National Radio Club/DX Audio Service - Batavia 2004
"Bringing It All Back Home" was the theme for the National Radio Club/DX Audio Service 2004 Convention September 2-5. Based at a central location off the New York Thruway (I-90) at the Days Inn in Batavia, New York, this convention was a 'homerun' for 67 attendees. Along with the always-entertaining auction, business meeting, banquet, quiz, and a speaker, for four days we visited stations and transmitter sites and a wireless museum, gathered for an enjoyable 'DX' pizza party, and attended a baseball game capped off with our name in lights on the scoreboard and fireworks!
Marking the club's 71st anniversary, we returned to familiar turf honoring the memory of Ray "Pop" Edge. Ray was one of the NRC's leading members, editing DX News from Buffalo. He also hosted many of the early conventions which were held at his home in Buffalo from 1941, '43, '46, '47, and 1949. Exactly 40 years ago, Ray also hosted the 1964 convention from the Kenton Manor Hotel in Tonawanda, NY just outside Buffalo. Now in 2004, a seven-person committee coordinated efforts to bring the club back to western New York, led by Rochester's Scott Fybush.
Recognizing their efforts, the 'Magnificent 7' host committee scheduled a wonderful full plate of events similar to how mine looked at the banquet! Let's begin with Scott Fybush, the NRC 2004 events coordinator, who's an entertaining speaker, writer, historian, radio visionary, and entrepreneur. Scott's 16-page NRC 2004 program had at least 30 some events and trips timed and planned. The program contained directions, bandscans with formats and tips, logos, recognition, maps, and concise information. Included was a brief bio on Batavia, which was founded in 1802 and derived its name from a Netherlands republic from where the Dutch Holland Land Company owners originated, incorporated as a city in 1915, and became home to over 16,000 residents.
Scott's wife Lisa also helped and assisted throughout the weekend. Lisa also brought to the convention our 'star of the show', 11-month-old daughter Ariel who celebrated birthday number one on September 15! A NRC 2004 time capsule was dedicated at the hotel in her honor! The others in the committee included long-time member and good friend Jerry Bond of Rochester. Jerry handled registrations and refreshments, was the driver of the 'Bond Bus Company', and had a wonderful insight into western New York radio.
Also, salutations to Saul Chernos of Toronto who arranged the Canadian tours, 'the shadow' Greg Coniglio of Buffalo who arranged his city's tours, Rick Lucas of Rochester, while proudly sporting his KDKA-1020 shirt at the banquet arranged the banquet, Jim Renfrew of Byron, NY who also assisted with refreshments and hosted the DX 'beverage' and pizza party at his home, and just added to the lineup, and recently-rejoined member Nolan Stephany of Webster, NY and CE for WXXI-1370 and WHIC-1460, who handled those transmitter tours.
Finally, a belated congratulations for Greg Coniglio who was married on June 26, and a September third birthday salute to Jerry Bond! Thank ya boys; now, on with the show!
It's the NRC version of the Republican Convention; they're in New York City and we're in Batavia, and who's having more fun?! You know the answer. Like the song, "V A C A T I O N...in the Summertime," we began Day One NRC 2004 on Thursday, September 2 passing into Canada and Ontario after 9:30 AM. "Over the Rainbow' Bridge to Highway 420 and the QEW, we pass the tower sites of Toronto's AMs 640, 590, and 680. We eventually head northwest past route 407 to Hornby, ON to our first stop. On a gravel driveway, we've arrived to a large white building with green lettering at the top, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This is the transmitter building and site for CHW0-740 and CJBC-860 diplexed on a 640-foot tower.
Approximately 30 members and guests have gathered at 11 AM to begin an impressive tour of this 64-year-old site which is owned and operated by the CBC. Leased to CHWO, we're greeted by Brian Smith, Chairman of the Ontario DX Association (ODXA) and QSL Manager for "AM 740." Brian then introduces us to Mr. Roberto Vissani, CET for CBC/Radio-Canada and the Transmission and Distribution Dept. Ontario Region.
