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he knew that we'd take the affiliation away from him and he would be naked. When he saw
that he said, “I'll let you buy my station.” It was an attractive idea as far as I was concerned
because he was already on the air and I didn't have to fool around building facilities. So, we
won the war, but because we won it we were able to buy a station and somebody else got our -
- the second one on the list got the award.
Why was it such a tough battle?
Everybody wanted to get into it at that time. This was a big chip business. And St.
Louis wasn't the greatest market in the world, but it wasn't one of the poorest. By this time,
all the newspapers -- everybody that had enough money was in the television business locally
-- just a groundswell of interest financially in getting in. And that never happened again.
Even though there was a lot of scurrying around in the cable business, cable was a slow
process by comparison with the period I'm talking about.
This was in the late fifties. By the time that you got your full compliment of stations --
around '58 or '59?
I've forgotten the year but once we got that, then I relaxed on that side and worried
about what was happening on the network side.
We were fortunate on the network side because at the time television was starting, we were
the strongest in radio. We had a lot of popular radio half hour situation comedies that were
convertible to television. Take the Burns and Allen half hour -- what George Burns did was
to do a radio show on camera. And he stood at the side of the proscenium and made his
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