Monday, July 12, 2010

Craig O'Neill Follow-Up

If I would have just thought for a minute, I would have remembered who Craig O'Neill was!  Thanks to Doug Krile and Dave Montgomery, they brought my head back into where it needs to be!

If you remember a post with video we had on February 7, 2010, "Whatever Happened To The Mighty 1090?", Craig O'Neill was the Sports Director who did a 6+ minute segment on KAAY:

At the end of the segment, Craig said he'd never worked at KAAY, but Doug Krile came up with some info on where he DID work:


I'm not sure if Craig worked at KAAY, although he very well may have spent some time there. When I came to town in 1986, he was rocking morning drive on the old KKYK, then moved to B98. He joined KTHV a few years ago as Sports Director. They moved him into News maybe a year or two ago....he's doing a really good job.

Not only that, Dave M. sent along a link of Craig's biography:
"Craig O'Neill's face and voice are among the most recognizable in Arkansas. Craig first joined Today's THV as sports director in 2000 after entertaining Arkansans for 30 years as one of the states most famous and humorous radio personalities. In the summer of 2008, Craig made the move to news anchor."
Read the rest of his bio at the link above...and thanks to Doug and Dave for keeping my overtaxed brain in check!
Bud S.(

1 comment:

  1. This is from the UCA news release. I am also pretty sure Craig never worked at KAAY. I've known him since 1977 when he was at KLAZ when they just move to the Prospect building on North University. He graduated from ASU Jonesboro but left his radio legacy at UCA...odd. Barry Wood was still at KLAZ when I interned there and worked with Craig on the morning show.
    See below.

    TV, radio personality, O'Neill, donates papers to archives
    Posted in UCA Today Archive on April 29, 2004
    Craig O?Neill, sports director for Little Rock television station KTHV-11, and legendary radio personality, has donated his papers and other memorabilia to the University of Central Arkansas Archives.

    The O?Neill collection contains personal and professional correspondence, many years worth of radio shows, taped radio programs, photographs and awards O?Neill has received during his career. His collection also contains material that chronicles his dedication in supporting charities.

    According to Jimmy Bryant, director of the UCA Archives, ?The Craig O?Neill Collection will give researchers a look at radio broadcasting in the latter part of the 20th century. People will be able to examine the radio programs O?Neill created and listen to his radio shows. Researchers will not only read about, but be able to experience how we were entertained via the radio. In addition, many of the famous Craig O?Neill prank phone calls have been preserved and will be transferred to compact disc.?

    O?Neill, a 1968 graduate of Little Rock Central High School, and a 1972 graduate of Arkansas State University, has a 31-year history in radio. His first broadcasting job was at Jonesboro radio station KBTM, where O?Neill was known as Randy Hankins, which is his real name.

    He moved to KARN in 1972 and worked in broadcast and advertising sales. While at KARN Randy adopted the name, Craig O?Neill. The program director at KARN felt that the name ?Craig O?Neill? had a better ring to it than the name Randy Hankins. In addition, jingles had been written that rhymed with the name O?Neill.

    O?Neill was best known for his prank phone calls that began when he worked at KLAZ. He joined the staff of KLAZ in the winter of 1978 and began making the famous prank phone calls that entertained multitudes of listeners. His first prank phone call was to Arkansas Gov. David Pryor, and his opponent in the U.S. Senatorial race, Jim Guy Tucker. O?Neill posed as Jimmy Carter in wishing both Pryor and Tucker luck in their upcoming election.

    In 1981, O?Neill went to radio station KKYK where he came into this own, becoming the number one morning disc jockey in Little Rock. During his career at KKYK O?Neill traveled to Hollywood on several occasions and also appeared in a movie that was made in Arkansas titled, Pass The Ammo.

    After ten years, O?Neill left KKYK and went to work at KURB also known as B98.5. KURB would be O?Neill?s last job in radio before jumping into television. While at KURB, Craig was heavily involved in raising money for charities. O?Neill estimates he has been involved in more than 2000 fund raising events during his media career.

    On Jan. 1, 2000, O?Neill began his television career by becoming Sports Director for KTHV-11. He jokes that he had been parking at THV-11?s front door for several months asking to be put on television. O?Neill will continue to add items to his collection as his television career progresses.

    UCA President Lu Hardin said, ?Craig O?Neill has been a longtime friend of mine. I was a fan of his work on the radio as I am now of his sports broadcasts. He brings a unique approach to his work. His papers and memorabilia will be a tremendous addition to the UCA Archives.?

    In a recent interview, O?Neill said he selected UCA to house his papers because of ?knowing Jimmy Bryant and the enthusiasm he has for preserving Arkansas history.? O?Neill said that UCA continues to grow both in stature and respect.