A history of WMPT Radio South Williamsport Pa, as well as radio in the Williamsport Marketplace. In addition a history of my time behind the microphone.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Class Reunion how it started and what it is.

The original idea for "The Class Reunion" came about in the late 1980's.  At the time I was spending a lot of time on the road building my business, Watts Multi Services.  My travels took me into Williamsport, Pa on a regular basis and I listened to KISS FM.  I was of course familiar with the market having started my radio career there in 1964.  Also during this time, I was doing mornings on Oldies station WIQT Horseheads, NY, hey I was younger then and could get up at 4:30 and work all day.  Anyway, one of the voice I heard on KISS FM was that of Loy Kolb.  I knew Lou from my Days at WLYC/WILQ in the early 70's.  A couple of times a week, over the lunch hour Lou would feature several songs from a particular year, NICE!  I got to thinking about what he was doing and decided I could make a slight twist on the format and do a who show featuring music of a specific year.  I took the idea to WIQT P.D. Dave "Rocky" Rockwell and G.M. Ron Fero, they gave me permission to run with it, and it was well received by the listeners and the station owners.  As fate would have it, the station changed format about 6 months later to classic country and the show as shelved.

Fast forward to 2004, me and my family reloacted to Payson, AZ, and I started to get the itch to do more radio.  In the 90's I had done Sunday mornings on KISS FM and fill in slots on WIGGLE 100 in Troy, Pa.  I met KRIM FM Owner Steve Bingham and Manager Randy Roberson, and pitched the idea of a once a week  three hour oldies show called "The Class Reunion.'  They gave me the go ahead and the show was born.  I continued with the show until 2007 when business other commitments made it impossible to continue doing the show.  To me it was a great loss as I had added artist interviews to the show and had made many friends along the way.  in 2009, circumstances brought me back to KRIM doing a two hour show Monday through Friday afternoons.  That continued for several months until due to a contract disagreement I ended the show.

The next few years were frustrating to me, as I wanted to find a home for the show.  In January of 2012 I was contacted by a local station asking me if I would be interested in bringing the show to their station in Payson.  The rub, they were planning to move the radio station and didn't want to get started until that happened.  For the next nearly two years I waited and heard promise after promise and they were ALL EMPTY.  In late 2013 KRIM was sold and I makes several overtures to the new owner about bringing the show to his station, he never bothered to reply, really professional!

Frustrated yet again, I make a posting on Facebook that I was looking for a new home for the show.  To my surprise an old friend from my Williamsport Radio Days, Vince Grande contacted me and said he and his wife Cathy were looking for a show for Sunday evening after football season ended.  So in February of 2014 "The Class Reunion" came back to life in its original 3 hour format on WAVQ AM FM in Jacksonville, NC.  I record the show in my home studio and send it to the station where they plug it into their computer and by some magic it plays!  I can not tell you how grateful I am to Vince and Cathy for giving me one more day in the sun.

By chance, I happened to contact LTD Radio, an Internet station in Canada.  The G.M Saul Jacobson liked the concept of the show and it begins airing there Sunday, April 13.

I am blessed, December of 2014 will be the 50th anniversary of starting to get paid to play the hits.  Oh sure things have changed a lot in those years but not the people who grew up with the great music of the 50's and 60's, many of today's Class Reunion listeners were listeners in the 60'swhen the songs that are now "oldies" were new and a young Disk Jockey named Kelly Watts played them on "The Neat and Nifty Fourteen Fifty, WMPT."  To you all I say THANK YOU!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Duane Eddy about Roy Orbison

Duane Eddy is one of the GOOD GUYS in rock and roll. Born in Corning New York, Duane and his family spent many summers in Towanda, Pa near my home town. It was a real pleasure for me to become friends with him during my interviews on "The Class Reunion." But the story I want to relat here is about an artist I never had the opportunity to interview, and artist that left us way too soon, that being Roy Orbison.

