Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 4, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Ifs Wolfman Jack Versus Cousin Brucie for Ratings
By John Rockwell
NEW YORK (NYT) - “Cousin Brucie’s Days Are Numbered”, and the plugs, and tombstone paperweights turned up all over town. It was part of an advertising campaign last summer by rock radio station WNBC to launch Wolfman Jack as its new nighttime disk jockey, and the barrage was aimed directly at WABC’s Cousin Brucie Morrow, who has dominated the nighttime ratings in the New York area over the last decade.
The battle has now been joined by these two disk jockeys, both Brooklyn-born, both in their mid-3l)s. The results are still far from clear, but their ratings may determine whether personality disk jockeys of the sort that flourished in the 1950s can make a belated _
comeback. . , , ,
Disk jockeys are, in turn, well that can mid do enhance their
Ratings Everything rewarded for success: The incomes still more.
I he stakes are high becauseismall circle of so-called “super- The two contenders in the cur-
ratings are everything in the jocks” in New York can earn rent battle have conveniently
radio business. WABC, the top- ;’ tinftnnn
rated New York station $100,000 an- opposite images.
rate a New \orK station.^. and that doesn’t count
charges up to $268 for a 60-second commercial during Cousin Brucie’s show. The same time on a poorly-rated station can go for as low as, $15 or $20.
519 H Street S.W.
1075-6th AVE. MARION
the many extras and side deals,
(“I tried being
Cousin Brucie Truce Morrow,
• Sat., Jan. 5 •
“KENT’S K0UNTRY K0MB0’’
Dress Up Rules! Pant-Suits Admitted! Res. 437-2271
or at least Cousin Bruce, but I’m a Brucie, what can I tell you'.”’) is clean; tile Wolfman (who was born Robert Smith but says his legal name is now Wolfman Jack) is dirty. Cousin Brucie holds his between-songs patter to a staccato minimum the Wolfman rambles and jives with a manic craziness, his fact contorted, his eyes bulging anc his hands waving wildly. Cousin Brucie calls upon his listeners to “kiss a cop,’’; the Wolfman screams at his to “get naked.’’ Reflect Differences Even their studios reflect the differences. C o u s i n Brucie’s WABC space is neat and proper, at least relatively speaking. Logs and playlists are computer printouts; cassettes are neatly arrayed in racks for easy reference. The Wolfman has his racks of cassettes, too. but they look more chaotically arranged. The place is overflowing with affectionately collected junk.
TONIGHT & SATURDAY
|lf's Party Time W/f/i |
ISHOW LOUNGE! 1T3 “A" Ave. MW
In short, Cousin Brucie, with his upbeat buoyancy and cleancut appearance, is all Dick Clark 1950s; the Wolfman, bouncing about, yowling and banging cassettes together in time to the music, is frantic late 60s Southern California.
Both men generally play down anv personal rivalry.
And despite WNBC’s initial advertising campaign, the two disk jockeys’ respective stations are now trying to downplay the rivalry, as well.
But the competition for audience and ad billings does exist between WABC and WNBC — or, as the ABC people prefer to describe it, given their dominance of the ratings, between WABC and everybody else. WABC owes its success,, iii part, to the effectiveness that disk jockeys such as Cousin Brucie have in reaching their audience. But they station owes more to
Rick Skier, its director of station operations, whom Bat Whitley, his counterpart at WNBC, calls “one of the smartest program directors in America.”
Sklar’s secret is the very tightness of his format, and his ability to pick a playlist that appeals to a wide audience without repelling too many minority tastes.
In the 1950s, disk jockeys ruled the radio roost. But after flu' payola scandals tarnished their image in 1959, the business! of (selecting the records to be played on the air was taken away from the disk jockeys and turned over to program directors such as Sk The resultant dominance of tightly controlled formats often reduced some disk jockeys to the status of puppets who offered snappy
weather forecasts between com mercials.
More recently there has been a relaxation of such rigidity, and Cousin Brucie and his colleagues at WABC enjoy more latitude for personalized remarks.
Whitley’s idea is to retain a programmed format, but to loosen it sufficiently to allow disk jockeys a chance to spread their wings. Don Imus, the station s morning personality, was the finst major acquisition, and the Wolfman is the latest in the chain. In acquiring the Wolfman, Whitley has obtained a performer who has long since transcended the kind of narrowly local notoriety that makes disk jockeys the lowest rung on the celebrity ladder.
