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Neighbors, at the tone...

I know that this has come up before.  Stations with time tones (I can
only think of two, locally, WBZ and WCAP):

1 - What do you think of the idea of "the tone" and its place on a
station?  How can it enhance or is it a pure annoyance?
2 - Who sells them, or, are they all proprietary units <a la Heathkit,
etc.> created by tech talent>

I actually like the tone (in certain applications).  In fact, any
station joining news precisely on the hour (even the new FM talker, if
they were to go with something like that) it can enhance the image of
"precision" and other qualities.  Joining a live net feed can provoke
problems, I suppose, if the two clocks are out of sync.  Some netnews
feeds' IDs have tones in them.  Doesn't NBC Radio News send a tone
atop it's sounder?  In the case of WRKO, with it's (current, at least)
:59 opener, a :00 tone would distract over the middle of the newscast.
I recall the late Carl de Suze in the mornings on WBZ when he'd
time-up his voiced legal to say (on occasion) "At the signal...it's
<tone>  ___ o'clock."

(While I'm at it), Carl's expressions could fill a list, in itself,
along with the temperature "down by the 'baan', neighbors."   There's
an example of a case of taking a big regional station, a host with
genuine, folksy charm, resulting in making you believe it was all
right down your street, wherever that street was.  If you think of
where WBZ is with news (& talk) now, they seem to have held onto
success with variants of that same formula, IMHO (conversational,
connected, etc.)

Bill O'Neill


End of boston-radio-interest-digest V3 #499