I saw a biography of Roy Orbison, and I could not remember if Duane and I ever talked about him, so I sent Duane a note, the following is his reply.

“Yes, I knew Roy Orbison... He was a wonderfully sweet man. I enjoyed talking to him and loved to hear him sing! He grew up in West Texas, I believe. We were about the same age, and had the same influences and pretty much the same type experiences (playing high school dances, honky tonks etc., etc.)
We liked the same artists and the same music shaped our choices of what we did when we began making records.
Did you know he was one of Elvis Presley's favorite singers?
I was in England on the sad day in December 1988 when he died, and was asked to say a few words about Roy for a couple of reporters at my hotel. I did that, and then afterward went for a walk alone.
It was a cold night, just after 5 o'clock and already dark. Christmas lights were on and twinkling, and all the stores and the streets were decorated.
I was walking up Regent Street still thinking about Roy and how he'd died way too young, and I could hear the sounds of radios playing, coming out of shops as I walked past, as well as from cars and taxis slowly driving by in the evening rush hour. They were all tuned to the same station - the BBC. (and nobody there listens to much else because at certain times of day, there is nothing much else to listen to! They only have a couple of radio stations in London.)
The station was re-playing an interview of Roy Orbison's that he'd done a year before. As I walked along, I listened to the entire interview, hearing it fade in and out as I passed along between shops. Then I heard my name and realized Roy was talking about me. He was relating the story of how he'd gotten to do the first big Beatle Tour of England, in 1963, and how it had rejuvenated his career. He told of how I'd been scheduled to do the tour but couldn't do it for some reason, so he'd gotten to replace me.
I'd heard him tell this story before, on a TV show we did together in L.A., as well as several other times through the years. Roy would always thank me when he told the story, as if I'd personally engineered it so that he'd gotten to do the tour. (which I hadn't)
He went on to say, "So in a way, I really owe a lot to Duane Eddy. If he hadn't cancelled the tour, I wouldn't have gotten it... So thanks Duane."
The announcer didn't say anything for a few seconds, and as I walked along I could hear Roy's voice echoing through the street, saying, "... so thanks Duane, Duane, Duane.......
It was an eerie feeling, especially since I'd just said some words about him because he had died. And then to hear him talk about me, and address me personally, was weird.
But, as I say, a great guy, a great singer and Roy has made more money since he died than he ever did in his lifetime. Isn't that ironic and strange? “

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My radio influences

Me in about 1974 at WILQ the "board" is the first one I rand in 1964 at WLYC.

Whenever I look back over the years I spent in radio I can't help but think of the people in media who had a profound influence on me. Most of them were local D.J.'s and I think my on air style is a little piece of each of them. Please bear with e while I remember some of them.

Bill Sherwood: One of the first D.J.'s I actually met, I watched him do a record hop in Canton, Pa, and that really got me interested in pursuing a radio career.

Dick Crownover, my mentor: Dick was 18 when I met him, he seemed older, but I got to know him at his record hops in Montousville, Williamsport, and South Williamsport. Also I made it a habit to show up at his remotes whenever I could. Dick went out of his way to show me the basics, and even allowed me to cover for him when he took a break. I think I learned a lot about managing people from Dick as he was the Program Director that hired me there.

Ann Davis: No not the one from the Brady Bunch, although I am sure at times she felt like we were a bunch of kids. Ann was the first Program Director I ever worked for at WLYC. She taught me a lot about how to break formats, probably that was not her intention. Ann pretty much would let me play anything I wanted on the air as long as I play one Frank Sinatra song an hour. This of course suited my wide musical taste.

Mike Sarlo: My buddy at WLYC, we worked hand in hand to crack each other up on and off the air. Mike was a true talent who probably should have been in major market radio, but worked in the trenches with the rest of us. Mike taught me a lot about country music and was a damn fine country music songwriter and artist. We were always pulling a prank on each other and it usually succeeded in one of us "losing it" on the air. Mike passed away at far too young an age, I was so devastated I could not go to the funeral or viewing.

