Lou Emm (1923-1997)
-- Dayton area radio personality

Lou Emm was one of the Miami Valley's most popular radiopersonalities.
By Bob Batz

   Lou Emm, whose relaxed style and fondness for people made him one of theMiami Valley's most popular radio personalities for more than 50 years, diedApril 27, 1997. He was 74.
   Except for two years during World War II, Mr. Emm was at WHIO from 1941until he stepped down in August 1992. Recently, he was heard on WONE-AM (980).
   Mr. Emm, a member of the WHIO-WHKO Radio Hall of Fame, began his radiocareer at age 16 as an announcer at WSPD-AM in his hometown of Toledo. Helater worked at WLOK-AM in Lima, earning $17 a week. His boss in Lima was HughDowns, now co-anchor of ABC's 20/20.
  Mr. Emm joined the staff at WHIO on Oct.22, 1941, as an announcer and news reader. After hosting such shows as HelloFor Dough and Breakfast In Bedlam, he originated Conversation Piece , a talkshow that lasted 17 years and was later taken over by Phil Donahue, who wenton to gain fame as a TV talk-show host.

Emm in 1948

   In the 1960s and 1970s, when many Dayton-area organizations called onradio, TV and newspaper personalities to put some pizazz in their celebritygolf tournaments and other fund-raisers, the venerable Mr. Emm was often therewith his trademark cigar.
   In October 1991, when he marked his 50th year at WHIO, he said, "I'vealways enjoyed being with the people because they are the ones who haveallowed me to have a career in radio all these years."
   When he retired, Mr. Emm observed, "I think the secret to surviving in thisbusiness is to be yourself. I never was very good at doing impressions, soI've been contented to be me, and I guess it has gone over well with mylisteners."
   Jim Manley, who shared a WHIO morning show microphone with Mr. Emm from1990 to 1992, said, "Lou was a kind, gentle, great man."
   Larry Hansgen, WHIO's sports director, knew Mr. Emm for 16 years.
   "When I came to the station I worked with Lou in the morning and I wantedto be just like him," Hansgen recalled. "He was so dedicated to his job, andso involved with his listeners. Lou was at his best when he was making publicappearances. He could charm a whole roomful of people."
   Toula Stamm produced Mr. Emm's morning show from 1970 to 1977. She alsoproduced Conversation Piece.
   "Lou loved broadcasting, his cigars and golf," Stamm said, noting that Mr.Emm was one of several former WHIO employees who get together for lunch atDominic's Restaurant on the last Tuesday of each month.
   "Tuesday is our day to meet, and I'm sure we'll be sharing our favoritestories about Lou," she said.

Right: Lou Emm joined the staff at WHIO on Oct. 22, 1941, as anannouncer and news reader. His `Man on the Street' series beganairing on TV in October 1951. It ran 15 minutes, 5 days a week.

Below: Except for two years when he served in World War II, Mr. Emm wasat WHIO from 1941 until he stepped down in August 1992.

DNI Library file photo

DNI Library file photo

Copyright (c) 1997, Dayton Newspapers Inc.

Published: Monday, April 28, 1997