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Monday, December 04, 2006

What Ever Became Of Paterson's WPAT Radio?


PATERSON / MEDIA - RADIO: WHAT EVER BECAME OF RADIO STATIONS WPAT - AM / FM?



Widipeka



For many years, the station, along with its FM counterpart, would broadcast a beautiful music format. In 1951, its Gaslight Revue program debuted. It was a skilfully assembled montage of music pieces that would become widely imitated within the industry. Indeed, it was so popular that albums of its selections and segues were made and released. WPAT was the essence of a mellow sound and feel; the requirement for different programming between the AM and FM was met simply by repeating the previous week's AM programs in a slightly different order on FM.



WPAT Radio

What Ever Became Of Paterson's Radio Stations -- WPAT - AM / FM?


WPAT - AM 930 KHz

WPAT is the callsign of a radio station licensed to Paterson, New Jersey. Located at 930 kHz in the medium-wave AM band, the station runs paid ethnic programming.

WPAT first went on the air in 1941, originally from their studios in Newark, New Jersey, before eventually moving to new studios on Church Street in Paterson and finally from their last studio on Broad Street in Clifton, New Jersey.



For many years, the station, along with its FM counterpart, would broadcast a beautiful music format. In 1951, its Gaslight Revue program debuted. It was a skilfully assembled montage of music pieces that would become widely imitated within the industry. Indeed, it was so popular that albums of its selections and segues were made and released. WPAT was the essence of a mellow sound and feel; the requirement for different programming between the AM and FM was met simply by repeating the previous week's AM programs in a slightly different order on FM.

The station for many years would be owned by Capital Cities Communications until 1985, when the company would buy ABC. As a result of FCC regulations at the time, the company decided to sell WPAT AM and FM, due to the fact that ABC already owned WABC and WPLJ. The stations would be sold to Park Communications.

In the early 1990s both frequencies of WPAT evolved to an adult contemporary format. In addition, WPAT would start to offer programming different from those of its FM counterpart. This programming would include sporting events that would normally be on WFAN whenever WFAN was carrying another event, public affairs shows, Broadway shows, and Sunday mass.

In January 1996, WPAT-FM would be sold to SBS, and would switch to a Spanish language adult contemporary format. Around the same time, WPAT would be sold to Heftel Broadcasting (now Univisión Radio), and would switch to a Mexican music format on March 26. Eventually, the station would start adding ethnic and paid programming, and in 1997, the station would become all-Korean. By the next year, the station's ownership would change again when its current owners, Multicultural Broadcasting, would buy the station in exchange for WNWK (now WCAA) at 105.9 FM. The new owners would switch the station's format to its current paid ethnic programming format.

WPAT's AM transmitter is still located in Clifton at the old Broad Street studios.


WPAT - FM 93.1 MHz

WPAT Logo


WPAT-FM, known on-air as "93.1 Amor," is a radio station with a Spanish-language adult contemporary format. Located on 93.1 FM, the station, which is licensed to Paterson, New Jersey, serves the New York City Metropolitan area.

WPAT-FM signed on in 1957 from their studios in Newark, New Jersey. They eventually moved to new studios on Church Street in Paterson, and would later move to their last studio on Broad Street in Clifton, New Jersey before the station adopted its current format.

The station, along with its AM counterpart, would be owned for many years by Capital Cities Communications. This would change in 1985, when the company would buy ABC. As a result of FCC regulations of the time, the company decided to sell WPAT-AM and -FM, due to the fact that ABC already owned WABC and WPLJ. The stations would be sold to Park Communications.


WPAT-FM
Broadcast Area New York, New York
Branding 93.1 Amor
First Air Date 1957
Frequency 93.1 (MHz)
Format Spanish Adult Contemporary
ERP 6000 watts
Class B
Callsign Meaning W PATerson (WPAT's city of license.)
Owner Spanish Broadcasting System
Website http://www.931amor.com


For years WPAT operated both stations with a beautiful music format. In the early 1990s, WPAT-FM would gradually switch to an adult contemporary format, and from October 1994 to their sign off in January 1996, the station was known as "Today's 93.1". In November 1995, the Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) agreed to purchase the 93.1 FM license and transmitter. The building and intellectual property was excluded from the sale. The building, the AM transmitter, and 930 AM license would be sold to Heftel Broadcasting (now Univisión radio), which was another company specializing in Spanish-language programming.

