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July 14, 2015 Marks 20 years of the Lynn Woolley Show. Now what?

by Lynn Woolley

http://www.wbdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/LM-7-7-15.mp3 [1]

It was an interesting way to get a talk show.

In 1995, I and two other broadcasters, Richard Parker and the late Clint Formby [2], purchased KTEM in Temple. I had been out of the business for a while, but had been inspired by the success of Rush Limbaugh. I intended to fine-tune the station’s talk format and add local content. I instituted a three-hour morning news block and the new Lynn Woolley Show that ran two hours – from 9 a.m. until Rush.

My first "official" photo in the old KTEM studio, 1995. We used it on a promotional set of baseball cards. [3]

My first “official” photo in the old KTEM studio, 1995. We used it on a promotional set of baseball cards.

Ratings were spectacular. The public loved the station!

Now – twenty years later, AM radio is at another crossroads and the FCC is promising to save it [4]. For my part, I still believe talk radio is a gift from God – a direct link to information, entertainment and opinion about what we call “the vital issues of the day.” Two decades later, I still think it’s the most important format.

What was it like twenty years ago?

Talk radio as we now know it was much younger. Rush was a new sensation. No one had ever heard of Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly’s “Factor” had not yet been conceived. There was no FOX News Channel. In fact, CNN was the big cable new channel and it had a slogan: “The world’s most important network.” I used a takeoff of that and we christened KTEM as “Central Texas’ most important radio station.” It caught on and we made a lot of t-shirts with that slogan.

It is hard to recall the first KTEM lineup after we bought the station but it was something like this:

6am-9am: KTEM Morning News
9am-11am: Lynn Woolley Show
11am-2pm: Rush Limbaugh Show
2pm-5pm: Ken Hamblen (The Black Avenger) or the Mary Matalin Show
5pm-6pm: KTEM Evening News
6pm-7pm: SportsBeat with Mark McLain
7pm-12 midnight: KTEM’s “Original Night Flight” oldies show
Midnight: sign off

There may have been something in the afternoon before we signed with Ken Hamblen, but it has escaped my memory.

The original lineup on the morning news show was:

• Lance Liguez (who went to WBAP/Dallas Fort Worth),
• Steven Pickering (who went to KLBJ/Austin and KRLD/Dallas)
• Mark McLain on sports (who went to KTRH/Houston)
• Beth Richards did the oldies show and later worked in Waco radio

Marsha Haney, who was my TV co-host for twenty-two years on Children’s Miracle Network [5] on KCEN-TV also worked the morning show as did Chris Brunken who’s been in radio in Dallas and Houston. We had big-time talent!

At one time, I tried to be “fair and balanced.”

I signed Austin liberal Jim Hightower’s syndicated show [6] and we ran it after Rush. It took Hightower only a short time to offend our largest advertiser, a bank, and after working things out with the client, I finally dumped Hightower.

But sponsors did not flock to us even though we were equal to or beating the big FM’s in the ratings. This was about the time the consolidation movement got started and national radio companies were formed and started buying up all the local stations. In 1997, I sold my interest to partners and moved to Austin to do mornings on KVET-AM.

I was hired by Bob Cole to create and anchor a morning news block to go up against KLBJ. I was not allowed to have an opinion, and you can imagine how that went over with me. We started a show called “KVET News Roundtable.” As best I recall, I was the lead anchor on that show – and I would invariably do politics and get slapped on the wrist. This was 1997. The biggest news events of the day were Tiger Woods’ ascendency in golf, the big tobacco settlement, and the tornadoes that killed so many people in Jarrell, which is a few miles north. Austin got pounded too, and I anchored for hours on a KVET/KASE simulcast.

But I was not happy. I wanted to do straight opinion and after a mere 5 months, I turned in my notice.

KTEM’s ratings had dipped considerably under the new management. I was asked back, IF I would agree to do the morning drive show. So I did 6am-9am for a long while. Ellis Posey [7] from Georgetown was doing the 9am-11 am slot. Ellis was on the air the day we got notice that Kathryn Dettman, a reporter for KWTX-TV, the local CBS affiliate, had been brutally murdered [8] at her Temple apartment. The pretty, young newswoman was leaving the Waco-Temple market to start work at KTVT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth. The neighbor that killed her, 21-year old Anthony Gary Silvestri, took that all away. Ellis and all of us were deeply affected.

