Caller, You're on the Air

There's more than meets the ear in local talk radio

By Ray Schweibert
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 1, 2006

Share this Story:

Walt Wess

'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.

Anne Phillips
Nearly everyone can talk, but it's tough to be a talk-show host and southern New Jersey is fortunate to have some of the best in the business. A few have been trading thoughts on the airwaves longer than most people have been on the planet, including the "Dean of Talk Radio," Pinky Kravitz.

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?

Dennis Levinson
"To get things done," he says. "Atlantic County is notorious for being very generous in its support of various charities, and it's been very gratifying to know that if there was a problem, they knew where to call."

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."

Rusty Rowen
Since 1991, the Don Williams Show has broadcast from 6-10am weekdays on WOND, and more recently has been televised on NBC-TV 40 from 6-7am. To keep abreast of current events, Williams generally tapes the 11pm newscast of NBC-TV 40 and Hardball with Chris Matthews, scanning them along with the latest online Drudge Report after waking up around 3:30am. He also peruses about a half-dozen morning newspapers for late-breaking developments to get a handle on all the important topics his callers might want to discuss. Most days his show is "open forum," meaning that any topic is fair game.

Page: 1 2 3 |Next
Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend



(HTML and URLs prohibited)

Related Content

Atlantic County Clerk's Office to Host Historic Event
By Ray Schweibert

Discovery of a 250-year-old deed sparked the idea for a special event to be hosted by the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office in Mays Landing on Thursday, Sept. 27.

RELATED: Terry Winter Interview: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 3 Garden Pier Re-Opens Entertainment: Music, Film and Sports The African-American Experience in Atlantic City Atlantic City's Casino Era Old Atlantic City: Pre-Gaming Era Steeped in History Feast On History, Support Education Local History: 'Boardwalk Empire' Atlantic City History: Conversations & Storytelling - The Boardwalk, Pt. 1