Friday, March 20, 2015


WARM @ 75 

When WARM was starting plans to go on the air, station owners decided to hire a Program Manager/Director who would be the person in charge of the overall operation. His main focus though was to acquire talent to fill air time. Even though there wasn't a lot on the local dial, the new outlet needed to compete with national broadcasts as well as the other local stations. Here is the story of the first Program Manager at WARM. 


Selection of Charles R. Capps nationally known figure from the radio field as Program Director of Scranton’s new station WARM was announced yesterday by Martin F. Memelo President of The Union Broadcasting Company. 
Capps a native of New York City started as an architect and came into radio through an inherent love for the entertainment field back in 1924 with radio station WEAF now the National Broadcasting Company. His farewell bow as an architect and engineer was the famous 25 foot pool and recreation center in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with Keith Kiggins now Vice President of the NBC Blue Network and the late Amelia Earhart, famous aviatrix. 
In Hollywood Capps divided his attention between radio and the building of showplaces. His first association with radio was in the role o writer, director and actor. Being a technician at heart, Capps “wrote in” more sound effects than were available at that time. Consequently he had to design and build them himself. 
Turning to talent development, Capps served as Program and Production Manager at station WMCA New York for five of his seven years with that company. He has been associated with some of the foremost stars of stage, screen and radio including Dorothy McNulty, known as Penny Singleton, Beth Wilson of Warner Bros., and NBC, Jean Morgan of Columbia Pictures, Charles Martin writer, director of Hal Roach Studios, Don Costello of both networks and seen in the latest “Thin Man” picture, Joan Edwards of Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra, Alice Fost, Martin Gable and Betty Garde of CBS, Garson Kanin, Director with Columbia Pictures, Sam Levine. Capps also directed twenty six weeks of broadcasting starring Molly Picon who has appeared in Scranton. 
 Capp has already located here and will be in charge of the hu hundreds of auditions WARM will conduct as a result of a newspaper invitation issued at week. Pledged to the development of headliners he sincerely believes Scranton, Pa is as rich in talent as it is in anthracite. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015



WARM Radio always had a very close promotional relationship with the festivities surrounding St. Patrick's Day. During the course of the broadcast day on March 17th, WARM actually played Irish favorites. One performer you always heard on WARM was Carmel Quinn. In the 60s the now famous Scranton St. Patrick's Day Parade was just getting its start. WARM did a lot to promote it. During the early 70s WARM former a partnership with Lender's Bagels. Lenders made green bagels for the Mighty 590 to hand out at the parade and remotes. The station even sent Bill Kelly who was doing an air shift at the time to Harrisburg to show off a giant Lenders Green bagel to the number 2 official in the state at the time, Lt. Governor Ernest Kline. It proved to be a "Win Win" for the bagel company, WARM Radio and even Ernie Kline, an old broadcaster himself turned politician even seemed to enjoy the press event. 

The late Ernest Kline, Pennsylvania's 25th Lieutenant Governor, the iconic Lender giant green bagel and WARM personality Bill Kelly in Irish headgear. 

This St. Patrick's Day another WARM on air person had quite an honor. Former Mayor of Scranton Jim McNulty and also the host of "The Mayor of WARMland Show in the 90s is seen here interviewing WARM's Harry West in one of the live remotes he did. 
 Evie Refalko McNulty, Ian Murry and the former Mayor at the parade. In front is Sister Adrian Barrett who was also a familiar voice to WARM Radio listeners because of her charitable endeavors. . 
 The iconic WARM Lenders Green Bagel. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015



Those four words were said with so much authority back in the glory days of WARM Radio. They came from the voice of Ray Toro, aka Ray Magwyre. Magwyre’s voice and presentation was impeccable in its clarity and sound. The ultimate compliment any radio guy could get is this, “He has a great set of pipes”. Ray Magwyre did. 
Magwyre was the anchor of the afternoon newscasts on The Mighty 590. Working with News Director Jerry Heller, Ray was one of the most recognizable voices in local radio. I remember him wearing black horn rim glasses and always, perfectly using the right phrases that painted a picture for the listener. Magwyre also was a great reporter being on the scene for many stories of consequence during the heyday of WARM Radio. 
I had the pleasure of knowing Ray and working with him at WARM Radio when I was a student at King's College.  He was a true professional broadcaster. In addition to being a newsman he was quite the athlete playing for the Warm Softball softies as well as the Double Dribblers basketball team. His post game reports and promotions under the name of Coward Hosell brought a smile to many faces in WARMland. 
His real name was Ray Toro and he also worked later on at WEJL Radio. Magwyre, a native of the area has been regarded as one of the cornerstones of those great WARM News teams. Back in that era, TV and newspapers regularly monitored WARM to get the top stories and scoops. Magwyre contributed to many of them. 
L-R....Late Tim Karlson, Bobby Day, Paul Ciliberto, Ray Toro, Mr. B, R.J. Harkins. (Photo: Bobby Day Facebook). 

