Memories of John Garabedian and V-66...

Doug Drown
Wed Jun 13 11:03:20 EDT 2007

<<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;>>

It was certainly in the early '70s, because I was out of college and back
living in the Gardner-Fitchburg area.

The WGTR calls probably came from WPTR or they were intended as a
resurrection of the original WGTR, which I believe was the earliest
incarnation of what is now WAAF.  Donna, help us out here!


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan Strassberg" <>
To: "Bob Nelson" <>; "Boston Radio Interest"
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:40 AM
Subject: Re: Memories of John Garabedian and V-66...

> The subject line made me wonder whether Garabedian had passed away. I
> 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 Service's application pretty early on but then rescinded the grant of a CP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
> had not been considered. WGTR maintaned that the competing app had not
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> @ 1 mile. WGTR could neither exceed the minimum nor fall below it.
> Other stations besides WORC and WMEX where Garabedian worked before
> 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
> 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
> late Sunny Joe White). You
> > may know of this guy...
> >
> > "At the age of 17, John joined Worcester station WORC-AM as a disc
> Several years after joining, he became a co-host of the original Open
> Party radio program...In 1969, John and partners founded WGTR-AM (now
> 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
> unscrambled.
> >
> > 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
> O'Leary (now at WBOS 92.9) among them. Also, I remember a bizarre
> 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
> 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
> Ball & Pivot, Til Tuesday & The November Group.
> >
> >
> >

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