My full-time radio career began when I moved to Sioux Falls in May of 1971. Worked at KCHF radio. It was located in the basement, behind Gene’s Grill at 8th and Phillips.
Started as a regular DJ. Convinced my boss, Red Stangland, the Ole’ and Lena joke book guy, to allow me to start talking more and inviting comments. “Your Opinion Please,” was born. I interview celebrities. I think movie star Cliff Robertson was my first. Senator George McGovern, Governor Dick Kneip, the sheriff, mayor, city commissioners were all guests. We took lots of phone calls too. This was before Rush, or any of the now big names. The show was unique for its time. I was breaking ground.
The radio job gave me the opportunity to learn about politics and government. I was hooked.
In February of 1974 I announced for Mayor. Plenty of stories to tell about that time in our city’s history. I sworn in as Mayor three years and five days after moving to Sioux Falls (see the Mayor section for more details). After two terms as Mayor, left City Hall.
In 1990 I was hired part time by KSOO radio to do an hour of Talk. That turned into 90 minutes, then two hours and getting hired full time.
The name of the Talk Show was Viewpoint. Much the same as my previous concept, except now I had ten years as Mayor with all the education that brings. Still interviewed important guests, Vice President Dick Cheney, Candidate Bill Clinton, Gov. George Mickelson, Gov. Bill Janklow, Senators Daschle and Johnson, John Thune, Mike Rounds,
I had great radio partners over the years. The two most memorable would be Randy McDaniel, from Leota, Minnesota. During my time with him, I created Viewpoint University. Many great stories about that. My other memorable partner was Ruth. She was from Colton, an Augustana grad. Ruth started as an intern and worked into full time, I didn’t want to use her last name. My idea was to create a mystique about her, like, Sylvia, Cher, Madonna. It worked. People still ask me about Ruth.
Loved my job. Different each day. And I got paid to shoot my mouth off. Also, management left me alone.
At the end of March 2017, I retired. Radio had changed. Locally owned radio was rapidly disappearing with corporate takeovers. Corporate people didn’t have, nor care to have, ties to the community. They wanted profit for themselves and shareholders. While I was still having fun, it became obvious with layoffs, furloughs, more satellite programming that one day, I would be gone.
I decided to leave at a time of my choosing. It was a sad day, March 31st 2017. But I left with my head held high. I created and sustained a 27 year local talk radio program.
Viewpoint University is, I think, my second biggest accomplishment in life, after helping birth the Big Sioux River Greenway while I was Mayor of Sioux Falls.
I have also been honored to be named to the South Dakota Broadcasters Hall of Fame.