Summer of ’88, I was privileged enough to nab an internship at KMOX-1120. For three months, I played unpaid radio reporter, from 6pm-3am, Thursday through Sunday — in addition to my 9-5 weekday job. A union shop, I couldn’t go on the air, but I did everything else a reporter does.
Why was I willing to work such dreadful hours for no pay? Because KMOX is a CBS-owned, 50,000 watt clear channel AM news/sports/talk station. “Clear channel” in KMOX’s case doesn’t mean the dreaded conglomerate. It means that nobody else in the country shares their position on the dial — and 50,000 watts means they have listeners from Canada to Texas, and from Indiana to Colorado.
There aren’t many stations like KMOX in the country, and an internship there is quite an honor. The next year, when I moved to California, just having their call letters on my otherwise unimpressive resume was enough to land me my first paid radio job.
KMOX was home of Jack Buck, the fabled sportscaster, “the voice of the Cardinals.” It’s where Harry Carey got his start. KMOX has been around for 70 years, and will be around for at least 70 more.
Why do I mention all this? Because John Kerry had no idea what KMOX was, and just made a huge fool of himself in a bellwether state he needs to win next fall.
The John Kerry campaign came to St. Louis Saturday evening. . .and seemed a bit confused. The Democratic hopeful appeared at a tightly-guarded rally in Forest Park to talk about his plan to create jobs. KMOX Reporter Molly Hyland was on the scene but found Kerry campaign aides had decided that only television reporters could interview the candidate. Kerry’s campaign aide said she had never heard of KMOX and would not allow an interview. The Kerry campaign did arrange for the senator to call KMOX by phone earlier in the day. . .but that, too, fell through. The call never came. Saturday night, the Kerry campaign phone lines were closed; its spokesmen out of reach.
Brian Noggle has the rest of the story.