The quintessential mid-day pro. Perfect pipes. Smooth execution. Friendly vibe. And the guy you tap as your voice for the station’s imaging. It’s one of the few radio gigs that can be 9-5. You can easily work record hops, concerts and personal appearances and still get eight hours of sleep.
That describes Ted Clark, the man most associated with Keener’s branding during the height of the station’s popularity. By all accounts, Ted was the dictionary definition of a radio professional: Humble yet confident, an introvert who could come out of his shell and entertain with class whenever the on-air light came on, and a master in the production room. With a microphone, a record library and a razor blade, Ted was the voice of almost every legal ID that ran during Keener’s prime. “WKNR AM-FM, Dearborn. Offices in the Sheraton Cadillac Detroit,” was a phrase we all reflexively new by heart. Ted backed it with dozens of different sound effects, but it was his concise delivery that cemented the brand.
That’s Ted, holding the “Welcome Bob Green” sign to the left of Jerry Goodwin, when all three Key Men worked at WQAM in Miami. If Keener ever had a Florida sister station, WQAM was the place. So when Bob made his return to the Motor City, he wanted to bring both Jerry and Ted with him to WKNR. And there was another Florida voice that Bob had his ears on. A guy who called himself “Rock Robbins” worked across town. It took several swings of the bat to get Frank Maruca’s attention, but Rock Robbins eventually did come to Detroit. He didn’t want to be confused with WKNR’s legendary Robin Seymour, so he picked a name from the Detroit telephone book and became Scott Regen. The rest, as they say, is history.
As Keener evolved, so did Ted. He found his way to Chicago, adopted a Country and Western skill set and worked mid-days at WJJD. But those of us who grew up with 1310 permanently programmed on our car radios will always remember him as a WKNR All Star.
Ted turns 82 today. All of us at Keener13.com wish him a happy birthday and many more years of health and prosperity.