It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, Part XLV

It was Friday, April 3, 1987.  

As people got done with their various shifts, Pervy LeDouchebag [1] gave them the news; they were getting let go. 

A rumor spread around that Pervy had a gun stashed away in case someone got out of hand.  I silently hoped he’d fly off the handle; I had my own gun in the car, after the weekend’s anti-semitic fun. 

But it wasn’t all that terribly dramatic.

Hubbard in its infinite wisdom got rid of a lot of us – the most successful staff it’d have in a decade, and certainly the only one it had in the pre-Limbaugh era that day.

Morning Producer Allison Brown – who’d worked with Mike Edwards and Lee Valsvik – is still in the market, producing Gopher Hockey if memory serves. 

Tom Myhre – the morning news guy and the station’s assignment editor, and the guy who I’d met in October of 1985 who had gotten me in the door at the station – opened a metal detector shop in South Minneapolis right around the time KSTP fell apart.  I think he still runs it – I haven’t seen him in a few years. 

I last talked with mid-morning producer John Barnier – who’d been producing Pat Milan, who’d replaced Geoff Charles from 9-11 – about fifteen years ago.  He was a photographer – both a working one and an academic with a yen for work in the Holy Land – and was running a photography studio in downtown Saint Paul. 

Executive Producer Rob Pendelton, the guy who hired me after Myrhe got me in the door, went on to be a producer at WCCO (he beat me out for a job there in a few months, actually), then returned to KSTP to work with Barbara Carlson.  I lost track of him for the better part of a decade after that, until, oddly, he spent a few months at The Patriot producing “The Stitch”, a weekly hockey broadcast on Saturdays.  He jumped from there to produce “Janecek and Lambert” at KTLK, which didn’t last all that long.  I need to drop him a line; he always lands on his feet.

Reporter Tom Rivers – who’d come to KSTP from a “pirate” radio station in the English Channel – returned to the UK, where he took over as London Bureau correspondent for UPI Radio News.  I think he’s with CBS, now.  You can still hear “Tom Rivers in London” reporting on one story or another, occasionally – I’ve heard him in the past year.

Reporter Karen Booth went on to MPR, then spent some time as the DFL’s communications director, then some PR work.  The last I heard she was with the State Department, somewhere in Eastern Europe.

(For those who might ask – Kathy Wurzer had gotten caught in an earlier budget cut.  She went to Channel 9, then (allowing for a diversion to Channel 4 a few years back) to a long career as Morning Edition host at MPR.

Reporter Peg Sneden?  She went back to Grand Rapids.  I think she got married.

Sports Director Mark Boyle?  He went to KMOX in St. Louis, then to work for Scott Meier to help launch WFAN in New York for a while, and has been the voice of the Indiana Pacers since the early nineties.

Sports producer Doug Westerman didn’t get whacked – they kept him around to finish out North Stars season.  In the end, he wound up hanging around, producing Bob Yates and some other shows for several more years, until he went over to KFAN in the late eighties/early nineties.  Today, he’s program director at KTLK, where the Northern Alliance is kicking his station’s ass in the all-important Saturday Mid-Day ratings war.

Dave Elvin got out of radio, pretty much.  One of the best jazz bass players in the Twin Cities, he did some knocking around (including, he once mentioned, a tour or two around the US and Australia backing Gene Pitney).  He got his MA in Journalism at the U of M and moved to Boston, where the last I heard he spent years working as a PR guy for the Big Dig, and even wrote a book on the subject.  We traded emails a couple of years (and two or three hard drives) ago; he’s a freelance PR guy in the greater Boston area.  It sounded like he was doing well.

There were other people, of course; a couple of sales guys, some back-office people, two weekend producers,  an engineer, none of them that I remember by name.  I remember it coming to a total of around fifteen, from a staff of around thirty.


I took my shot at Pervy LeDouchebag as I got my check and left the building.  “Give me a call when you need  a morning show that doesn’t suck ass”, I said.  He wasn’t impressed.  Not that it mattered in the long run; he lasted a little less than a year at KSTP, before a series of sexual-harassment suits (he hadn’t fired all of his litigants!) and the station’s free-falling ratings (from a 4.4 at one point – the station’s best pre-Limbaugh performance ever – down to the low “2” range) sent his alcoholic butt packing.  I have no idea what became of him, but I wouldn’t bet against jail time and cirrhosis.


I left the building that day feeling completely hollowed out.  I’ve only felt that way a few times in my life – all of them involving divorces or breakups. 

I drove back to St. Paul, had a couple of beers, and started figuring out what I was going to do next. 

[1] Not his real name.  I’d love to list his real name.  I’m sure he’s well into his mid-sixties, assuming he’s still alive (and I do assume he’s still alive, because God Loves Drunks), but he could use a little jolt; someone still remembers his drunken, incompetent ass.  And I’ll still punch his worthless drunken lights out if I see him to this day.

But it’s probably not worth the potential legal hassle. Even though truth is an absolute defense.

You know who I’m talking about, Pervy.

2 thoughts on “It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, Part XLV

  1. I’m just dying of curiosity to find out who the hell Pervy LeDouchebag really is 🙂

    Yes, I’ll admit that while waiting in the waiting room of a Doctor’s office, I’ll pick up Hollywood Tabloid magazines like Us and People and read the first few pages where they show candid pics of celebrities. I’ll freely admit that one vice.

  2. Pingback: Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, Part CXXVI

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.