WMEX (was Al Kennedy)
Sun May 16 00:02:58 EDT 2010
Ted Larsen <email@example.com> wrote:
I worked doing morning news at 'MEX in 1971 for Dick Richmond, right
after Mac died, and a GM named Art Simmers. They were quite a pair. I
never heard of Simmers again.
But I digress. We still didn't have much of a signal (or audience)
around Beantown, but I got regular calls from Newfoundland, New
Brunswick & PEI. Funny, never on the coverage map
I had no problem hearing WMEX-1510, still at the N. Quincy transmitter
site, in 1977 from Ireland on a Realistic TRF portable with no external
antennas. Based on what I've heard recently from a GlobalTuners
web-based receiver in Ilfracombe in southwestern England, 50 kW from
Waltham is about equally effective to 5 kW night out of Quincy in the
old days. So the more inland site takes about 10 times as much juice
to raise a comparable signal on the other side of the pond.
Pretty sure 1969 is when WMEX went 50 kW days. Three ham radio buddies
of mine - Tim Smith (WA1HLR), Chuck O'Neal (WA1EKV later K1KW), and
Chris Leary (WA1KTZ) - were all in college at the time and they did
summer engineering assignments at the N. Quincy transmitter site in
1969, 1970, and 1971: the days when WMEX tried skewing a bit towards
album rock with Cousin Duffy and John H. Garabedian coming up with
programming to counter the surging popularity of WBCN-FM. A few times
in the summer of 1970 after classes at Northeastern, I took the Red
Line down to N. Quincy to have pizza and a few liquid refreshments with
my friends at WMEX. The 50 kW day rig was definitely in service by
When I was over at W. Dennis Beach on the Cape in August of 1969 and a
generally-forgotten song "Sugar on Sunday" by the Clique was out, I
noted a better WMEX signal so they must have had the rig on by then.
Previous summers on the Cape you could make out the New London, CT
station (WNLC) under WMEX during the day. Though the night 5 kW
signal, as noted, boomed in Maine and the Maritimes, it was "dog meat"
on the Cape with Buffalo slopping it from 1520, Washington from 1500,
and even co-channel Nashville (WLAC) jumping into the fray. 5 kW WMEX
didn't cut the mustard more than 20 miles southeast of Quincy at night.
Coming up Route 3, they didn't get to entertainment quality until
about Norwell. Waltham with 50 at night does do a bit better
southeast, though still no match for 680 (or for that matter 5 kW 590
which is super on the South Shore and decent on the Cape).
Mark Connelly, WA1ION
Billerica, MA + South Yarmouth, MA
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