Why you should love the Grande Dame of Dayton TV

Kelli Wynn and Amelia Robinson

Staff Writers

Bette Rogge Morse had a lot to say.

The ‘Grande Dame’ of Dayton area broadcasting smashed ceilings when she became the city’s first female TV talk show, according to the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame, which inducted her in 2003.

Bette interviewed everyone from Liberace to William Shatner on her show, which aired on WHIO-TV 7 in the 1960s and 70s.

Born in the 1920s, Bette died of natural causes at her Kettering home on Tuesday, January 20, 2014. 

Here are just 4 reasons you should love Bette Rogge Morse:


    CMG Chromeless Player

    Bette interviewed a host of celebrities on her WHIO program, the Bette Rogge Show, from 1967 to 1972, including Loretta Swit, Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney and Paul Lynde.



    Why you should love the Grande Dame of Dayton TV , item 2

    Bette started her broadcasting career in the 1930s working at WSMK. She later did radio shows for WING and WHIO radio.

    She was the Women’s Editor and commercial announcer on the WHIO morning radio program, “Newspaper of the Air.”

    Her career on TV began in the 1950s with an exercise show “The Perfect Pair,” with YMCA fitness expert Toby Tobias. Other shows included “Dietz & Rogge show,” “Betty Bonner,” “Meet the Boss” and “Don’s House.”

    She had an interview show on local cable TV during the 1990s and early 2000s.



    CMG Chromeless Player

    Featured in numerous national magazines during her career, Bette did a 30-minute TV tour of the White House in 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson hosted King Olav of Norway, according to the hall of fame.

    She covered the lift-off of Apollo 14, the pre-opening of Disney World and was a special TV hostess for the Bogie Busters - a Dayton-based celebrity golf tournament.



    Why you should love the Grande Dame of Dayton TV , item 4

    Bette graduated from University of Dayton in 1944, according to UD’s Archives and Special Collections department. She then went to Northwestern and Colombia universities for post-graduate work in English and drama. Bette received her master’s degree from UD in 1977, the same year she started teaching communications there.

    (A plaque honoring Bette Rogge is hung on wall at The Cox Media Center, Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)