Lion Broadcasting

Media/Jersey Horizons
1969 - 1974

Dick Bailey era I
1974 - 1979

Dick Baily era II - the Jackie Rose collection

"Cousin" Bruce Morrow
1980 - 1986

1986 - 1988

The death of WRAN

WRAN reborn (sort of...)



The Dick Bailey Era (Part I)

Click HERE for a compilation of jingles from the Bailey era
(a RealAudio file)

There are so many stories about Dick Bailey, who owned WRAN from 1974 until 1980. The accepted story was that he was the son of a wealthy businessman who bought the station for Dick to run, which he did, right into the ground.... 

Everybody jumped on the Bi-centennial bandwagon, even small radio stations like WRAN, which handed out these bumper stickers as part of a contest promotion.
Harold worked at WRAN during the early 1970s, and wrote the following a few years ago which was passed along to us...

Glenn Pollock's late wife Ann Williams worked as a news person at the station with Jeff Ofgang and, later, with me. Glenn was on the air at WRAN doing fill-in work when the regular jocks were on vacation, etc. Ann passed away in Chicago in 1985 after working in radio in that city.  Glenn moved to Utah and returned to New Jersey about 12 years ago.  He says that his WRAN stuff is buried in boxes in his folks' basement. I volunteered to help him find it.  He knows he has memorabilia as well as air checks.

In talking with Glenn last night we brought up several more names.  There's Dick Bailey, of course, who managed the station in the 1970s.  And Gracie Utter, who still lives in Wharton. John Baumgarden sold time as did Cal, whose last name I can't recall.  There was Barry Shandalow and "Krazy Kat," whose real job was as a supermarket butcher.  One-time New Jersey Herald reporter Vic Berardelli did an advice-for-the-lovelorn show on the station late at night when the signal coverage struggled to get to the K-Mart on Route 10. Oh so many memories.

Coincidently, I was walking on Blackwell Street last week and caught site of a plaque on the wall of a building.  It indicated that that building was the site of the first WDHA-FM studios in the early 1960s.

I understand that when Bruce Morrow was losing the business at WRAN he offered the station to the college but they turned it down.  What a missed opportunity that was!!  How many colleges have a commercial AM radio station as a training facility?  It could have been the nucleus of a great broadcast curriculum.


 Pictures and articles from the Dick Bailey era:

Barry Michaels setting up a remote @ Germania Park in Dover 
for the Annual Octoberfest... October, 1976

The Crazy Kat himself!

Ad for WRAN

Rich Phoenix

Turkey Shoot
As Rich Phoenix likes to say, WRAN was the REAL WKRP. No, we never dropped turkeys from a helicopter, but probably only because Dick Bailey couldn't get a 'copter "on trade." 

Newsman Frank Scafidi

P.D. Paul Michaels 


Darlene Tardive, Bill Squartino, Jackie Rose, and Paul Liefer

Morning man Barry Shandalow and News Director 
Ann Williams (dec.), December 1977

Salesmen John Baumgarten and Cal Stein, December 1977

Music Director Wayne Scott and DJ Jackie "Blue" Rose, December 1977

This great photo was sent to us by David, (the youngster in the photo) of his cousin, 
Johnny Randolph (Dick McCormick) at the grand opening of "Mr. Cookie" 
at the Morris County Mall, circa 1976.

Listener Bill Petzinger wrote the following email: "I stumbled upon your web site devoted to WRAN. I often wondered over the years what became of the station and its "air personalities." I was a big fan of Gene Schneider and Jackie Rose. If memory serves, I believe Gene's oldies show aired on Saturday nights. I was only 15. I also enjoyed Jackie Rose's show because we could call in our requests. I remember one time going to a live broadcast of Johnny Randolph's show at Bertrand Island. Randolph played the song 'Black Betty,' and, jumping around so much, made the record skip on air!"

Great memories, Bill, thanks!  If you have a memory of WRAN please email us here.

By 1979, most of the on air folks shown above had left WRAN. Here is where I come into the picture. In June 1978 I graduated from the University of Maryland with one goal: to get a paying job at a commercial radio station. I sent dozens and dozens of cassette tapes to stations advertising openings in Broadcasting and Radio and Records. Sometime that summer I got a a call from PD Mike Ofsanka (known on the air as Paul Michaels.) I'll never forgot him saying "if you had your First (he meant the FCC First Class Commercial ticket) I would hire you." That, and a bout with mononucleosis (she was worth it) inspired me to get my ticket, which I did after attending a six-week crash course in Fredericksburg, VA. (Could I have passed it on my own? Probably but I wanted a job. And I kept hearing Mike's voice in my head... "if you had your First...")

The DAY I passed my test I called Mike and said "sir, you said if I got my ticket my night have a job for me. Well, I got it!" Mike had me come for an interview and on October 15, 1978, under the kind guidance of Jackie Rose I learned the basic of running the board. At 9pm I sat down and cued up my first record, Steely Dan's PEG, which I chose because of the lyric :

"This is your big debut, it's like a dream come true..."

