HOW DID WAAF MAKE IT TO THE ALBANY RATINGS BOOKS? HERE's A SURPRISE!
Peter Q. George
Sun Nov 16 19:14:18 EST 2003
Well, believe it or not, in the 1970's and early
1980's WAAF DID used to show up faithfully in the
Albany, NY market ratings. How? Easy! FM Cable!
Back in the 1970's Albany/Schenectady and Troy were
already wired for cable, for years. One of the little
perks with cable TV was that it came with all-band FM
reception, usually from an non-DA receive antenna
system located at the "headend". As a result, WAAF,
already located high atop Ashnebumskit in Paxton, MA
had the height advantage. With a peak to peak
"line-of-sight", WAAF easily made it to the Albany
headend. Albany, at that time, was highly
under-radioed. Other than WQBK ("PYX/106" was still
WHSH until 1980), WAAF was the only other game in town
for Album Rock. (The nearest Album Rockers, down in
Poughkeepsie WSPK and WPDH were not very powerful at
that time in Albany.) Everybody was connected to the
cable service. Not bad! However when WHSH went to
WPYX with AOR in 1980, WAAF was no longer THE station
to listen to anymore.
When I lived in Great Barrington, MA in the late
1970's, Berkshire Cable had a similar set up with an
non-DA all-band FM service being received from the
headend. With it, I was able to always pickup WAAF
and WSRS in Worcester, virtually all Boston FM's
including WROR (the first one on 98.5), WCOZ (94.5),
WCRB (102.5) and WEEI-FM (103.3). All the Boston FM's
I received were in strong Stereo! Not bad for 140
miles away! Many NYC FM'ers were there too, including
WCBS-FM, WYNY (97.1), WEVD-FM (97.9) and WXLO (the old
one at 98.7)!
The nice thing about the cable service was that
if any local station were to NOT be on 24 hours, you
had some nice DX spots to play with after sign-off.
For example, WLVH (93.7) in Hartford would shut down
at midnight, opening up the way to hear WCGY from
Lawrence. Even the old WLYN-FM in Lynn, MA would be
heard after WBRK-FM in Pittsfield went silent for the
night at midnight. The world (at least the DX world)
was your oyster! Ah, life was good!
Peter Q. George (K1XRB)
--- "Fitzpatrick, Mike" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sean Smyth" <sps199@>
> > I believe the sixth was Albany, at least from what
> I've read elsewhere.
> That is a real stretch. While those of us who are
> radio lovers and can stand
> to listen to a very weak signal under static, WAAF's
> signal in the Albany
> area is not the signal a normal person could stand.
> The biggest issue with
> WAAF in Albany is WRWD-FM in Highland Park, NY (also
> on 107.3) has a pretty
> decent signal up the valley. In Great Barrington,
> where I used to live, we
> couldn't get WAAF until you were on a east facing
> hill, because of WRWD-FM.
> I remember students in High School with me asking me
> why they couldn't hear
> WAAF around there and how disappointed they were
> because of it. (and how mad
> they were at "that country station" that blows it
> --Mike Fitzpatrick.
Peter Q. George (K1XRB)
"Scanning the bands since 1967"
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