Jerry Leighton in the WKIC Studios (1948)
Over fifty years ago Jerry Leighton was living in New York City when he saw an ad in Broadcasting Magazine announcing a job opening at WKIC in Hazard. He joined the station in 1948. In the two years he served as an announcer here, he made a lasting impression. He was the lively host of the daily "wake up" show, Morning Madhouse. He also conducted daily broadcasts from Bible's Market and Taulbee Furniture. However Jerry Leighton is best remembered for a single broadcast he conducted in the late 1940s. When his dog was killed by a car, Jerry went on the air with the news. He conducted a radio eulogy for his pet that included a moment of silence. Some say he cried during the broadcast. Whether he was sincere or it was a just a gag is not known. What is known is that listeners responded to the broadcast by flooding the station with donated puppies for the WKIC announcer. Jerry Leighton left WKIC in 1950 and moved to Huntington where he became a pioneer broadcaster in the early days of TV at WSAZ. He eventually moved to Chicago where he continued his radio career. He died in 1985 in Los Angeles, California.
"Jerry Leighton" was a radio name created when he came to WKIC. His actual name was Jerrold Lenhoff
WKIC announcers: Don Smith, (left) and Jerry Leighton clown around with a couple of guns during a break from a talent scout broadcast from the Taulbee Furniture store. Note the advertisement for the 1949 Philco refrigerators in the background. The sign on the bottom reads: Taulbee Talent Scout: Jerry Leighton Inside.