Sunday, August 23, 2009

The OWL - Part II

Richard (Dick) Biddle was owner and Chief Executive Officer of Biddle Broadcasting for almost fifty years. His WOWL radio station is perhaps most noted for introducing Mark Thompson (Mark and Brian) to the world of broadcasting. In 1957, Biddle expanded his operations by opening the first television station in the Quad-Cities. Located on Cypress Mill Road in Florence, the building still houses equipment and offices for WHDF, the successor to WOWL television.

Dick Biddle took great pride in the Shoals area and was noted for his involvement in numerous civic endeavors. In 1982, he was named Alabama Broadcaster of the Year, as well as winning the Shoals Citizen of the Year in 1992. Biddle helped initiate the annual Jaycees' auction, offering the group free air time each year. He also composed and read a daily televised editorial, always signing off with the words, "Be a good American; be an informed American."

After Biddle died in 1995 at the age of 76, his family sold the television station. WOWL radio station continues to operate out of Iuka, Mississippi. Certainly, Dick Biddle's legacy is secure. There is no actual need for any tangible reminder of the good he did for this community. Still, if the OWL sign could be located and restored, it would be fitting to do so in Mr. Biddle's honor.

What's up with this: Alabama has the third highest rate of uninsured drivers in the U.S. Why is this not surprising?