Years ago when I was in radio and doing news on KGU we had a traffic reporter.
It had real live stuff from 500 feet over the action.
Yeah, it’s a crappy picture but the only one I have.
All this was happening when KGU was still a real radio station, but poor.
Anyway, someone decided the station needed a traffic helicopter too so it wouldn’t lose afternoon traffic listeners to Captain Irwin.
Meet Roger Hedges.
I don’t have a picture of him so enjoy this one of someone else.
Rodger became the helicopter traffic reporter for KGU during morning and afternoon rush hour traffic.
The rest of the time I think he sold real estate.
The problem was – the station didn’t have a helicopter.
It couldn’t afford one.
Roger still did traffic reports.
He’d go into one of the small studios listen to Captain Irwin’s report then get on the phone to the guy on the air.
He tuned an AM portable radio to static and put it near his mouth.
He would started beating on his chest for the sound of the rotor blades and make his voice sound like he was riding in the sky.
It was marvelous.
It sounded like the real thing.
We thought it was so funny we’d almost barf.
Hey, I was young at the time.
Everybody thought we had a genuine helicopter with a genuine traffic reporter watching over them.
People would call up and ask if Roger could fly over a certain area to report on what was happening.
Glad to help.
If Captain Irwin didn’t have a report on that – Roger would just make it up.
Radio is theater of the mind.