Memories of John Garabedian and V-66...

Dan Strassberg
Wed Jun 13 09:40:26 EDT 2007

The subject line made me wonder whether Garabedian had passed away. I don't
think so; I believe he is still very much alive.

Wikipedia is not infallible and I note that it is the source of the 1969
date for the founding of WGTR. I'm quite sure that Home Service
Broadcasting, the original licensee of WGTR, was founded several years
before 1969 (maybe 1966) and that WGTR did not sign on until several years
after 1969 (I'm almost positive it was 1972; the month was most likely
November). There were a lot of legal complications. The FCC granted Home
Service's application pretty early on but then rescinded the grant of a CP
shortly afterward when a competing applicant protested that its application
had not been considered. WGTR maintaned that the competing app had not been
timely filed and therefore was not entitled to consideration. Although the
FCC concurred, the competing applicant protested and the applications were
designated for a hearing. Before the hearing could took place, however, Home
Service bought out the competing applicant. This resulted in changing the
proposed transmitter site from the foot of Oak St on the east side of
Natick, just south of Route 9, to Kendall Ave in S Natick (which I believe
was property that the competing applicant had secured). Kendall Ave was a
superior site for serving MetroWest because of its proximity to Framingham
(and Sherborn), but it was also a few miles closer to KYW, which resulted in
WGTR having to use a very short (56-degree, 140') tower to keep its
radiation efficiency down to the FCC's Class II-D AM minimum of 175 mV/m/kW
@ 1 mile. WGTR could neither exceed the minimum nor fall below it.

Other stations besides WORC and WMEX where Garabedian worked before putting
WGTR on the air were WESO and WPTR. I suspect that he got the idea for the
WGTR calls from WPTR.

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Nelson" <>
To: "BostonRadio Mailing List"
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:48 AM
Subject: Memories of John Garabedian and V-66...

> When in Burlington VT, I taped some WXXX 95.5 for a tape trader. Turns out
they were doing a syndie
> show that also runs on stations like Kiss 108: the Open House Party with
John Garabedian (hmm! I'd
> heard that name before...)
> I'd known of WVJV-TV, "V-66", our own version of MTV (a project with Woo
Woo Ginsburg) and WGTR...
> Anyway, the show I taped featured CHR music by request and a brief
interview with Avril Lavigne. The
> Open House Party site has more info on John (as well as a portrait of the
late Sunny Joe White). You
> may know of this guy...
> "At the age of 17, John joined Worcester station WORC-AM as a disc jockey.
Several years after joining, he became a co-host of the original Open House
Party radio program...In 1969, John and partners founded WGTR-AM (now WBIX)
as a top-40 station serving MetroWest from Natick...Two years after MTV's
1981 debut, John and fellow WMEX alumnus Arnie Ginsburg started a
Boston-area 24-hour music video station, WVJV-TV"
> (Open House Party started in 1987 on Kiss 108...he does it from
> any of his 3 homes: suburban Boston; Vermont, and the Cape)
> V-66 (remember those bumper
> stickers?) played music videos a la MTV...they played some by local
artists as part of that
> (and another indie UHF station in town, WQTV-TV 68, used to have a
show--Friday nights at 6, I think?--
> that would play videos or taped performances by local bands. This was a
station which used to scramble
> its signal and play movies (pay TV) but at times the signal was
> As for V-66...
> "The VJs were some of the best and the brightest in Boston -- John
Garabedian (now doing "Open House Party" on Saturday night radio) and David
O'Leary (now at WBOS 92.9) among them. Also, I remember a bizarre commercial
that Garabedian and Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsberg did when the Patriots were
playing the Bears in the Super Bowl -- they had a teddy bear bound and
gagged and tortured it between videos."
> The comments bring back memories...
> David O'Leary was a VJ. Artists played (local) included New Man, The
Stompers, and Robert Ellis Orrall.
> The logo, as seen on the page linked above, had a purple "V", slightly off
kilter, with yellow lightning
> bolts that form a "66" in the middle
> Other comments on that page show that V-66 viewers fondly remember them
playing local artists such as
> The Fools, Digney Fignus, New Man, Rods & Cones, The Lyres, Rubber Rodeo,
Ball & Pivot, Til Tuesday & The November Group.

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list