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RE: Globe on John Garabedian
Here's the scoop on WMEX in '71. Garabedian took over and transitioned the
station into a more FM-edge sound. You might remember the famous Top of the
hour ID he did: CHANGES, AND YOU HAVE FOUND THE NEW MUSIC.....1510, WMEX,
Summer, had not arrived yet at WMEX, initially. WRKO was spinning the
soul/Top 40 hits. John H. was playing the lp versions, lp cuts, top 40, and
digging under the Top 40 tunes. (Similar to WVBF in 1972 Top 40/AOR). In
addition, the station had great personalities (not format jocks) and talent
like Bud Ballou, Ron Robin, John H, Gerry Gordon and etc. (Wow, what a
When Mr. Richmond died, he fired John H., and put Summer in place to run the
station, who moved the station to "The Human Thing/The Lovin' Touch". A
total disaster! The folks at WRKO did note the gains that Garabedian had
performed and started to move their music into the same direction, playing
the long versions, and some rare new music. However, WRKO, having a
slightly different audience than WMEX actually was hurting itself, and lost
ratings, while WMEX gained.
Once John H. was out, RKO went back to just "playing the singles", and
regained it's composure, while sadly WMEX spun out of control with Summer.
John H. was fed up and started planning for a free channel on the dial, and
alas, WGTR (Garabedian's Terrific Radio) was born a few years later at 1060,
at times fighting WBZ with the FCC. And, by the way, carried a similar
music policy as did WMEX when he was there.
John H. and WMEX, two great legends in the Sp/Su of 1971!
[mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Joseph
Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 2:32 AM
Subject: Re: Globe on John Garabedian
Here's what I read into the John H beating RKO story. (I'm just speculating
on some possible scenarios.)
Dick Summer is PD of WMEX....He makes it into a 'touchy feely'
station...gab, gab, gab..and the station starts to go into the toilet.
John H becomes PD and plays the HITS...and the station bounces back.
Now, as an aside, people always look to that year and that book as an
indicator that 'MEX musta been doing some GREAT programming. Maybe...but
something inside wonders if WRKO was doing some HORRIBLE programming at that
time in order for MEX to make some inroads.
You can have a great team...and a great product.....but usually you need the
other guy to drop the ball and give you an opportunity to show yourself.
Within the last few years I heard a rko aircheck from summer 71....and they
were playing a lot of stuff I couldn't even recognize.
There was a "Big 30 Survey" that Shel was highlighting that looked pretty
psycodelic. (More like "drugs" and less like "The Dating Game" set.)
My guess is that WRKO was drifting a bit of course....and got caught up in
some of the late 60's (early 70's) scene (hippies, etc.) that was pretty
prevalent. And that was not the WRKO that we all knew.
Anyway...no facts or great insight.....just speculation.
----- Original Message -----
From: "SteveOrdinetz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> The one book you're talking about was either the spring or summer '71
> one. John H. had been appointed PD just before that book began. I don't
> think WMEX actually beat WRKO, but they came much closer than they usually
> did...perhaps even tying them in some demographics.
> In 1965 he left to go to WPTR in Albany. By 1969 he was back at WMEX
doing afternoon drive as John H. Garabedian. Dick Summer, I believe, was PD
at the time. WMEX called itself "The Human Thing."
> By 1971 John had become PD at WMEX. The ID featured "Also Sprach
Zarathustra" from the "2001: A Sapce Odyssey" soundtrack with John's VO
"Changes...and you have found the new....music!" WMEX either beat or put a
big dent in WRKO that year.