WKTM North Charleston Remembered
This page was last updated Monday, August 19, 2013

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One of the Charleston stations that tried to compete with WTMA was WKTM (102.5 FM). WKTM switched to Top 40 in 1973 (previous formats included Beautiful Music and Country) but abandoned the format for AOR in 1976. It later would switch back to Top 40 around 1980 as "K-102" before flirting again with Album Rock. WKTM was sold in the mid-80s and calls were changed to WXLY with a country format. Later 102.5 formats included Classic Hits, Oldies and AC.

Since many folks who worked for WTMA also worked at WKTM at one point in their Charleston radio career, we thought some of our visitors might enjoy these photos and audio files. Thanks to WKTM News Director (1975-1978) John Patterson and former WKTM DJs Steve Russell, Terry Allen and Rob Braddock for providing the bulk of the WKTM material on this site. 

From the Obituaries section of Charleston.net (April 7, 2009):

Ansley Davis Cohen, Jr., 85, of Mt Pleasant, passed away on April 6, 2009. "Bubs," as he was known to most, was born in Charleston on October 2, 1923, son of the late Ansley Davis and Irene Nelson Cohen. Ansley, who served as a Marine Corps pilot during World War II, was a member of the Charleston Rotary Club, Carolina Yacht Club, Country Club of Charleston and St. Philip's Church. He enjoyed a lifelong career in broadcasting and advertising. He graduated from The ABC School of Radio in NY and worked at local radio and TV stations including WTMA and WUSN (now WCBD) and was later owner of radio stations WNCG and WKTM. Surviving are his wife of 61 years Mary Bargmann Cohen; sons, Ansley D. III, Edwin Warren; daughter, Nancy C. Dudley and husband Bill; grandchildren, Lindsay and Ashley Cohen and Will and Caroline Dudley. He was preceded in death by sisters, Phyllis LaFar and Lucile Williams. The family will receive friends at 24 Broughton Rd., The Crescent, Wednesday 6-8pm. Graveside services will be 11 AM Thursday at Magnolia Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Charleston Foundation, 676 Wando Park Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 or to the charity of one's choice. Arrangements by J HENRY STUHR, MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL.

Jerry Smith writes on April 8, 2009:

Ansley Cohen, Jr. was a "Prince of a Man" to rob from his repertoire of classic descriptions he offered over the years since I first met him in July 1969 on O'Hear Avenue (wonder where that street name came from?). "Class Act" does not come close to describing his tough, straight-shooter way of running a business and tackling problems. And the hard part of saying goodbye this the true gentleman is he was a caring and compassionate guy with true feelings for people that he worked and played with over the years.

I imagine Ansley kept his son-in-law, Bill Dudley, on his toes taking care of his favorite daughter the past 30 years. The broadcast community owes a great deal of debt to ADC, Jr. for setting such high standards and virtues taught to many of the great employees who passed through the doorways of these great radio and TV stations and the hours of personal stories associated with true success and happiness Ansley provided to all.

Thanks for letting me know of this dear friend's homegoing. We have been praying for him and his extended families for many years. I have many lifelong experiences and wonderful personal memories including my first real fulltime radio management job in 1973 at the old WKTM-WNCG under ADC, Jr.

From the Letters to the Editor in the Post & Courier on April 27, 2009:
 
Radio memories

Last week, radio broadcasting pioneer Ansley Cohen Jr. died. Few commonly know that "Top 40" music broadcast in FM stereo in Charleston can be traced to his daring experiment that began on March 1, 1973, when his low-powered, 3,000-watt FM station WKTM-102.5 FM forever changed radio history here in the Lowcountry. It became the first full-time FM stereo radio station to broadcast this popular music 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I was one of those young DJs, along with Jerry Smith, Randy Scott, Bill Enloe and Mike Justin, who had the honor to help make Mr. Cohen's dream come into reality. An innovative Web page hosted by Charleston radio historian John Quincy of Citadel Broadcasting's WTMA allows you to enjoy the dreams of Ansley Cohen by listening to snippets of radio programs called "airchecks" and seeing pictures of the antics of these young DJs promoting this broadcasting innovation here in Charleston.

While on the Web site, enjoy the history of Harry Weaver's WOKE and Chuck Smith's "Tiger Radio" WTMA. It was actually started as a Web site for WTMA memorabilia, hence the Web page address: WTMAMemories.com. Please visit and you will lose yourself in memories.