Saturday, March 7, 2015


WARM @75



Confirmation that Scranton's new radio station, WARM. Would he located in a temporary home for upwards of six month was made yesterday by Lou. Poller, secretary of the newly authorized Union Broadcasting Company , which has been allotted 1375 kilocycles by the Federal Communications Commission. The entire second floor of the Select Building at 116 North Washington Avenue, covering 8,000 square' feet has been leased for this purpose Poller revealed.
Extensive alterations were started yesterday and include complete air conditioning of the studios. While the site will only be used for upwards of 6 months, according to present plans, it will include a viewing gallery as well as every other modern facility found in the style centers of the industry such as New York City’s “Radio City”. The temporary lease was decided on after a con conference between Martin F. Memelo and Alex I. Prawdzink who designed many of the Comerford Theatres of the East. 
The additional time it was decided will enable Prawdzink to study the trends in radio construction and other details expected to make WARM a showplace of the smartest character. A half dozen prospective locations are under consideration for the permanent home it was indicated. 
The Select Studios should be ready by March 15th if needed and the present headquarters of the Union Broadcasting Company located in the Lincoln Building will be moved there at the earliest opportunity Poller declared. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015



This year marks the 75th anniversary of WARM Radio. Not to sound egotistical here but most likely this will be one of the few places that will note the start of this landmark radio station. In the next few 590 Mighty Memories we will give you the progression through newspaper artiles on how WARM Radio went on the air. We offer special thanks to our friend Joe Klapatch, Klapatch is an area video journalist and found the articles on WARM while researching a book of his own on the Carbondale Fire Department. The "History of the Carbondale PA Fire Department 1843-2015" can be purchased at the Carbondale Public Library, Lackawanna Historical Society in Scranton and the Library Express in the Steamtown Mall. The book is $22.00 and is very good.
Klaptach'sradio career began back in high school working at WARD. also at WILK, WARM (primarily sports work with Ron Allen and Pete Erickson), WEJL, and WBQW. He also worked at WNEP and WYOU in their news and sports departments. Joe was the person who got "all the scores" during the Joe Zone and after years. Joe also was the person who had the idea of the "Super 16" (it was based on a top 10 he did at WARD and was a lot of math back then). For the last 20 years, he has been a 911 dispatch supervisor and trainer at Lackawanna 911. He have also trained and worked on conferences for dispatchers on the local, state and national levels. 
He is currently researching the histories of all of Lackawanna County's fire companies. I just had my first book published on the"History of the Carbondale Fire Department 1843-2015". I am finalizing a book to hopefully be released later this year on the volunteer firemen of Scranton which covers a period from 1854-1901 and also takes the department to present day.
He's a busy guy and we than him for the contributions to this 590 Forever blog.

Klapatch’s book. (Photo: Joe Klapatch Facebook). 


The very first public announcement of a new radio station for Scranton came in an article in The Tribune on January 26th, 1940. Here is a copy of that article and underneath what the news piece reported about the new radio outlet. 



Given 90 Days to Begin Broadcasts, Memelo Heads Firm Scranton is to have another broadcasting station within 90 days The federal Communications Commission in Washington yesterday authorized the Union Broadcasting Company to establish a station in the city. Officers of the new company are Martin L. Memelo, President, James Scandale, Secretary, And Lou Poller Treasurer. Mr. Memelo and Mr. Scandale are residents of the city and Mr. Poller is a well known Jessup businessman.                                                                                                 

The company petitioned the Federal Communications Commission for a station last April. Under the Commission’s authorization the company must be ready to operate within the next three months. The station is to operate on a frequency of 1370 kilocycles with night power f 00 watts and day power of 250 watts. 


Attorney John Memelo, Council for the company said last night that surveys are to be undertaken immediately for a power transmitting station. Several tentative sites already have been elected he said. 
The company, it is understood will devote its time to commercial and civic broadcasts. 
 It was reported unofficially last night that the station will request the call letters W-A-R-M this symbolizing the region’s basic industry anthracite. 
Mr. Memelo said that an organization already has been perfected in anticipation of favorable ruling by the Commission. 
Shortly after the Union Broadcasting Company filed its request for a permit, another group of Scranton men incorporated under the name of Anthracite Broadcasters asked for a similar concession. Attorney Frank Butler is counsel for this company. No mention was made of this company in the Federal Communication Commission announcement yesterday.