Former Broadcast Pioneers President Jerry Lee & U.S. President Ronald Reagan (both on far right)
at the White House

In 1987, former Broadcast Pioneers President Jerry Lee (co-owner of B-101 in Philadelphia) went to the White House. It was at that time, he was presented with "The President's Private Sector Award" on behalf od the Broadcast Industry Council to Improve American Productivity. Presenting the award to Jerry Lee was U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Wilson Reagan has passed away on Saturday, June 5, 2004.

Before getting into politics, Ronald Reagan was a movie star. However, before that, Reagan was a radio broadcaster.

An April 1937 news article said: Quitting the air for the films is an unusual departure from routine, especially for a radio announcer. One of the first announcers to land a movie contract and "go Hollywood" is Ronald (Dutch) Reagan, 26, sports announcer of WHO, Des Moines. He leaves June 1 to join the Warner Brothers artist staff in Hollywood.

Handsome young Mr. Reagan's contract, calling for an initial six-month salary of more than $200 per week, came as a result of a screen test taken in an unguarded moment while he was in California in March on his annual tour of the Chicago baseball clubs' spring training camps to gather broadcast material. He is a former Eureka (Ill.) College football and track athlete, unmarried, 6 geet tall and looks a bit like Dick Powell.

On February 6, 1911, Ronald Reagan was born to Nelle and John "Jack" Reagan in Tampico, Illinois. In the early thirties, Reagan got the nickname, Dutch. Seems that his dad said about Ron, He looks like a fat little Dutchman.

After he was graduated from Eureka College in 1932, Ronald Reagan landed a job at WOC, in Davenport, Iowa broadcasting the games of the University of Iowa. His first gig (December 1932) was broadcasting Iowa's home game which was against Minnesota. His pay? $5 plus bus fare. After the first game, the station's management thought he did such a great job, they doubled his salary to $10 a game plus bus fare. Within a couple months, he was a staff announcer making a $100 a month (yes, a month).

In April of 1933, after covering the Drake Relays, he was selected as Chief Sports Announcer for WOC's sister's station, WHO (a clear channel station when it meant 50,000 watts, not the name of the station's current owner) in Des Moines, an NBC Radio affiliate at that time. Reagan covered baseball games, boxing matches and track gatherings. He was especially well-known in vividly broadcasting baseball and football games from the studio. There, he read coded, telegraphed bulletins and made up the rest.

One time, the wire broke. The last words were here's the pitch, and then the line went dead for almost 7 minutes. Reagan told the story this way: I had a ball on the way to the plate and there was no way to call it back. So, I had Augie foul this pitch down the left field line. He fouled for six minutes and forty-five seconds. My voice was riding in pitch and threatening to crack - and then, bless him, Curly started typing. I clutched at the slip. It said: 'Galan popped out on the first ball pitched.'

Until his departure in 1937 for Hollywood, Ronald Reagan was one of the top sportscasters in the entire mid-west. His final broadcast salary? $100 a week!

United States President Ronald Reagan was truly, a Broadcast Pioneer!

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry Lee & B-101
All Rights Reserved

The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is