Terrill Leff
Apollo Road
Charleston


Ken Harlan (Ken Cocker) Remembers WKTM

WKTM Photo Page 1 | WKTM Photo Page 2

J.J. Hemingway Checks In
We received the e-mail below on September 23, 2009

Wow. I just happened across the WTMA/WKTM memories page, and found pics of me. I wasn't at WKTM too long, from August of 1977 through February of 1978. My gosh -- the memories that are popping back into my head.

Great pics you have here. I remember Bill Dudley and his Chevy Monte Carlo, Edd Salen, Michael Raleigh (ran into him in East Texas in 1990), Jay Michaels, John Patterson, Steve Russell -- and I remember Lamar as well. (He always wore that goofy hat.)

I did the afternoon show--came from WTOC in Savannah, and then when Booby left I moved to morning for a short time. I think what did me in, was I overslept and missed doing a record hop in Ladson. They weren't too fond of anyone missing a personal appearance. I had gone home to get a nap, and just never woke up till later that evening around 8:30 and the gig was supposed to start at 7:30 -- YIKES!!

I'm doing radio in Spokane, in my home state of Washington. I do the 3-7 show on Lite Rock KISS 98.1 and own and operate www.cbsspokane1.com. (It's a full-service production/voiceover company.)

Love to know if any of the folks that were around there 30 years ago are still alive and kickin' now. Those were some fun days. It's amazing how quick we changed jobs back then.

All the best to you and thanks for having the pics and more posted.
 

WKTM Audio Files
All files are in MP3 format and are downloadable

Title Comments
Randy Scott (4-74)
:30 - 179 KB

This single Randy Scott break includes a WKTM acapella jingle.

Jerry Smith (10-74)
4:49 - 1695 KB

This aircheck was recorded and submitted by Ed Welch.

Bob O'Brien
:15 - 93 KB

John Patterson writes: "This sounds like a Bob O'Brien blooper, but is not. Instead of saying the name of a WKTM DJ, he says the (similar) name of a WTMA newsman, but then catches himself. Getting his Bells mixed up was not an error. I simply dared him to do it and Bob, being Bob, did."

J.J. Scott (10-75)
:26 - 154 KB

John Patterson writes: "For some reason, I kept this J.J. Scott song intro -- which I really liked. It which was recorded during my first few days at the station."

Booby Nash (10-76)
12:16 - 4318 KB

John Patterson writes: "The only aircheck that I have with me and the Big Boob, recorded on the Saturday before a format change. He was not happy, as you can hear.'

John Patterson Newscast (10-76)
2:10 - 363 KB

John Patterson writes: "One of my newscasts. I was still too hyper back then, but WKTM was a great place to learn."

Christmas Greetings (12-76)
1:59 - 702 KB

John Patterson writes: "I'm glad I have this one: short Christmas inserts from the WKTM staff."

Ken Harlan (12-76)
6:42 - 2360 KB

John Patterson writes: "A short aircheck with young hothead Ken Harlan, who, if I remember correctly, got in some trouble for his reading of the PSA contained herein. I believe Ken got work in Chicago, but I lost track of him."

Ken Harlan writes on October 18, 2004: "I worked at WKTM for about a calendar year (1976) and was thrilled (mortified?) to find one of my airchecks on the site. At the time I was Ken Harlan, but shortly thereafter changed my name to Ken Cocker upon moving to WNDE in Indianapolis. John Patterson mentions he remembers me moving on to Chicago and in fact I have had a wonderful career here working at some great stations like WMET, WLUP, WAIT, WUSN and WPNT. I semi-retired on '02 to become a golf professional (not a tour player; I work at a course and give lessons) but I still keep my hand in as I work weekends/fill at a great oldies station, WJMK. One sad note: J.J. Scott, who worked at both stations and was a real mentor of mine, passed away here in Chicago about three years ago. He was a well respected production director (WFYR, WCKG) and a real major market talent. I only had a chance to reconnect with him on a very sporadic basis, but really admired his abilities."

John Patterson Newscast (1977)
2:36 - 917 KB

John Patterson writes: "In this newscast, Bob O'Brien tries (not very hard) to crack me up (which was EXTREMELY easy to do). I managed to get through this one."