I also went to work for Materials Transportation Company [9] (MTC), a steel fabricator, as Marketing Manager but was able to keep my morning talk show going. I was working a trade show in Atlanta in 2004 when a syndication company called and asked about carrying our show nationally.

Opening day for the new syndication at Media Square. June 27, 2005. [10]

Opening day for the new syndication at Media Square. June 27, 2005.

We declined the offer, but that got us all thinking about syndication. Working with MTC’s president at the time, Bill Jones III, we rented a building and built a state-of-the-art studio and moved the show into its current time slot. That’s where we’ve been ever since (except for one ill-fated attempt at a night show) – though we’ve changed the studio location twice. We now operate under the name “Studio L Productions.”

The Lynn Woolley Show then and now.

Lou Ann Anderson tests equipment before the first show in the new studio. June 27, 2005. [11]

Lou Ann Anderson tests equipment before the first show in the new studio. June 27, 2005.

At first, I felt like a balanced approach would work. I wasn’t out to change hearts and minds —just to entertain and bring in sponsors. I chose “logic” as my theme based on Mr. Spock [12] and Marilyn vos Savant [13] who was known as the person with the highest IQ in the world.

There’s no big story behind the nickname “Secretary of Logic.” Rush was known as the “Doctor of Democracy” and Ken Hamblen was the “Black Avenger.” [14] I thought some kind of edgy title based on logic would be fun. I noticed that the federal government had all kinds of departments headed up by people called “secretaries.” I thought a Department of Logic – of common sense – would be appropriate since the government had very little of that. I named myself as secretary and that was that.

Looking for new affiliates at the Texas Association of Broadcasters convention, Austin, August 4, 2005. [15]

Looking for new affiliates at the Texas Association of Broadcasters convention, Austin, August 4, 2005.

I picked up a lot of shtick from Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee [16]and rewrote it to my own needs. “E Pluribus Marvel” became “E Pluribus Logic!” The “House of Marvel” became the “House of Logic.” My daughter, Kristy, became the D-O-L – the daughter of logic.

Over the years, we’d take political phrases and use them in a similar manner. Obama had all these Czars – so I became the Logic Czar for a while.

I have signed off my show each day for twenty years with the directive: Be Logical!

I had been looking for a sharp, succinct sign off that could summarize the theme. One day I was viewing some demo tapes from an “Ernest P. Worrell” [17] type character known as “Sister.”

Sister was a man in drag, and “she” was roll-on-the-floor funny. If you had the money, you could hire her for your local market to pitch your dealership or whatever. At the end of every commercial, she would look at the camera and say “Be Sweet.”

I loved it, and that’s how “Be Logical” was born.

Kinky Friedman visits Studio L on August 18, 2006. [18]

Kinky Friedman visits Studio L on August 18, 2006.

Still crazy after all these years.

We’ve interviewed just about everybody over these twenty years. We had Mark Levin on before he had a national talk show. We’ve interviewed the great Barry Farber [19] several times – and have appeared on his show. Newt Gingrich has made more than one appearance. Ted Cruz was a regular during his senate campaign. We’ve interviewed – and let you talk to – personalities like Ted Nugent, Willie Nelson, Andy Williams, Chuck Norris — and more. I even had a chance to interview the great Jimmy Dean [20], my favorite recording artist as a boy.

Rick Perry made an appearance in the studio, as did Kinky Friedman. Recently, FOX News’ Todd Starnes dropped by Fabled Studio L.

Zach Welsh & FOX News' Todd Starnes June 26, 2014. [21]

Zach Welsh & FOX News’ Todd Starnes June 26, 2014.

By the way, I wanted a high-sounding name for the control room where we do the show. I thought of studio “L” – for “logic” not Lynn. Adding the word “fabled” gave it some added intrigue.

A word about our Producers.

When I did this show at KTEM, I never had a producer. I had a phone screener before the KVET interregnum, but no producer. When I returned to KTEM – I was totally on my own.

