This weekend the Annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion was held on the grounds where the engines roared in the 1960s.
Just as WARM played a role in the heyday of the Drag Lodge, it still participates in the reunions. This year both Tommy Woods and Joey Shaver attended.
Here they are, Tommy Woods and Joey Shaver.
Tommy poses with one of those classic cars from a bygone era.
Joey does a meet and greet with one of the PDL movers and shakers.
2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of the WARMland generation’s iconic baseball slugger Mickey Mantle. Mantle died on August 13th, 1995 after a battle with cancer.
When WARM was the King of the airwaves in the 60s Mickey Mantle was essentially the King of baseball. Whenever Mantle hit big for the Yankees, WARM Radio’s Morning newscaster Jack Doniger made sure to highlight it in his news reports.
When WARM turned into a Sports Talk Radio Station, Mantle was the subject of many comments on who was the best baseball players of the 50s and 60s. Then, oin the 80s when Mantle visited Wilkes Barre WARM Radio made sure they were on hand t capture the moment. WARM at that time was a hybrid format but one of the cornerstone of the broadcast day was The Ron Allen Sports Line.
Mantle held a press conference at The Station Hotel Complex (now in ruins due to neglect) talking baseball. In the photo below you’ll see former WARM Sensational 7 member Tommy Woods (who was at WTOP in Washington as well as Ron Allen.
WARM Sports, representing the heavy hitter radio station always made sure they made an appearance when a sports heavy hitter had something to say. This year on August 13th, the 20th anniversary of Mantle’s death, WARM will be in the mix again as CBS Sports Radio now broadcasting on the former Mighty 590 will reflect on the slugger's life and career.
One of the biggest facts of WARM, The Mighty 590 successes in the 60s and 70s was the power it used to reach a very large section of Pennsylvania and beyond. It was referred to often as the five towers of power and gave WARM coverage in Wyoming County and above, into southern New York state and even parts of Jersey.
That did not happen overnight though. The application for an increase in power was sent to the FCC in 1949 and was approved. Shortly thereafter WARM started work on a project that would make it the most powerful radio station in the area. The GM and owner at the time was Martin Memolo and his foresight and reinvestment in his station laid the foundation for the mega success of the WARM we all know and remember. Here is the article from February 2nd, 1950.
FCC PERMITS WARM TO BOOST POWER USAGE
Station To Operate With 5,000 Watts;
The Federal Communications Commission at Washington granted the request of Radio Station WARM to increase its power from m 250 watts to 5,000 watts both day and night. The FCC at the same time allowed the station to change its position on the dial from 1400 to 590. The order yesterday makes final the proposed decision of March 29th, 1949. It is effective at once. The grant involved denial of a competing application by Station WBAX of Wilkes Barre to change from 1240 kilocycles to 590 kilocycles and to increase power from 250 watts to one kilowatt. With the receipt of the order the Union Broadcasting Company owners of the station announced plans for a $250,000 expansion program. The firm will build a transmitter house with living quarters for transmitter engineers and five steel towers, each 450 feet high in the vicinity of Falls, Wyoming County. It is hoped to have the building completed by June 19th which is the 10th anniversary of the station. The step up in power will make WARM the most powerful radio station in Northeastern Pennsylvania. According to FCC estimates, the station will be heard in an area of 8,031 square miles embracing a population of 1, 061, 962. It is estimated that the area will be bounded on the Northwest by Ithaca, Elmira, and Binghamton New York; on the Northeast by Narrowsburg, New York and on the Southwest by Schuylkill Haven and the Southeast by Doylestown. Studios of WARM are in the Bowman Building occupying two floors. With the changeover it is contemplated that an additional floor will be used and the personnel increased. The transmitter is on the O’Neill Highway in Dunmore. Martin f. Memolo is President and General Manager of the broadcasting company.
NEW TRANSMITTER HOUSE
This is an architect’s drawing of the $250,000 transmitter house to be erected near Falls, Wyoming County by Radio Station WARM. It will have five steel towers, each 400 feet high as well as living quarters for transmitter engineers. The building is part of the expansion plan coincidental with the step up in power from 250 watts to 5,000 watts.
