Dick Bertel, born Dick Bertelmann, is a radio and TV personality from the 1950s through the 2000s who was also an executive producer for the Voice of America.
- "Bertelmann--the name is just too cumbersome to use on the air. It just doesn't come across." The speaker was Dick Bertel and he was recalling the day when he was hired by WTIC-AM-FM-TV Channel 3: "I had to use Dick Richards as my air name." When I joined the staff at WTIC they said, 'You have to change your name. We have Floyd Richards on the staff.' Fred Wade, then Producer-Manager for Radio, said, 'How about Bertel?' I was delighted to be hired. He could have come up with anything."... Dick was born on January 6th, 1931 in the Bronx. He moved to Darien, Connecticut with his family in 1944, attended Darien schools and later New York University from which he graduated in 1956 with a degree in broadcasting. He worked about three years in various radio stations before coming to Hartford. "The reason I came to Hartford was because I was being married. Hartford offered a larger market and I had my sights trained on this station."
Radio's golden age
At WTIC, Bertel created The Golden Age of Radio, a monthly radio program featuring interviews with radio actors, writers, musicians, producers and engineers from the early days of radio. It was first broadcast in April 1970, and three years later Bertel explained his interview methods: "I try to get something about the person before I interview him or her. If an author, I try to get the book and read it, and try to drop a little comment about something few people would know of the person. I also try to sit down with a guest a little beforehand. I don't believe in a cold interview, unless it's straight news." The series continued until 1977, a total of 89 shows, and all those shows can now be heard on the web.
Voice of America
In the late 1980s, Bertel moved to the Washington, D.C. area where he became the executive producer for the Voice of America. In the early 1990s, Bertel worked for two years in Munich, heading VOA Europe, the Voice of America's pop music service aimed at western European listeners. Returning to Washington, he created Talk to America, a call-in show heard internationally.
Having recently retired from Voice of America, Bertel now resides in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C.