Dave Castelbury; Dave was the owner of WMPT, in many ways he was like a father to me, even though he used to kick me out of the radio station on a VERY regular basis. He didn't give me my first job, BUT he did give me my first sales, programming, and management positions. He also was more than gracious to show me some of the engineering ropes along the way. while I never gained the real nuts and bolts technical knowledge, I did gain the practical knowledge to work with engineering staffs over the years and be able to communicate ideas and actually help. Well I did manage to be a studio engineer and work on a lot of equipment over the years. Dave helped me in ways many people will never know, putting me on staff when I needed a job, and giving me advise that sometimes was pretty tough love advise. Dave was another one who left us far too early in life and really should be considered as on of the real pioneers of broadcasting.

These are just some of the many people who have helped me along the way. Ron Shobert: I got to know Ron one time when he was subbing at a record hop for Dick Crownover. Ron was one of those persons you liked INSTANTLY! At the time I met him he was the "Engineer" of The Night Train, OUR TOP 40 show. Many times I got to set and watch Ron work, we became friends and he was a big help to me when I firs came to WMPT. Sadly ron ws yet another who left us way too early, I found out about his passing a few weeks after the funeral. Mike Sullivan: I really don't remember when I met him for the first time, but Mike was a production genius, and he was funny on the air! Working with sparse equipment he produced some really great commercials. I was happy to re-connect with Mike a few years back courtesy of this blog. Check back on ths posting as I add more.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Record Hops, Remotes, and more

Even though I started in radio officially in December of 1964 I actually did a few record hops prior to that time. If I remember, my first was about a year earlier for the Drama Club or Warrior Run High School in Turbotville, Pa. My friend Bob Ott was the advisor and asked me if I would do the hop as a fund raiser for the group. I don't remember much about it except I had to borrow some equipment from an old friend Lewis “Slim” Bogen, he had taken the guts from an old juke box and made a Pa amplifier. Not long after that I acquired a Lafayette Pa amp, Mic, turn table and speakers and over the course of the sumer I did several record hops at the town park in Watsontown as well as a dance for a Citizens Band Club Jamboree at the Lycoming County Fair Grounds.

The summer of 1965, after High School Graduation, I was hired to do the tennis court dances at my Alma Matter, Montoursville High School. They were a lot of fun and some great experience for a young D.J. One of the strangest things I ever saw happen during a gig was there, I actually was driving the speakers so hard one of them caught fire, fortunately the damage was limited to one speaker and we kept going.

During my time at WLYC we didn't do a lot of remotes because the station really didn't have a very big audience. However the first remote I remember doing was the Lycoming County Fair in 1965. We were on the air each day from 10 AM to 6:00 PM, and the duties were shared by myself, Bob Johnson, Mike Sarlo, and Nick Green. The deal was we would be on the air for an hour or two and then we were off for two hours, during that time we did get a break and also were supposed to walk around and get interviews from the exhibitors who bought commercials and from the non profits exhibitors as well. They we would play them back during the times we were on the air and if any were left the other jocks would use them.

After I went to WMPT the remotes were a pretty regular occurrence, most times I would be the second guy, usually working with Dick Crownover. Let me tell you Dick was one of the best people I have ever seen to find things to talk about. I give Dick a lot of credit for teaching me the ropes. I think that one of the first remotes I did with Dick was at the former Town & Country Department Store on W. Fourth Street in Williamsport, the highlight of that remote was me describing the inside of a Styrofoam cooler. After Dick left WMPT I pretty much became the “remote guy” and the list of business was quite interesting and included:
Car dealers, Gas Stations, Supermarkets, Department Stores, a Sheraton Hotel, Fire Department Carnivals, Mobile Home Dealers, County Fairs, Restaurants, Appliance Stores, Shopping Centers, Banks, Air Shows, and of course record hops. I've done remotes at all hours of the day, and HIGHT. I remember a couple of remotes I did for the former Tri-State Discount Department store in the Newberry section of Williamsport. These were ALL NIGHT remotes! I guess I was the only one crazy enough to do them, but I was young and the money was good. The store would run a door buster ever hour all night and I was completely surprised at the number of people who came in. The store manager had an idea, (call it a test) he would ask for people to bring in certain things for a prize. The oddest was a snake! Sure enough I hit the air with that the first person to bring in a live snake would win a prize. It could not have been more than 10 minutes and I had a very large boa constrictor paying me a visit. Now I HATE SNAKES so this event stands out in my mind.

