The man who hired me

Ray Moore was News Director at WSB-Television.    But the potential job opening was for an announcer.   The person who hired announcers was broadcast-engineer Mark Toalson then promoted to Production Director. 

Mark Toalson as an engineer

Mark Toalson as an engineer

  Mr. Toalson (never Mark to us young folks) surprised me with an offer to audition.   It meant using expensive  studio time and people.  To be given an audition was a big deal particularly for an announcer with no television experience. 

It was during the audtion that I first met Director-Producer Bobby Thomas.  Bobby directed me with input from Mr. Toalson.   My audition was in a huge barn-like studio with big kleig lights hanging from the ceiling and large cameras on pedestals that cameramen wheeled around the room.    Someone tossed me a pack of cigarettes.  I heard Bobby’s voice from the director’s room above.  He told me to sell those cigarettes to the camera.   I had never smoked…thought it was a nasty habit…still do.  But I did my best imitation of a smoker without lighting up.  I think I ended my pitch with, “I’d walk a mile for a camel.”   Bobby also asked me to describe my surroundings in the studio.  My amateur and semi-professional acting experience may have helped.    When I went back upstairs, Bobby smiled and Mr. Toalson told me to come with him to his office.

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2 Responses to “The man who hired me”

  1. Diana Goodman McDaniel Says:

    Don helped put our Home School Football Program on the map! We are eternally grateful to him!!!

    We love him and his work.

    Roger and Diana McDaniel

  2. Ray Moore Says:

    I’m so proud of you, Don! I was at WSB-TV 50 years ago (and before) when you came on board. Yes, you started as an announcer, but I saw your potential for news. And it was one of the best things that happened to either of us. I have three sons, but only one of them “went wrong” My youngest (no longer young! followed me in the news business and is news director in Memphis. He reminded me tonight of when he was in Chattanooga – and one of his reporters covering a murder in Dalton came back in awe. He said, “This old veteran came up from Atlanta to get the story for WSB. Well, he was so efficent! Didn’t waste a minute or a word. Just got the story in short order and left with it while I was getting started!” That veteran was Big Don! Long may he report!
    Ray Moore

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