On January 8, 1979, People magazine spotlighted an ambitious college-age radio producer named Garth Ancier in the magazine’s “Lookout: A guide to the up and coming” section. Over the last 20 years, it seems as if failing to master the Morse code hasn’t stood in his way.
“Garth Ancier always wanted to be in radio, but, unable to master the Morse code, he couldn’t even get a ham operator’s license. Then he muffed his opportunity as a teen deejay at a Trenton, N.J. station: ‘They pulled me off the air after a half hour.’ But now, as a 21-year old Princeton senior, Ancier has finally succeeded far beyond those earlier ambitions. He is the founder, executive producer and moderator of the most widely syndicated radio interview show, Focus on Youth, a weekly half hour which has an estimated 2.3 million listeners. It is aired on over 300 stations — 50 more than carry CBS’s popular Capitol Cloakroom. Ancier pulls the highest salary of the 40-student staff, $75 a month. Most of the $100,000 annual budget goes to produce home or office interviews of national personages like Ted Kennedy, Chevy Chase and Barbara Walters. ‘The fact that we are students helps disarm the guests,’ figures Ancier, and Lawrence (‘Meet the Press’) Spivak describes the approach as ‘Just this side of brash.’ Pressed about rumored lesbianism on the tennis circuit, Billie Jean King icily responded: ‘We don’t butt into people’s personal lives.’ Admiral Elmo Zumwalt characterized the panel that interviewed him as ‘three mean mothers.’ To Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, the Focus team was ‘well-prepared, knowlegeable and forthright — better than the Pentagon press corps.'”