Doug Emblidge - 62 WHEN Air Personality
62WHEN Radio Syracuse, NY
"In His Own Words"
In 1979 I was heading to Syracuse University for my freshman year.
I was in high school and already working in radio, in my hometown of Rochester, at FM-99 (WHFM). FM-99 was the Top 40 sister station of the 50,000 watt powerhouse WHAM 1180. I worked at WHAM too eventually, and all these years later, I’m in my 30th year at WHAM TV, the former WOKR. Funny how things turn out.
In addition to doing weekend morning DJ shifts at FM-99 in Rochester, I would head south each Saturday and Sunday to work afternoons at WDNY in Dansville, for station owner Dave Mance. Dave was a WHEN alum, and referred me to WHEN GM Bob Carolin, who hired me as a part-time DJ once I arrived in Syracuse. Thanks Dave, and thanks Bob.
I still remember how the keys of songs were typed on carts to facilitate better segues.
I recall working the overnight shift, which meant giving a wakeup call to news director Bill Carey, who would show up about 30 minutes later. I swear he had two cups of coffee and two cigarettes going as he typed his newscasts.
I remember long chats with Jay Flannery and Ray Diorio, soaking up everything I could learn about the business. I met Dan Cummings and Tony Rizzo at WHEN, and listened in awe to the deep, authoritative voice of Jules Coleman. I remember Dick O’Neill was doing nights, and Jeff Scheidecker. Zoltan Bedy aka Paul Kelley -- and Joe Gallagher too.
Early in my time at WHEN, I was sent out in the Heavy Vette to a fireman’s BBQ in Norwich. I’d never driven it before, and couldn’t believe how HARD it was to drive. Only upon my return to the station on old Liverpool Road did I discover I’d made the whole trip
with the parking brake on. I said nothing to anyone, until now. I’m pretty certain the statute of limitations has expired.
I also seem to recall a contest involving the Vette or the Chevy ... driving around Syracuse with someone from promotions ... looking for the classic 62-WHEN bumper stickers. I had keys to open something, and if the person we pulled over picked the right key, they won a lot of cash.
First guy I pulled over, on the first day of the contest, picked the right key and won the money. I remember the person from promotions being angry that the contest didn’t get much of a run. Pretty sure she blamed me!
At some point in my career PD Bruce Siegel offered me the overnight shift full-time. I was a Sophomore at SU I think, and seriously considered taking the job that would leave precious little time to sleep. Then I found out it paid 8k/year working six overnights/week. I said no, even though I enjoyed the point trivia that came with the overnight job!
Great times, at a great radio station. Thanks for stirring up the memories Jay.
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