When WARM Radio first started 75 years ago in 1940 the music of choice on American Airwaves was Big Band Music. It would not be uncommon for local bands to start up and tour the various dance halls in the Scranton area. WARM was known primarily then as a “Scranton” station and did its best to promote the entertainment concept of the day. Essentially the new station needed programming and the current music of the day was key. WARM had a twist on the big band offerings giving listeners a profile of the musical stars of the day. This ad was forwarded to us by our friend Joe Butash.
Here is a look at one of the WARM Radio programming schedules. This ad comes from our friend Joe Butash.
FREQUENCY CHANGES AFFECTING WARM
WARM was not always n the 590 dial. As a matter of fact WARM made a few migrations around the AM band as evidenced by this article in the Scranton newspapers of the day.
From March 28th, 1941.
795 RADIO STATIONS TO CHANGE DIAL LOCATIONS
BEGINNING TOMORROW WQAN AND WGBI OPERATE 910 KILOCYCLES AND WARM ON 1400
Wave lengths of 795 out of 883 broadcasting stations in the United States are to be changed tomorrow morning at 3 O’clock. The three Scranton stations, WQAN, WGBI and WARM are among the stations which will operate on changed frequency. WQAN and WGBI now operating on 880 kilocycles will operate on 910 kilocycles and WARM will go from 1370 to 1400 kilocycles. There is to be no general change in stations on channels from 550 to 720 kilocycles. Those which have been operating above 730 kilocycles will be received at slightly different places (usually higher) on the dial under the new allocations. With few exceptions, the present order of stations will remain the same. Their dial positions simply will be moved up a few notches. Push button sets will have to be readjusted for all stations higher than 730 kilocycles and government radio engineers are advising that these changes be made by radio technicians. The wave length changes, most sweeping since the big reallocation of 1928 when clear channels were set up, are expected to improve radio program reception generally. The principal aim of the commission in ordering the changes is to eliminate inter station interference. On the dials now, stations WQAN and WGBI come in at a setting of 88 or 880 dependent on whether there are two or three figures designating the wave length. On and after tomorrow they will be received at a setting of 91 or 910. WARM now received at 1370 or 137 will come in at 1400 or 140.
Listeners to local stations will find that other stations now coming in close to those will continue their neighborly positions under the new arrangement. In general the frequency shifts will be along these lines:
Stations now on Channel of 550 to 720 kilocycles are unchanged. Stations between 740 and 780 kilocycles will move up 10 kilocycles or one channel. Stations using 790 to 870 kilocycles will move up 20 kilocycles or one channel. (two channels).
Stations between 880 and 1450 kilocycles will generally advance 30 kilocycles. (three channels).
Clear channel stations will shift from 1469 to 1490 kilocycles to 1500-1530 kilocycles.
Kelly Reed was one of the premier Sports reporters in WARMland in the late 80s and 90s. Reed worked closely with the legendary Ron Allen when WARM had a hybrid format which concentrated on Sports in the evening. During the morning shows, Reed worked closely with Ken Westling. During a UNICO Dinner held in Wilkes Barre, Reed met Oakland Raiders legend Kenny Stabler. Stabler died Thursday at the age of 69. He was known for his competitive nature on the field, being the first left handed QB of consequence in the NFL and had the nickname, "The Snake". Stabler had been battling cancer for a while.
Below is Reed with Stabler.
In this photo, Lou Michaels, Stabler, Reed and Greg Skrepenak share a moment at the UNICO Dinner.
Political analyst for WBRE TV's Pa. Live program and post election commentator for WBRE TV's Eyewitness News Daybreak show. Author of the book "A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors" and "Leges Vitae" "26 Rules of Life" and the new novel, "Weather Or Knot". The blog editor also writes various news articles and columns as well as upcoming literary projects. The blog editor was a frequent guest on WYOU TV'S INTERACTIVE NEWSCASTS when political issues were discussed on the national, state and local level. Yonki was a weekly panelist on WYLN TV 35's Friday Topic A program. He also appeared on the Hazleton, PA. station on Election Night doing coverage and did special projects and stories for WYLN TV 35's 10PM Newscast "Late Edition".