On January 19, 1996 at 11:59 PM, WPAT-FM ceased being an English language broadcaster when control of the station was switched over to the new owners. WPAT-FM D.J. Karen Carson did the last airshift for the station's adult contemporary format that day, and Operations Director Ken McKenzie would give a farewell speech right before the format change. Immediately after the station signed off from Clifton, the new Spanish-language adult contemporary format signed on from Manhattan, and the station would begin calling itself "Suave 93-1" ("Smooth 93-1"). Eventually, the station would be known by its current nickname, "93.1 Amor" ("93.1 Love").

WPAT-FM's Manhattan transmitter was originally located atop of the World Trade Center in New York City, but it was destroyed as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The station's transmitter was eventually moved to the Empire State Building.




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Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.




Jim Hawkins' WPAT AM 930 Transmitter Page


WPAT Antenna Array
11/6/1998



WPAT "E-Z 93" 930 kHz, Paterson, NJ - 1965
5 KW


Transmitters and Auxiliary Equipment


WPAT Photo 1

WPAT GATES 5KW Transmitter Pair.

The far transmitter was the newer model BC5P2 main transmitter. The foreground is the former main transmitter which was an older GATES 5KW model BC5P.




WPAT Photo 2

Closeup of 5KW GATES BC5P transmitter.



WPAT Photo 3

WPAT equipment - crystal exciter/oven, audio compander and other audio equipment, Ampex reel-to-reel deck, program logger tape machine.


The Gates BC5P in the foreground was replaced by a Gates MW-5 before 1979. Alan Kirschner, engineering supervisor (WA2UCV) replaced the Gates BC5P2 in the background with a Nautel Ampfet 5 solid state tarnsmitter. The rest of the equipment shown here was long gone when Alan started at the station in 1979.

Transmitters are located in Clifton, NJ along the Garden State Parkway, just north of the Bloomfield Exit. Four towers with capacity hats are close to the Parkway. Some photos show equipment scattered and in disarray because they were in the midst of remodeling the entire station. WPAT was for many decades, an easy listening station. Within the last 5 years, they gradually phased out easy listening, replacing it with and increasing the amount of soft-rock with the slogan "No more sleepy elevator music!" Too bad, I liked to relax to "sleepy elevator music" in my easy chair and read or just relax. After all, I don't feel like being "cool" ALL the time, especially after a hard day's work! Then, suddenly they were bought out and are now a Spanish speaking station.




Studio


WPAT Photo 4

WPAT Studio Console


WPAT Photo 5

View of studio and announcer through control room window with mixer console in foreground.


WPAT's IGM-770

[ Photo Courtesy Of Ken Lamb ]

WPAT-FM IGM-770 Automation Machine




Federal 196-A Transmitter, Circa 1953


RF Output Section of Federal 196-A (left)
Using F-5680 Triodes (right)

From: "electronics" Magazine Jan 1953
Federal Tube Advertisement

The advertisement from which the above images were taken shows a letter of approval
from CE Earl F. Lucas




Other WPAT Equipment



Robert Sudock - WB6FDF Anchor, Amateur Radio Newsline and Assistant Director of Engineering at KTTV, Los Angeles, recalls the equipment in this photo.

At the top of the photo is a General Radio modulation monitor.

The device used to log the station was known as a SOUND SCRIBER. It uses 2-inch wide tape, has a transverse set of scanning audio heads, and recorded 24 hours on one of those spools. Something in the back of my head makes me want to say a week per reel, but I'm sure it is really only 24 hours per reel. Anyway ... The linear tape speed was 15/16 or 15/32 IPS, the quality not much better than about 3 KHz (sorry, KC in those days). The recording was obviously monaural and the factory stamped the time-of-day on the back of the tape as a time index. So, if you started at midnight, you lined up the 0000 with the pointer. Every few inches you would see 0015, 0030, 0045, 0100 ... 2300, 2315, 2345, etc. That's as accurate as it got.