Paul, Jackie, and Kevin Bowland, who would later become my best friend, sat in Paul's car in the WRAN parking lot and listened to this extremely nervous, but enthusiastic, young man living out (if only for three hours) a dream. At midnight Jackie came in and showed my how to shut down the station (we had a 24 hour license but no one working the graveyard shift) and then "leaked" the news Paul was going to hire me.


Much of the WRAN staff in 1979.  From left to right:
Steve Table (afternoons), Frank Anthony (news director),
David Kruh (evenings), Kenny Lee (mornings),
Kevin Bowland (mid-days), and Bob Bobber (news)


Until I saw this article I had completely forgotten this promotion. After my foray into broadcasting (and a few other industries) I spent three decades in public relations and marketing. I mention this because NOTHING I ever did matches the genius of this stunt (no, it wasn't my idea, damn it!) Dick Bailey knew he didn't have the $1510 dollars to give away but with the odds of a piece of Skylab winding up in the hands of someone who read the Dover Daily Record were, well... astronomical. (yes, I went there)

Steve Table

Absolutely delighted to have reconnected with afternoon man Steve Table,
who kindly allowed me to post this and other pictures from the late 1970s.

WRAN Banner

There is a classic small market radio story about this banner,
which mysteriously disappeared during a remote
much to the anger of the station owner/GM


The night-time signal sucked and we were in the shadow of 50,000 watt AM behemoths like WABC and WNBC. Yet WRAN had its fans. Even I had my fans, however few in number they might have been. My greatest enjoyment and, looking back, my greatest accomplishment, was making connections with people simply by being a friendly voice on the radio.

Mid-day man Kevin Bowland in the on-air studio, circa 1979.

This photo of Kev was taken by Jackie Rose in the WRAN studio
(We are very sorry to report that Kev passsed away in October, 2008, at the age of 54)

I joined WRAN in October 1978 and worked nights for about a year before being promoted to morning drive.  Promoted may be something of an overstatement - I was one of only two employees with a First Class FCC license.  This was important because the ground system, installed on the cheap back in 1964, had corroded so much that it was practically non-existent by the mid-1970s.  Since the station's night pattern was highly directional (using all 4 towers for a VERY tight pattern that protected WMEX in Boston and WLAC in Nashville) the FCC required weekly field readings AND a First Class ticket at the transmitter whenever the station was on the night pattern.  I always found that amusing, because at night we were only 500 watts but during the day we were 10,000 watts, the most powerful of any NJ AM station.

If I look sublimely happy it is because I was...

I loved my two-and-a-half years at WRAN.  How could I not?  I was being paid to do what I had wanted to do since I was a kid listening to the world's greatest DJs on WMCA and WABC.  Like thousands who came before and after me I dreamed of the big time, of working at a station where all the music was on carts (instead of scratchy 20 year-old vinyl) and an engineer who would run my board for me.  I never made it, but I wouldn't trade a minute of my time here.  (Here, at great risk to my middle-age diginity, is my WRAN aircheck)

Bob Pepitone

In 1980 I convinced Dick Bailey to let me host a three-hour program of Big Band music, which was called The Big Band Parade.  (Had anyone at WRAN been watching they would have noted the dramatic shift in music radio listenership from AM to FM, and how some AM stations were managing GREAT ratings by serving older listeners with Big Band and "popular" music.)  Listeners were invited to bring their personal collections of their favorite stars to the station.  One fan came for a show and, like The Man Who Came to Dinner, never left.  His name was Bob Pepitone, a HUGE Louie Prima fan who became the unofficial co-host of the Big Band Parade for most of its run.

It's hard to imagine that WRAN under Dick Baliey ever made any money.  (On Fridays we would race to the bank to cash our checks before the money in the station account ran out, which it sometimes did.)  Like every station since KDKA first went on the air, we employed a method called "trade," which was to run advertising for stores and companies but instead of getting money, we would let them pay us in goods and services.  By 1980 the station was falling on some pretty hard times, so to boost morale someone arranged for the station to get all new wallpaper (a trade, of course) and to celebrate we held a "wallpaper party."  L-R in this picture are Steve Table, former chief engineer Ed Benkis, Dick Bailey (owner), and Ed's wife.

So what was it like working for Dick Bailey?  Perhaps these final two items will help you decide.  Do you see the brown shirt upon which Nick Sullivan (the Program Director from 1977 to 1979) is laying?  It was a sleeveless shirt that so enraged Dick Bailey that he fired Nick when he refused to go home and return in "proper business attire."  Nick went on to WMTR and ended up on the air in Philadelphia.  No word if he still owns the shirt.

Last, but not least, is this classic memo from Dick Bailey himself...