worthy competition - was Boom Boom

Linc Reed-Nickerson linc@reed-nickerson.com
Wed Oct 27 18:56:22 EDT 2010

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 in 
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 digs 

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 WKBW 
> 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
> > >
> >

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