Mr. Vissani then conducted an exciting tour of the building which contained four Continental transmitters, two for each station, the downstairs which had the cooling compartments plus a huge Cummins diesel engine and a fallout room, and the tower site which has a 15-year-old tower that replaced the original one. The site was 'Erected for the CBC by Wm. S. Perry, Toronto, May 1, 1939.' Also, around the area are warning signs in English and French and two CBC logos on the transmitter building that were never used. Of Italian descent, Mr. Vissani offered a convention greeting in Italian. He's been employed here for 18 years, Mr. Vissani wanted to get away "from downtown and too much asphalt."
Hitting the pavement, we traveled southeast about ten kilometers or 6.2 miles to Oakville at 284 Church Street. Thus, we've arrived at the home of CHWO Radio, LTD. At a two-story office complex on the corner, there's the red CHWO 1250 callsign at the top of the building.
We are "Welcome to the Broadcast Centre." Upstairs are the studios and offices for three stations, CHWO "AM 740 prime time radio" playing your "all time favourites," Toronto, religious CJYE "Joy 1250" licensed to Oakville, and ethnic CJMR 1320, "Voice of the City," licensed as "Mississauga Radio."
Our group was greeted by Program Director Gene Stevens for the three stations. Before the tour, Mr. Stevens presents an informative and interesting lecture on each station, particularly CHWO. Briefly, CHWO 1250 went on in 1956 and is now owned by the Michael Caine family. Much earlier, CBL 740 was licensed in 1927. When CBL signed off on 740, CHWO applied for and was granted 740, commencing their new broadcasts January 8, 2001. They won approval from the CRTC to operate on 740 by choosing a nostalgic format which they explained, along with 7000 signatures, no station in the market played music for the 50-plus age group. CHWO is also more than just a nostalgic station, "not a perfect adult standards one like in the US." As with any Canadian music station, under law, CHWO must play at least 30 percent of their songs written by Canadian artists. CHWO has 2000 songs in their rotation, and their jingle package is produced locally in Toronto by Boomsonic. After the format hit the air, by the spring of 2001, their listenership jumped four times from 125,000 plus many more in western NY and northern PA. However, since they don't subscribe to Arbitron, it is not clear what exactly their ratings could be. Also, the calls 'CHWO' are taken from the 'White Oak' tree growing in this part of Toronto, and the 'H' was used from a list of five second letter calls, 'F,H,I,J,K, that the CRTC instructs any station to use. Mr. Stevens also mentions that the '1250' numbers on the building will be changed to '740' once they receive local approval. Finally, three main air personalities are mentioned, including Eva Dee who was in a production studio. Eva, whose 8 PM Wednesday "The Romantic Hour with Eva Dee" show is voice-tracked, while heard by this listener last night, was surprised and overwhelmed to meet thirty loyal listeners!
Loyal to our taste buds, after some tasty treats for lunch at "Licks", we're in prime form to administer to our travels crossing Winston Churchill Boulevard to find the six-tower array of 'our buddy', Toronto's "1050 CHUM." "Home to the greatest rock n' roll," we're greeted by CE Larry Keats who's been at CHUM for almost 24 years. Inside the transmitter building, there's the 19-year-old Continental 317-C2 backup transmitter and the newly installed, as of March 2004, Harris 3DX50. The station having signed on in 1957, the building is about 35 kilometers or 20 miles southwest of the downtown studios. Each guyed tower is 240 feet with a day-directional pattern northeast towards the city and a night pattern more easterly. Also, the tower site is situated along part of the Lake Ontario shoreline.
We're 'in line' and 'homeward bound' back to Batavia, but not before a quick nearby photo stop at the four-tower array of "1010 CFRB", a check of 'it's a gas, gas, gas' prices of Petro Canada's 79 cents a liter, the US border chequepoint, and 'ribs' at Alex's! After a rescheduling of events, Day Two of NRC 2004 Friday, September 3 began after 10 AM south of Buffalo at Hamburg, NY at the five-tower array of Buffalo's NPR station WNED 970. At the site, we met WNED's Jospeh Puma, Radio Engineering Manager, who said that the call is sometimes referred to as "Western New York Education." Their pattern is sent due north towards the city, the same day and night, with a power of 5000 watts. They protect Pittsburgh and Louisville, while it's interesting to note that WNED AM and FM 94.5 has the same frequencies as my locals WBGG-970 and WWSW-94.5.
