PHOTO INDEX: ME IN THE WARM STUDIO IN JUNE OF 1995. EXCEPT THAT IT WAS WKQV FM AND AM. (FORMERLY WARD AM).
THE SHADOWS OF GREATNESS
I never got to broadcast from the WARM Studios in the old WARM building in Avoca when WARM was king. I did an audition tape in a production room for Joey Shaver when I was entering Career Academy of Broadcasting. I remember the playback as the reel wound round and round and the look of unmitigated pride on my father’s face.
That summer of ’72 I wound up in Washington, D.C. and lived on Wisconsin Avenue in the Northeast end of the city. I stayed at a place called McLean Gardens which was then on its way to being a bonafide dump. I had one room with a bed, sink, and closet. There was a shared bathroom down the hall with the other tenants.
When I came back from D.C. I did become a radio guy making stops along the way. I interned at WARM in 1976 working in the News Department with Jerry Heller, Kevin Jordan and Kitch Loftus. I also did a week in the sales department riding with Joey Shaver, the late Tim Durkin, Phil Condron and a really cool guy named Marty whose last name I cannot remember.
WARM became part of my professional career when I worked in public relations for Youth Inc., the United Way and Luzerne County. I always tried to find a WARM angle, always tried to use the power of WARM.
When the station moved to 600 Baltimore Drive in 1995, I did get to work in the WARM Building for WARD/WKQVFM. The FM studio was the old WARM control room. The AM station, WARD was where I worked being a board man for Nascar Races as well as the Sunday Morning Polka Show filling in for Bruce Kreiger. I was on the air in June of 1996 when WARD’s signal was transferred to Susquehanna Broadcasting.
The night before the station was going to be switched over, I had my wife take pictures of me in the WARM control room. I just wanted one seat behind the board that the WARM Sensational Seven worked. The controls that Harry West and Len Woloson used. My wife laughed as she took the picture. I asked her what the deal was and she said, “You’ll see when you get them back from Phar Mor. (A drug store we got our photos developed back then). When I got the photo, I knew what she meant. I had this saintly look on my face. I was a pretender to the throne of greatness. I was sitting in the shadows of greatness. But I didn’t care because I was loving it. I never got to broadcast from WARM when it was the Mighty 590, but the night before as the station simulcast a long gone sports network, I was riding those slide pods. It would have been near perfect if only I had supersonic sound.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
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.