Starting Monday, December 17, a customized and condensed three-hour version of the syndicated show will be heard weekday mornings on Fresno’s KYNO AM 1430. Per a report by Fresno Bee columnist Rick Bentley, a reminder of how Ferguson got his moniker:
He got his fishy on-air name when he took a job in Oklahoma City. Ferguson was told there had been some sickness at the station and the news man [Chuck Riley] was forced to fill in on the weekend. Because he [Riley] didn’t want to ruin his journalistic credibility, he decided to use the name of the mascot for Starkist Tuna so people wouldn’t know it was him. Ferguson was told the show was such a hit that they wanted him to be the permanent “Charlie Tuna.”
So how about that? Ferguson got his seafaring, lifelong nickname as a hand-me-down in the landlocked location of Oklahoma City. Then again, that’s pretty much the way things go in the wacky, itinerant radio business.
[Photo courtesy Radio Hall of Fame, where Tuna was inducted in 2008]