Let's see what I remember of the control panel:

The clear lens housed an NE-51 which was used to indicate modulation levels. Next, the power / record level and playback volume control. The dark lens on the right was another NE-51 used as the pilot light.

The lever switch pointing to 7 o'clock is the record / play selector. In the center a 1/4-inch earphone jack. The lever switch pointing to about 4 o'clock was used to engage the drive mechanism. Winding forward and reverse was done by hand. Note the reel keepers double as cranks.

Below the control panel is a mu metal shield covering the heads. Note the tape is bent into the shape of a half-tube (180 degrees) as it passes over the heads. The long path permits the gradual shape to and from flat.

The tape moves from left to right. Below the take-up reel at about 7 o'clock and just beneath the tape is what we would call "tracking" on our VCR but really more imitates the framing adjustment on a motion picture projector. This was a mechanical adjustment to move transverse tape tracks directly over the rotating heads. Remember there is no control track or sprocket holes to line things up.

The device below the Sound Scriber is a Hewlett-Packard Broadcast Modulation and Frequency Monitor. I don't recall the model. I'll try to describe what's on the front panel, but it's been more than 25 years! The unit was designed as a calibrated, precision receiver. Monitoring frequency was determined by a crystal in a temperature-controlled oven. It also had a high fidelity 600 ohm balanced audio output -- nominally 1 mw at 0 dBm.

The left-hand meter shows "FREQUENCY DEVIATION" from center frequency. I was only aware of an FM monitor, however, if an AM unit was made, then the full scale was +/- 30 CPS (+/- 20 CPS is maximum deviation allowed from the FCC assigned carrier frequency). For FM, the scale would be +/- 3 KC with +/- 2 KC the FM tolerance.

Next, is the HP name plate with serial and model numbers.

To the right is the "PEAK MODULATION INDICATOR". This is a lamp that flashed when the modulation exceeded a preset level. Used more as a warning ... hey, you're too loud!

To the extreme right, the modulation meter. In two scales, the top scale is calibrated in "PERCENT MODULATION" with 100% being the maximum allowed. The bottom scale was calibrated in dB. I may be mistaken, but 100% (in FM at least) is something like +22 dBm. Remember this is modulation, not audio.

Below the name plate, a slot cut in the panel to observe the mercury thermometer built onto the crystal oven's wall. As I recall, 85 degrees Centigrade was the target for "CRYSTAL TEMPERATURE".

To the right of the temperature slot is a pot that set the threshold for the peak flasher. Not titled, the scale markings were 50% to 120% in ten percent increments with 5% hacks.

A metal door covered the controls at the bottom of the chassis. The flat, oval piece centered above the controls is a ferric strip for the door magnet to grip.

The power switch at the bottom left is for the amplifiers and panel lights. The temperature sensitive components remained powered. For servicing, another power switch on the rear panel shut the entire unit down.

Next, are two fuses -- I think. These look line banana jacks for audio monitoring, but the panel label for the left item sure seems to read 2 AMP. As I say, it has been more than 25 years.

To the right is a trimmer for "FREQUENCY CALIBRATE."

The large knob in the center is the CALIBRATE - OFF - OPERATE knob. In the upper (calibrate) mode, the unit would mute and disconnect from the outside world. You would then be free to adjust the two pots to the immediate right. The first, "SET TO ZERO" would center the frequency deviation meter. The next, set to 100% (I can't recall the exact nomenclature) would calibrate the modulation meter to the 100% hack.

With the selector in "OFF," the unit would be fully powered but muted. This was the mode most stations used at sign-off (if they did sign-off). Once the transmitter was shut down, you were presented with hi-fi white noise. Since there was no squelch, there had to be a way to keep things quiet without powering the amplifiers down. This was it.

The last position is "OPERATE." If my niece heard me explain this one, she'd say "Duh!"

The last switch, "MODULATION POLARITY" allowed selection of + or -.



