirty days.

I am leaving Radio WKLO to become National Program Director of Southern Broadcasting Company - at a substantial increase in income.

I have investigated Southern and they appear to be a first class company.

I'm not going to attempt to say in this letter all the things I feel about you, this station, and this company. Thank you for tolerating my mistakes and allowing me to progress. Though my body will leave Radio WKLO, my heart will remain here for a long time.

Sincerely,

Terrell K. Metheny, Jr.