Terry Meiners never imagined he’d be doing radio beyond the age of 40, “but here I am 53,” he said last week., “I thought surely I’ll be doing, something utterly mature by 40″ – Meiners paused before grinning, – “like operating a dunking booth or something.”
The Clear Channel host has held court on his weekday afternoon talk show on 84WHAS for the past 25 years, beginning on Dec. 2, 1985, back in the days when he used to arrive at the studio dressed in a suit and tie.
“I wanted my sons to think I had a real job. I wanted them to see me go to a job and for it to have some meaning and importance,” he laughed. “That ended after the first seven or eight years.”
What hasn’t ended is Meiners’ commitment to the community or the gratitude he feels for his daily four hours on air. “I’ve never, ever wanted to do anything else,” said Meiners. “I always hate when 7 o’clock arrives.”
He gets downright emotional when he talks about what his listeners and colleagues mean to him. “I’m so thankful to the people tuning in and stopping me in Kroger, but the real life force are the people who helped me … when I was down,” he said.
Meiners has only taken one unscheduled sick day in all the years he’s hosted his show (he had laryngitis), and he’s shared candidly about his relationships, familial and love, the deaths of family members and friends and, his thoughts on any topic he sets his sights on.
“I am fortunate enough to be living my dream,” said Meiners, who’s proud of the voice he’s been able to give to the Crusade for Children, as well as to the common listener.
Meiners celebrated his 25th anniversary with his girlfriend, Mary George, at the Village Anchor, where he ordered a fried bologna sandwich and cherished the moment. “That was when it really hit me: nothing happened (in 25 years), no one derailed me. It’s like a badge of honor; it’s like a diploma.”
So what’s next for the talk show veteran? Exactly what he’s been doing for the past 25 years.
“I’m always prepared for the next thing always. So what’s next for me is the next thing,” Meiners said. “I do know what I’ll do if this doesn’t work out, but there’s no sense in voicing it because this will work out.”
Terry Meiners conducted the first on-air interview of “The Terry Meiners Show” on 840-AM with Al Purnell, the “Sausage King,” on Dec. 2, 1985.
Full of It
One of Terry Meiners’ most memorable moments occurred when a man walked up to him, poked him in the arm and said, “You’re full of s–t, you know?” Says Terry: “I thought, well there’s two ways you can take that. He gets the jokes or he doesn’t like them.”
Gift of Gab
Terry Meiners’ two favorite interview subjects: Hillary Clinton and the late Charlton Heston.
Worst interview? Gallagher. “That guy is just a nuisance.”
Talking About Terry
See what Terry Meiners’ friends, fans and colleagues have to say about the talk show host at www.voice-tribune.com.
Tune In To Terry
“The Terry Meiners Show” airs 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays.
Category: The Profile
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.