WCAP Turns the Big Six-Oh

Bill O'Neill (billohno@gmail.com) billohno@gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 17:55:52 EDT 2011

Mark Watson wrote:
> Bill: It was great to hear you yesterday morning with your 
> rememberances of your time at WCAP.
Thanks Mark. I appreciated their sentiments and was grateful to be able 
to put my historical role at WCAP in a more realistic perspective.  The 
fact that Lowell (or any local community) has a station that is live and 
local is a good thing.
> Among listener comments about their favorite WCAP memories, IMHO the 
> top ones were tuning in for school cancellations on snowy mornings and 
> "Telephone Trading Time", which amazed Ryan Johnston, he dubbed it the 
> original "Craig's List" and even more amazed that someone (yours 
> truly) was able to answer a caller's query on the ground rules of a 
> long-defunct show that were recited at the open of each show. (No 
> mattresses, automobiles, real estate or firearms. Only 3 items per 
> call and only 1 call per week)

"TTT, hello!" was something I recall even as a kid in the Sixties. 
However, even now, the "Trading Post" is still on the air every morning 
on WDEV here in Vermont for a half hour six mornings a week at 6:30 and 
a "bonus edition" on Sats at 8:30. It's sponsored (often by 2) and often 
has the sponsors in studio with the host for a live spot. As old-school 
or hokey that it may seem from non-rural perspectives, I can only 
imagine that it legitimately pays the bills and serves as a longstanding 
'signature' or distinctive for the station. The only difference is that 
firearms are not limited (minimal gun laws in VT I would assume as the 
reason) but I think RE is blocked. They have a good disclaimer against 
commercial interests that invite them to inquire as to how the station 
can help them to creatively move product or service. As the calls fly in 
it sends a solid message to commercial advertisers of the power of the 
medium's potential.

> I shared this interesting tidbit during my appearance yesterday: In 
> WCAP's 60 years they've only had 1 studio location, 1 set of call 
> letters, 2 transmitter locations and 2 different owners. How many 
> other broadcast outlets, TV or radio, can come close to that?
I'm glad that you were a contributor to the day - it wouldn't have been 
the same without you.

Bill O'Neill

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