“I had been at the University a little over a year
when friends working at WTVT called to tell me the station was looking for an
announcer," recalls Jerry. "I
jumped at the chance to audition, which consisted of an ad-libbed mattress
commercial. Program Director Monte
Gurwit put me on the payroll as a weekend booth announcer."
For his announcing efforts, Jerry would be earning the princely sum of
$2.00 per hour at WTVT.
A common practice for broadcasting talent with
unusual or hard to pronounce (or spell) names is to assume a 'stage' name;
nice and easy for the public to remember. Krumbholz
(a name of German origin pronounced crumb-holz) never thought of taking on a different name. People had
always accepted his name without question and he felt it was one audiences would
remember…and he was right.
Jerry's co-workers included Ed Scott (pictured at
left) Paul Reynolds, Will Sinclair, Roger Reddy and Terry Saint.
He recalls that Sinclair was called “our mad Indian” because of his
quick temper…he was of Cherokee heritage.
The team eventually included Don Harris, who went on to host "Pulse
Extra" and later became a nationally known NBC reporter. “We had
something like six guys (announcers), one or two part timers, to cover every
minute on the air seven days a week including holidays.
We alternated shifts periodically and whatever shows fell into the
various shifts were the ones we did. Every
announcer had his turn at doing The Ernie Lee Show, Mary Ellen’s Popeye
Playhouse, station breaks from the booth, floor commercials…whatever needed to
be done. It was lots of fun.”
Jerry was fascinated with television from the first
minute. For a guy who was fairly
new to Tampa and completely new to television, he became almost an instant
celebrity to thousands of Tampa Bay area viewers.
It was 1956 and still 'early television' when management and talent were
deciding what the medium was really all about.