Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Higher Frequency: Disc Jockey Hears Voice That Leads Him to Ministry

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Higher Frequency: Disc Jockey Hears Voice That Leads Him to Ministry

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - From "Crazy Dave" the college radio disc jockey to the ministry, the Rev. Dave Poteet's life has taken a path that even he found unlikely.

Poteet, an associate pastor at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, has served the church for two decades. But his career started with a more artistic calling. Fond of drama, public speaking and debate, he was a theater major for a short time at the University of Tulsa in the early 1970s.

In his junior year, he switched to journalism.

"That was all about the time of Watergate and so forth, and there was a lot of us young, idealistic-type folks out there that thought we were going to change the world," Poteet said. "We were all going to be like (Bob) Woodward and (Carl) Bernstein or, in my case, maybe Dan Rather."

His first radio job was at the TU station, KWGS.

"I played records for a while," Poteet said. "I think I was their only jock for a while who got fan mail. I was known as 'Crazy Dave.' I don't know why."

In his first commercial radio job at KAKC, then a Tulsa Top 40 station, he was able to pursue his real interests of news and sports, before moving on to all-night news editor at KXXO.

Poteet scored a real coup in the 1970s. Coaches Frank Broyles in Arkansas and Darrell Royal in Texas had both retired and Poteet wanted to do a story about what their loss meant to college football. Brashly, he called the New York office of ABC Sports, asking to speak to Howard Cosell.

"I was too young and naive to know any better, I guess," Poteet said. "They actually told me where he was."

Poteet called a hotel in Oakland, California.

"Lo and behold, they rang his room and he picked up the phone and talked to me for about half an hour," Poteet said.

Moving to Kansas City, Poteet took a news-sports job with KCKN in the early 1980s, which presented him with an opportunity to cover another interest - politics. In 1984, he moved fully into politics, first as press secretary for a Kansas congressional candidate, then for Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Jones in Tulsa.

For a time, hoping for a better payday, he tried selling stocks. When that didn't work out, he returned to radio at Tulsa's KVOO in 1990.

Doing the early morning news, one of his duties was to call the police department to check on what had happened during the night. One morning he learned that then-state Sen. Gene Stipe, D- McAlester, had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

"I thought, 'Man, there's my lead,'" said Poteet, who put the story on the 6 a.m. news spot, promising more details after a commercial.

He then hit the commercial button.

"Here it was: 'Hello, I'm Gene Stipe. Are you in trouble? Are you in jail? Call us at the Gene Stipe law firm.' He was one of our sponsors," Poteet said.

Poteet's general manager sent him home, reasoning that, should Stipe call, he could tell the senator that Poteet had been taken off the air. …

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