worthy competition - was Boom Boom

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Wed Oct 27 20:43:37 EDT 2010

When WSRO signed on (in the very late '50s or early '60s, believe)  it
was a 1-kW daytimer with a studios and two-tower array on Curtis Ave
on the east side of Marlboro. The cardioid pattern protected then
co-channel WNBP. The problem was that the pattern more or less put
Framingham in the broad null to the northeast of the array. The
solution was to move one of the towers, thus slightly rotating the
pattern (counterclockwise, I believe), but also creating prohibited
overlap with first-adjacent WBET. Years later, WNBP moved to 1450 and
became a full-timer. That enabled WSRO to increase power to 5 kW-U
DA-N from a new site on Fitchburg St. (I never found out whether that
site was in Marlboro or Hudson, but it was just north of the main part
of Marlboro.) For this to happen, somebody at WBET had to be asleep at
the switch, because WSRO's new ND operation greatly increased the
prohibited daytime overlap between it and WBET. That overlap wasn't
corrected until WSRO moved from Marlboro to Watertown and became a
diplex with the Boston 1150 with lower power by day than by night and
a day pattern that protects both first adjacents--WSAR and WBET. (Can
anyone remember what 1150's calls were when WSRO moved in?)

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

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Linc Reed-Nickerson" <linc@reed-nickerson.com>
To: <kvahey@gmail.com>; "'Doug Drown'" <revdoug1@myfairpoint.net>;
<boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org>; "'Dave
Doherty'" <dave@skywaves.net>; "'Dan.Strassberg'"
Cc: "''" <Boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 6:56 PM
Subject: RE: worthy competition - was Boom Boom

Driving down the Everett Turnpike from Concord to Manchester (in the
60's) there was a place where you could just see the beacons on the
WKBR array, but you couldn't receive the station. Last time I drove
down the turnpike, which was probably in the 80's the trees had grown
enough you could no longer see the array.

There was a similar situation with WSMN in Nashua, there was almost no
signal at 180 and 260 degrees, theoretically near a null.  When you
drove by on the way to Milford the carrier would disappear and you'd
be left with just sidebands!  Growing in Acton in the 60's WOTW had a
nice signal, but I never heard WSMN, for obvious reasons, same with
WSRO in Marlboro.

Their application for the new array looks much better, those were some
of the deepest minima I've seen,


-----Original Message-----
From: boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org
[mailto:boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org] On
Behalf Of Kevin Vahey
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 2:13 PM
To: Doug Drown; boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org;
'Dave Doherty'; 'Dan.Strassberg'; Linc Reed-Nickerson
Cc: ''
Subject: Re: worthy competition - was Boom Boom

KBR dominated inside the city limits but had a woeful signal at night

FEA dominated Nashua and Concord

When I visited PTR the all night guy was at the xmtr (this would be
68-69) They had all Harris cart machines with cue tones to start the
next cart.

Funny how it worked - in many markets the weaker signal dominated the
core city, the stronger signal the burbs

Bost WMEX over WBZ until WRKO came along
Manchester WKBR over WFEA
Portand WJAB over WLOB
Providence WICE over WPRO
Sprinhgfield WTXL over WHYN
Buffalo WYSL over WKBW
Sent on from my BlackBerry® so typos are because of tiny keys

-----Original Message-----
From: "Doug Drown" <revdoug1@myfairpoint.net>
Sender: boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 15:27:20
To: 'Doug Drown'<revdoug1@myfairpoint.net>; 'Dave
Doherty'<dave@skywaves.net>; 'Dan.Strassberg'<dan.strassberg@att.net>;
Linc Reed-Nickerson<linc@reed-nickerson.com>
Cc: ''<Boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Subject: Re: worthy competition - was Boom Boom

>> OK, which one was Union9-9272 and which one was TT4-5107... Dave
>> Dougherty will know.

I know too, but I'll defer to Dave.

My girlfriend, 68, has told me that WKBW used to have a huge night
listenership in Maine.  Her late husband, who lived most of his life
Maine and was a DJ and station manager for about fifteen years before
going into education, regarded WKBW as THE radio station that all Top
40 stations should emulate.

The WPTR towers in Colonie are still being used by the station's
successor WDCD, but the WPTR call letters were removed from them a few
years ago, and I believe the Albany Street studio --- which wasn't all
that old --- has been vacated.   I don't know where WDCD's current

I sometimes used to listen to WKBR in Manchester on FM.  This was in
the mid- to late sixties; I think the AM was on 1250 by then, but we
couldn't get it out Fitchburg way.  WFEA, on the other hand, came in
reasonably well.  Both stations had a good sound; which one dominated
the market?