My old Friend Steve George and I did a take off on the then popular TV Show Batman. Our characters were Fatman and Ribbon, yes in those days Steve was skinny and I was, well fluffy! I can remember we did a couple of remotes for L.L. Stearns Department Store in costume, I certainly hope that any pictures of those appearances are long faded! Yes, we also participated in a Donkey Base Ball Game in costume as well. At the time I owned a 1961 Forest Green Lincoln Continental, yes, it was “The Fatmobile.” Right after the flood of 1972, Steve and I did a remote for the Nesbit Volunteer Company at their carnival. We were the guest “dunkees” on their dunk tank. We had a mike positioned so the guy in the hot (or wet) seat could be on the air talking with the other person located a bit away in a slightly drier location. I guess no one thought to warm the water and the first dunk into it was to say the least “awakening.” I still to this day don't know how we managed to keep the four letter words off the air, but we did.

Car dealer remotes were usually, in those days the new car show was pretty exciting stuff, car dealers built excitement up to the “NEW CAR SHOWING”. I think it was 1968, Bob Jackson and I were doing the new car showing at Wyno Volkswagen and we had a great time and great crowd. I had owned a VW Karman Ghia so I knew the product and most of the people at the dealership. 1968 was the first year that VW installed seat belts in their cars and during one talk segment I was sitting in a “Bug” and was talking about the safety features with Bud Smith the Sales Manager. I put the seatbelt on as a test, now the problem comes in the fact I didn't know how to release it. So there I sat, Bob Jackson busting a gut laughing, along with the rest of the crowd in the showroom and there I am in the VW. No one would help me, finally after what seems like a couple of hours I found the release and got out. The only casualty of the day was that was when Bob met his future wife.

Another time I was working with Cliff Horton as the Lycoming County New Car Dealers Show at the Loyal Plaza on a beautiful summer Saturday. Well I was quite taken by an MG B that was on display. I was talking to the dealer and told him I liked the car, but didn't think I could fit in it. He said “no problem.” FIRST MISTAKE! I got in OK, BUT found that my tall torso wedged by head against the roof and I could not maneuver to get out. Did I mention this had the hard top on at the time? Well anyway, of course I was on the air and once again MY FRIENDS felt the situation was VERY funny inviting people to come see the “Canned DJ” or something like that. The dealer had to have his mechanic come to the show and remove the top so I could get out.

Some remotes are just better than others! One of my favorites was one I did for the Grand Opening of a new Sunoco Gas Station at 6th and High Streets in Williamsport. The dealer and the Sunoco Rep, Ken Andrus who I had known for years, thought a remote would be a lot of fun. They had a lot of event s planned including a band and Go Go Girls! Now you see why I said some are better than others. Well anyway, the girls were beautiful and well built and I guess my on air description was pretty good as we had traffic jammed for at least a mile in each direction!

