top star was Burl McCarty's 'Captain Mac'…certainly the Elvis Presley
of Channel 38.
"I directed Captain Mac, who was so popular we had a waiting list of kids to get onto the show. Our studio could only accommodate about 12 youngsters each day, but even if we'd been able to seat 1,000 it wouldn't have been enough. Captain Mac would bring in these exotic animals from the Animal Ranch which was on 4th street. One day the owner, Abe Register, brought in this gorgeous peacock. Since we were in black and white, Mac says "That's a beautiful bird, Abe…why don't you describe the colors for our viewers." Abe says, 'No, you do it, Capt. Mac.' Finally, Mac blurts out 'I'm color blind' and Abe admits 'So am I!'."
Two years after WSUN'S debut, Bob fielded a call from his old Cincinnati pal Ernie Lee, who was looking to make a change. "Ernie called me from Ohio and said 'I don't feel well and the doctor wants me to go to a warmer climate.' I was excited by opportunity to bring a seasoned performer like Ernie Lee to a burgeoning market like St. Petersburg/Tampa. I jumped at the chance but told him there was no way WSUN could match what he was getting in Cincinnati. 'I don't need much,' he said, and accepted the figure I presented. He put his family in a big white Cadillac and got down to St. Pete in 1955."
(The newspaper ad at right shows one of the many programs either hosted or co-hosted by Ernie Lee)