WPAT History in a Nutshell


The following information was obtained and condensed from the book "The Airwaves of New York" by Bill Jaker, Frank Sulek and my good friend Peter Kanze. I highly recommend this book as a handy source of New York Radio History as well as for additional information and details on WPAT, left out of this text.


WPAT began broadcast in 1941 on a frequency of 900 KHZ as a Paterson, NJ station. The first studios were located in the Exchange Building at 115 Ellison St., which had been the home of the O'Dea Temple of Music and WODA calling itself "North Jersey's Own Station." One year after sign-on, WPAT added studios at 1060 Broad St. in Newark, which was formerly used by WAAM and WNEW. In 1943 WPAT moved out of the old Temple of Music to new studios at 7 Church Street in Paterson. Joe Franklin (the "Wizard of Was"), who is now on WOR from 12AM to 5AM Sunday mornings on WOR was one of the first talk show hosts on WPAT.

After being purchased by the North Jersey Broadcasting Company in 1949, WPAT was granted full-time status and moved to 66 Hamilton Street in Paterson. At that time, 75% of the day was programmed with Country music and the evening was reserved for continuous "Easy Listening" music. Gaslight Review, the hallmark of WPAT began in 1951 and was one of the most-copied formats in radio ("Cocktails for Two" on WWJZ, "A Touch of Velvet" on WADB).

On February 1, 1948, WPAT was one of the first stations to broadcast on the FM band on 103.5 MHZ. It began with the call WNNJ before becoming WPAT-FM. A windstorm blew the antenna down, but at the time, there were so few listeners, that it wasn't until March 1957, when WPAT-FM returned to the air on a frequency of 93.1 MHz. Notably, this was the frequency which was used by Major Edwin Armstrong's pioneering FM station KE2XCC. As an added bonus, WPAT could now identify itself as 93 on both AM and FM dials.

The studio was combined with the transmitter site at Broad Street and Hepburn Road, Clifton in 1957. In 1959, the combined facilities moved to a new building at that location.

In 1961 WPAT was sold to Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation for $5 million. When FCC regulations required AM/FM pairs to operate separately, WPAT merely staggered the tapes that were used for each "Gaslight Revue." By 1969 WPAT's Arbitron rating was 16, which was half of the market-leading rocker WABC but double the numbers for classical WQXR.

In 1984, WPAT became the first AM stereo station in New Jersey.

Over the years between 1970 to 1996, WPAT gradually changed its formats through a number of transitions from Easy Listening or Beautiful Music to Soft Rock.

In March 1996, the biggest change occurred when WPAT was sold to Heftel. The station was then converted to a Spanish-Speaking station.


BACK TO "JIM'S RADIO AND BROADCAST TECHNOLOGY" MAIN PAGE





WPAT Letterhead
[WPAT Letterhead - Reduced Here In Size To Fit Width - Click To View Larger Format ]


High Quality [jukebox] Streaming Audio


For more information on WPAT, visit Charles Sanzone's Internet Jukebox 2 page.

[ Listen to 5 hours of vintage WPAT streaming audio clips from 1967, 1977, 1980 & 1992 ]



Last Updated July 21, 2002

These WPAT recordings are dedicated to Jeff Long (RIP) who worked at WPAT in the 1980s.

The WPAT and Gaslight Revue selections on this site were originally broadcast on WPAT FM 93.1 to the New York City metropolitan area. WPAT gets its call letters from Paterson, New Jersey but it's studio and AM transmitter antenna were last located on Broad Street in Clifton, NJ. In the mid 1990s, WPAT was sold and now provides Spanish programming.


THE RECORDINGS:

The selections presented here were recorded from 1967 till 1992 while they kept their Easy Listening format. The earliest recordings I made from their FM signal were to collect some quality stereo instrumental music with my first stereo tape recorder, a Lafayette. WPAT used to publish a monthly guide "The Gaslight Revue Program Guide." They would list every song they were going to play for the next month from 7 PM to Midnight, which were titled "Gaslight Revue." From the hours of 8 PM to 10 PM, WPAT would transmit in FM stereo. The program during the hours just before Gaslight Revue was called "Limelight."

