Dave Compton Celebrates 41 years at WPET!

January 11th, 1978 was a long time ago . . .

January 11, 2019

On January 11th, 1978, yours truly (Dave Compton) was hired at WPET Radio in Greensboro, N.C. Much water under the bridge since then, but my memory is still very vivid of that day, and the early days, as I was just getting started on my long journey. So how did all of this happen?

In January of 1978 and some months in 1977 leading up to the New Year, I was announcing at WWMO-FM (Gospel Station) in Reidsville, N.C. which is my hometown. I was a full time employee but my job was scaled back to a part-time position. I needed full time employment, but I wanted to remain in Gospel Radio, so on Friday, January 6th, 1978, I was in my Father’s Television Repair Shop, when Eric Clark walked in. He and I were good friends in High School together, and he was in radio as well (part-time) while attending college in Greensboro. He was working weekends at WPET, but since he was on the Christmas break from UNCG, he was working the afternoon shift during the weekdays because Gary Michaels who worked full time at WPET had left the station to go to work in Burlington. When discussing my situation to him, he explained how WPET was seeking to fill the full time shift that he was temporarily working. He said he had to get back to class soon, so he encouraged me to contact Art Gibson the Program Director. Eric put in a good word for me, and told me I should call Art, so I did. I came to interview with Art on Monday, January 9th, 1978. On that day, I decided I would really like to work there! I left the station really feeling good about how things went, but I was told “We will be in touch”.

On Tuesday, January 10th, 1978, I stayed home all day, waiting for a call from Art, but I never heard anything that day. Naturally I was extremely worried that I would never hear from WPET again. Wednesday, January 11th sometime that morning, my phone rang and was so relieved that Art had finally called! My heart was beating with joy especially when Art said “Dave, I think we can work something out with you….can you drive down to see me so we can talk?” I got in my 1972 Ford Pinto and headed to 221 West Meadowview Road. (This was after my Dad decided to cut my hair to make a better impression even though Dad was not a Barber). LOL!! Well, Art hired me that day and I went to work for WPET. That day I met the owner and manager, Tom Armshaw (now deceased), who had flipped the format from Country to Gospel 10 years prior in 1968, along with the morning announcer, the late Don Davis. That was the very beginning of my long Journey that as of January 2019, that marks my 41st Anniversary. WPET (thanks to Tom) was highly popular and had a huge listening audience who loved Southern Gospel Music.

All through these years, God has so blessed me. I have been through 4 ownership changes and numerous General Managers. In 1987, in addition to my announcing, I went into Program management and to this day, I still announce and manage! I have been blessed with several awards and honors and have worked for and with some of the Country’s finest broadcasters. I am truly a blessed man. There is more of my story that I will continue on my next blog. Thank you for reading! Tell others about this.

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