1 Copy of This Film
1) 1509.0002_INSP3/4
3/4inch-video; 60 minutes; Sound; Color
'C-Span 1989, Interviews, Bryan Lamb with J.R. Wiggins and Richard and Helen Dudman' (archival original 3/4 SP; original VHS returned); NHF Tape 002
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Viewing Notes
Helen and Richard Dudman are interviewed by Bryan Lamb, seated in the Augusta legislative chambers. The broadcast is live. They are introduced as owners of WWMJ/WDEA radio stations in Bangor and Ellsworth, having left Washington DC, and that they like living in a small town where what you say at one end of the street is heard at the other end of the street before you've actually walked there (2:15). And while they might have, at one time, been unkind about membership in the Rotary Club, they now count on seeing friends regularly at these kinds of meetings (4:00). Helen said Mainers are "well made" (10:00) though Richard was concerned about a kind of lawlessness that Mainers seem to favor (12:00), and they both admitted to a difficulty in making friends in the state (12:20) where they find they are referred to as "year-round summer people." They talked about radio coverage of news, and advertising support, and the conflicts that local needs sometimes inflict (17:00). Helen said she didn't come to Maine to change it. They also talked about the Maine independence of spirit that seems to disregard party affiliation and how that makes politics in the state always amusing and amazing (22:00). After a break to detail the broadcast schedule for the remainder of the day a taped interview with James Russell Wiggins was broadcast. The interview was conducted in his office at the Ellsworth American newspaper. (27:00) He said he was success in all of his newspaper ventures because he attended to what readers were interested in reading. That he first visited Maine in 1952, and was often in the state off and on before he bought the paper 20 years before. He increased circulation from 3500 to 14,000 just by steady work of attending to readership and more reporting. (30:00) At both ends of his career he worked at weekly newspapers and they were the hardest "dog work" there is -- "you do everything." (31:00) He writes "rhyming captions" every week for a photograph or visual art work the staff give him that runs in the paper. (33:00) Walter Cronkite was in the Vinalhaven parade and drew 4,000 spectators -- largest crowd ever for that parade. (34:30) Maine is a way of life that is almost frontier. (37:00) The peak growth was due to retirement settlements and tourism. (42:00) No plans to retire at 20 years past "retirement" age; designating 65 as a retirement age was a convenience for the government at the time, but as society ages it cannot afford to support so many for so long; as Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, I'm as good as I ever was, for 10 minutes a day. (48:00) Though he had no college education, he does not recommend that as a course for others. "I had to work straight out of high school. Economics made the decision for me." He made up for it with lots of reading, but wishes he had better formal education in math and science. (53:00) Does he believe his editorials have lasting effects? Maybe in the long term...maybe. (54:00) If others want to do the small town newspaper life he recommends getting good advice about local community support for labor and advertising revenue.
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