I finally subscribed to their guide during the last 6 months of its publication which ended in January 1968. I recorded four, 1-½ hour reels of tape using the last guide to select the songs to record. These 4 tapes are not presented here.

All the selections presented here were recorded without the use of the guide. Also, while most tapes were recorded in stereo, you will be hearing them in mono so that 28,800 BPS modems will get an uninterrupted music flow.

The June 1967 "Gaslignt Revue" tape was prior to my guide subscription. By the time of the 1977 tape, WPAT was a 24 hour a day stereo broadcast station, and had dropped the name "Gaslight Review." The tapes recorded in 1977 and 1980 were not originally intended to be kept. These tapes were recorded to test something out; a recorder, a tape or a way of recording. However, the music was so good, that I never erased them.

In the 1990s, WPAT was already progressing away from Easy Listening and slowly added more and more light rock tunes to the mix. When my children were infants, my wife and I found that we could keep WPAT on all night to soothe the crying. I noticed that the rock tunes were absent at night. I was inspired to make an 8 hour overnight recording of WPAT in Sept. 1992 which became my last recording of them. One hour of this tape is presented here. This tape was recorded on a VHS stereo Hi-Fi recorder. Soon after that last recording, WPAT went full time rock-and-roll.


THE FALL OF EASY LISTENING:

One of the WPAT personalities was Ken Lamb. Here, is Ken's account of what was going on:

"... Ken Lamb, operations manager, program director and on-air announcer. As one easy listening station after another changed music direction, Ken would assure the audience that WPAT would never change. But all good things come to an end including Ken's tenure at WPAT. His last day on the air was September 16, 1987."

"Ken went on to host, "The Special of the Week'," a nationally syndicated weekly easy listening show that premiered in November 1987 and was heard in over 125 markets at it's peek! Jeff Long was the program's founding producer until his death on December 22, 1987. Ken promised Jeff, on his death bed, that his name would remain in the shows credits as long as it continued! Ken made good on his vow and thus Jeff's name remained alive!

By the way, Ken says he has copies of every show in the series and still hears from it's listeners! (kenlamb@webtv.net)

"In April of 1988, Ken added to his work load, becoming operations manager of WCTO, a Long Island, New York easy listening station. But he left in the spring of 1990 because he knew that WCTO would soon be changed to a rock music format by its owner, Greater Media.

"Ken joined the announcing staff at ABC where he is today! Heard on the ABC-TV network, mostly in the daytime hours. The Special of the Week went off the air in the Spring of 1991 as the easy listening format began to fade away!"

From the listener's point of view as station after station in the NYC area was changing from the Easy Listening format to rock, Ken always promised "We [WPAT] will never let you down by switching our format." Then one summer it seemed like, Ken finally took that long deserved vacation, so it seemed. Two weeks, a month, two months went by, and no Ken.

Months later he is heard on WCTO, Smithtown, NY. Under his direction, WCTO was playing music similar to WPAT. Ken also was being heard on the syndicated program "The Special Of The Week" when Jeff Long passed away.

With Ken programming WCTO, his promise continued "We [WCTO] will never let you down by switching our format." After a year or so, Ken took another vacation, so it seemed. Two weeks, a month, two months went by, and no Ken. Then suddenly one morning, the music died, and rock-and-roll ruled on WCTO!

Within a few weeks of the format change on WCTO, WPAT went full time rock-and-roll. It was almost like the end of a war between the last 2 stations playing the Easy Listening format. WPAT was not going change its format as long as some of it's listeners might be wooed away by WCTO. With the end of Easy Listening music on WCTO, WPAT was free to change format (finally). Now rock-and-roll ruled on WPAT too. WHUD, a Westchester, N.Y. station that carried "The Special Of The Week" also followed suit. No more Easy Listening Music in the NYC area! There were other formats that aired, hits of the 40's through 90's, but none could be called Easy Listening.

There are Easy Listening stations in other markets, CA, FL, NH, TX, VA, but none in NYC. Now we have the Internet, and everyone can listen to my recreated legacy that was WPAT and link to FL station WKTZ and TX station KNCT for listening. Unfortunately the recently imposed Internet music charges have removed CA station KWXY and NH station WEZS from the Internet. We really miss KWXY and WEZS.


