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|Birth name||Art Ferguson|
April 18, 1944 |
|Time slot||6-11am (Sat.)
10am-2pm (Sun.) PT
At age 16, Ferguson began working at his hometown's radio station, KGFW. Then, he went to work at KLEO in Wichita, Kansas for a year with the air name Billy O'Day. He then worked for KOMA Radio in Oklahoma City in 1966, where he was given his Charlie Tuna pseudonym, taking over the moniker from Chuck Riley who had used it for one show the week prior to Ferguson's arrival. Ferguson then moved on to WMEX in Boston for the first 9 months of 1967.
In late 1967, KHJ in Los Angeles offered Charlie the 9 to noon slot where he debuted on Thanksgiving Day 1967, and Charlie has worked in the LA area ever since. On February 9, 1971 at 6:00 a.m. he had just commenced his morning show on KHJ when the San Fernando Earthquake occurred. In 1972, he became one of the original DJs at KROQ AM, a new Top 40 station (formerly Country KBBQ). Charlie was also Program Director and morning personality at 102.7 KKDJ when its call letters were changed to KIIS-FM when he presided over its 1975 on air wedding to KIIS-AM. Therefore, Charlie became the very first DJ at KIIS-FM, as it began its AM-FM simulcast. Among the other stations he worked at were KTNQ, KHTZ (later KBZT), KRLA, KODJ (later KCBS-FM), KMPC, KIKF, and KLAC.
He most recently worked at KBIG 104.3 where he hosted a show Charlie Tuna in the Morning which aired from 5 to 10 am. His last show aired on September 17, 2007, when the station flipped to a non-rhythmic-based adult contemporary format, as 104.3 My FM. He returned to radio February 9, 2008 when he became the weekend personality on Los Angeles oldies station K-Earth 101.
Tuna served as announcer for Casey Kasem on his 1980's television program America's Top 10. Two decades later, on the weekends of October 8/9, 2005 and August 12/13, 2006 Tuna stepped into Kasem's role for his radio programs American Top 20 and American Top 10 for the weekend. In addition to filling in for Kasem, he also co-hosted Your Good Time Oldies Magazine from 1992 to 1995, and he produced and hosted Back to the 70s. 52 episodes (one year's worth of weekly episodes) of Back to the 70s were produced, but Kelly continued to provide reruns to stations across the country until 2008, even though Tuna had long since left the program.
Tuna had a year long run in 2009, of a 5 hour classic hits daily and weekend show, syndicated through United Stations Radio Network in New York. Tuna joined Black Card Radio in Los Angeles March 1, 2010, as host of a new 5 hour weekend show Charlie Tuna - The 70's, which is distributed nationally and internationally, and added a 5 hour daily and weekend show for all radio formats on June 14, 2010. Tuna also moved his radio station voice imaging business to Black Card Radio on October 25, 2010, with clients nationwide. On January 3, 2011, Charlie introduced his newest syndicated feature available through Black Card Radio, "Charlie Tuna's Hollywood Minute", 4 to 5 top entertainment stories each day in a fast paced, fully produced headline stories, plus "audio" clips one minute radio feature! Charlie reunited with United Stations Radio Network in New York January 1, 2013 to do the ad sales for his Black Card Radio shows.
Tuna has a significant distinction for his 25-year run (1971–1996) of approximately 6,000 radio shows on the American Forces Radio Network.
In addition to his radio work, Charlie has hosted Cinema, Cinema, Cinema for 30 years, an internationally syndicated TV show, featuring the top movies in the US each week with clips from the films, and another international TV show Inside Hollywood the past two years. He has been the announcer on a number of television game shows, including Time Machine, Scrabble, Scattergories, The $25,000 Pyramid, The Quiz Kids Challenge, and The New Battlestars.
In April 2012, Tuna was selected to be the voice of Los Angeles independent station KDOC-TV. “We are thrilled to have such a well-known Los Angeles personality as the voice of KDOC-TV,” says John Manzi, President and General Manager of KDOC. “So many of our viewers have grown up listening to Charlie that he seemed like a natural fit for us.”
Charlie was in a featured role in the 1977 Universal movie Rollercoaster, as emcee at the grand opening celebration of the amusement park ride, "The Revolution", at the Magic Mountain Amusement Park near Valencia, California. Charlie also was a featured performer as a TV announcer in the 1979 independent film Racquet starring Burt Convy, Lynda Day George, Edie Adams, Tanya Roberts, and tennis star Björn Borg among others.
Charlie raised nearly US$2.5 million for Children's Hospital Los Angeles with his annual Tunathon (2004–2007), hosted the red carpet and emceed the Revlon Run/Walk for five years (2003–2007), and emcees the annual 4th of July Warner Park in Woodland Hills celebration which attracts annual crowds of over 50,000 spectators.
Recognition and awards
Tuna received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame January 10, 1990, was inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, August 19, 1999. On July 18, 2008, he was voted into the National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF). He was inducted in Chicago by his longtime friend Larry Lujack on November 8, 2008. On September 18, 2010, Tuna was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Route 66 Cruisin' Hall of Fame in San Bernardino, California. In 1997, Los Angeles Radio People readers voted Charlie one of the Top 10 L.A. Radio Personalities of All Time, and in 2007 and in 2013, Charlie was once again elected by his LARadio.com broadcast peers as one of the 2007 & 2013's Top 10 Los Angeles Radio Personalities.
Charlie Tuna resides in Tarzana, California and has served as its honorary mayor since 1977.