North Texas Daily

Professor Q&A

Professor Q&A

Professor Q&A
September 26
15:17 2013

Bud E. Buschardt is in his 41st year as an adjunct professor in the RTVF department. Cole Clay interviewed him about his career and life.

How long have you been in the industry?  

Since I was 18 years old and became a radio-television major at the University of Houston.  Thinking of it in years makes me feel old, but my first commercial television job was a part-time position at WFAA-TV. During my second week at the station I was working on the studio crew covering the assassination of President Kennedy.

How did you get started in radio?

By volunteering.  I was walking down the hall at WFAA when I ran into the program director of the radio stations.  I mentioned to him that singer Bobby Darin died and asked if he would he like for me to get materials to produce a radio special with his nighttime DJ.

He said that we would be on at nine and started airing promos.  The audience acceptance of that special led to the beginning of my weekly oldies-but-goodies show on WFAA.  My show was the first one of that type in Dallas-Fort Worth before oldies stations even existed.

What is your experience in the radio/television industry? In terms of positions held and stations worked at.

I was a producer-director, music news reporter, writer and many other titles during my 17-plus years at WFAA-TV.

After that, I was at KVIL radio for 10 years writing, producing and hosting their Sunday oldies show.

From there I produced and hosted a 1950s/1960s rhythm and blues oldies show for Satellite Music Network on their Heart & Soul format. SMN became ABC Radio Networks, owned by the Walt Disney Company. When my KVIL show ended I was asked to do a similar show for the Starstation format at ABC.  I moved to another ABC format and eventually became program director of the Timeless format where I was responsible for programming about 110 radio stations across the country.  I retired from ABC in 2007 when Disney sold most of their radio interests.

You are an inductee in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. Can you elaborate on how prestigious this honor is?

I am honored to be among the people I listened to on the radio and who inspired me to be in the business.  This was quite an unexpected award.

You are a multi-hyphenated performer with many talents. Which do you feel most “at home” doing and why?

I am very much at home talking about pop and rock music and sharing behind the scenes stories about songs and artists all the way from the 1940s to, but not including, the 1990s.  I enjoy doing interviews and being interviewed.  I never really enjoyed reading a teleprompter in television.

I have heard you have the largest vinyl collection in Texas. Or is it the country?  How large is the collection and what are a few of your personal favorites you own?

I have a large collection of records, tapes and CDs probably numbering somewhere between one hundred to three or four hundred thousand (that is one room floor to ceiling and about four closets full). It is not the largest collection in Texas or the U.S. I have friends with larger collections than mine.

Personal favorites usually are from the first years of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the 1950s. Buddy Holly is one of my favorite artists along with Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and early Elvis Presley (before the sappy movie music).

Former student Alex Certa did a story on my collection that is on YouTube.

How long have you been teaching at UNT?

I am now in my 41st year as an adjunct professor at this school with one of the best Radio-Television Departments in the country.

Which courses do you teach?

I teach Television Production, Advanced Television Production and Radio-Television Announcing.

What advice would you have for aspiring on-air talent trying to break into the radio/television industry?

As a talent or any position in the business, be willing to start in a smaller market even part time.  Be willing to work long hours when necessary.  Have a passion for the business.  Volunteer.  Networking with people who are not even in this business is very important.  You never know who might know somebody in radio or television.

Do you have any projects you are currently working on?

Dr. Sam Sauls of RTVF and I have been working on a book about a show I worked on at WFAA-TV because nothing existed in print on locally-produced teenage television bandstand shows.  The book is based on my memories of working on a show called “Sump’n Else” with Ron Chapman.  Looking back, it was the most fun I had working on a weekly show.

The copy for the book is ready for a final reading and I am inserting pictures into the chapters now.  We are working with a publisher in hopes of an early winter or first of the year release.  The book is called “The Sump’n Else Show.”    

If you could teach any college course what would that be?

I would like to teach a course in the history of music video from the “soundees” of the 1940s through the videos of MTV and to YouTube.

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