Cops and Crime Radio Programs - Nightwatch
Starring Donn Reed
Donn Reed was a radio news reporter in Los Angeles for station KABC from 1959-1960, before moving to radio station KMPC where he worked from 1961 until he retired in 1981. He began in radio as an announcer for dance bands, and after flying B-17 bombers in World War Two, and after the war worked for C.B.S. radio in Los Angeles. In 1954 while playing handball with a Culver City policeman he was invited to ride along with Officer Ron Perkins to experience a night of police works. That experience led Donn to create what was probably the first reality show, and it was soon picked up by the C.B.S. radio network. Donn carried a flashlight with a microphone taped to it, with the chord hidden in his trenchcoat sleeve leading to a sixteen pound recorder under his coat. He rode with police officers in the nightwatch shift in Culver City, standing with the officers as they faced each night’s challenges. On one night when a man started firing shots at the policeman and him, he dropped to the ground, shattering the recording equipment and losing all of the data from that incident.
Mr. Reed acted on screen only once that I know about in a 1947 movie Nelly Was a Lady on Jimbo Movies —»
Don Reed outlived two wives, and died December 18, 2003 at the age of 88 with no surviving relatives.