WPAT OWNERSHIP:

In the 1960s, WPAT was owned by Capital Cities Communications. In the 1980s Capital Cities bought American Broadcasting Company (ABC). However, Capital Cities now owned too many stations in the NYC area and decided to sell WPAT to Park Communiations. (Disney eventually bought Capital Cities / ABC some years after WPAT was sold to Park). Park used the extensive WPAT library of music to improve the other Park stations. It was under Park management that Ken Lamb left and the format changed to rock-and-roll. It almost seems that under Park, WPAT was in a war to get more listeners so the station could be sold at a higher price. When the station was sold to a Spanish broadcasting concern, the letters WPAT were kept.


OTHER WPAT FACTS:

WPAT broadcast on both AM and FM. Both had the dial position of "93." They were 93.1 MHz on FM and 930 KHz on the AM dial! Most NYC stations had AM and FM facilities because an early way to transmit stereo was to use AM for one channel and FM for the other. WPAT always broadcast the identical same program on AM and FM until the FCC ruled separate programming for large listening audiences like NYC. WPAT's answer to that ruling was to broadcast the same tapes first on the AM then one week later on the FM during prime time hours of 7 PM to midnight. Even after they dropped the guide in 1968, you could listen to a tune on the AM and record the selection one week later on the FM. Of course one person couldn't be listening on the AM for next week while recording on the FM for this week.

Several years later, they used a different scheme to play similar music on AM and FM. In spite of the separate programs on AM and FM, the news and commercials were the same. At first the music on the AM was faded down when when the FM was ready for commercials and news. Later on, they used 2 copies of the same news report, one for each station, so there was no need to fade.

WPAT was always a highly technical station. When Jeff Long let me visit, in 1980, they had 2 racks that formed an "L" in the studio on Broad Street in Clifton, N.J. One rack was the AM programming and the other the FM. Each were similarly equipped with 4 Scully 14" playback decks, commercial cartridge stack, news cartridge slot, and automatic time announcer. One of the differences between the AM and FM racks was the audio processor optimized for AM and the other optimized for FM. The Scullys produced the high quality music automated in either a 1-2 sequence or a 1-2-3-4 sequence. The commercial cartridge stack held all the commercials for the month one each for the AM and FM. The automatic time announcer would have an even minute cartridge and an odd minute cartridge. Every minute one of the tapes would advance and the other was still free to give a time announcement. The AM cartridge would announce the time and "WPAT AM 93," and the FM cartridge would would announce "WPAT FM 93."

In the FM transmitter 60s, the FM transmitter was improved. Once the World Trade Center was completed, the FM antenna and transmitter was moved there in the 70s. When I visited in the 80s, the FM rack in the studio had control and communication with the transmitter at the Trade Center. The AM transmitter and antenna was right there by the studio. The AM antennas were (and may still be) 4 top hat antennas in a square configuration. When I was a block away, my AM car radio sounded almost like FM. When I visited they had the 2 old water cooled tube transmitters as standby in case the 2 mono Gates solid state AM transmitters would both be down. When they got their stereo AM transmitters in the late 80s, Ken Lamb said he could see them carting out the 2 old transmitters, which I would assume were the tube ones. I'm sure they kept those solid state mono ones as standby.

They would always have pairs which they alternated between so that maintenance could be performed while reamining on the air. They would alternate at times of the day when the transmitter power or pattern needed to change at dusk and dawn. Ken made it a point to make this switch over between commercials, songs or even between words while he was speaking on the air. They called him the "old smoothie" because he didn't want any technical noises. Jeff showed me some old switches Ken had him remove because they made too much noise on mike.

They also had a generator to run the whole studio and AM transmitter in case of power failure (without air conditioning).


Copyright (c) 2000 Charles Sanzone




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3 Comments:

KNJ2DD / WPE2MGX said...


