When he graduated from Eureka College in Illinois in the spring of 1932, Ronald Wilson - Dutch - Reagan wanted to be a radio sports announcer. He tried to get on with a number of Chicago area stations, but he was rebuffed. He walked into the studios of WOC, Davenport one fall day in 1932. After stating he wanted to be a sports announcer, there was an audition, and then, the words from the station manager that are still magic today, "You get five dollars and bus fare to Iowa City. You're doing the Iowa-Minnesota game."
Dutch Reagan parlayed his part-time position into a full time job. He was assigned general announcing duties at WOC, Davenport. At the time, WOC and WHO, Des Moines were sharing the clear channel frequency of 1000 KHz. They had tried a procedure known as synchronization to broadcast at the same time, but that did not work well. Both stations were owned by the Palmer family, and in 1932 authority was received to increase power to 50,000 watts.
Shortly after WHO/WOC began broadcasting from a 50,000 watt transmitter at Mitchellville, Iowa, power house, Reagan was transferred to Des Moines. Between 1933 and 1937 Reagan broadcast a wide variety of sport events, including Iowa football, swimming, and the Drake Relays. It is recreation of major league baseball, especially games of the Chicago Cubs, for which Reagan is best known and still admired.
The first feature was written and produced by George Davison and was first broadcast on WHO on Sunday, June 6, 2004. It features audio from Reagan's appearance at the 50th Anniversary of WHO Radio on April 26, 1974, along with interviews of Jack Shelley, Jim Zabel, and David Oman. This program was re-broadcast on WHO on Friday, June 11, 2004, following funeral ceremonies in Washington, D.C. for Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan - Feature #1 aired June 6, 2004
The second feature was broadcast on Friday afternoon, June 11, 2004. It features a discussion with former Iowa Governors Terry Branstad and Robert Ray along with two of their top aides, Doug Gross and David Oman. This is a discussion of the Ronald Reagan they knew as Governor of California, Republican politician, and President of the United States.
Ronald Reagan - Feature #2 aired June 11, 2004
Both programs are featured on desmoinesbroadcasting.com through the courtesy of and with the permission of WHO Radio and Clear Channel Communications.
WHO Radio main page
Des Moines Radio Stations page
DesMoinesBroadcasting.com home page