Also, WHLD-1270, licensed to Niagara Falls, NY is diplexed at this site using different patterns day and night. WNED installed a completely digital Harris DAX transmitter, will have IBOC here next month, and be on with it by the end of the year. Owned and operated by the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association, each self-supporting tower is 242 feet.
Our next stop nearby is big, at Big Tree Road, the transmitter site of WWKB 1520 and WGR 550. The 'Chief', Scott Fybush, then offered his thoughts and information about this historic site. Built in the late 1930s by the 'BBC,' the 'Buffalo Broadcasting Company,' there are six towers. Three of the closest ones are used for 1520 while four on the outer corner of the 'box' are used for WGR's night pattern. WGR's directional night pattern has the major lobe due north and a smaller one due south. 550's non-directional day pattern moved from a self-supporting tower to a guyed one. 50 kilowatt "KB Radio" uses a northeast directional pattern day and night protecting Oklahoma City. Broadcast Yearbook (BY) lists WGR commencing broadcasts in May, 1922 and WWKB, or 'WKBW,' beginning in 1925. With three garage doors on the left, the large yellow brick building still has vertically the 'WKBW' calls in large letters on the left and 'ABC' on the right. There's also two bird's nests, one built on the 'B' of the ABC and the other on the second 'W'. They're former tenants of Big Bird's family who knew how to DX! With slightly smaller letters at top center, there's 'WKBW Inc.' Also, member Mike Lantz of Miami Beach, m, 'chirps' in mentioning that the WKBW call stood for "Well Known Bible Works." The station was religious from the 1930s until July 4, 1958 when they declared their 'independence' and went to Top 40 and rock.
A 'rockin' and a rollin', we arrived at our third stop on the Lower Terrace in downtown Buffalo at Horizons Plaza, home to WNED 970/94.5/TV 17. Previously as WEBR, AM 970 celebrated 80 years on the air, May 18, 1924, while FM 94.5 has passed 44 years as of June 6 according to the BY. A plaque inside marks 25 years for WNED from 1977 to 2002. With that, the massive, beautiful, and mostly glass-enclosed complex contains the TV division on the first floor and radio on the second. On the first floor are two large studios, as one is 'set' for the 'MDA' telethon.
Our second floor tour began with the studios of "Classical 94.5." Conducting ourselves in an elderly manner, it's 'news' to us to find next door, 'all news and NPR 970' WNED. Over the horizon, the 'NPR 970' studios are about 20 miles north of the Hamburg site, or just about as far as some of the passes ex-Buffalo Bill hall-of-famer quarterback great Jim Kelly threw! The 94.5 site is about 30 miles from here and also a repeater station at Jamestown, NY WNJA 89.7.
For WNED TV, they're analog channel 17 and digital channel 43. Meanwhile in the lobby are city murals painted on two 'public' animals, a buffalo and a moose signifying the link of WNED's Buffalo/Toronto programming.
'Return to sender,' the address is known at 113 Main Street in Batavia, we found, "...your hometown station for unforgettable favorites, AM 1490 WBTA." 'No bones about it,' we flew to reach WBTA just after a break for lunch at Ted's Hot Dogs near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Inside the storefront building just before 3 PM, what a treat to 'really' meet President and General Manager Daniel Fischer and later Production and Sports Director John Vasquea. In the studio, Mr. Fischer explains that WBTA is on 24 hours with live local announcers from 5-10 AM, noon to one PM, and 5-6 PM, local automation during other daylight hours, and the ABC Memories format off satellite from 7 PM to 5 AM. WBTA's music format is patterned after the ABC Memories with a BSI Simeon automation system used for the local musical programs.
In his opinion, Mr. Fischer mentions, "that with the DSI, once you get it working, leave it alone," because the system works well.He also said that, "the ABC Radio people are great to deal with." Also working well was our arrival as I present Mr. Fischer with a pen and a business card from a former co-worker, WESB 1490 Bradford, PA's President and General Manager Donald Fredeen, an earlier stop this past Monday August 30. A general meeting! Generally speaking, I also show Mr. Fischer my QSL of WBTA from October 30, 1985. From BY, signing on in February, 1941, "for over 60 years...for the news you need and the music you love...", it was music to our ears to stop at WBTA!