AM RADIO FREQUENCY 930 KHz [KC] WAS ORIGINALLY SHARED BETWEEN RADIO STATION WODA IN PATERSON, N.J., AND RADIO STATION WTRL IN MIDLAND PARK, N.J., BACK IN 1927

WTRL - 930 KHz AM, Midland Park
Radio entrepreneur Donald W. May established the Technical Radio Laboratory in Midland Park, five miles north of Paterson and began operating WTRL on December 16, 1926 at 1450 KHz [KC] AM.

In April 1927, WTRL moved to 930 AM and shared time with WODA, Paterson.

However in the summer of 1927, Donald May became increasingly involved with another one of his stations, WDWA, which was in the process of moving to Asbury Park, and apparently paid little attention to WTRL, whose license the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) soon moved to revoke.

May told a U.S. Senate committee in February 1928 that the FRC had treated him unfairly when it had refused to grant WTRL with a power increase.

In June, New York area radio inspector Arthur Batcheller reported to the FRC that the station had been partly dismantled and had been out of operation for some time.

WTRL did gain some brief notoriety when radio inspectors reported that its transmitter was located in a barn and that "the transmitter room indicated its use for the housing of innumerable puppies."

In a letter to the commission, Senator James Watson of Indiana wrote that the dogs "may account for some of the 'howls' that we hear about radio ... Also these yelps and snarls and growls going out on the night air may be accepted by some people as an inferior grade of grand opera or by others as high-class jazz ... The gentleman who operates that station evidently has an eye for thrift if not an ear for harmony, for in all this broad land there probably is not another individual to whom it ever occured to hitch a dog kennel to a radio station."

"Inasmuch as you have no jurisdiction over the kennel, but have over the station, it is probably wise for you to demand a separation of the two industries by stopping the station."

Despite May's legal appeals, the "dog station" was shut down on September 1, 1928.

[N.J. Radio History / Museum]

KNJ2DD / WPE2MGX said...


[The following information, some of it repetitious, supplements much of the information regarding WPAT-AM in the articles, above]

WPAT-AM, 930 KHz, PATERSON

WPAT-AM was first heard on May 3, 1941, at about the same time that hundreds of stations in North America were required by the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement to change frequency.

WPAT did not need to move, but was re-assigned from 900 KHz AM, and began operation as a daytime station on 930 KHz AM.

The principal backer of WPAT was engineer James Cosman, soon joined by Donald Flamm, who had recently sold WMCA.

The first studios were in the Exchange Building at 115 Ellison St., in Paterson, N.J., a landmark that had been the home of the O'Dea Temple of Music and WODA.

Among its first programs was "Radio Gravure", a weekly dramatization of stories from the picture pages of the Newark [N.J.] Sunday Call, which also provided local newscasts.

A year after its sign-on, WPAT added studios at 1060 Broad St. in Newark, N.J. (the former WAAM and WNEW address.)

In 1943, WPAT moved out of the old Temple of Music to new studios located at 7 Church St. in Paterson.

WPAT had a varied schedule in its first days.

Among its announcers were John Bartholomew Tucker and Joe Franklin, both of whom went on to become notable talk show hosts.

In 1948, Dave Miller came over from radio station WAAT [licensed to Jersey City, N.J., but later relocated in Newark, N.J.] and brought with him WPAT's first country music program.

Also in 1948, the North Jersey Broadcasting Company, a subsidiary of the Passaic Herald-News, bought WPAT, and in 1949, the station was granted full-time status and moved to 66 Hamilton St, across the street from the Passaic County Courthouse Annex in Paterson.

Country music continued for 3/4 of its broadcast day; the evening was continuous "easy listening" music.

In March 1951, a new evening program premiered that would become the hallmark of WPAT and one of the most-copied formats in radio - it was called "Gaslight Revue."

"Gaslight" was more than just "audible wallpaper" - melodies had to flow gracefully into one another and WPAT's programmers arranged subtle switches in song tempos.

"Gaslight Revue" had such a faithful audience that albums of its music were put on the market.

The melodies were recorded and then transmitted back to the recording studio with a distinctly mellow WPAT pace and sound.

The philosophy of station president Dickens Wright - who became General Manager in 1950 and bought WPAT from the Herald-News in 1955 - was that "Gaslight" fans would stay tuned to "the center of the dial, at 93" during the daytime when commercials came closer together.

