1961 - 1968(?)
Ellen wrote to say "I was sad to see that the radio station no longer exists. My dad, Fred Parry was the engineer that was working there when the station was built in 1964. He only worked there for about a year. One of the announcers was Al Wunder. I'm attaching a photo - the bump half way up the antenna is my dad."
Randal W. Howard writes:
From about 1964 to about 1969 I was
Chief Engineer for WRAN. I was involved in the
proof for the 10 kW installation as well as the
assembly and installation of the CCA 10 kW
transmitter. Jules Cohen & Associates were
the consultants at that time, and Bernie Segal did the
tune-up. The array never worked well, and with
good reason. It didn't belong where it
was. It had been moved three times to different
locations before it was actually built, and had not
been re-engineered for the 'new' location, on
Millbrook Ave. @ N.J. 10, in Randolph Twp.
Nighttime it barely made the required signal over the
Post Office in Dover, the City Of License, and there
was always WLAC in Nashville, who complained
that we overlapped them 30 miles out to sea at
Norfolk, Va, and somewhere in Canada. They ware
always griping at the FCC. In an attempt to
civilize that array we de-tuned 6 power distribution
towers to our west and south, several ground wires on
poles to the north, and removed WDHA's aux.
tower, and installed their Aux. antenna on our
Tower 3. (re-radiation to the north and east was bad
because of WMEX in Boston, also at 1510.)
When I started, Sam Karvetz was station manager and partner in Lion Broadcasting. Sam's wife was the receptionist. Sam went with a cable TV outfit when WRAN was sold to Media Horizons. The building, which housed the studios, transmitters and offices, was a nice Colonial - styled place. The only problem was, that in order to get financing, the original owners had to design the building such that, if the radio station didn't make a go of it, the building could easily be turned into a house.
We parted company when I refused to
punch holes in my personal automobile to permit a
moving remote which had been planed some time in
advance. The company 'News Cruiser' , a '64
Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, was outfitted with a Marti
which could be used in a two-way configuration when
needed. However, the timing chain failed in the
Olds 2 weeks before the remote, and the manager
refused to get it repaired. He wanted ME to
volunteer my car instead.
A sad and bizarre story which seems to to foreshadow what was to come for WRAN
The station had mostly Collins equipment when it began. Collins 1 kW transmitter, Collins main console, Collins cart machines, QRK turntables (remember turntables?) with a Collins nameplate on them, Gray Research tonearms and Shure pickups. We had an Ampex 351, and a PR-10. PR-10 was the worlds worst. Ran hot, stopped in mid-play, full of tubes, as was everything else at the time. The news and production room tape machines could be operated from the news booth or the control room, and the news room machine could also be operated from the production room.
We had the worlds worst air
conditioning system. It seemed to work OK the
first year, but never again thereafter. It was a
chilled water system, but never truly chilled
anything! For heating, we had resistive
baseboard units, which kept the power company well,
but didn't heat much of anything. Storm windows
would have helped!
Another memory from the Lion Broadcasting days, from Craig: "Scooter Jolly was the president of the Little People's Club and was issued card #1. He was into theater as a child. Not sure where he ever went with that I was the only other officer that I know of as treasurer and was issued card #2. It says Dover. I think it was at that time as it might have been before Randolph got a post office. The Little People Club was a creation of Ted Rado, the morning announcer. Supposedly he had a brother Jim in the Chicago TV market."
I did a Sunday morning air shift, which included some music, and many taped religious and public service shows. I liked doing that shift because it allowed me to operate every piece of equipment in the place, and catch failing operation before it caused trouble during the week. (knob setting different from last week? Find the bad tube, ETC.)
There was fun, too. Like the
Sunday morning when I found everything the UPI had
sent since about 1:00 AM on a single line. The
news director had spliced the paper from the old box
to the paper in the new box. The model 15 Tele
Type machine did NOT handle it. First thing on
the log was news, so here I go, scrounging through the
sandwich and fruit remains, ETC in the waste baskets
to come up with some news. Actually it was
stale, but what could I do? Nobody listened
anyhow. I was, and still am, the worlds second worst