When we syndicated in 2004, we needed an executive producer. Lou Ann Anderson [22] took the job and was a big part of getting the syndication up and running – and there was a lot to that. Later, Ben Barrack [23] became Ex-Prod and my right hand man. Ben is capable of writing columns and books, investigative reporting, guest hosting – you name it and he can do it. My

Ben Barrack posing for a jacket photo for his book "Unsung Davids." I snapped the photo with Ben's cellphone. [24]

Ben Barrack posing for a jacket photo for his book “Unsung Davids.” I snapped the photo with Ben’s cellphone.

thanks to both of these people for helping make this show work.

Over the years a few other people have helped with producing and phone screening: Lisa Ryals, Jarrod Weaver, Aaron Savage, and Zach Welsh. Radio veteran David Hodges is currently producing and screening and is doing a great job. Shane Curington sits in as a screener from time to time, but he’s mostly our IT guy and the person we drag to the studio when something technical comes up. He always knows what to do.

These are the people that have made it easy for me to concentrate on show prep and content.

Lately, we’ve taken the situation the country is in very seriously.

With Karen Hughes at a Fort Hood book signing. January 28, 2005. [25]

With Karen Hughes at a Fort Hood book signing. January 28, 2005.

I’ve thrown off the idea of being simply an entertainment show. Politics is a serious business and our country needs people who will speak truth to power. I’ve made some political enemies along the way, mostly by fighting against corruption. Sponsors often don’t like controversy and some put business ahead of the country’s well-being. The companies that do sponsor us are worthy of our patronage.

Causes we’ve been associated with over the years.

This is me interviewing Gary Qualls at a rally in Crawford near President Bush's ranch on August 27, 2005. Gary's son Louis was killed in the Battle of Fallujah. [26]

This is me interviewing Gary Qualls at a rally in Crawford near President Bush’s ranch on August 27, 2005. Gary’s son Louis was killed in the Battle of Fallujah.

Over the years, we’ve participated in “Rumble at the Ranch” [27]– trying to convince George W. Bush to secure our borders.

• We’ve done several “Logic Summits” and two Logical Weekends in Fredericksburg.

• We also did several Radio Auctions and were able to raise thousands of dollars for Children’s Miracle Network at what is now Baylor Scott & White Hospital. We used the show to auction off unique and one-of-a kind items that our listeners donated. Our audience never failed to come up with the auction

With Marsha Haney during a CMN Radio Auction at Media Square on May 19, 2004. [28]

With Marsha Haney during a CMN Radio Auction at Media Square on May 19, 2004.

items and every single one of them sold – every year that we did the auction.

• I used the show to promote “Arcadia Unplugged” where recording artists Brian Gowan [29], TerryLynn Schrimsher [30] and I did acoustical sets to raise money to restore old Arcadia Theater [31] in downtown Temple. That money helped with the new roof and sign.

• I also worked with the late Sam Farrow to put on a concert to raise money for the Salvation Army. I did an oldies set and Sam did Sinatra, and it was wonderful.

• Along with Dick Archer and the late Bob Parks, I was a founding member of APAC – the local Association for a Pet Adoption Center [32]. Our goal was a modern, compassionate animal shelter. We succeeded, and Temple, Texas now has one of the highest adoption rates in the nation.

One of the stranger items we auctioned off was a Broward, County FL voting machine complete with hanging chads. Don is the gentlemen who donated it. [33]

One of the stranger items we auctioned off was a Broward, County FL voting machine complete with hanging chads. Don is the gentlemen who donated it.

Marsha Haney, me and Alex Anderson working the 2004 Radio Auction. [34]

Marsha Haney, me and Alex Anderson working the 2004 Radio Auction.

• We also wrote and produced a national spot for Greyhound adoption, working with the Austin chapter of Greyhound Pets of America [35]. (BTW, Greyhounds do make amazing pets!)

The radio show played a big part in helping all these causes.

I guest hosted for Mike Gallagher and Roger Hedgecock on their national shows and did many guest-host slots on KLBJ/Austin, WBAP/Dallas-Fort Worth and KSEV/Houston.

This is the way the talk studio looked in 2004 when I guest-hosted on WBAP Dallas/Fort Worth. [36]

This is the way the talk studio looked in 2004 when I guest-hosted on WBAP Dallas/Fort Worth.

