Thursday, January 31, 2008

KAAY 1090 A Service of the LIN Broadcasting Corp.

I have mentioned LIN Broadcasting a few times and Fred Gregg the man who started LIN. In fact, Jerry Sims sent me a copy of a memo he had received from Fred and kept all these years. As I was doing some research, I discovered almost nothing is one the internet about Fred Gregg. I hope to write an article on him sometime in the future. Unfortunately my best source of information, Pat Walsh has passed away. I met Fred several times at management meetings in Nashville. Fred sold his interests in LIN Broadcasting, I believe in the late 60s and many employees felt betrayed or left behind. I never did. Fred deserved every dollar he got from the sale. We all made money off LIN stock and have him to thank for it. If anyone would care to help out with a story on Fred that can be entered into the "vast wasteland" of the internet, email me at

In the meanwhile, here is a little LIN Broadcasting history. It is certainly not complete. For one thing, it doesn't mention Miss Teenage America which LIN purchased and I worked with for a brief time before I got married.

Providence-based LIN TV Corporation operates 23 US television stations and has investments in five other stations. It traces its origins to the LIN Broadcasting Corporation, a minor media conglomerate disassembled in the 1980s and 1990s.

Its corporate site is here.

subsection heading icon LIN Broadcasting

LIN TV Corporation originated as LIN Broadcasting Corporation in the mid 1960s. LIN Broadcasting was a minor conglomerate, assembled on an opportunistic basis and encompassing radio and television broadcasting, direct marketing, 'information and learning', music publishing and record labels. The name derived from Louisville, Indianapolis and Nashville, the three locations of its initial radio stations.

It expanded into paging services and then in the early 1980s entered the mobile (ie cellular) phone industry. By 1983 it owned seven television stations. In 1985 it also owned and managed mobile phone licenses serving New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston. In 1986 it sold the paging operations and six of its radio stations to fund development of the cellular business.

In 1990 McCaw Cellular Communications acquired a 52% interest in LIN Broadcasting in a hostile takeover, following an unsuccessful bid by BellSouth. McCaw was in turn acquired by AT&T in 1994 for US$11.5 billion. At that time phone services accounted for 79% of LIN's revenue; the company had never made a profit after taxes. Founder and CEO Donald Pels reportedly earned US$186m in 1990.

subsection heading icon the LIN TV group

The television operations of LIN Broadcasting were then spun off as LIN Television Corporation, a public company on the Nasdaq stock market. It was 45% owned by AT&T (which subsequently acquired the rest of LIN Broadcasting).

LIN TV at that time owned and/or operated 12 stations. It acquired WIVB-TV in Buffalo.

In 1998 LIN TV was acquired by junkbond financiers Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst (HMTF) for US$1.9 billion after a bid by Raycom. HMTF controlled the Capstar radio station chain that became AMFM Inc and was subsequently absorbed by Clear Channel.

subsection heading icon holdings

Wholly-owned stations include -

Indianapolis, IN


Hartford-New Haven,CT


Grand Rapids Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI


Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA


Buffalo, NY


Austin, TX


Fort Wayne, IN


Springfield-Holyoke, MA


Lafayette, IN


San Juan, PR


Providence/New Bedford, MA


Dayton, OH


Toledo, OH


LIN has a 50% non-voting equity interest in minority-controlled Banks Broadcasting, which owns and operates KWCV-TV (Wichita) and KNIN-TV (Boise). LIN provides services under a joint sales agreement to Paxson's WZPX-TV (Grand Rapids) and WPXV-TV (Norfolk). It has a 20% equity interest in a television station joint venture with NBC for KXAS-TV (Dallas NBC affiliate) and KNSD-TV (San Diego NBC affiliate). It has 33.3% of Block-controlled WAND-TV (Champaign, Springfield, Decatur).

subsection heading icon studies

There have been no major studies of LIN Broadcasting or LIN TV.

For McCaw and AT&T see Money from Thin Air: The Story of Craig McCaw, the Visionary who Invented the Cell Phone Industry, and His Next Billion-Dollar Idea (New York: Crown 2000) by O Casey Corr and works cited on the AT&T, Liberty and Metromedia profiles elsewhere on this site.

subsection heading icon chronology

1948 WTNH founded

1949 WOOD-TV founded as WLAV-TV

1957 WLAV-TV acquired by Time

1962 KTHS (later KAAY) radio acquired by Lin Broadcasting Corporation

1962 buys KEEL Shreveport

1967 pays US$7.5m for KILT radio Houston

1968 LIN Broadcasting buys WAVY-AM and WAVY-TV

1968 buys King Starday Records for US$5m

1971 sells James Brown music catalogue to Polydor

1971 sells King Starday to Leiber & Stoller's Tennessee Recording & Publishing

1974 buys KXAS Fort Worth from Amon Carter Publications for US$35m

1975 sells KAAY to Multimedia

1976 buys WPBS (later WUSL) radio Philadelphia

1979 buys KTVV-TV (later KXAN) from Kingstip Communications

1983 buys WOOD-TV

1986 LIN Broadcasting sells paging operations

1986 LIN Broadcasting sells six of its radio stations

1990 McCaw Cellular Communications acquires 52% interest in LIN Broadcasting

1991 LIN Broadcasting takes stake in Radio Satellite Corp with Hughes

1994 McCaw acquired by AT&T for US$11.5bn

1994 LIN broadcasting stations spun off as LIN TV

1995 AT&T acquires rest of LIN Broadcasting

1998 Lin TV acquired by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst for US$1.9bn

1999 acquires WOOD-TV Grand Rapids

1999 LIN establishes Banks Broadcasting, minority-owned tv broadcaster (KWCV-TV Wichita and KNIN-TV Boise) in which it has a 50% interest