The Loyal Plaza was a “strip plaza” of some 20+ stores and was a good account so we went out of out way to assist them in anyway we could with promotions. Santa's arrival was always a big deal there and we had our “crack” remote crew on hand for the event. Each year was a challenge to out perform the previous year and somewhere around 1976 or 77 I had a brilliant idea. So meeting with Larue Jolin and John Schneiderhand (the agency rep) we devised a plan. Santa would arrive in a helicopter! How were we going to top our coverage? WMPT had a very good two way remote system called a MARTI. Dave had the foresight to license two frequencies and we had several units capable of broadcasting on either one, plus a receiver at the studios and one at the FM transmitter site on the top of Bald Eagle Mountain. OK, it was decided that Gary Strausser and Cliff Horton would “anchor” the coverage at the plaza and I would accompany Santa in the helicopter. With the Matri units we both would be on the air and build the excitement. This of course was an evening arrival so it was pretty dark. I met the helicopter at the King Air Hanger at Williamsport Regional Airport and hooked up the Marti. The pretense was that I was meeting Santa there after his flight from the North Pole. All is set, the equipment is working flawlessly, and we take to the skies! As soon as we took off I got the station on the Marti and told them we were ready, we got on the air from the helicopter just as the helicopter broke over Sand Hill. I was talking to my “grounded” crew as was Santa. We stated to do a couple of circles of the plaza and I said to the pilot what is all the dark area's there? He said, PEOPLE! There must have been 10,000 people in the plaza. Fortunately the Loyalsock Township Fire Police did an excellent job of keeping the landing area clear so that went off without a hitch. OK, I have to get back to airport to get my car, the pilot offered to take me back down, and like a fool I said “yeah sure that would be fun.” OK, I get in the helicopter and we took off straight up for probably 1,000', my stomach was in my boots1 The he started forward headed West and did a sharp bank to head to the airport, I was looking straight down at the ground and crowd, he said something like “you want to have some fun?” I must have nodded because he did a strafing run and pulled out. I am not sure how many “G's” I pulled but it was more than the take off. I was never so glad to return to earth in my life and promptly headed for one of the radio stations “watering holes” for some “nerve tonic.”

Next time, even more fun and adventure as they unlock my chains and let me out of the studio yet again!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

WKAD FM Technical

Engineering by Dave Johnson, Dave Castlebury, Vic Michaels II, Alan Preuss, and Kelly Watts)

WKAD, went on the air in 1978 as the second station owned by Galen D.(Dave) Castlebury Jr. the owner and founder of WMPT AM FM South Williamsport. WKAD, the call letters stood for Kelly, Alan, & Dave), was licensed to Canton, Pa frequency of 100.1 MHZ with a power of 500 watts H & V. The tower site was on Armenia Mountain, near the intersection of Lower Mountain & R. & E. Machmer Road in Tioga County.

The Studio equipment:
Control room: An Eight (8) channel Ramko DC 8MS stereo console, with 2 12" Gates turntables, 2 B.E. mono single cart machines, 2 EV RE 50 Mics, and a Revox A 77 Reel to Reel tape recorder. The frequency and modulation monitors were Belar and the transmitter control unit was a home brew unit designed and built by Alan Preuss. The rack also had a single patch bay for remote loops and other basic functions. With the exception of the cart machines all the control room equipment was new.

An 8 Channel (used) Gatesway console, a consumer grade turntable and a (used) BE cart recorder. Not a lot of production was done there in my time as most of the produced commercials came up from WMPT on reel or sent up via dedicated broadcast pair from South Williamsport.

Transmitter site:
a 180" guyed tower (used) that had been an AM tower in Orange,Va. Dave and I trucked the tower from VA to South-Williamsport, sandblasted and painted it. Because of the height and location it did not need to illuminated. The tower support design and installation was done by Vic Michaels (II) former part owner Manager of WMLP in Milton a long time friend of Dave's with his son Vic (III) installing the antenna. The tower was constructed on the ground and listed into place by a crane. (On the first attempt we bent a 20' section so the tower was actually shorter than we had planned. The Antenna was a (new) 3 bay CCA dual polarized antenna with heaters. The transmitter was a (new) CCA 500 watt FM transmitter with a Orban audio processor and exciter. Audio was sent to the transmitter site via Stereo equalized dedicated broadcast lines from Canton Telephone Company.