On the night of “Shock and Awe,” I was on a panel hosted by Barry Farber in New York as I watched the invasion of Iraq from a hotel room in Orlando.

That brings me to the Children’s Miracle Network.

CMNAD2001 copy [37]

My job as a radio host led to my being named as a local host of the Children’s Miracle Network telethon. For twenty-two years, Marsha Haney and I worked with the children at Scott & White and we saw true miracles. We knew, loved, and lost many children to terrible diseases like cancer and cystic fibrosis.

Along the way, we made many trips to Salt Lake City, Disneyland and Disney World in Florida to learn the ropes of “cause-marketing” and to work alongside people like Marie Osmond [38], John Schneider [39], Merlin Olsen and Marilyn McCoo of the “Fifth Dimension.” [40] Scott & White would provide Marsha and me with oversized framed photos with all these celebrities, and that’s why one room of “the mansion” looks like a museum.

"The Fairness Pole" was a telephone pole in the alley next to Media Square. We allowed people to post protest messages so long as they weren't nasty. [41]

“The Fairness Pole” was a telephone pole in the alley next to Media Square. We allowed people to post protest messages so long as they weren’t nasty.

Take a stand.

The idea of using the catch phrase “Take a Stand” simply came from the evolving purpose of the show. Following the election of Barack Obama, it seemed to me that the ideals of our Founders – the very fiber of our being and the values that made America exceptional were coming under vicious attack. “Take a Stand” was my way of saying that we have to fight the forces of evil that are un-making the country our Founders gave us.

I wrote an accompanying song by that title and often sing it when I do my music.

What’s next?

I do not know what the future holds. I’d like to say that I’m good for 20 more years, but at my age that’s not likely. The ratings are still high, the phone calls are strong, and the show is better than it’s ever been. The audience is informed and active. I can do this as long as you still want to tune in. We’re small, but we have something on this show that we have all built together. I sometimes feel like this show is a community of people of all races who get together over the airwaves to discuss the vital issues of the day. Most of us are conservative, but some of us are liberal and we provide airtime to virtually every caller we get.

Introducing Alan Colmes at the "New Media Seminar" in New York City June 6 & 7, 2008. [42]

Introducing Alan Colmes at the “New Media Seminar” in New York City June 6 & 7, 2008.

Sightseeing at the top of the Empire State Building during the Talk Show convention in 2004. [43]

Sightseeing at the top of the Empire State Building during the Talk Show convention in 2004.

Live from Washington, DC: Interviewing Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) at the 2007 "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" event at the Phoenix Park Hotel. [44]

Live from Washington, DC: Interviewing Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) at the 2007 “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event at the Phoenix Park Hotel.

Lynn with Lou Dobbs at "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" on September 15, 2009. Barrack was there producing the show on location. [45]

Lynn with Lou Dobbs at “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” on September 15, 2009. Barrack was there producing the show on location.

Lynn with Brigitte Gabriel, Washington, September 15, 2009. [46]

Lynn with Brigitte Gabriel, Washington, September 15, 2009.

That’ll put the plug in the jug for this column (with a hat tip to Jackie Sprott a.k.a. J. Hugh Sprott and Jay Scott). Thanks for taking the time to read it.

We’ll be right back on the air tomorrow. So, take a stand! Until next time, be logical.

lynn@belogical.com

1 Comment (Open | Close)

1 Comment To "July 14, 2015 Marks 20 years of the Lynn Woolley Show. Now what?"

#1 Comment By VerbosePhil On July 6, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

When I moved to Temple from Houston in 1993, I was happy to find there was a radio talk show here. (I could continue getting my ‘fix’) The man doing the talking was ok, a bit colloquial – referred to Paula Brown as ‘the tall but lovely’, but no problem. Then he left the air and things went considerably downhill for a time. . .

Then came Lynn Woolley to the rescue. Things have been pretty good ever since. We have enjoyed listening, and calling in from time to time, logic summits, and chance meetings along the way. I am happy that Lynn came up on my 1400 am radio dial and has been involved positively in our community, Texas and the world. I feel that conditions are considerably better for his presence and good works.