Cousin Brucie boasts that
WABC can be heard in 40 .states. But the Wollnian commutes weekly back and forth to I ais Angeles for NIU’TVV, weekly
“Midnight Special” rock Pegram, tapes syndicated radio shows for some 1,453 stations in the United States and 420 stations in the armed forces network, makes Ins own long play records, socializes with the n>< k elite, has appeared in the movie “American Graffiti and has further Thespian ambitions.
It is to early to tell what kind of dent the Wolfman has put in Cousin Brucie’s .standing.
Pabst Slut Ribbon ... ti 2.29 Old Milwaukee J J®
FREE POPCORN The Emergency Room
4650 I et Ave. NI
on Old Hwy. 218
2 Miles Soutii of Kirkwood College
Dance music and entertainment
Sat., Jan. 5
Bar-B-Q Ribs Fri. & Sat.
The “Country Music Masters"
Mondays at 7:30
1-80 and Amana Interchange
Don Geater, Bob Tischer
Phone 668-1 223
★ THIS WEEKEND ★
|The Meeting Place1
Hplrf flvPrH CONTINUOUS
liClU uvula! ENTERTAINMENT
NIGHTLY at 8:00
THROUGH JAN. 12
BRING YOUR FRIENDS— ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE FOOD AND BEVERAGE
RUSS A BOB SANDERSFELD
320 35th St.
FOLLOW THE CROWD! '•8 FRIDAY and SATURDAY
7:30-11:45 (2 SESSIONS)
ADULT NIGHT (16 * OVER) 7:30-10:00
FAMILY BUCK NIGHT (7-9:45)
Sat. Afternoon 2-4 Sunday Afternoon 2-4, 4-6
Tuesday night report card pass night or student discount night. 4-6 A 6-8. Everybody welcome! 50< includes SKATE RENTAL._
PHONE 377-3767 or 365-4075
Open Daily at 3i30 and Sat. St OO p.m.
Located in the
Only 2 Minutes from Downtown
“Mr. Mystic" himself Direct from the T-Bone, Wichita, Kan. Hypnotist, Mystic and Comedian. “He does things to amaze the most severe skeptic.”
852 A Avenue Nf-365-9061
PANCAKE HOUSE & FAMILY RESTAURANT
Aiso serving Steaks, Chops, Chicken and Prime Rib
Open all night Fri. and Sat.
C0"VEN1tMT PARKING IN OUR
DINE OUT THIS WEEKEND
OFFER TWO (2) WAYS IODINE
SIRLOIN ’N’ BREW
Featuring Steaks, Lobster, Prime Ribs, Crab Legs, etc.
INCLUDES: Bountiful Salad Bar and all the Draught Beer, Sandria (Wine) or Birch beer (Root beer) you can drink with your meal.
Offering Family Style Dining: Shrimp, Ham, Fish and Chicken served at your table. Adults $3.50, Children $1.75, under 3 FREE.
We Feature: Bar-B-Qued Ribs
DOUBLE-BUBBLE HOUR 4-6:30 Monday thru Friday
COCKTAILS AVAILABLE AT YOUR TABLE or in the LOUNGE 4407 1st Avenue S.E. (next to Target)
SAT., JAN. 5
SAT., JAN. 12
Dress-up Rules Apply
Playing Fri. & Sat. - PICK MILLER
957 Rockford Road S.W.
(Across from Veterans Stadium)
“OLD GOLD” COMBO
Friday and Saturday Meet your friends for Fun, Drinks and Dancing
Open 2 p.m. ’til 2 a.m.
1724 16th Ave. SW
NOON TO 19 P.M.
RESTA UR ANT
A Little Bit of Old Mexico In Downtown Cedar Rapids featuring
A FULL MEXICAN & AMERICAN MENU
Mexican Beer & Cocktails
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK
family owned and operated
409 2nd Ave. SE 364-9993
in our ramp
Fri. & Sat. Nights 7-9:30, 9-12
Sat. Morning 10-12 Beginners Sat. & Sun. Afternoon 1-4 Sun. Night 6-9 Family Discount Mon. & Tues. 6-8, 8-10 Mon. Ladies Free Tues. Men Free
Wed. 6-8, 8-10 Happy Club 75c includes skates.
Highway 21 8 south CJT! J 353.5500
Book Your Party Now!
THIS IS THE COMBINATION YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!