Tuesday, October 18, 2011
590 MIGHTY MEMORY #456
PHOTO INDEX: MY THIRD CLASS ENDORSED LICENSE.
WARM AND “THE TICKET”
For those who worked in radio in the 60s and 70s before deregulation, “The Ticket” was one of the most important thing you needed. “The Ticket” was the nickname for the FCC Third Class License required to be a broadcaster or failing that, being allowed to be left alone in a broadcast station. . There were 3 testing elements in it and the most complicated was the dreaded “Element 9”. If you were extremely non gifted in Math like I was, (I was told I had the lowest Math percentile in the entrance exams in the Scranton Diocese) Element 9 was downright scary. But I decided I wanted “The Ticket”. After attending Career Academy of Broadcasting in Washington D.C. in the summer of ’72 (Joey Shaver signed me up in February of that year) I took the test in October in Washington D.c. A bored bureaucrat took my information and I began the test. It was all or nothing. If you passed all three sections, you got the license with an endorsement. If you failed Element 9 you got a provisional which was akin to having training wheels in a triathlon. When I handed in my test, the bored woman scored it and blankly told me I passed. Elated, I said, “I’m now a broadcaster” and she retorted, “And I’m Diana Ross”.
The Third Class License gave me the opportunity to work at station with transmitters. I could read the meters (theoretically) and be left alone. “The Ticket” came in handy at my stints at WPTS, WARD, WRKC FM, WVIA FM, and WKQV AM and FM. I never got to use the License at WARM but I did wind up broadcasting from the sainted and iconic WARM control room. That story in our next 590 Mighty Memory.