WDSU-TV ON AIR CELEBRITIES
Alec Gifford came to WDSU-TV from Shreveport, LA. He quickly became a
favorite news anchorman appearing at noon as the "Midday" newscaster and
as the evening newscast "Esso Reporter". In 1966, CBS tapped Alec for some
network news assignments. Alec's love for New Orleans brought him back to the
city in 1967 as News Diector at WVUE Channel 8. He later returned to WDSU-TV,
where he has survived the sale of the station three times. Alec is shown
above as "The Esso Reporter" in an early picture snapped of a TV screen.
Bill Slatter was one of the most popular news anchormen in
the city. Bill is also the newsman who interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald 90
days BEFORE the assasination of President John F. Kennedy. Bill talked
with Oswald at the site of his confrontation with anti-Castro Cubans in
front of the International Trade Mart, in the New Orleans business
district, where Oswald was passing out pro-Castro phamphlets promoting
"Fair Play For Cuba." Slatter brought Oswald into the WDSU-TV newsroom and
filmed an interview with him in the newsroom. Later, Slatter and others
were heard questioning Oswald on the WDSU radio program "Conversation
Carte Blanche." That program is preserved in this Broadcast Arts Museum.
The radio program was used as the sound track for a documentary, produced
by Paul Yacich and filmed by Bill Delgado, " Oswald...Self Portrait. The
radio program was recreated for the camera using an empty chair as Oswald.
The program was syndicated by "The Information Council of the Americas (
INCA). The production was started in New Orleans but because of the possibility
of interference by pro-Castro individuals as well as some JFK conspiracy
theory advocates, it was completed by Yacich and Delgado in Hollywood.
Doug and Charlene Ramsey
The last of the Esso Reporters on Channel 6, Doug Ramsey was an extremely popular anchorman. Doug later anchored at WPIX-TV in New York, then became chief correspondent for UPI Television News, covering the United Nations, the White House and Watergate. After he became a news director, he returned to Channel 6 to run the news operation for a couple of years before he took over the news department at KGO-TV, San Francisco. Doug now lives in the state of Washington and has a full-time career as a writer. His biography of the jazz musician Paul Desmond is due out late in 2004
Unfortunately, no picture of Bob Wagner could be found. Instead, he is
represented by the EMMY AWARD notice below.
Bob Wagner was injured by some ruffians during his investigation
of Klan activities. He left WDSU-TV and New Orleans to accept a news anchor
position at WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama. WALA-TV was owned by Edgar Stern's
Royal Street Corporation which was the owner of WDSU-TV.
Jim Mitchie - News Reporter
John Korbel - News Anchor
Bill Monroe became news Director of WDSU AM-FM-TV in the fall of 1954. He
was formerly a New Orleans Item editorial writer. Monroe left the Item
when he felt the newspaper was on its last legs. The Item was sold to the
New Orleans States in 1958. When the Times-Picayune became the only printed
source of news and editorials, the management of WDSU-TV decided to present
television editorials written by Monroe and delivered by several different
on-cam personalities including Monroe, Mel Leavitt and Jerry Romig. The
editorials had to be approved by the station management which was always
given without question. WDSU-TV received local television's highest honor,
the Peabody Award, in 1960 while the news department was under Monroe's
administration. Monroe left WDSU-TV in 1961 to become their Washington,
D. C. bureau chief. In 1975, Monroe became moderator of the NBC-TV "Meet
The Press" program. He remained moderator of the program until 1984. Bill
Monroe became an inductee to the Greater New Orleans Broadcast
Association's Hall of Fame in 1999.
News Director Bill Monroe believed that a reportes based in Washington,
D. C. was the only way to bring the activities of the Louisiana delegation
to the television screens of the city. In 1958, WDSU-TV established a news
bureau in Washington, D. C. with John Corporon as the head of the one-man
operation. Corporon was formerly a United Press reporter. At that time,
Corporon became the only local single station reporter in the nation's
capital. The bureau was a great plus for the station but a decline in
revnue in 1961 forced the bureau to close. In that same year, Corporon
cceeded Monroe as WDSU-TV News Director. Corporn left WDSU-TV in 1966 to
go to work in New York. He was inducted into the Greater New Orleans
Broadcast Association's Hall of Fame in the year 2000. Corporon was
replaced as News Director of WDSU AM-FM-TV by reporter Edward Planer, a
seasoned print reporter who had been lured to WDSU-TV by Bill Monroe.
THIRTY-THREE NEWCAST PROS DIG DEEP
Best seller author, Harnett T. Kane referred to Mandy Lee as "....one of the city's most resourceful artists of the skillet and baking oven, a mistress of high cuisine." While her program was on the air, the WDSU-TV studio crew gathered behind the cameras like a crowd of locusts ready to devour everything the talented lady concocted during the program.
"Scoop" Kennedy formerly was a New Orleans Item newspaper reporter. His
second great love (after the news business, of course) was cooking. In
fact, "Scoop" gave up his career as newsman to trade the name "Scoop" for
the name "Chef" Kennedy. He proved to be one of the great chefs of New
Orleans in his WDSU-TV cooking show and one of several great chefs who have
appeared on the air in the WDSU-TV kitchen set. He was assisted in his
culinary endeavors by Marie Mathews.
She started as a maid in the maintenance department of WDSU-TV, but Marie
Mathews was destined for better things. She became an assistant to every
chef who appeared on Channel 6. She later became a station telephone operatoe
and receptionist. Then things happened for Marie. She was given her own
cooking program! Marie was the sweetheart of every WDSU-TV staffer. She was
honored by being inducted into the Greater New Orleans Broadcast Association's
Hall of Fame.
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For more New Orleans radio and television memories:
"NEW ORLEANS RADIO AND TV SHRINE"