WPAT was one of the first stations to seek a place on the FM band.

The transmitter site at Broad St. and Hepburn Rd. in Clifton, N.J. became the studio site in 1957, and in 1959 the combined facilities of the AM and FM moved into a new building constructed there.

Over the years, WPAT also maintained studios and offices in Manhattan, New York City.

Also in 1959, WPAT took "News Around The Clock" from the New York Daily News after it was dropped by WNEW, before going to the Herald Tribune for its news.

Newscasters included Ken Roberts and Charles F. McCarthy and commentary was heard from humorist Goodman Ace, drama critic Martin Gottfried and authors Cleveland Amory and William Rusher.

In 1961, Dickens Wright sold WPAT to Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp. for $5 million.

When FCC regulations required AM/FM pairs to operate separately, WPAT merely staggered the tapes that were used for each "Gaslight Revue."

In the mid 1960's, WPAT briefly broadcasted the Mets games, when WABC dropped them.

Around the same time, the station assumed a country music format.

By the 1970's, WPAT had mostly dropped program titles and added a few vocal selections to develop a "soft contemporary" format.

It even began to play Frank Sinatra records on Saturday nights.

WPAT started broadcasting in AM stereo in 1984.

In 1986, following the Capital Cities purchase of ABC, WPAT was sold to Park Communications.

At this time, more talk programming was instituted into the schedule.

Then in March 1996, WPAT was sold to Heftel (later Hispanic Broadcasting) and converted to a Spanish/ethnic format.

[N.J. Radio History / Museum]

KNJ2DD / WPE2MGX said...


[The following information, some of it repetitious, supplements much of the information regarding WPAT-FM in the articles, above]

WPAT-FM, 93.1 MHz, PATERSON

The origins of this station date all the way back to April 10, 1938, when W2XMN, owned by Major Edwin Armstrong, put out their first test broadcast on 43.7 mc [Note: the abbreviation "mc," which formerly represented the term, "Megacycles," has since been replaced with the term "Megahertz," abbreviated "MHz"] with 600 watts.

On July 18, 1939, the station moved over to 42.8 mc (after briefly being on 41.6 mc) with 35,000 watts.

In 1941, the station moved again to 44.1 mc and then to the present FM band on 98.9 and later on 100.9 in 1946.

Two sets of calls were bring used concurrently at this time, WFMN and KE2XCC.

Edwin Armstrong also operated stations W31NY on 43.1 mc and W2XMN (experimentaly) on 117.43 in 1942.

In 1948, the station again moved, this time to the present 93.1 FM with calls of W2XEA.

The station went off the air on March 6, 1954 - only to resurface 3 years later on March 29, 1957 as WPAT, which had moved over from 103.5 FM.

The 103.5 operation had started on February 1, 1948 as WNNJ and then later switching to WPAT.

There were so few listeners to FM at the time that when the antenna was blown down in a windstorm, WPAT didn't even bother to get the station back on the air.

Between 1938 and 1954, the 93.1 station was licensed to Alpine N.J., broadcasting from Edwin Armstrong's famous radio tower.

When the station came back on in 1957, it was re-licensed to Paterson.

WPAT was best known for it's easy listening format, using such slogans as "Easy 93" or "Soft And Easy 93.", along with its AM counterpart.

A majority of WPAT-FM's programming (and for a time, the AM) was automated using a machine called the IGM-770, pictured in the original articles, above.

In the late 1980's and early 1990's, WPAT started to increase the amount of contemporary vocals in their programming.

In the Fall of 1991, they added some Soft Adult Contemporary cuts and in 1992, added some Hot Adult Contemporary.

On January 1, 1993, WPAT completely dropped the instrumentals and went with a basic Adult Contemporary music format.

In October 1994, they switched to a mainstream Adult Contemporary, with the slogan "Today's 93.1".

Then in January 1996, WPAT was sold to Spanish Broadcasting Systems and flipped the format to Spanish Adult Contemporary on January 20.

They initially called themselves "Suave 93-1", later becoming "Amor".

[N.J. Radio History / Museum]