...and speaking of anniversaries...

Doug Drown revdoug1@myfairpoint.net
Fri Jun 12 16:09:05 EDT 2009

WOKO was the original CBS affiliate for the Capital District.  When did WTRY 
grab that away?   -Doug

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>
To: "Boston Radio Interest" <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 9:51 AM
Subject: Re: ...and speaking of anniversaries...

> 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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