It was a warm Friday evening and so was the friendship at the home of Jim Renfrew at 6988 Bank Street Road. 'Cashing' in on the success of our past two days, over 40 members and guests enjoy a pizza and (DX) beverage party downstairs.
Upstairs, Jim has his Drake R8 and other receivers tuned into whatever is caught on the longwire. Downstairs, we're caught amongst hundreds of WBUGs amongst the lights. Unlike this congregation, Jim is a Presbyterian minister for two churches in and near his home of Byron, NY. Earlier in the day, we caught this ID for a stop I'll make Labor Day Monday, "We're glad you're listening to us at work (and eating pizza!) and we enjoy keeping you company, we're WUFO AM The Light 1080 Amherst-Buffalo." We were glad to follow the light, praise, and good cheer Jim provided!
'It's a beautiful morning' for Day Three NRC 2004 Saturday September 4 as this journey full day would take us to at least eight transmitter stops and lunch, a full plate of events indeed! Like a shepherd, Scott led his flock past 10 AM near Brockport, NY to our first stop, WASB-1590. With the ID on a small house that contains the transmitter, there's a five-tower array 1000 watts directional different patterns day and night. Meanwhile, we're, "listening to the Sunshine Radio Network, 1590 AM WASB Brockport-Rochester and 1310 AM WRSB Canandaigua-Rochester, " as the studios are in Hamlin, NY. The site could use some upkeep, but nothing like that at our next stop near Clarkson, NY and west of Rochester, "Legends 990 WLGZ."
After crossing the Erie Canal, our 'cargo' of radio fans have found the "Legends 990" transmitter site large and impressive, containing six towers, three rows of two. Located off Ridge Road and NY route 104 on Clark Ridge Drive, our adventurous minds also want to meet 'Lewis', but settle and keyed our interests to greet Benjamin Martin, Production Manager for "Legends 990" and "102.7 The Light" WRCI, licensed to Webster, NY. Once again Scott described a tale of this 100-plus acre site beginning over 25 years ago when the station was a 250 watt daytimer WNYR-680. With later calls of WRNY and WRVM, CFTR 680 Toronto wanted this station off their frequency to further enhance their coverage. With an agreement through the US State Department, 680 Rochester moved to 990 while also adding 250 watts at night. The station eventually went to 5000 days and 2500 watts at night with different directional patterns.
The night pattern is cigar-shaped mainly due east protecting Winnipeg, Philadelphia, and Providence. Two of the six towers are used during the day, and all six used at night. A newly-installed Nautel transmitter is the feature while a Continental is the backup.
Member Dave Marthouse, co-owner of WODI-1230, remarked that these transmitters are the same as his station, like sisters. Like a systematic approach, "Legends 990" has two live announcers during the day and voice-tracks other shifts.
Outside the transmitter building, AM Stereo WLGZ has a "Legends 990"-stickered 4.5 Murray horsepower lawnmower which is used to 'mow' down the competition!
Our next stop is a 'hit,' primetime radio in the northeast, 1180 WHAM. However, it was noted by Scott that the directions in the convention program contained a slight error to WHAM. Nearing the 1180 transmitter site, we should make a 'right' at 'the fork in the road' onto Brook Road, a left as was listed would have sent us into the 'brook' or the Genesee River! "When it comes to news, the choice is clear (channel), 1180 W-H-A-M, Rochester." Of course the right choice was made to have met Craig Kingcaid,
Engineering & IT Manager for ClearChannel 1180. At this site is the immense 60-year-old single-guyed 420-foot four-sided tower with a seven-foot face. There's also 55 acres of land, but less than half is used. WHAM's site is 13 air miles southwest from the downtown 207 Midtown Plaza address. At this address, WHAM has 13 studios of which 4 are production, 7 are on air, and 2 are voice-tracking. As BY lists, WHAM's sign on date was July, 1922. In this two-story building, markings on the second floor indicated WHAM's old Westinghouse transmitter, since removed, and replaced by a 28-year-old Harris MW50 and on June 16, 2002, the new Harris 3DX50 "DX Destiny" transmitter. This new one, according to Mr. Kingcaid, "practically fixes itself" while containing 64-65 modules. A Harris MW10 is there also as a backup. Also, there will be IBOC for WHAM, but the target date was not disclosed. This building even has a roll-up door on the second floor and once housed a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom for the engineer on site.
