Pete McKay - Former 62WHEN Air Personality
62 WHEN Radio
Syracuse, New York
"In His Own Words"
When I got the job doing the all-night show at WHEN in fall of 1974, I was really thrilled. It was wonderful being a part of it.
All the people on the air were so, so good. Both jocks and news people. And the signal was really something.
I did two stints at WHEN. About three years starting in 1974 and three more years several years later after the station had moved out to Liverpool. Even though Bob Carolin did an heroic job of keeping the station going under the adverse conditions of ownership by Park, the glory days were the Meredith days at 980 James Street.
A couple of years before Ray Diorio died, I was talking to him about how great the WHEN at James Street was. We agreed on this, and also agreed that we didn´t know at the time at that it would be all over. All done. Our WHEN is gone, and now Channel 5 is gone, too. It´s sad.
Speaking of Ray, I was happy to see that in his post Ed LaComb wrote about discovering Ray´s side in which he could be a good friend. We all know that he could be moody, but if you got past that you could find someone who could be a loyal friend with a wonderful sense of humor.
I mentioned that I came back for a second stint at WHEN, this time working on the FM. Park had bought WONO, which had morphed from classical to beautiful music and Bob and Bruce Siegel hired me to be the operations guy. Bob told me to work on new call letters for the planned new country format, and I went through the Broadcasting Yearbook trying to think of cool call letters. I wrote up a list of possibilities for him. The one on the list that Bob liked the best was WTEX. Great for country, right? So the company checked WTEX with the FCC and found that a ship at sea had those call letters tied up. So his second choice was WRRB. I thought the double R was memorable and different from anything else in town. And in my mind WRRB had a meaning, Roy Rogers Double-R Bar Ranch. The reason Bob liked it was that WRRB could mean "Rock Rhythm and Blues" if they needed to change the format.
We were running the Drake-Chenault country tape service for the country format, and we had a D-C guy who was our programming consultant, and he really hated the call letters WRRB. I was crushed.
Anyway, I´d like to say hello to all the WHEN alumni who are reading this. I have enjoyed reading all the posts made up until now and will be interested in others.
Ed. Note: Pete McKay Retires February 2013 - Read The Story HERE
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