All in all the on air quality was excellent however the signal to the North was a bit spotty as when we picked the transmitter site we missed seeing the peak of Alba Mountain, on our maps, which was 1' below the top bay of the antenna, so we had a shadow in some parts of Troy but a signal you could pick up all over Sullivan and Tioga Counties and even in Williamsport.

One funny side light was with the Ramko console, the channel selectors (A & B) would switch for no apparent reason. It was finally discovered that the switched, (resistance type like in an elevator) were so sensitive that a fly could cause them to switch. after lots of consultation with Ramko the solution was to 'paint' the switch rings with a black magic marker.

The tower site is still in use, but owned now by The Innes Hose Company (Canton Fire Department) and the tower has a variety of municipal two way antenna's attached. The old WKAD frequency was abandoned when the tower site was moved after the station was purchased by Dave Bernstein who also owned stations in Selinsgrove and Bloomsburg.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

WBPZ Technical

Chief Engineer Al Stratmon

In February of 1967, I stared work full time at WPPZ AM FM in Lock Haven, Pa. WBPZ was a Class IV AM on 1230 (1000 watts day/250 watts night) with WBPZ FM (Class A) was on 92.1 Mhz with 3kw. I must say this was a decent place to work and Al Stratmon was a good engineer. The Control Room equipment, when I started was OLD, in all probabilities the original dating back to 1947, however it did work pretty well. The main console was an RCA 8 channel, with both A and B sides. B side was used for cuing and production and of course A side was on air. Support equipment included two old RCA 16" turntables that took about 3 turns to get up to speed and a home brew 45/33 RPM turn table that sat on top of the console. Additional equipment included two spotmaster cart players, a Magnacorder 1023 and a Magnacorder PT6 reel to reel. The most interesting piece of equipment was a Gates Spot Tape machine. This was the technology in between using reel to reel and carts for produced commercials. The unit had 100 tracks up to 90 seconds long on a wide tape belt. Selections were made with a fount mounted pointer. The unit was not without its own "personality" as it was noisy when you had to rewind and you could not play commercials back to back from it. By the time I arrived it was mostly being used for show intro's, Psa's, etc. Usually the tape belt would break at the least opportune times and you would have to re-record all the tracks to the unit. That job fell to me since I had 3 hours of Mutual Network talk and news shows each night. The control room mic was an probably an old EV 674 mic mounted to the console with almost no adjustment. Remote control was from two separate units one was an Gates the other was probably an old RCA. The AM transmitter was located near Lock Haven Hospital and used a mono pole tower, the only one I have ever seen. (I believe is was torn down when Lock Haven Hospital expanded and replaced with a conventional tower). The FM was located to the Southwest of Lock Haven at the former WBPZ TV site. I never saw either transmitter but I am assuming the AM was an RCA and the FM a Gates. Both sounded great on the air as they were fed by balanced dedicated phone lines with a decent processing (I believe a CBS unit) in the control room. One thing the station had was a fantastic patch bay, you could do just about anything with it you could imagine.

The production studio was sparse with a home brew 3 channel mixer, turn table, reel to reel, and cart machine. Most of the DJ's preferred to do their production on the main console since you had a lot more capability.

About mid 1967 the corporation decided to replace the console and turn tables and retire the Spot tape machine. They ordered a new Gatesway II 8 channel console and new 12" gates turntables and an EV 668 microphone again console mounted, (the one thing I hated). I can remember one night after sign off at 1 AM, Al came in and I stayed to help him replace the console. We finished up just about the time Jim Eckert, the morning guy, came in, the last few connections were made while Jim was on the air.

WBPZ carried a lot of sports including Phillies Baseball fed by lease dedicated telephone line, when that system went down the backup was to pick the feed off WRAK FM from Williamsport. That system worked fine as long as everybody remembered to give a warning that ID was coming. If not you could have SEVERAL different station I.D.'s on the air, usually prompting a call from the Program Director asking what the hell you were up to.

