...and speaking of anniversaries...

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Fri Jun 12 09:51:49 EDT 2009

If you are talking about radio-network affiliations in the Capital
District, the ABC affiliate in 1952 was most definitely WXKW 850. It
was absolutely not WOKO 1460. I don't recall whether WOKO had any
network affiliation at that time. If it did, it would have been
Mutual. In 1952, WOKO was operating from Delmar with 5 kW-U DA-N
(three towers), the same facilities that the 1460 station uses to this
day. I strongly doubt whether this setup was brand new in '52. The
studios were in a hotel whose name I can't recall on State St in
Albany--about half-way from the River to the State Capital. It was on
your left as you walked up the hill. I am pretty sure that at least a
few years before 1952, WOKO had moved from a site north of Albany
shared with WABY 1400. WABY continued at that site after WOKO moved.
When the two AMs shared that site, the tower may have been diplexed
(AM diplexes existed in the '30s) or there may have been a second
tower. If there was a second tower, it no longer existed by 1952. From
its old site, WOKO ran 1 kW-D/500W-N ND-U. Scott Fybush may be able to
provide some clues about when WOKO increased power. Prior to the move,
WOKO, WHEC Rochester, and WHP Harrisbutg had similar ND-U facilities
on 1460 and all three increased power and went DA-N at about the same
time. In the early/mid '50s, WOKO was owned by an eccentric
silver-haired gent named "Colonel" Jim Healey, who was totally
fascinated by the sound of his booming voice. He broadcast Lowell
Thamas-style news and commentary at least once each day (maybe twice)
on WOKO. The commentaries were ad-libbed and really sounded it;>(

Some more odd facts (OK; recollections--somebody is BOUND to prove me
wrong on some point--and maybe more than one) that occurred to me:
WOKO's Chief Engineer in the early/mid 50s was an older guy named Al
Sardi. He had a very thick Swedish accent. WOKO was odd-man out among
5- and 10-kW Capital District AMs of that era with regard to the
manufacturer of its transmitter. WROW and WTRY had RCA BTA-5Fs; WXKW
had a BTA-10F (IIRC, from the front, it looked like a BTA-5F with an
extra cabinet). Now somebody is going to say, so WOKO, where budgets
(except those for Col. Healy's cigars) were always very tight, had a
Gates--the very popular low-priced brand. And IIRC, that would be
wrong. Maybe Sardi--or the consulting engineer who designed the WOKO
plant--was adamant that he didn't like RCA and didn't like Gates. I
don't know whether Healy owned the station or Sardi was CE when the
5-kW Tx was purchased, but it was a Collins--the high-priced spread.

Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <linc45r-n@lincster.com>
To: "Dave Doherty" <dave@skywaves.net>; "A. Joseph Ross"
<Joe@attorneyross.com>; "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>
Cc: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 12:23 AM
Subject: Re: ...and speaking of anniversaries...

> Very early on wasn't WOKO located on Mount Beacon?  The two tower
> that supported the hammock were still there in the 1970's and may
> still be part of the head end for the local cable TV company.
> Linc
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Dave Doherty" <dave@skywaves.net>
> To: "A. Joseph Ross" <Joe@attorneyross.com>; "Dan.Strassberg"
> <dan.strassberg@att.net>
> Cc: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 8:26 PM
> Subject: Re: ...and speaking of anniversaries...
>>I think  WOKO was an ABC affiliate prior to that big swap.  I had
>>some correspondence from the early 50's indicating that the buildout
>>in Delmar was conditioned on a network affiliation with ABC. Prior
>>to that, the transmitter was on the north side of Albany, maybe in
>>Menands. They built the site in Delmar about 1952, so it seems they
>>must have been affiliated with ABC - or somebody - prior to the
>> -d
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "A. Joseph Ross" <Joe@attorneyross.com>
>> To: "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>
>> Cc: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
>> Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:14 PM
>> Subject: Re: ...and speaking of anniversaries...
>>> On 11 Jun 2009 Dan.Strassberg wrote:
>>>> IIRC (I think it was in the spring of 1956 but it could have been
>>>> a
>>>> year or more earlier than that), CBS radio switched from WTRY
>>>> (AM) to
>>>> WROW (AM) and CBS TV switched at the same time from WTRI-TV
>>>> Channel 35
>>>> to whatever the station on channel 41 was then called (maybe
>>>> still
>>>> WROW-TV).
>>> I think it was earlier than that.  It was sometime in 1956 that
>>> WTRI
>>> returned to the air as an ABC affiliate, and for the fall TV
>>> season
>>> that year, for the first time in that market, each network had its
>>> own station.
>>>> However, by the time of the switch (or AT the time of the
>>>> switch),
>>>> WTRY (AM) changed hands. I think Channel 35 stayed with the
>>>> former
>>>> owners of the AM but the AM was sold to a Providence RI-based
>>>> group
>>>> that also owned WEAN there. The guy who headed the group was a
>>>> fellow named Mowry Lowe. Lowe was a strong believer in
>>>> independent
>>>> stations and music-and-news formats (later known as MOR and
>>>> Top-40). Instead of picking up the ABC Radio affiliation that
>>>> WROW
>>>> (AM) was dropping, WTRY became an independent and continued to do
>>>> very well both in ratings and sales. I think ABC radio then moved
>>>> to WPTR.
>>> Yes, there was a big network shift at that time.  CBS went to
>>> WROW,
>>> ABC went to WPTR, and Mutual, formerly on WPTR, moved to WOKO.
>>> The
>>> only affiliation that stayed the same was NBC on WGY.
>>> -- 
>>> A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                   617.367.0468
>>> 92 State Street, Suite 700            Fax: 617.507.7856
>>> Boston, MA 02109-2004           http://www.attorneyross.com

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