There's more than meets the ear in local talk radio
'Even if you don't directly participate, by listening to the thoughts, dreams, plans, concerns and fears of other people, you're involved with all of what I refer to as life, the universe and everything else.'-- Barbara Altman
If you listen to a typical talk-radio conversation, you might take for granted that the discussion is almost always lively, centers on a topic that different people can relate to, and is swiftly switched to another if it hits a lull.
It isn't easy to maintain that rhythm. Staying on top of current events is one thing, but having the spontaneity to smoothly switch subjects, focus on the points that really matter, and know when it's time to move along takes skill.
It would hardly be an overstatement to say that Kravitz has transmitted from every corner of Atlantic County in a radio and television career spanning almost 50 years (which overlapped 28 as a teacher). He has broadcast from restaurants, hotels, casinos, a shopping market, a bowling alley, a golf/tennis club, and via telephone from the Democratic National Convention in A.C. in 1964. For the past two years his popular talk-radio show Pinky's Corner has emanated from the Sands Casino & Hotel from 4-6pm weekdays on WOND 1400 AM. He also hosts a Saturday evening television program (7:30pm) on NBC-TV 40, and writes a column for AC Weekly.
And what's been most rewarding through it all?
Kravitz remembers an era when hospitals would routinely call his talk show asking him to put out word that a rare blood type was needed for a transfusion. The donor would be identified through the radio, the Red Cross would pick up the volunteer with the needed blood type, and that person would be transported to the hospital for the transfusion.
"I'm very fortunate to have had a lot of people participate with me in many worthy causes over the years, and new people who have learned about the community and are willing to express their views and their thoughts for the betterment of others," says Kravitz. "My philosophy has always been to accentuate the positive and strive to eliminate the negative -- like the old Hoagie Carmichael song."
All but one of Kravitz's 49 years on the air have been with WOND. A neophyte by comparison, Harry Hurley has been broadcasting his talk show for the past 16 years on ESPN 1450 AM. Hurley in the Morning is heard 8-11am weekdays.
"You know how they say only about half the people in America even bother to register to vote, and maybe half of them actually do come out to vote?" he says. "I'd say in talk radio at least 90 percent go out and vote because they're the ones who listen, pay attention to the issues, and make a difference.
"If people feel they can't get a fair shake through the institutional system, they know that this is an outlet where they can turn to be heard," adds Hurley. "And if the people have a legitimate point, the politicians typically respond because they're always listening too."
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