Election Day 1978

Election Day 1978

Jeff Baker
Jeff Baker

October 20th, 2001, 3:18 am #1

Well, here's a mildly amusing recollection I've got from Election Day 1978. News Director John Russell was in early to anchor a portion of the AM drive newscast, which that morning was wall-to-wall news from 6-9AM. I was on the board, and at 6:45, I went over to the BC1G transmitter to kick it up from pre-sunrise (500 Watt) power to daytime power (1 kW). About once a year, when this power change was made, the BC1G would blow one of its 2 - 20 Amp line fuses, and drop dead. My luck, for 1978, that was the day it chose to go.
I walked over to the aux transmitter, the ancient BC1E, and pressed the "Filament ON" button. We'd be back on the air with this transmitter in less than a minute. I glanced over to the news booth and could see the steam coming out of John's ears. He was obviously aware that there was a problem, since his headphones monitored the off-air feed, but I opted not to go back to the control room intercom to explain the situation. Instead, I waited about 30 seconds for the filaments to warm up, pressed "Plate ON", putting the BC1E on the air, and walked back to the control room.
By this time, John had taken his headphones off and was speaking to me on the intercom. "You better not screw this up. We spent a lot of money on this." He needn't have used the intercom--see, he had never turned his booth microphone off, so I could hear him just fine over the air monitor. So could everyone else listening to the station. I cut his key momentarily on the board, and told him via the intercom, "You're on."
End of discussion.

Those were the days.

JB
Quote
Share

Julie Pomarici
Julie Pomarici

October 21st, 2001, 3:23 am #2

I recall one of our more "controversial" hosts being a little too late to dump a caller who got fed up and in a fit of frustration called the host a "fascist a**hole." Yep, the whole thing went out over the air.

But it doesn't beat Al Switzer's on-air burp, perfectly timed after the close of a very serious story. It was my first time listening to RKL, driving over to Rockland for my job interview with Bill Brady.

Al was great. Anyone know what he's up to these days??
Quote
Share

Joined: October 19th, 2001, 12:59 pm

November 13th, 2001, 3:07 pm #3

Well, here's a mildly amusing recollection I've got from Election Day 1978. News Director John Russell was in early to anchor a portion of the AM drive newscast, which that morning was wall-to-wall news from 6-9AM. I was on the board, and at 6:45, I went over to the BC1G transmitter to kick it up from pre-sunrise (500 Watt) power to daytime power (1 kW). About once a year, when this power change was made, the BC1G would blow one of its 2 - 20 Amp line fuses, and drop dead. My luck, for 1978, that was the day it chose to go.
I walked over to the aux transmitter, the ancient BC1E, and pressed the "Filament ON" button. We'd be back on the air with this transmitter in less than a minute. I glanced over to the news booth and could see the steam coming out of John's ears. He was obviously aware that there was a problem, since his headphones monitored the off-air feed, but I opted not to go back to the control room intercom to explain the situation. Instead, I waited about 30 seconds for the filaments to warm up, pressed "Plate ON", putting the BC1E on the air, and walked back to the control room.
By this time, John had taken his headphones off and was speaking to me on the intercom. "You better not screw this up. We spent a lot of money on this." He needn't have used the intercom--see, he had never turned his booth microphone off, so I could hear him just fine over the air monitor. So could everyone else listening to the station. I cut his key momentarily on the board, and told him via the intercom, "You're on."
End of discussion.

Those were the days.

JB
Jeff:
I have lots of old tapes, including "Year End Reports" from the late '70s and early '80s. Voices on the tapes include Sheila Berkowitz, Jeff Jayson, Gary Koplin, Jay Wilson, and many others. I could lend them to Steve Possell to copy if you all want to put them on this site.

Rich.
Quote
Like
Share

Jeff Baker
Jeff Baker

November 13th, 2001, 5:57 pm #4

I'm interested, and will contact you via email.
Quote
Share

john russell
john russell

January 19th, 2005, 7:05 pm #5

Well, here's a mildly amusing recollection I've got from Election Day 1978. News Director John Russell was in early to anchor a portion of the AM drive newscast, which that morning was wall-to-wall news from 6-9AM. I was on the board, and at 6:45, I went over to the BC1G transmitter to kick it up from pre-sunrise (500 Watt) power to daytime power (1 kW). About once a year, when this power change was made, the BC1G would blow one of its 2 - 20 Amp line fuses, and drop dead. My luck, for 1978, that was the day it chose to go.
I walked over to the aux transmitter, the ancient BC1E, and pressed the "Filament ON" button. We'd be back on the air with this transmitter in less than a minute. I glanced over to the news booth and could see the steam coming out of John's ears. He was obviously aware that there was a problem, since his headphones monitored the off-air feed, but I opted not to go back to the control room intercom to explain the situation. Instead, I waited about 30 seconds for the filaments to warm up, pressed "Plate ON", putting the BC1E on the air, and walked back to the control room.
By this time, John had taken his headphones off and was speaking to me on the intercom. "You better not screw this up. We spent a lot of money on this." He needn't have used the intercom--see, he had never turned his booth microphone off, so I could hear him just fine over the air monitor. So could everyone else listening to the station. I cut his key momentarily on the board, and told him via the intercom, "You're on."
End of discussion.

Those were the days.

JB
cute story, jeff. One problem. The news booth did not have a mike switch. Some time after I became news director we installed a cough button...i'm not sure what year that was, but in the time that I worked from from the newsbooth that was the only control the newscaster had. So the mike was on that day because when you got up from the control board you failed to flip the switch and turn it off.
Quote
Share

Jeff B
Jeff B

June 14th, 2013, 2:58 am #6

Funny. You say something inappropriate on the air, and it's the guy in the other room's fault?

Hi John. You may be recalling a different arrangement, because by the time I started at the R in 75, there was an on/off toggle switch in the booth's countertop. It would latch in both the ON and OFF positions. Pulling the switch ON (towards you) engaged a relay that lit the ON AIR light outside the booth, and muted the ceiling speaker within the booth. That relay sometimes made an audible tink when the newscaster pulled the mike switch ON. It was a signature sound on many of that era's airchecks.
But you're right that there was another switch on the control room board, by which we could completely cut off the news booth. And we usually did, between newscasts, because of the noise that the mike preamp added to the program line. During a newscast, that switch stayed on, even if the transmitter didn't.

So that's my story, and all these years later, I'm sticking to it.
Quote
Share

Joined: March 16th, 2016, 3:59 pm

March 17th, 2016, 6:43 pm #7

I'm interested, and will contact you via email.
do you happen to know if any audio tapes of the high school game of the week exist..it would be fun to share with rocklands greatest on fb thank you glenn hope this message gets to you
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 16th, 2016, 3:59 pm

August 19th, 2016, 6:22 pm #8

I'm interested, and will contact you via email.
i have two radio broadcasts of high school football games from wrkl..i was hoping you had some
Quote
Like
Share