For decades, radio man has reunited pets, owners

September 10, 2012 - 4:44 PM
Lost Dogs Radio Announcer

In this July 30, 2012 photo, Luther Masingill stands at the control board at WDEF, the Chattanooga, Tenn., station where he has worked for 72 years. Masingill, 90, became beloved by using the power of radio to help people find lost dogs. The Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame included him in its initial class of inductees this spring, and he is one of seven professionals to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago in November. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee broadcaster became beloved by using the power of radio to help people find lost dogs, and his work has earned him a top industry honor.

At age 17, Luther Masingill auditioned for a new radio station, thinking it was to answer the telephone. He was made a "cub announcer," and now he has been on WDEF for 72 years. He's helped reunite people with lost animals — dogs, cats, horses and once, he says, even a small alligator.

He will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame on Nov. 10 and was among this year's initial class of inductees for the new Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

At 90, Luther says his health is good and he sees no retirement ahead. He's been married to Mary Masingill for 54 years and wed to the microphone longer.