J. Paul Emerson


J. Paul Emerson

Born James Emerson Coleman in Carlsbad, New Mexico, radio personality J. Paul Emerson grew to prominence as a conservative radio host on San Francisco radio station KSFO. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,982262-2,00.html Look Who's TALKING - TIME ] ] Emerson's on-air comments concerning Japanese protests over the display of the cockpit and nose section of the Enola Gay led to an international media foray into the talk radio format.

That exhibit was eventually changed due to the controversy. In 2003, the entire restored B-29 Enola Gay went on display at the National Aeronautic and Space Museum's new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in the NASM annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States.

Emerson’s radio career spanned almost five decades and continued through the Enola Gay controversy in 1995, culminated by Emerson's appearance along with other conservative radio talk show hosts of the day including Rush Limbaugh on the Phil Donohue television program.

Emerson’s radio chronology also included stints at stations WLLL, Lynchburg, Virginia; KYNO, in Fresno, California; KUPD, in Phoenix, Arizona; KGMQ, Honolulu, Hawaii; KQHT, New York, New York; KIMN, Denver, KFRCdn, San Francisco.

Emerson, going by his given name of Jimmy Coleman, began his entertainment career as a jazz drummer and trumpeter touring the Southwest. He joined radio station KBPI, Denver upon graduation from their broadcasting school. He appeared on many other lesser-known radio stations in Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Texas where he developed a style of news he termed, People News at WOKY in Milwaukee with programmer George Wilson. He launched the style at KIMN in Denver in 1972 with George Jay Wienbarg as his assistant news director. Wienbarg would take People News to General Cinema Corporation’s WICV in Chicago and WGCL, Cleveland under program director Lee Abrams.

The People news style was based on the Midwestern story-telling style of Ben Hecht and entailed a short story, hourglass format for each story rather than the traditional journalistic inverted pyramid method of telling the news. Emerson reasoned that this would enable each story to be linked together in a radio newscast that would be more beneficial to the quarter-hour audience maintenance required for higher scoring in the Arbitron audience ratings survey.

Emerson’s method was to utilize a Sharpie marker on newsprint and ad lib his stories on air just as he did at his tenure at newly developing Hot 97, WQHT in New York. From WQHT he traveled back to Carlsbad to be with his ailing Mother and Father and make appearances on the local radio stations, KAMQ & KCCC, as he did between all of his major market appearances. From Carlsbad it was back on the air in San Francisco where he engaged the homosexual, illigal alien and other groups which would develope ratings and stir controversy. [http://www.qrd.org/qrd/media/medialert/1995/02.03.95]

Emerson died in his home in Carlsbad in 2000 of a heart attack. He was 60.

References


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