1510 Formats and Call Letters - Page 3
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Thread: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

  1. #21

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbones

    I'm not sure I'd refer to WMEX as a "gem of the market", even in it's heyday. They always had a pretty bad signal, especially at night...came in better in Nova Scotia than in any suburb west of Rt. 128. The 50kW upgrade in the late 60s didn't help either...all the signal still went NE.
    I think he meant a "gem" programming-wise, not technically. Despite the signal deficiencies in the west suburbs, it was Boston's legendary Top 40 station in the late '50s and '60s, with incredible and innovative talent like Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg. They also had talkmasters at night like Larry Glick and Jerry Williams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbones

    Weren't there some serious problems at the old Quincy (?) site that forced them to move? Nearby development that made it impossible to maintain their pattern ISTR. Not many places left where you can put a multi-tower array.
    I thought I heard at the time that it was a potentially lucrative contract for WITS to air Red Sox games, with a stipulation that they must be heard well in the west suburbs WITHIN Route 128, where the Quincy transmitter barely reached at night.

    The pattern of the Waltham transmitter still didn't do well west of Route 128 at night, but it DID bring their signal loud and clear WITHIN 128 to Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Needham, Brookline, Lexington, Belmont, Arlington, Winchester, Woburn... all areas where the Quincy transmitter could barely be heard at night. Having grown up in Newton, I remember the very faint Quincy night signal, then the Waltham signal coming in like gangbusters there. It still does.

    But, as soon as you cross 128 west into Wellesley, Weston, Lincoln, etc... it's like it suddenly falls off a cliff and practically disappears at night. I remember being parked on a hill in Wellesley at night where I could see the towers less than ten miles away in Waltham, but it was barely coming in.

  2. #22

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters


    [/quote]

    I think he meant a "gem" programming-wise, not technically. Despite the signal deficiencies in the west suburbs, it was Boston's legendary Top 40 station in the late '50s and '60s, with incredible and innovative talent like Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg. They also had talkmasters at night like Larry Glick and Jerry Williams.
    [/quote]

    Would anybody know how the ratings were in the Top 40 battle of WBZ and WMEX pre-1967 before WRKO entered the format?

  3. #23

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbones
    Weren't there some serious problems at the old Quincy (?) site that forced them to move? Nearby development that made it impossible to maintain their pattern ISTR. Not many places left where you can put a multi-tower array.
    The construction of a bridge over the Neposet River delayed the buildout of the 50 kW-D upgrade and forced the relocation of a tower but did not have any material effect on the signal. The patterns were the same as had been proposed originally--they just came from a point a few hundred feet from where they were originally going to come from. A few years later, however, the construction of the State St South office complex to the west of the Squantum site caused major problems--utterly decimated the (already miserable) nighttime signal to the west. An attempt was made to beef up the ground system but it didn't help. That plus the fact that someone high up in the Red Sox (WITS was carrying the Sox games at the time) lived in Westwood and couldn't receive the signal at night first gave rise to nighttime simulcasts of the games on WDLW (1330) and IIRC, WXKS-FM 107.9 (it had not yet become Kiss 108). That solved te signal problem but I guess there was still an issue with where people were supposed to tune to receive the games, so the Waltham move was inititated. Unfortunately, it never did (and never could have) improved the signal in Westwood--especially at night.

  4. #24

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    "Would anybody know how the ratings were in the Top 40 battle of WBZ and WMEX pre-1967 before WRKO entered the format?"

    I once saw some ratings from 1966 for a fleeting moment (I wish I made a copy).

    What I remember, and this was Boston Metro which, at the time was Suffolk, Norfolk, most of Middlesex and Essex counties I believe, WMEX was #1 teens, and neck and neck with WBZ in young adults. WBZ had a bigger total audience, though, due to the station's appeal in older demos, which fell off sharply for WMEX.

    I do remember that the most remarkable thing was that some of WMEX's best numbers came at night. Ginsburg's teen numbers slaughtered WBZ by something like 4 to 1, and (it appeared) that Jerry Williams at 10 bolstered the adult numbers considerably. The result was that WMEX, overall at night, was right at the top of overall figures. Maybe even #1.

    It seems hard to believe with their highly directional night signal, but evidently where it was heard clearly at night (Boston neighborhoods, North Shore -- Revere, Salem, etc) they owned the night and probably weighted the overall book against where their signal was weak.
    Also, remember the era (late 50s to late 60s). No cable TV. Very little late night TV. WILD shut down after sundown, so WMEX (Ginsburg) had the black audience at night, and Arnie always featured plenty of R & B, plus the Sunday night oldies show. This was also, pre-WBZ night talk (they had Bruce Bradley and Dick Summer playing music at the time), so if you wanted talk, Williams had it all.

    WMEX was gritty, feisty, and was an extension (in many ways) of the personalty of Mac Richmond. As is widely know, Mac was almost impossible to work for, a crude man and annoying micro-manager, but you gotta hand it to him. He knew talent, hired some of the best,
    and relentlessly kept WMEX a major player in Boston for many years.

    This is also an example of the importance of content, localism and personal attention. Something lost on today's crowd running zillions of stations at once as if they are Wal-Mart.

  5. #25

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    Pretty sure that "beautiful music" WWEL 107.9 carried Sox games in 78 and I believe it was in Jan. of 79
    that they became disco as WXKS-FM

    A summary of flagships for the Red Sox at http://www.redsoxdiehard.com/players/broadcasters.html says that
    1510 had them from 1976-82; first two years as WMEX and then it was WITS

    When I was in high school from 1977-80, I had a classmate who used to listen to "Emperor Hudson" on 1510.
    I believe he was part of the comedy duo Hudson and Landy who had a top 40 hit with "Ajax Liquor Store"
    (hear it via youtube vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGJyu5vQRvs )...and a search for a site about Hudson and Landry shows that Ron Landry had worked for a time at WBZ...