After an outasite lunch at Schaller's, five more transmitter stops round out the day. First, there's 950 WROC Rochester with one kilowatt day and night with different directional patterns from a four-tower 1947 site four miles south of their Entercom studios downtown on 40 acres of land. Programming is news/talk, but according to Scott, this station, "will always be remembered as '95 BBF', the rock of Rochester." Signing on in 1947 as WARC, the Foreman Family purchased 950 in 1953, and Mr. Foreman renamed the calls after his wife, W Bernice B. Foreman. From the late 50s until 1982, WBBF dominated the local airwaves with Top 40 music. Our speaker this night, Bob Savage, once worked here along with, no relation though the names sounded alike, Jessica Savitch, a young woman personality whose life abruptly ended early.
Next, there's a quick stop and drive by the four tower in-line array of the five kilowatt Clear Channel Hot Talk 1280 WHTK", a news, talk, and sports station, which also carries the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings baseball games.
Our third and fourth stops belong to the 'engineer on duty', Nolan Stephany, Engineering Supervisor for Rochester's NPR station WXXI 1370 and contract duties for Rochester's religious station WHIC 1460. At 560 French Road, WXXI has a four-tower array, two sets of two. Employed for three years at WXXI, Nolan has also recently once again 'employed' with the NRC! Once the studios for 1370 and now located downtown the past 20 years, Nolan has found past DX reports of DXers and three current club members, Paul Mount, Ray Arruda, and yours truly from 1975! A RCA BTASG transmitter installed 50 years ago backs up the current 25-year-old Harris. The same five-kilowatt signal, non-directional days and directional nights, sends a mainly north/south signal protecting WSPD Toledo and WFEA Manchester. Logged as WSAY, then heard later as WRTK, the building also serves as a tenant for a Youth for Christ group. About the NRC, Nolan rejoined because, "the club gives professionals some insight into the industry as to what's listed and what is reality."
What is real is our next stop, WHIC 1460, located nearby and with the same power and similar patterns as 1370. Behind an office complex, three self-supporting 170-foot 57-year-old towers are in line on property the station does not own and may be sold in a year. On the air in September, 1925, one tower is now used days and all three used at night. For years as WWWG, When We Worship God, or "3WG", the station was sold July 2003 to Holy Family Communications, Catholic Radio. The station's offices at 1840 South Winton Road and located about a few hundred feet from the site, is a satellite station for WLOF 101,7 Attica, NY. In the offices is the new Gates transmitter and a 15-year-old Harris MWS, plus a letter from Bishop Mathew Clark of Rochester welcoming WHIC, possibly as 'His In Christ,' to the airwaves. On the front door, it mentions, "The Station of the Cross." A welcome sight shortly was actually meeting Mrs. 'Radio', Scott's mother, Mrs. Fybush who lives nearby upon our return into Rochester.
Our final stop is the 'mother' of all transmitter sites. We're on 'a high' and have 'written our successful story' off Hemingway Drive atop Pinnacle Hill, home to several TV and FM towers. Built around 1949, this site, 4300 hundred feet above terrain, contains four operational towers and a fifth soon to be in operation. On the towers are eight TV channels, three of which are low power, and four FM station bays. Included here also were five transmitter buildings and WXXI's TV 21. The four FMs are "Classical 91.5 WXXI", modern rock "The Zone 94.1" WZNE, rocker WCMF 96.5, and Top 40 "98 PXY" WPXY 97.9, all licensed to Rochester. For Scott, Nolan, and member Garrett Wollman of Framingham, MA, all are saluted giving these 'tourists' a fine WRAP up tour!
Returning to Batavia, a special evening of events, the banquet, and the tributes will occur. Plus, "you know you're at an NRC Convention and you walk past Room 100 and find a 'Z' taped in front of the number," quips Scott in reference to Paul Mount and New Jersey's "Z 100" WHTZ! Also, it was the 'days in' thing to purchase the new 2004-2005 NRC AM Log Book at $19 and the Fybush 2005 Tower Site Calendar at $15. Hurry, they're selling out fast.
