...and speaking of anniversaries...

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Fri Jun 12 23:38:46 EDT 2009

My guess would be that WTRY picked up the CBS Radio affiliation when
it went full time. Dunno when that was but I believe it was just
before the start of World War II. When I arrived in Troy (September
'52), the Capital district AM dial had gotten pretty full. Aside from
WHAZ, which was a non-comm share timer (sharing with WEVD and WBBR in
New York City; THAT WBBR was unrelated to the current one) owned by
RPI and operating exactly six hours a week (Monday 6:00PM to
midnight--but licensed to stay on until Tuesday at 3:00AM!), you had
WROW, WGY, WXKW, WTRY, WSNY (1240 Schenectady--not much of a signal in
Albany or Troy), WABY, WOKO, and WPTR. Of those, WROW, WXKW, and WPTR
had all signed on in 1947 or 1948. Until duopolies ended in 1943, WOKO
and WABY were co-owned. It was before my time, but I believe that WTRY
began as a daytimer. I think the original sign-on might have been in
1939. The transmitter was north of Latham Circle. I wasn't there then,
but I think that in 1941, WTRY added a second tower at the original
site and went full-time with 1 kW-U DA-1. After the War, WTRY moved to
Niskayuna where it built the three-tower array that still stands and
increased to 5 kW-U DA-1. I think WTRY was already the CBS affiliate
when the Niskayuna site went on the air. Sometime after CKGM Montreal
moved from 980 to 990, WTRY became ND days, keeping the former DA-1
pattern at night.

So until WTRY went full time, the network lineup probably would have
been NBC: WGY,  CBS: WOKO, ABC and Mutual (found on the same station
in quite a few markets): WABY. Generally speaking, the networks did
not affiliate with daytimers, although there were exceptions (more
with Mutual than the other networks), and NBC and CBS would affiliate
only with stations where they could be the sole network (but, again,
there were exceptions).

BTW, as I recall the Capital District FM dial in 1952, there were four
or five stations: WEVR 91.3 Troy (Hudson Valley Tech), WFLY 92.3 Troy
(transmitting from the Helderbergs, owned by the Troy Record, Rural
Radio Network/'QXR Network), WROW-FM 93.9, and WGFM 99.5 (sister of
WGY, transmitting from the WRGB (TV) site in the Helderbergs). I think
that WAMC (90.7?) had already been built (or maybe was soon to be
built) atop Mt Greylock and was easily audible in Troy and the rest of
the Capital District. WROW-FM was simulcasting WROW for six hours a
day with 800W @ ~20' AAT from a telephone pole adjacent to the WROW Tx
building (then in Glenmont).

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

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Doug Drown" <revdoug1@myfairpoint.net>
To: "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>; "Boston Radio Interest"
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 4:09 PM
Subject: Re: ...and speaking of anniversaries...

> 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;
>> 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
>> 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
>>>>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
>>>>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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