Bob Waugh Sees Things From D.C. Eyes





I grew up in New York, now I live in D.C.


I remember celebrating my 25th birthday with my father, at Windows On The
World. It's the only time I remember having dinner with him alone, with no
spouses or siblings present. I think we each pollished off a bottle of
Chateau Neuf De Pape
that night, long before it made it as a lyric in a Beastie Boys song.

At 9:15 yesterday morning, I was in my office, on the phone, talking to a
friend who works for the Washington Redskins.
Todd was on his cell phone in his car, on the way to his office Fed Ex
Field. One of our salespeople walked by my office and muttered something
about "a small plane having just hit the World Trade Center." I leaned over
to the TV next to my desk and switched the channel from MTV to CNN.

I started to try and relate the magnitude of what seemed to be unfolding
before my eyes to my friend on the phone. Todd suddenly interrupted me and
said, "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?" At that moment, he was driving his Ford
Explorer past the world's most famous military facility, just as United
Flight 77 slammed into The Pentagon. Moments later, I can see black fireball
smoke out of my office window.

We stopped playing music, but pretty quickly decided that simply
re-broadcasting someone else's feed would be pretty lame.

For WHFS, the answer was to simply do the same thing people were doing all
over the country; watching TV. We set up a monitor in the air studio,
brought in our full-time staff, and just let them watch TV while they were
on the air. When they felt like commenting, speculating, arguing or taking a
phone call from a listener, they just potted down the TV feed. When they
sensed a lull in the on-air conversation, they simply potted it back up.



By 8:00 PM we had a grief counselor on the air to take calls. We found Dr.
Robert Vitaletti in Denver, who had counseled young adults in the wake of
the recent Columbine school shootings. After The President addressed the
nation at 8:30, we turned the airwaves over to our audience and asked them
to choose songs that made sense for that moment in time. In an affort to set
an example, we picked the first record. After 12 hours of talk on WHFS, our
nighttime jock Graeme hit "play" on a CD called "Mind Bomb." The studio
monitors started blasting The The's "Armageddon Days Are Here Again."

Source: Bob Waugh (stella991@whfs.com)

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Bob Waugh Sees Things From D.C. Eyes