Memories of John Garabedian and V-66...

Rick Kelly
Mon Jun 18 18:14:41 EDT 2007

On 6/18/07, Don A <> wrote:

> I believe there was ONE rating book that WMEX beat WRKO.  (I believe it was
> either Spring or Summer of 1971.)

I believe that to be true.  I think John H left in late 1971.

In 1971, John H. was a speaker at my college, Grahm Junior College.
He talked about the hip factor of WMEX, and even though the WMEX
signal was limited, he felt that this not a significant factor.  He
felt that if people wanted to hear something different, they'd find it
on the dial.

> Most of the reason for WMEX's sucess was the fact that WRKO had lost it's
> way.

That's not what I had understood.  WMEX under John H. was playing
"hipper" music than WRKO at the time.  WMEX was playing some long
versions of popular songs, and a couple of album cuts.  They had
personalities like Ron Robin and Bud Balleu.  WRKO was following the
same old formula, except that they stopped playing a jingle in between
every record, which was a trademark.  I could be wrong about this, of
course... but that is what I understood.  Roger Kirk on this list
might have a clear remembrance of those days.

> Someone at RKO came up with a bizarre notion that they could stop playing
> the hits and that they had to start playing album cuts.

My perception was that WRKO didn't start with album cuts until AFTER
John H. left WMEX. WRKO was trying to sound more hip, playing some
album kind of music in early 1972 ( surprisingly, I have airchecks of
those days.)

The album direction for WRKO didn't work out.  They stayed with it for
about a year, but the ratings trailed off.

To rail on more about this, WVBF sort of took the WMEX hipper music
approach in late 1971 and 1972.  As a college student at the time, I
thought WVBF was the greatest thing I had ever heard.  WVBF later
moved towards more standard Top 40 ("F-105").

> While Garabedian is a good programmer, his sucess should have included a
> thank-you note to WRKO for dropping the ball.

Garabedian is a good programmer.  I had always heard that he did beat
WRKO for one book.   He left WMEX after Max Richmond passed, and WMEX
never recovered.

Anyway, just my remembrances and perceptions folks.

-Rick Kelly

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