Not so fast, but a fine group photo or photos, the NRC 2004 Photo, shot by Blaine Thompson of Ft. Wayne, IN were taken outside the hotel. Any that didn't come out, don't 'blane Blaine!' With a thanks to the Days Inn and before our fine dinner, a special moment of silence was offered for four deceased members this year. They included Betty Lord, Clarence Cordrey, Don Hazen, and word that just came yesterday, César Objío. Also, a salute to the seven-member committee including Greg 'The Shadow' Coniglio!
After dinner, a 'savage' takeover occurred when President/CEO Robert Savage of 'whistle' WYSL 1040 Avon (AH' vawn), NY grabs the mike for a most interesting and entertaining speech on his career in broadcasting and WYSL. A native of Livonia, NY, Mr. Savage began his young career at WLEA 1480 Hornell, NY, then onto Newark, NY, Binghamton, NY, WIBG 990 Philadelphia, and while still a sophomore at Ithaca (NY) College, Bob sent a demo tape to his favorite station, 1520 "KB" WKBW. Hired for the midnight-to-7-AM shift that began on November 7, 1969, Mr. Savage moved on to other markets including Rochester, Pittsburgh, Knoxville, and another legendary station those days, '800 CKLW.' By age 36, he decided to apply for a CP (Construction Permit) for 1030 and 93.3 at Avon, NY in September, 1985, the same day the FCC rescinded restrictions on call letters. When 1400 in Buffalo, known then as 'The Little Bulldog' competing well a short time against WKBW, dropped WYSL, Bob 'snapped' the call letters. Within two years and after returning to WKBW, Bob had WYSL on the air December 31, 1997.
In his words, "If I had to work for a jerk, it might as well be me!" Of course WYSL had grown in popularity from a 500 and 1000 watt daytimer on 1030 to a more serviceable 1040 frequency with 2500 watts days and 500 watts directional nights into Rochester. A small, but dedicated, staff provides news to the Rochester area, some talk, a small amount of big band music, and local and college sports including Rochester Rhino soccer and some Red Wings baseball games. Accompanying Bob this night is his wife, Client Services Manager Judith Day, who's there for him 'day and night!!
The WYSL 18-acre site, on South Lima Road, just east of South Lima, NY, has four towers, two for days and all four used at night. WYSL also has their two transmitters, a 1962 RCA BTA1-R and the main seven-year-old BEA 2.5 kw, a 35 kilowatt V6 generator outside, an impressive modern radio 'house', a 1950 maroon Hudson automobile in Bob's possession, and guarding the whole area is Daisy, a six-year-old English sheepdog!
Currently, WYSL has applied for a CP of 20 kw days, 13.2 kw critical hours, and keeps the 500 watts at night. On 24 hours, WYSL is unattended at night and most weekends, plus is, in Bill's words, "like a six-month-old that always needs you and never shuts up!" Hoping they'll never shut up, we thank Bob for a great speech! This past Wednesday, September 1, I did visit WYSL while on route to Batavia.
Before going further, we'll mention the special and interesting people in attendance at NRC Batavia. Let's start with Mask and Lina (Lee-na) Jones of Alexandria, LA and NRC Dallas 2003 attendants. Mark, General Manager of KEZP 104.3 licensed to Bunkie, LA playing oldies, has been involved in radio for 25 years having worked, bought, and sold ten or more radio properties, and started at 1580 WAMR Amory, MS. Also there is longtime member from Omaha, Ernie Wesolowski with video camcorder in hand who offered two fine tips. One was that 1520 KOMA in Oklahoma City had changed to KOKC and that with newer traffic lights being installed anywhere, they contain LEDs which cause more interference to AM radio. Having just 'floated' in, then 'racing' back to Youngstown, the ex AM-Switch Editor and enjoyable couple, Jerry Starr and Bonnie.
