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Walt Bodine

KDRO Sedalia, Mo.

A Rough Start

Once he had set his cap for radio, Walt spent a year contacting program managers and announcers hoping to catch a break.

He worked for awhile at KMBC radio on a program that recreated the origins of well-known hymns. It didn’t get him anywhere. He worked writing scripts for a radio drama that local broadcaster Guy Runyon, a neighbor and Walt’s radio mentor, hoped to get on one of the networks. It never was.

Finally, 19-year-old Walt caught his first break. A friend named Harry Becker tipped Walt off to an announcer job at KDRO, a “penny whistle” or low-power station in Sedalia, Mo. Unfortunately, it would be short lived, thanks to Walt’s old nemesis from elementary school: sports.

Listen: Trouble reading the sports
From a 2003 interview with author Tim McCourt

Not one to quit, Walt was soon on the hunt for another job. Harry Becker came through again. A job was open at KVAK in Atchison, Kan.

"The pay, he said, was $15 a week and there were no sportscast to do. I snapped up the opportunity.” (My Times, My Town)

Next > Learning the Ropes

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