Lubbock Radio Veterans Lew Dee & Diana to Receive “Silver Medal” Award
Two of my favorite people in the world are being rightly honored for their contributions to radio on the South Plains. Lew Dee & Diana will receive the “Silver Medal Award” on June 28th.
I could tell story after story about Lew Dee. From the daily 10:30am “meetings” at the Abuelo’s bar where we didn’t discuss anything about business…but I learned the best lasagna recipes. To the trick of drinking wine out of a Styrofoam coffee cup so the boss won’t notice if you’re actually at the office. He introduced a much younger me to Merlot and suggested that I run down to United and grab an assorted cheese tray…at 9am.
How about the time Lew discovered this miraculous invention called “super glue”? I believe it was 1998 or 1999. Lew super glued EVERYTHING. The desk…that i still use, bookends…both of them, so you now have to have the exact right number of books for them to be useful, even his tooth! That’s right. Lew’s tooth fell out and he actually used super glue to put it back into place. As far as I know, that bit of Dee Dentistry is still in there to this day!
It was also well known that if you decided to eat lunch in the Kool control room, you would be immediately unemployed. Literally. It was a standing rule. Eat in Lew’s control room, you get fired. To this day, every time I grab a bite to eat in the studio, I’m nervous that Lew is going to walk in and fire me.
Diana, on the other hand, very well may be the sweetest, kindest, most caring woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Anyone who knew Diana back in the “Diana’s Dollhouse” days knows that she was a KNOCKOUT in her youth. You’ll be glad to know that she has aged incredibly gracefully and still is a stunningly beautiful woman.
Anyway, Diana and I would always laugh to ourselves when Lew would let loose a curse laden yell from his office..because we never knew if he was yelling at her or me. Like Diana always said: “You know Lew loves you when he curses at you.”
Congratulations Lew & Diana! Thanks for being my friends, mentors and dinner hosts for all of these years.
Here’s the official press release for Lew & Diana’s award ceremony:
LUBBOCK – The longtime Lubbock radio team known as “Lew Dee & Diana” will receive Lubbock Advertising Federation’s highest honor June 28 at the organization’s annual Silver Medal Award dinner.
The dinner will take place at 6:45 p.m. at Merket Alumni Center on the Texas Tech University campus, with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person or $240 for a table of eight and are available through June 22 by calling LAF executive director Tara Lennon at 763-5033.
The Silver Medal Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to advertising and who has been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern. Nominations are received from the membership and are forwarded to a selection committee for review and selection.
A native of Anton, Diana Dee started her media career in the 1970s as fashion editor of The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and host of “The World of Women” on KSEL-TV (now KAMC-TV). After serving as fashion coordinator, buyer and media buyer for Latham’s Department Store, she opened Diana’s Doll House in 1976 in Winchester Square at 50th Street and Indiana Avenue. She added a second location at South Plains Mall in 1985 and sold both stores in 1988.
In 1978, she joined Lew Dee on the Morning Show on KEND, and the couple was married in 1988. From 1991 to 2002, they starred in KKCL (98 Kool) radio’s morning show while managing the station. During the 1990s, the Dees also produced two cable shows: “TTO (This, That, and the Other)” and “Country Music Video’s Live from The Midnight Rodeo.” In 2002, they launched a new radio station, Stars 104.3, for Ramar Communications, as general manager, sales manager and co-hosts of the station’s morning show. After going off the air in 2008, they continued in their roles as advertising consultants for Ramar’s four radio stations.
Lew Dee was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Reese Air Force Base. He started his broadcasting career with R.B. “Mac” McAlister in the sales department at KUKO and KUCO in Littlefield and Post in 1960. He went on the air for the first time on Littlefield’s KZZN radio that same year. In the late 1960s, he starred in a KSEL-TV show called “Lew Dee’s Saturday Night Theater,” hosting horror movies while he and fellow KSEL broadcasters were dressed in monster costumes. The show won a national award for most-viewed program on a UHF station. He was also vice president and sales manager for KSEL-TV and KSEL radio.
His most successful radio show was “The TTO,” a 1960s KSEL show starring Dee and on-air partner Bill McAlister, Mac McAlister’s son. The show boasted listenership of 62 percent of the Lubbock audience. Dee worked on the air and in sales for KSEL radio and television until 1972, followed by positions at KEND radio from 1972 to 1988 and KKIK from 1988 to 1990 before he and Diana went to 98 KOOL in 1991.
Between them, the Dees have five children and 12 grandchildren.