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Book by
Charles B. Persons

Where Have All The Broadcasters Gone? published 1996

An autobiography by Charles B. "Charlie" Persons (1909 to 1998).  He tells the story of starting in radio broadcasting at age 17, back in 1926 at WEBC at Duluth, Minnesota.  It takes readers through a 68 year career of owning and running radio stations, as well as television cable systems.  Along the way he built WELY in Ely and KVBR in Brainerd, Minnesota.  Many stories are about how he and the broadcast industry grew up together.  Then Charlie goes on poking fun at himself with dry humor, which was one of his trademarks. 

 Anyone with an interest in the broadcasting could appreciate this 170 page book with photos, written from inside the industry.  They are available at the Pavek Museum in the Twin Cities and at the Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum and Library in Brainerd. 

 A FREE audio version, read by Kirk Harnack

Kirk is well known in the radio broadcasting world as a member of the Telos Alliance

He is also the creator and moderator of This Week in Radio Tech.

Audio files are in .mp3 and .wav formats.  No signup or strings attached.  If you like the book, please email your comments to Mark Persons   Your email may appear with others below.
Preface audio\Preface.mp3 audio\Preface.wav
Chapter 1, In the Beginning audio\Chapter 1.mp3 audio\Chapter 1.wav
Chapter 2, Depression Years audio\Chapter 2.mp3 audio\Chapter 2.wav
Chapter 3, The Boss audio\Chapter 3.mp3 audio\Chapter 3.wav
Chapter 4, FM and Shortwave Years audio\Chapter 4.mp3 audio\Chapter 4.wav
Chapter 5, War Years audio\Chapter 5.mp3 audio\Chapter 5.wav
Chapter 6, After War Years audio\Chapter 6.mp3 audio\Chapter 6.wav
Chapter 7, The Ely Years audio\Chapter 7.mp3 audio\Chapter 7.wav
Chapter 8, Flying Years audio\Chapter 8.mp3 audio\Chapter 8.wav
Chapter 9, Television Cable Years audio\Chapter 9.mp3 audio\Chapter 9.wav
Chapter 10, Brainerd Years audio\Chapter 10.mp3 audio\Chapter 10.wav
Chapter 11, Purely Personal audio\Chapter 11.mp3 audio\Chapter 11.wav

The book is also available on SoundCloud:

March 9, 2018:  Mark, I greatly enjoyed your Dad's book, and have passed it around the office.  Several other people here have read it along with my daughter-in-law in Minneapolis.  It is an enjoyable read with a lot of history and great feel for how it was when your Dad was in the business.  Best to you, Tom Jones, Carl T. Jones Consulting Engineers, Springfield, Virginia.

January 30, 2017:  Hello Mark, Enjoyed your father's book Where Have All The Broadcaster's Gone?  Radio Engineer, Butch McBride.

August 22, 2016:  Mark,  I enjoyed reading the book.  Your dad sounded like a very knowledgeable man with a good sense of humor.   Steve Youngberg, Kerkhoven, Minnesota.

April 9, 2016:  Mark: I am enjoying the book.  The preface got me hooked.  Norm Keon, W8AWE, St. Louis, Michigan.

April 8, 2016:  The book was a great read.  Ed Trombley, Munn-Reese Broadcast Engineering Consultants in "Coldwater, Michigan.

February 17, 2016: Hi Mark:  Just finished your Father's book...should be required reading by the "Newbies."  J Boyd Ingram, WBLE Radio, Batesville, Mississippi.

February 17, 2016: Mark, I read your father's book cover to cover and I enjoyed it immensely.  How lucky you have been to experience such a wide array of broadcast adventures with your father and on your own.  With kind regards, Brian Henry, WB6QED, Napa, California.

December 25, 2015:  Re: The book by your father, "Where have all the Broadcasters gone."  I enjoyed reading it.  Your dad lived a rich experienced life and was a good representative of early broadcast radio.  Dave Garner, WUCP Radio, Farragut, Tennessee.

November 30, 2015:  Hey Mark, I read your dads book.  He was truly one of a kind.  I often wonder what he and other pioneers like him who have left us, would think of the state our industry is in today.  I'm sure Charlie would marvel at the technology, but might be a bit taken back by today's corporate practices.  Bob Simmons, Langdon, North Dakota.

October 26, 2015:  I just wanted to say, the book is very hard to put down and now I get it? even the Morgan Murphy piece.  I finished it last week, taking time to do it.  You are a lucky guy, and I?ve put in on Jody?s reading pile. I think she will like it also.  What can I say?  Best thing I have read all year? It sure captures the times, the place, and the broadcasting I first was introduced to.  Fred Baumgartner, Elizabeth, Colorado.

September 18, 2015:  Your Dad's Book.  Great read for anyone in the broadcasting business especially those on the technical side.  Some great stories of a true pioneer, self-taught.  Some are funny, some are of adversity, but it's clear Charlie Persons loved broadcasting and the people in it.  I only wish I had the chance to have met himHal Kneller, Punta Gorda, Florida.

March 12, 2015:  Your dad was quite a guy.  I thoroughly enjoyed his book and my brother is reading it right now in Austin, Texas.  In fact, he must have just read the part your dad wrote about the old gag trick announcers would play on the engineers ? moving their lips but purposely making no sound.  Ron pulled that one on me last night during an evening video chat.  Once he broke into a laugh I realized my computer and speakers were working fine.  Doctor Rick Waters, Athens, Georgia.

February 4, 2015: I thoroughly enjoyed reading your dad's book.  Sure can tell he was your dad - you are definitely a "chip off the old block."  Some of the humor was especially telling. ;)  I passed on my copy to our general manager.  He is an old school radio guy to the nth degree and will be retiring this year.  I also thought of him while reading the books and I know he will enjoy them.  Steve Brown, WHBY Radio/Woodward Communications, Appleton, Wisconsin.

January 14, 2015: Hi Mark, I found your father's book to be very interesting. Small market radio is sure a different animal compared to the medium and large markets. How many people can conceive of having their mother with a talk show (my mother was an interviewer), a father who was involved in all aspects of the community (my dad was on just about every committee in town). The book was very interesting to me.  Thanks again, Woody Woodward, General Manager KSUM AM KFMC FM Radio in Fairmont, Minnesota.

November 20, 2014 email:  I really enjoyed reading your father?s book, "Where Have All The Broadcasters Gone?". Without going into why, his stories brought back memoires of my childhood running around the studios of WJEJ AM in Hagerstown, MD and having picnics at the tower site at Quirock, near Fort Ritchie, Maryland.  Thanks again. The book was an unexpected pleasure.   Dirk DeVault, WWCF Radio, Hagerstown, Maryland.

  Questions?  Email Mark Persons:     

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