  6. #26
    JEREMIAH
    Guest

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    You guys woke me up.

    I was at "the famous 1510" from 1968 thu 1972. Mac Richmond died and things changed. I was with him the night he died (no I didn't kill him) (he died after leaving the station that night). His ghost haunted the station at night..we saw him.

    I jocked middays and later took over the talk show after Steve Fredricks went to WEEI. We had pretty good numbers and MEX always made money.

    Lots of great Mac stories....i.e. : he came back from florida after a vacation..
    while there he discovered the Super X drug stores.....when he returned we bacame Super X for awhile.

    I'm still in radio. After MEX I went to Florida and then spent 20 years in San Francisco radio and TV before moving here to "sin city" in 1995 where I've been an afternoon news anchor ever since. Also have always done a lot of V.O. work.


    Jerry Gordon KNUU Las Vegas

    jerry.gordon@970 knuu.com

    streaming at 970knuu.com


  7. #27

    Join Date
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    Southington, Connecticut
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    8,803

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by JEREMIAH
    I was at "the famous 1510" from 1968 thu 1972. Mac Richmond died and things changed. I was with him the night he died (no I didn't kill him) (he died after leaving the station that night). His ghost haunted the station at night..we saw him.
    LOL at the part about not killing. Funny how radio stations are haunted by things. The station I was with down in Connecticut was haunted by a ghost cat. The cat was the station's mascot back in the day (long before my time) and when it died, the station's owner buried the thing on the property. A friend of mine who worked at said station back in the early 90s told me the cat had a rip in its ear from a coyote attack so its possible that a coyote attack is what killed the little guy. (A coyote attack would not surprise me because there's lots of woods surrounding the station especially in the back even tho a junkyard is next door on one side and an industrial building on the other side. Side note: A couch thrown out by previous management of the station in 2007 still sits behind the dumpster and it looks like it was attacked by wild animals).

  8. #28

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    I worked at 1510 in 1975-1976. At that time they were owned by Dick Richmond. Dick used to bring us batteries from home so we wouldn't have to buy them. Most of them were dead, so I made a battery tester for him (I couldn't buy one for 10 dollars, but could spend an entire day building one). He was actually looking at buying WRLM (93.3, now WSNE) and moving it closer to Boston, There was a place where it would have city graded both Taunton and Boston. Unfortunately, the tower would have to have been located by the (then active) Weymouth Naval Air Station-so that quickly put an end to that!

    The site in Quincy had become a disaster by then-they put up a multi story apartment building right next door and it wrecked the day pattern. We actually had to de-tune the night only tower to act as a parasitic to bring the day pattern back in. The night pattern was also toast.

    1510 has an incredibly low interference free night limit (2.2 mv/m)-practically unheard of today. Unfortunately, the 1510 in Sherbrooke, QU used to stay on their day pattern at night all the time (10 kilowatts non-directional) and it really did a number on WMEX at night. They had to move to Waltham to keep the Red Sox contract (and they also had to build studios at Fenway Park, where they were located for several years-even as WMRE). The Red Sox actually screwed them pretty badly by dumping them after they spent MILLIONS to build in Waltham by giving WPLM the contract. The irony was that even after they got dumped by them they still had their studios located at the park-the studio lease was still in force.

    If they were smart, they would have kept the day site in Quincy and only used Waltham at night. Their 50 kW daytime signal from Quincy was actually a bit better then the original Waltham day one (though they now have a non-critical hours pattern that's practically non directional, thanks to the 1510 in New London, CT going dark). I think that it would have saved them millions in fixing interference complaints.

    Oh. One more thing. The late great Bob "Emperor" Hudson came from Los Angeles where he was a top 40 legend. Google has a ton of stuff on him.

    They are now (and probably will always be) a fourth tier station-a sad ending to a once great radio station!

  9. #29

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by LA_Guy
    1510 has an incredibly low interference free night limit (2.2 mv/m)-practically unheard of today.
    I don't doubt that 2.2 mV/m was the number on paper before the FCC changed the rules on calculation of NIF values. Used to be that NIF calculations involved only co-channel signals, and WMEX's NIF presumably included only WLAC, though CJRS's 10% skywave in Boston might have exceeded 25%, if not 50%, of WLAC's 10% skywave here--assuming that CJRS was operatng legally, which as Dana said, was a rare occurrence. However, after the rule change, the NIF calculations had to include the contributions of first-adjacents. The contributions of what was then WTOP and what I believe was then still WKBW are huge. Although the formulas give the first-adjacent 10% skywaves a smaller effect on the NIF numbers (relatively speaking) than that of the co-channel signals, the 1500 and 1520 10% skywaves are so much greater here than WLAC's 10% skywave that WLAC might well have been knocked out of the calculations! I have never seen WWZN's NIF as calculated by the formulas that include first-adjacents, but the value must be way above 2.2 mV/m and could quite possibly top 10 mV/m. Certainly, subjective listening supports a value that high, but subjective listening has little to do with the FCC's take, which on this issue lives in a complete alternate reality.

  10. #30
    bub
    Guest

    Re: 1510 Formats and Call Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcB
    Quote Originally Posted by JEREMIAH
    I was at "the famous 1510" from 1968 thu 1972. Mac Richmond died and things changed. I was with him the night he died (no I didn't kill him) (he died after leaving the station that night). His ghost haunted the station at night..we saw him.
    LOL at the part about not killing. Funny how radio stations are haunted by things. The station I was with down in Connecticut was haunted by a ghost cat.
    MarcB: What were in those beers you had the other night?

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