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.
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.