John Patterson Newscast (1977)
1:22 - 484 KB

John Patterson writes: "Steve Russell introduces this newscast."

Dave Kent (5-78)
5:36 - 1971 KB

John Patterson writes: "An aircheck (a few months before I left for good) with me and Dave Kent, a lovely guy. Wonder what ever happened to him?

Dave Kent writes on October 16, 2004: "I'm Dave MOREY (real name) these days. Alive and well in San Francisco at KFOG."

Chris Stevens (1-81)
7:00 - 3285 KB

Chris Stevens (real name, Dave Shropshire) came to WKTM in August 1980 from WROV in Roanoke, VA to do mornings. He didn't stay long, going back to Roanoke sometime in 1981. This aircheck features newsman Hugh Roberts.

Chris Stevens (2-81)
5:36 - 9578 KB

Here's Chris Stevens doing mornings with newsman Hugh Roberts


Dave Shropshire writes on September 4, 2010:
I was at WKTM from Oct '80-Feb '81. I was there during the big snow storm of '80 (?). Steve Russell was acting PD. Incredibly nice guy. Some of the other people I remember: Nancy Lyons (news), Janette Atkinson (sales), Booby Nash (super great guy and talent) and Gary Morgan (engineering and super air talent in his own right) and of course, Bill Dudley. John Trenton and Bill Dudley interviewed me for the job as John was about to leave for another Dudley station that went under shortly into '81. When Hoyle Dempsey came up from WAPE to program in early '81, he got rid of me and brought over Paul Mayer from WTMA to do mornings.

Regarding the big snow storm: I was living on the Isle of Palms, so I had to cross several bridges going into Charleston. That morning, driving into Charleston from the Isle of Palms -- in my '73 Super Beetle with bald tires no less -- I knew that the State Police had closed one of the two bridges just before Charleston. To my horror I discovered that they were routing traffic up the smaller narrower older bridge. I remember looking up at the bridge as the snow was falling and I was starting my run; it looked like a ski jump. Completely covered in snow I thought, "With these tires and this snow covered bridge...I am dead." Somehow that little VW made the climb just fine -- no slipping or sliding.

After leaving Charleston I would go on to do mornings at KSTT Davenport, and stations in San Antonio, TX; Austin, TX; and Orlando, FL. My family and I moved back here to the Quad Cities in '91. In 2007 I left radio to do voiceover work full time from my home studio. I did a movie a few years ago called "Carousel of Revenge"(available on Netflix) in which I played -- you guessed it --a DJ (The Pirate DJ). I am the voice of the Transformers animated series "Lockdown" action figure. (Lance Hendriksen passed on that one; thank you Lance!)

I have done a lot of TV and radio all across the country. (A radio spot I did for O'Charley's "How much do you think this would cost?" probably just played in your market.) I have also been the national voice for Wolverine Boots, Mercury Marine, and Omaha Steaks. I just finished an infomercial for Can-Am Commander.

Okay, enough of that. I have just been really super fortunate to be able to make the transition from radio to voice acting -- and make a living at it. It's been quite a road since WKTM -- but I wouldn't have changed my time there for all the money in the world. There were a lot of super people I got to meet and work with: Hugh, Gary, Jannette, Steve, Booby and the rest.
 

Captain Craig (1981)
1:26 - 1012 KB

WKTM was doing a CHR format under PD Scott Sherwood and calling itself "K-102" when this aircheck was recorded. The DJ is Captain Craig, who previously did radio in Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida. He left WKTM to go into the retail music industry, but did some weekend work at WSSX before departing for Augusta, Georgia. Today he's in the music business in Atlanta.

Riley (1983)
4:08 - 2917 KB

This aircheck features "Riley" and WKTM's early '80s AOR format.


John Patterson writes:
"I was at 'KTM (and 'NCG-AM) from October of '75 to August of '78. I left to get political reporting experience. I went to WSCQ in Columbia, and eventually ended up in Washington. WKTM was a good place to be bad in those days. The trade-off was: Bill Dudley would pay me next to nothing and I would work a split shift that spanned 5 am to 7 pm. In return, I could slowly learn how to be a news guy. And, in fact, by the time I left, I had gotten good enough to move on."
 

Ken Harlan (Ken Cocker) Remembers WKTM

WKTM Photo Page 1 | WKTM Photo Page 2


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