Miami Herald March 26, 1986
Author: LINDA THORNTON Herald Staff Writer

Damp weather kept all but a few loyal listeners away from Shirley
Peters’ live talk show at The Hallmark condominiums in Hollywood last Friday.
But once inside the lushly decorated building’s Grand Hall (actually a small
auditorium resembling a school cafeteria), where Peters is broadcasting her
noon-3 p.m. WNWS (790 AM) show Wednesdays and Fridays through April 11, it
turned out to be a rather pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon.

With a soft-spoken guest (Richard Eyre, who with his wife Linda has
co-authored about 20 books on parenting) and a sparse audience, the atmosphere
was almost too relaxed. It’s different on a day when celebrities such as Donald
O’Connor or Eddie Fisher, or other WNWS talk hosts, have been the featured
guests. Then, said Peters and producer Camille Sanzone, the room is full and
Peters gets to play Donahue, running out into the audience with a microphone.

“I like the input of doing the show before a live audience,” said
Peters. “I put the mike in front of them, ask them, ‘What do you think?’ and
often get people to talk who wouldn’t otherwise call in.”

Peters’ set-up at the Hallmark is basic but adequate, an interesting
display of fundamental radio.

Peters and her guest are seated behind microphones on a small stage
behind an L-shaped table, a WNWS banner stretched behind them. The engineer is
stationed at a folding card table bearing his instruments, including the phone
line that sends the live signal back to the radio station, where it’s then
broadcast through the station transmitter. Every few minutes, he scribbles on a
yellow pad and holds it up, cueing Peters for her next commercial.

On slow days, Sanzone hasn’t much to do during showtime other than plug
in and pull out the cord to the “On Air” light. Her job gets tougher when
there’s a big audience; then she has to walk around shushing people who talk
while Peters or her guest is talking.

Peters’ job is much the same as it is in the studio, that of
interviewing her guest and punching up the next phone call. One might imagine
that doing this before a gawking audience might be a little distracting to a
radio host, but Peters, who practically grew up on stage as the daughter of show
business parents, says, “I’m a ham — I’m used to it.”

On this rainy Friday, the five people who came to watch the show were
all elderly, all regular Shirley Peters listeners. None were current Hallmark
residents, which makes them just the kind of people the condominiums’ sales
staff likes to see.

Of course, that’s the reason The Hallmark has paid WNWS a promotional
fee and Peters a talent fee to broadcast her show there for the past three
winter seasons; to get prospective buyers to visit the condominiums. Visitors to
Peters’ show at the Hallmark get their valet parking card stamped for free
parking if they visit the sales office (located near the condo models). Peters
will be broadcasting from The Hallmark’s Grand Hall from noon to 3 p.m.
Wednesdays and Fridays through April 11 — longer if The Hallmark renews its
arrangement with WNWS for another 13 weeks. Her upcoming guests at The Hallmark
include: David McCallum on Friday, and local television news anchors on April 2.

The Hallmark is located at 3800 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood.

Rogers experiments

Neil Rogers is experimenting with his show and audiences again, this
time by promising a phone-free April. Throughout April, Rogers will accept no
listeners’ phone calls on his weeknight (8-midnight) shows on WINZ (940 AM),
when the talk will be provided solely by Rogers and his guests. He will open up
the phones on his 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday shows.

“It’s just an experiment to try to find out whether my philosophy about
phone calls is right, that in most cases, the calls are a negative contribution
to the shows,” said Rogers. “Sometimes I have to go through seven or eight calls
before I find one that’s interesting.”

96X sale gets initial OK

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given its initial
approval to the sale of 96X (WCJX 96.3 FM) from Wodlinger Broadcasting to
Beasley/Reed Broadcast Group. However, the transaction will not become official
until an FCC waiting period of 40 days has passed. During that time, the
transaction can be appealed, which might be the case if local entrepreneur/
former radio advertising salesman Hal Martin continues his fight to attain the

Martin was one of several parties who had applied to the FCC for 96X’s
frequency before Wodlinger Broadcasting settled the case by buying out the other
applicants for nearly $3 million.

When Wodlinger announced plans to sell 96X to Beasley Broadcasting only
three months after its purchase, Martin contested the sale before the FCC.
According to attorney Matthew Leibowitz, Martin’s complaint is that FCC
regulations prohibit the re-sale within one year of a station that has been
granted through a comparative hearing. However, 96X was not granted to Wodlinger
Broadcasting as a result of a comparative hearing; Wodlinger in effect “settled
the matter out of court” by paying off the other applicants.

Leibowitz said Martin is “looking at the potential for filing an

photo: Shirley PETERS
Memo: RADIOEdition: FINALSection: COMICS/TVPage: 3E
Record Number: 8601240479Copyright (c) 1986 The Miami Herald


Miami Herald, The (FL) March 19, 1986
Author: LINDA THORNTON Herald Staff Writer

Seated behind a faded plush console in WKAT’s studios, resplendent in a
billowing blue dress and elegant blond coiffure, Peppy Fields looks like a queen
of sorts.

Her court is gathered around her: Aaron Slachter, Fields’ long-time
chauffeur and go-fer; Irene Gould, a former musical comedienne who still carries
her reviews in a tote bag and

rarely lets a minute go by without paying Fields a compliment; and a few
other friends who drop by between midnight and 3 a.m. Sunday mornings, when
Peppy Fields’ House Party is in full swing.