Also, having made the time to leave his engineering to about50 or so, seems like it, stations in the Scranton, PA area, good friend, long-time member, Musings Editor, and NRC 1986 and 1997 Convention Host, a 'new and improved' Dave Schmidt! From The Garden State of New Jerseyl Tony DeNicola of Edison who's co-owner of WODI-1230 Brookneal, VA along with Dave Marthouse, and Pete Tauriello of Irvington who's reported for 23 years "Shadow Traffic and Transit on the ones every ten minutes (mornings) on 10 - 10 WINS...the most listened to station in the nation!" Also, two local members from Pittsburgh first time attending Jason Togyer at Carnegie Mellon University's WRCT 88.3 and 'the voice of choice', air personality and radio wiz, Clarke Ingram, who's returned to the air Friday nights from 7-12 on oldies "3WS 94.5," Saturdays at 7:15 PM on "620 KHB" WKHB Irwin, and Sundays from 3-7 PM on "770 KFB" WKFB Jeannette, both oldies and both co-owned. 'All the way from San Jose', Californian David Gordon enjoying his digital photos, James and Betty Feasel from Pataskala, Ohio, their first NRC convention after having joined the club 17 years ago following my visit to their home after NRC Lima 1987! Returning to our regular programming, we returned to the NRC Hospitality Room for the NRC Business Meeting, the NRC Auction, a few twists, and a surprise.
Concerning NRC business, it's everybody's business that the club is in good financial shape, that membership is a combined 800 (650 in the NRC and 150 in DXAS), an introduction was made for the NRC Ombudsman, and the new NRC Board of Directors member replacing Ron Musco, Mr. John Bowker, and what's an ombudsman you say? Well, he solves problems concerning club activities, not why your local splatters all over the dial.
Also, this convention represented the largest attended in two decades, the 2005 convention date remains on the Labor Day weekend, but the site has yet to be determined with four possibilities, and finally the 2004-2005 NRC AM Log Book is in stores everywhere. 'Surprise, surprise' especially to the most deserving couple was when Ernie Wesolowski presents John and Linda Bowker with this year's 2004 award. Thus, "In appreciation for service to DX News and DX Audio Service, for their hours and miles of producing the Travellog, we salute John and Linda Bowker, Batavia, New York, September 2004," respectfully, the National Radio Club. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. B!
Then it was time for the world-famous, or infamous, NRC Auction hosted by NRC Lima '87, '00, and '02 host and DXAS Editor Fred Vobbe and DX News Publisher Paul Swearingen for which this editorial comment was issued that the club raised $406! Included in that was a modest $3 bid by NRC Publications Manager Ken Chatterton for a six foot "3WG" tent. NRC Watertown-Mannsville 2005? Next, Tony DeNicola presented a video, a "Trip Down Memory Lane of AM Radio," by Herb Squire, CE of WQXR 1560/96.3 New York followed by airchecks of "El Kabong", air personality Clarke Ingram on his new stint, "620 KHB" with those rockin' goodies! And a 'rock-a-bye baby goodnight.!
'Fourscore' and Day Four NRC 2004, Sunday September 5 at 9:30 AM, we've returned to the NRC Hospitality Room for some hospitable entertainment. We began by spoiling our breakfasts with candy rewards for a verbal quiz by John and Linda Bowker, 'Bowker, the first name for entertainment.' Next, how the DX Travelogue is assembled on tape with something called, 'goldwave,' editing, which was rather interesting. So was our next topic, member of 46 years Ben Dangerfield of Wallingford, PA who talked about, "World War II DXing." Ben explained DXing in those early days, the 1941 swap of frequencies, all done in one day, listening to Europe like for example, the German, "Radio Stuttgart," and how easy it was to hear stations with much less of them on the band. Hoping for much more, especially in London town, we thank 'Big' Ben!
Next, how much less I felt when the annual NRC Quiz was presented. Corrected by Professor Vobbe, the winner was Macomb, Illinois' Frank Merrill who 'won by a landslide' and chose a one-year DXAS membership. Thus the notice was served, Fybush 1 (at WFTDA), Merrill 1.