I stayed at WBPZ until November of 1967 and I must say they treated me fairly while I was there. Harris Lipez the General Manager was another classic radio station manager, always very professional. I worked for them again briefly in 1971 filling the Saturday overnight after WBPZ had gone 24 hours.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Coup (or how to kill off three managers)

A long time ago I mentioned in passing a "Coup" that took place at WENY Inc. and promised to expand on it. This chapter explores the seamier side of broadcasting and broadcast corporations, believe me the "Green Group" was not the exception.

A bit of history, WENY AM TV, WLEZ FM were owned by "The Green Group" of Atlantic city, N.J. Partners were Howard Green, Donald Simmons, and John Steahers, by the time I got to WENY, Howard and Don were the only stockholders left as Mr. Seathers had either passed away or retired and sold his interest to the other two. We seldom saw Don Simmons, who was really a quite nice person, as he owned Sayre Lingere that made undergarments for some of the top names like Fruit of the Loom. Howard ruled from Atlantic City and the go between when I was hired was Mike Steele. As I said in an earlier post I had and still do have a great admiration for Mike as a manager. Mike, like a lot of the golden age of radio people came up through the ranks, the difference is that Mike NEVER forgot were he came from and treated his employees fairly.
Ok, the ground work is laid, I had taken over WLEZ in 1982 on the retirement of Ted Hodge. The station was failing, but with lots of hard work by my staff and looking ahead to the coming domination of FM, we turned it around. When Mike left and Howard hired Pat Parish it was the beginning of the end for me. To be sure, I had a great contract deal, a percentage of the annual increase, a car, gasoline and other trades that I am sure was far better deal than Pat had.

Each Department Manager had a somewhat limited scope of authority, to a certain extent I was used to pretty much running my own show and reporting to the owner directly as in the case of working for Dave Castlebury at WMPT and WKAD. Working with Mike was not always easy, BUT I could talk to him and he would listen to a reasonable argument. If you could prove to Mike, it would make the station sound better, run more efficiently, or save money and time, he would give you the go ahead. Pat Parish would not listen to anything, nor would he give you a decision. Instead he would let things hang for weeks on end, that forced me several times to go around him or just go ahead and do what needed to be done and let the crap fly, that more than anything was probably my undoing as I ran WLEZ like it was MINE!

Pat violated my contract on several occasions one in particular was when the local Avis Franchise was sold and the new owners did not want to continue with the barter deal for my car. My contract specifically said the station would furnish a vehicle, so I started to drive one of the company cars. Pat and I had a rather loud and ugly argument one day about that with him stomping off and finding out I was right.

Each Manager was meeting with the same frustration as I was. Things went from worse to critical after Pat convinced Howard to buy a "loser" AM FM combo in Rome, N.Y. Pat was spending all his time up there causing the hand picked Rome Manager to quit in frustration. Meanwhile Elmira was suffering and no one could do anything. Finally Don, Lew and myself got together and called Howard and said we needed to talk. We met Howard and laid out our complaints and frustrations and walked out of the meeting feeling that maybe Pat would be gone. Howard gave each of us area's of total responsibility, I had buildings and grounds, Don had the vehicle fleet, and Lew had equipment. We set about getting things done! BUT, IN TYPICAL Pat fashion he out and out lied about each of us to Howard and eventually each one of us were told that we were not allowed to do anything without approval from Pat. I have to wonder IF that really was the case as we never were told that by Howard. Anyway, withing 6 months following the Coup we were all gone. Lew retired bringing on Meade Murtland who had been at the station a long time and Don went to running his own advertising agency and selling cars and yours truly dismissed on a Friday Morning as Pat's clone Art Kendall the manager of WENY AM took over both departments.

In the over 4 decades I spent active in broadcasting I have worked for a variety of bosses some good, but some were VERY BAD, like Pat Parish.