Paul Oscar Anderson (real name Paul E. Brown) passed away in Knoxville at 77 on June 5, 2009.
Bill Taylor wrote this obit:
I was his newsman during the time he did mornings at KOL in 1968. We had some great adventures together, on the air and off. Many of those adventures involved heavy quantities of beverage alcohol (Jack Daniels, rocks. Plain and simple.)
He did show prep at the Admiral Ben Bow in West Seattle, where, he said, the creative juices flowed. Many folks familiar with “The Ben” would concur in that assessment of the iconic (now closed) West Seattle landmark.
I was his best man when he and Sharon (wife number 2 or 3) were married in Seattle. The ceremony was performed at the residence of a black Superior Court judge whom Paul had met a few days earlier in a King County Courthouse hallway after he and Sharon had picked up their marriage license. The judge was an urbane, courtly gentleman, and his gracious wife served as maid of honor.
One of the issues POA took up during his time at KOL was the policy by the major airlines that prohibited stewardesses (they were not yet known as flight attendants) from being married. He started the “Hide-A-Hubby Club,” and encouraged the stews who were secretly married -- but on airline payrolls as single -- to call in and talk about their frustration with the rule.After numerous attempts, Paul scored a live interview one morning with George Keck, then chairman of United Airlines. During the segment, Paul played some airchecks of conversations with his stewardess club members, and Keck agreed – on the air – to consider changing the company policy. United was an industry leader, if not the first, in abandoning the requirement that “stews” be unmarried. POA was championing women’s issues long before it was fashionable.
Arguably, he was a source of aggravation for Dick Curtis, KOL’s program director. Getting Paul to work on time in the mornings was a constant challenge. All that aside, it was a sad day for me when POA left the station, abruptly, to “seek the setting sun.” He and Sharon cleared out their little rental house at the top of Admiral Way (West Seattle), packed their stuff into Paul’s beat up old car and headed to California.
I’d hear from him occasionally through the years, that distinctive voice of his resonating with timbre and mischief, and we always had some good laughs. In one of our last e-mail exchanges he said he considered me one of his “favorite running mates.” I liked that.Seems
Dick Curtis did indeed have a problem with the legendary POA. He writes it this way:
POA, KOL’s morning personality at the time, had gotten married and the station had generously given him and his new bride a toaster from the "goodie closet" as a wedding gift. It was less than a week later I came to work one morning and POA informed me he was moving on. As general manager, this was an embarrassment for me with ownership because we'd spent some money moving him to town, etc. and he hadn't been at KOL that long.Portland’s Stumptown Blogger remembers a political incident that made POA famous across the fruited plains:
I asked him what the trouble was and he said, "About 6:30 during my show this morning, I was outside having a smoke and looking at the stars and I realized I had to interrupt this placid moment and go back inside and change another plastic record. And then I would have to put on another plastic record after that one."
I convinced Paul to join me later that afternoon away from the station and we would talk about it. I met with Paul and his new wife at the Admiral Benbow Inn in West Seattle where I gave him a small raise and convinced him to stay with KOL.
Over several drinks he agreed, said how much he loved Seattle and admitted he wanted to stay with KOL for the rest of his career. We shook hands on the deal and I went home feeling good about my management prowess. The next morning I got the dreaded telephone call that POA hadn't shown up for work. The gathering the previous night was the last time I ever saw POA.
KISN radio was taken to the cleaners over the allegation that owner Don W. Burden was slanting the news in the favor of Mark Hatfield’s run for the senate against Robert Duncan. Popular morning host, Paul Oscar Anderson walked across the street to KGAR and forgot that he had an iron clad non-compete with KISN that he could not broadcast within 100 miles of the 91 studios.
The law action put him out of business at KGAR and he (Paul Oscar) ran to the FCC and spilled the beans that he was in a staff meeting with the action Central News Dep’t where Burden made it crystal clear that his radio station would make [Republican] Mark Hatfield the next United States Senator from Oregon. That got the FCC’s attention and it was downhill for Star stations from there.