Lunch was served in the afternoon with a stop at Tom Wahl's in Avon with jello for dessert, but our appetites needed more, receiving it the Antique Wireless Association Electronic Communication Museum at 2 South Avenue in Bloomfield, NY. After 3 PM, members arrived via 'stagecoach' to visit this 167-year-old three-story building. Here we met Curator Edward Gable, K2MP, who was very kind to accept various groups and ours which was last. Briefly, the AWA moved here in 1976 after starting their first museum in 1952. All types of artifacts are featured inside including telephone, TV, and radio. The emphasis, though, "is on early radio." The museum was started by four members, all licensed hams, and now occupies the second and third floors. The first floor houses the Bloomfield Historical Society and the building was once an Academy Building and placed under the National Register of Historic Places. The "World's first transistor radio" is here along with, "the World's first cellular phone." Hours are only 2-4 PM on Saturday and 2-5 Sunday from May through October, closed holiday weekends, but the exception was made for the NRC, two living legends! Also, exceptional was the word to describe the actual model of a 90-year-old spark gap, rotary gap, and quench gap transmitters, since outlawed, all on the third floor. Now that was quite 'a buzz!' Concerning Mr. Gable, he was appointed Curator in 1997 and has been an AWA member for over 25 years. He is retired from a 32-year career at Harris Corporation's RF Communications Division. Mr. Gable was also named the Atlantic Division's Amateur of the Year, in part for his work in preserving the history of radio. For more information, log onto: www.antiquewireless. org.
Our final two stops for the convention were a hit and a homerun. Just to note, that according to Arbitron, Buffalo and Rochester are only two rankings apart, 52 and 54. Also, each city has 6 licensed AMs and on a whole, western New York has several nostalgic, oldies, and rock stations to choose from. Not so choosy, our first stop this late Sunday afternoon is in Rochester at 280 State Street, home to the public voice, WXXI 1370, classical 91.5 (and WJSL 90.3 Houghton, NY repeater), TV 21, and DT 16. Again, Scott offered a tour of this informative facility for which he had on-air duties, but now is a Operating Coordinator training students from the University of Rochester's WRUR 88.5 while occasionally doing fill in work at WXXI. Briefly, the station moved here in 1975 from the previous French Road location after the land was given to them by Kodak.
Upstairs, the tour revealed major renovations to various studios with some being moved while others moved to a window location. Outside, a prominent large and colorful vertical banner on the front wall highlights the calls and the station. Our last 'highlight' is a short walk over to the Rochester Red Wings Frontier Field baseball park for 23 members and fans. With over 10,000 fans in attendance, the Wings 'fly' over the Bulls, 11-2!
Final: Rochester Red Wings 11 Buffalo Bulls 2 on the next-to-last Red Wing home game. A fitting 'cap', the NRC is in 'lights' for a group outing on the scoreboard, fireworks after the game, and a joyous atmosphere conclude a great and successful NRC Batavia 2004 Convention! We had 'em all the way!
The NRC Batavia 2004 Attendees: AL: Chris & Stephanie Cuomo CA: David Gordon, Mike Sanburn, Bob Wein CT: Larry Stoler FL: John and Linda Bowker, Mike Lantz IL: Frank Merrill IN: Blaine Thompson KS: Paul Swearingen LA: Mark and Lina Jones MA: Ray & Arlene Arruda, Chris Black, Glenn Cooper, Bob LaVigne, Gary Thorburn, Garrett Wollman NE: Emest Wesolowski NJ: Bob Anthony, Tony DeNicola, Paul Mount, Bob Smolarek, Bob and Patti Stonier, Pete Tauriello NY: Ben Bass, Jerry Bond, Ken Chatterton, Greg Coniglio, Scott and Lisa and Ariel Fybush, Jon German, Rick Lucas, Jim Renfrew, Nolan Stephany OH: James and Betty Feasel, George Greene, Jerry Starr and Bonnie, Fred Vobbe, Mike Ward OR: John Adams PA: Ben and Dorothy Dangerfield, Harry Hayes, Clarke Ingram, John Malicky, Dave Schmidt,Jason Togyer, Curt White TN: Steve Francis, David Jones VA: Dave Marthouse, Alan Merriman ON: Paul Blais, Saul Chernos, Arlene Hackborn, Barry McLarnon, Wayne Ryan, Dave Whatmough, Niel Wolfish
In PDF as: http://www.nrcdxas.org/convention/04nrccon/2004_Convention_Report.pdf