Chuck Dunaway

Chuck Dunaway
Chuck Dunaway
Birth name Charles Ray Dunaway
Born December 1, 1934(1934-12-01)
Houston, Texas
Station(s) KILT (AM)
Country  United States
Spouse(s) Kendall

Chuck Dunaway is a retired radio personality and owner best known for his work at a variety of popular radio stations in Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma and New York City. Dunaway would hold down the afternoon drive slot at every radio station he worked during his entire 35 year career including radio giants KILT-AM Houston, KLIF-AM Dallas, WKY Oklahoma City, WABC (AM) New York City, and WIXY Cleveland. He finished his career as Owner/Operator of six FM and two AM radio stations in Joplin, Missouri.




While growing up in Houston, Dunaway's interest in radio was peaked while listening to the very popular DJ Paul Berlin on his favorite pop music radio station KNUZ. His first “on air” job came while Dunaway was still in his senior year at Stephen F. Austin High School where he was heard every Saturday mornings along with the Morales Sisters on KLVL in Houston. It was the station's only English speaking hour on the all-Spanish formatted outlet owned by the Morales family. In 1952 after graduating from high school Dunaway landed his first full time on air radio job at KBST in Big Spring, Texas at the rate of just 65 cents and hour where he remained for one year before joining KPRC Houston as a staff announcer in 1953.

The Early Years

After a few brief stints in Galveston and Freeport, Texas Chuck Dunaway returned to Houston and his hometown favorite station KNUZ as a DJ. But as his strengths as on air personality began to flourish, it wasn't long before he was offered the highly coveted afternoon drive slot on WKY in Oklahoma City. It was while working in OKC that Dunaway became a featured character on the popular kiddie's show known as "Foreman Scotty’s Circle 4 Ranch" which aired on WKY-TV channel 4. But it was Dunaway's afternoon radio show with its 72.9 share[1] of ther market a rating high never achieved in the market previously that brought Program Director Mike Joseph to Oklahoma City to offer Church Dunaway the afternoon drive shift at New York City's number one station, WABC (AM). But Dunaway eventually became disillusioned with the station's broad play list and after just a year and a half decided to return briefly to his old time slot in at WKY in Oklahoma City.

Station Wars

In the early sixites Dunaway was offered to take over the programming duties at KBOX (AM) in Dallas but soon after the station's number one competitor KLIF-AM enticed the talented drive time DJ to switch teams and go to work for the legendary Gordon McLendon at KLIF-AM doing afternoon drive. In 1964, McLendon transferred Dunaway to Houston for the afternoon drive shift at KILT-AM Following KILT, Dunaway joined WKYC, NBC owned and operated power house in Cleveland, Ohio for afternoon drive. In early 1969, when NBC decided to flip the “top 40” rocker to a softer music format, Dunaway bolted to WKYC's number one rival, WIXY Cleveland[2] where he served as both program director and afternoon drive personality, After a few brief stops in Austin at KHFI and KLBJ, Dunaway landed his first job as a radio station manager.

Post on Air

In 1982 Dunaway married his third wife, Kendall, who became his partner in rebuilding several failing radio stations which they bought for a percentage of the appreciated value. This process is termed a “Turnaround” and the Dunaways managed to turn five loser into successful operations which enabled them to save enough of the profits to become the owners. While Chuck ran the sales and programming departments, Kendall managed traffic, billing and the office staff. With other investors, the first property purchased was a Class C FM with a 5,000 watt AM. The company was named Big Mack Broadcasting . After only three years, enough success was achieved to buy two main competitors and Big Mack then owned a cluster of six radio stations in the Joplin, Missouri market. With the advent of consolidation the Dunaways sold their stations in 1998 and returned to Houston.

Award and Industry Recognition

Chuck Dunaway was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame (2003 and 2004) once for DJ work and once for programming. The Radio/Television Hall of fame in Ohio (2002)[3]


External links

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