Quoting Linc Reed-Nickerson <linc@reed-nickerson.com>:
> At night in Unity, Maine, where I miss-spent the summers of my
> teenage years,
> WPTR was what every kid listened to!  Even in Actom, MA WPTR and
> were often
> listened to.  OK, which one was Union9-9272 and which one was
> TT4-5107... Dave
> Dougherty will know.  Got to visit the WKBW transmitter circa 1976,
> but not
> WPTR, although I've driven by it on the throughway many times, as
> recently as 3
> years ago.  Yes, Kid Rock (All Summer Long) makes me think of my
> teen
> summers in
> Unity, wonder what became of Donna (who is now 67)?
> I find the comments about the viability of the "worthy competitor"
> very
> interesting.  Manchester, New Hampshire was a good example, with
> WKBR (then
> 1240) being the top station in the market, even at 250 watts!
> The change to 1250 and 5kW probably did little but generate
> additional expense
> (although possibly more revenue because of the higher power).  Some
> claimed they
> lost listeners when the shifted frequency because 1250 on the river
> had better
> coverage in some areas than the DA on the granite shelf on Goffstown
> Back Road. They had to add a 5th tower to modify the daytime pattern
> a year or so after it
> was built.  Too bad the original 1240 site is now gone, because it
> might have
> made sense to go back to 1240 in recent times, if it would still
> fit.
>  WFTN in
> Franklin might be the stopper, but with ground conductivity in NH
> being what it
> is it might have fit.  1250 to 1240 would be a minor change per the
> current FCC
> policies.
> And remember when WTAO was a significant player in Boston in the
> early 1950's?
> Speaking of ground conductivity, it's so bad on the Oregon Coast 820
> with a 1kW
> has about a 20 mile radius, 1kW on 1230 in Burns on the other hand
> has a 75 mile
> radius.  According to FCC conductivity maps, both locations are the
> same, but
> having made measurements I know the away from the shore in Oregon
> the
> conductivity is 0.5 to 0.1.  If your transmitter is in from the
> coast, as many
> on the Oregon coast are, you don't get much help from the seawater
> conductivity.
>  There's a 50kW in Reedsport, OR that doesn't have the coverage of
> my 1230 in
> Burns!
> Linc
> -----Original Message-----
> From: boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org
> [mailto:boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org] On
> Behalf Of Doug
> Drown
> Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 6:55 AM
> To: Dave Doherty; Dan.Strassberg
> Cc: =?utf-8?b??=
> Subject: Re: Boom Boom Brannigan passes on
> That Drum real estate ad was really clever.  Little WSNY positioned
> itself as a worthy local competitor to WGY.  Though in the '60s and
> '70s when visiting in Schenectady I was fixated on WPTR and WTRY, I
> did
> listen to WSNY occasionally and found that it was a well-run
> station.
> There were many such stations in middle-market cities, little
> bantams
> that held up well to the big guys.  I think of WNEB in Worcester
> from
> my adolescence --- 1230 kHz, 1 kw daytime, 250 at night, a CBS
> affiliate with a format geared toward middle- to older-aged adults.
> It
> had good DJs, good local news and sports coverage, all in all doing
> a
> fine job competing against full-service NBC powerhouse WTAG and the
> two
> hotly competitive Top 40 stations, WAAB and WORC.   -Doug
> Quoting "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>:
> > I remember Edwardson and Putney from WGY in my college days (early
> > to
> > mid '50s). In those days, though, Steve Fitz was on little WSNY, a
> > 250W Class IV on 1240. WSNY sounded amazingly professional for
> > such a
> > small station--its signal reached the entire Capital District by
> > day
> > but was competitive only in Schenectady and adjoining communities,
> > such as Rotterdam. Weak signal or not, WSNY appeared to have sold
> > out
> > its entire schedule month after month, year after year. Always ~17
> > minutes of commercials per hour from sign-on to sign-off. Most of
> > the
> > commercials were locally produced. Many used jingle packages that
> > were
> > designed for specific types of businesses (furniture stores,
> > variety
> > stores etc) and could be tailored to specific businesses simply by
> > inserting the advertiser's name, address, and phone number. Some
> > ads
> > used proprietary jingles, however. The one that I guess I will
> > never
> > forget was for W Baldwin Drum Real Estate: "Drum's along the
> > Mowhawk/with his eye on pro-per-teee." Ended with the beat of a
> > tom-tom over which was whispered W Baldwin Drum...W Baldwin
> > Drum... W
> > Baldwin Drum... Very memorable. Probably moved a lot of houses and
> > farms.
> >
> > -----
> > Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
> > eFax 1-707-215-6367
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Dave Doherty" <dave@skywaves.net>
> > To: "D. A." <donald_astelle@yahoo.com>;
> > <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>; "Doug Drown"
> > <revdoug1@myfairpoint.net>
> > Cc: <JPolsinelle@firstcardinal.com>
> > Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:17 PM
> > Subject: Re: Boom Boom Brannigan passes on
> >
> >
> > >I met Boom-Boom in 1968 or maybe 1969 at the WPTR studios.
> > >Another
> > >WPTR DJ, Roy Urbinas, who eventually wound up in Plattsburgh and
> > >may
> > >have originally hailed from there, cut a couple of voicers for
> > >me,
> > >and Roy introduced us. Boom Boom was an interesting character,
> > >very
> > >pleasant, and the first "Boss Jock" I ever met.
> > >
> > > Not long after, I worked summers as a tech at WGY, pushing
> > > buttons
> > > and whatnot for Bill Edwardson, Jack Shannon, Harry Downey, Earl
> > > Pudney, and Steve Fitz.
> > >
> > > -Dave Doherty
> > >
> >

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list