(left to right) Broadcast Pioneers members Doug Hibbs and Monica Malpass
Broadcast Pioneers Luncheon
Bala Golf Club, Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Broadcast Pioneers member Nelson Douglass Hibbs, was born to Gertrude C. and Earl Douglass Hibbs on December 10, 1919 in Philadelphia, Pa. His father nicknamed him “Bud.”
He graduated from Chestnut Hill Academy and went on to Duke University in 1937 and 1938 where he studied pre-law. While at Duke, he pitched on their baseball team and formed a swing band, being the bandleader “Buddy Love.” The band became very well known and they traveled all over the northeast corridor performing. It was during that time that he recorded “Christmas Bells” with Patti Page.
He married his first wife Dorothy McCraken in 1941 and they had two children Barbara Ann and Nelson Douglass Jr. He married his second wife Edith in 1945, they had no children. He married his third wife Gladys M. Kershaw in 1948 and they had two children, Judith M and Glenn Alan. His son Glenn was named after Glenn Miller, and Alan Stewart. He was very involved in the Northeast Junior Chamber of Commerce, being elected as president in June 1949.
In 1925, his parents built a radio station in Philadelphia, WTEL 860 KHz AM, that was mostly foreign language. Bud went to work there in 1934 (that's not a typo). WTEL was a day-timer operating with 250 watts. Bud liked to call it "Philadelphia's clear channel local." During Bud's time at WTEL, he held many titles, but his favorite was Operations Manager. Bud sometimes did air work but not under his real name. Bud did most everything at WTEL including painting the building.
Doug's father was a staff announcer, program director, sales associate and hosted the Irish Hour every Sunday morning as Alan Stewart. His son “Buddy” used to help him as a DJ the last hour of the day every Saturday afternoon. He had a “side” job selling Suris cheese to Lithuanian listeners. He moved his family to Williamstown, New Jersey.
He worked part time at channel 12 (when they were a commercial TV station), doing spots during their movies. His stage name was “Mr. Bee” and he dressed up to fit the product he was selling. Another “side” job was selling Suris cheese to restaurants and bars in Cumberland County.
In 1960, he became General Manger at WCAM in Camden, New Jersey. It was then he gave Jerry Blavat his first radio job. He also employed Hy Lit and Sally Starr at WCAM. When the power increased from 250 to 1000 watts, he resigned to became a regional advertising associate, believing he could better himself financially. WCAM was a city owned station and the employees were asked to move into to Camden in order to keep their city jobs, he left and went to WCHE in West Chester, Pa. In 1964, he moved his family to West Chester, Pa.
In 1969, Doug moved to WEEZ in Brookhaven, Pa. where he met and developed a life long friendship with Matt Mills. He sold time there for 3 years. During the 1970‘s he also sold part time for a small station in Vineland, NJ with the call letters WDVL. In 1979, the station was sold and the call letters changed to WKQV.
His full time employment was back in Philadelphia at WRCP where he was quickly promoted to Sales Manager. In 1980, he moved his family back to New Jersey. After four years he went to work at WUSL in Philly. He remained there for a number of years and in the early 1980’s he left Philadelphia radio to take a job at WRDR in Egg Harbor, NJ. From there he went back to the station in Vineland, whose call letters were changed in 1986 to WVLT . He remained employed at WVLT Cruisin’ 92FM as a sales associate until his death on July 23, 2009.
He was a member of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, Clayton Kiwanis, West Chester Exchange Club and the West Chester Jaycees. Doug enjoyed trips to the casino and was a huge Philadelphia Phillies fan.
Gerry Wilkinson, who was this organization's president when Bud passed away said this.
I met Bud when I was hired as a radio consultant for WVLT, Cruisin' 92.1 in 2002. In was in his eighties then and still working (well, when he felt like it). He loved radio and wanted to keep his hand in the business. He was a warm and funny guy.
I remember him standing in front of me and the station's general manager, Carl Hemple, and kidding, "I really think some day I'll leave here and go back into radio." Everyone laughed (except maybe the GM). That's Bud. He treated you like a long lost friend the very minute he met you. He was one of a kind.
On Friday evening, November 22, 2013, Doug "Bud" Hibbs was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame."
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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