Her kingdom is her telephone callers, all but a few of whom are
regulars, who phone in weekly for a dose of Fields’ motherly wisdom:

“Peppy, when are you going to have that doctor on the show again, the
one who prescribed cod liver oil? I’ve been taking it for months, and never felt

“Then what do you need to talk to the doctor again for?” Peppy retorts.
“Just keep taking the cod liver oil! All right, dahling?”

Fields has been doing this kind of live radio for the better part of 25
years, beginning with Doing the Town With Peppy Fields on WMBI in New York,
which was renamed House Party when Fields moved to Miami Beach in 1962 and began
broadcasting from the Lucerne Hotel on WEDR.

Those were the days when House Party hosted the best entertainers
passing through a tourist-healthy Miami Beach. Jackie Gleason stopped by five or
six times, accompanied on occasion by such stellar veterans as Milton Berle or
Sid Caesar.

Six years ago, after a few years’ hiatus, Fields brought House Party to
WKAT. The big stars have long faded from Miami Beach’s entertainment scene, and
House Party now relies on local talent.

Headlining the show last weekend was Ruth McMann, a local Irish
songstress. Accompanied by pianist Sally Kaye, she led the studio guests in
several Irish melodies and prompted the callers to sing their own favorites.
Pearl Williams, the former star of the Place Pigalle, called in to contribute
her booming vocals. Columbus Smith, former star of the Miami Beach revue A Man’s
Gotta Sing, crooned Danny Boy.

Lacking the polished mass appeal of contemporary radio, Fields’ show is
scheduled in a less-than-desirable time spot. But, as small audiences often are,
Fields’ listeners are fiercely loyal.

Every year or so, she gathers them together in a Peppy Fields’ Love-In
at a local restaurant. The next Love-In takes place on March 30, at the Pompeii
Italian Village on Biscayne Boulevard. Fields is taking $12 reservations now,
which include lunch, a donation to help send a group of abused children to
Disney World, and of course, a few sing-alongs. Don’t wait too long to reserve a
spot, because over-capacity crowds at past Love-Ins have forced Peppy to limit
the guest list to 100. Send checks payable to Peppy Fields, 4747 Collins Ave.,
Miami Beach 33140.

Rumors about Rogers

Responding to rumors that he plans to leave WINZ (940 AM) and return to
his former employer WNWS (790 AM), talk host Neil

Rogers says he intends to honor his contract with WINZ — as long as the
station holds up its end of the deal.

“I’m not satisfied with what is happening here at the station, but I
have a contract and I don’t intend to go back to court again,” said Rogers. He
did that in 1984, in a contract dispute with WNWS. “This station is in a state
of flux right now, with no (permanent) general manager and rumors that it may
be sold. Everybody’s walking around wondering what’s going on. The sales staff
is also in a state of flux, and it’s traumatic trying to live like that, not
knowing what your income (from commercial sponsors) will be from week to week.

“I’m keeping my options open, but it’s very premature to say that I’m
leaving. I intend to honor my contract as long as they (station management)
honor it.”

Rogers has nearly two years left on his contract with WINZ. However,
WINZ management released Bill Calder from his contract recently when Calder
decided to move to WKAT.

Effective last weekend, Rogers switched weekend shifts with Mike
Spindell. Rogers is now heard from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturdays and 9 p.m.-midnight
weeknights, and Spindell from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.

New posts

What can a radio station do when its ladder of success runs out of
rungs? WAXY (105.9 FM) faced that problem recently when it became apparent that
music director Kenny Lee had outgrown his post. The next step up from music
director is program director, but that spot has been filled for 10 years by
veteran broadcaster and local legend Rick Shaw.

So instead, WAXY created a new management position for Shaw, that of
“executive director of programming,” and promoted Lee to Shaw’s former position
of program director.

What does that mean, exactly?

“I’m still in charge of programming, but I now have more time to get out
and do co-promotions with the TV stations, as well as go on calls with the sales
people,” said Shaw. “Frankly, at my age, I just can’t appreciate a lot of the
new music — Kenny’s on top of that, and he’s also very good with computers.”

Hoping for Majic

When Sconnix Broadcasting Co. purchased the former K-102 FM and WRBD-AM
frequencies and properties early last year and changed the FM to “contemporary
adult” Majic 102.7 FM, its good intentions were to build Majic into one of the
leading contenders in the local contemporary music radio market.

While Majic has cast its spell on a modest audience (ranking a 1.8 in
the last Arbitron radio ratings), it hasn’t come as far in a year as its owners
and management might have hoped.

But 1986 may yet be the year for Majic. With the recent sale of rhythm
and blues WRBD (1470 AM) to Sunao Broadcasting; the ongoing construction of a
modern studio and office building in Broward County; a new program director
(Jerry King); and the anticipated move (probably within weeks) to the high-tech
Gannett antenna tower, the folks at Majic are gearing up to blast their signal
into Dade, Broward and south Palm Beach counties.

photo: Peppy FIELDS
Memo: RADIOEdition: FINALSection: COMICS/TVPage: 3E
Index Terms: BIOGRAPHY FIELDSRecord Number: 8601220612
Copyright (c) 1986 The Miami Herald