1999 buys WAPA-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico

2000 acquires WLFI-TV Lafayette from Block in exchange for 66% of WAND-TV (Champaign, Springfield, Decatur)

2000 buys WWLP-TV Springfield

2001 buys WJPX-TV and two satellite facilities in Puerto Rico

2001 buys WNLO-TV Buffalo (formerly WIVB) for US$25m

2002 buys WOTV-TV Battle Creek and WVBT-TV Norfolk

2002 agrees to acquire seven stations in six markets from STC Broadcasting (formerly HMTF-controlled Sunrise Television), inc WDTN-TV Dayton, WEYI-TV and WUPW-TV

2002 IPO on the New York Stock Exchange

2002 sells KRBC TV Abilene and KACB TV San Angelo to Mission Broadcasting

2005 buys WNDY-TV Indianapolis and WWHO-TV Columbus from Viacom

2005 announces agreement to purchase WALA-TV and WBPG-TV (Mobile), WTHI-TV (Terre Haute), WLUK-TV (Green Bay) and KRQE-TV (Albuquerque) from Emmis for US$260m

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More than 150 barracks and other structures burn at Fort Chaffee

What does that have to do with KAAY? Almost the entire time I worked at KAAY, I was in the Army reserve. Except for one year at Ft. Polk, LA, all of our summer camps were spent at Fort Chaffee near Fort Smith. (Near Alma where I live now)

It was a really big fire driven by 50 MPH winds. Here is a link to videos:

I found an great revisit to the old barracks on You Tube:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Notes on this blog

The post below about public school kids patriotism has be overloaded with hits and the guy has temporally taken it down. Keep checking back because it is well worth the effort to see. Maybe he will post it on You Tube which can handle the volume.

I continue to get foreign hits on the KATV tower collapse. Apparently there was a news story in Great Britain that is driving google searches. I have run out of news on the collapse. If you have any insight or information or pictures please email me:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Patriotism not quite dead in the public schools

Patroitism not quite dead in the public schools. Take a look:

Amazon sells KAAY article

Amazon is selling an Arkansas Business article on KAAY for $5.95. Here's the link:
I think this article is still available from free sources. If you are interested look around.

I've read the article and it's good but I'm not sure I'd pay the $5.95 unless you are lazy.

Speaking of lazy. I have been known to buy a song from Itunes or Walmart instead of going to the garage and searching for it.

Interest in the KATV tower story continues. I am getting a lot of foreign hits looking at my posts concerning the story. If you have a comment or anything to contribute to the story please email me at:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Two Person Morning Show started in 1959

" One idea that Gordon McLendon had become fascinated with for morning programming was a two-man disc jockey team. He and (Program Director) Don Keyes had picked up the idea from listening to air checks of a morning show on New York's WNEW featuring a two-man team. Gordon wanted to copy the show on KLIF. So, with disc jockey Ron Chapman donning the name Irving Harrigan, and Tom Murphy, the "Murphy & Harrigan" show was launched. The date was sometime in 1959.
In order to fashion precisely what it was that "Murphy & Harrigan" should be, Gordon required that Don Keyes record the program every morning. As soon as Chapman's and Murphy's shift ended at 9 A.M., both of them, along with Keyes, listened to the recording and critiqued what they heard — "polishing, honing, distilling the show down to the ultimate". The result, said Keyes, "was a dynamite two man morning show. It just owned the market". Others attempted to copy the program, but the chemistry that developed between them and the wry, topical humor around which your last words can be overlapped by the "Murphy & Harrigan" show ... was not easily transferred to other markets.

Later, Jack Woods took over the co-host role on mornings and the show became "Charlie & Harrigan". Jack Woods played the role of Charlie Brown and Chapman continued with Irving Harrigan. Other Charlie & Harrigans came and went as the years went by. "

— The History of KLIF Website

The above was from The History of KLIF Website. However, I can't find it any longer. Anyone know where it is? If it's gone, it's a shame because it had some airchecks and great history of early top 40.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Thought I Knew Tommy Riggs, Payton, Rock Robbins

I ran accross an interesting story about Tommy that I never knew. Go to this link and scroll down to Charles Okle remembers Stax:

Comment from Mike McKinney on XM & KAAY

It would still be great to someday have XM honor the old KAAY!

Mike McKinney

Friday, January 25, 2008

WHBQ today on XM

I have written before about XM satellite radio's salute to top 40 stations of the sixties. Today they are featuring WHBQ in Memphis:
WHBQ Memphis, TN Radio 56, Memphis. Hear the hits from the WHBQ Now 30 Survey. DJs George Klein, Tom Kent. Spot the WHBQ Bat mobile, coming to Oak Park Shopping Center, Shoney?s Big Boy, Pig ?N Whistle BBQ & Dyers Hamburgers. It?s WHBQ ?Spin & Win? time. It?s ?WHBQ Win a car time.

If you don't have a satellite radio you can still listen on the web. Go to

I always loved Memphis radio. WMPS and WHBQ. Both stations were on low frequencies and really sounded good on AM radio. They ran lots of good reverb. Lots of great music and radio came out of Memphis. Wonder why not much comes out of Memphis today or does it?

Double click on the survey on top of this post to see the details and a closer view of Dewey Phillips.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

After KATV tower collapse KTHV lends tower space

Arkansas Business News Story

After Collapse, KTHV Lends KATV Tower Space
By Arkansas Business Staff
1/22/2008 3:36:01 PM

Competition continues to take a backseat among Little Rock market television stations, with KTHV-TV, Channel 11, offering tower space to restore rival KATV-TV, Channel 7's analog signal.

KATV's analog signal has been off the air since the Jan. 11 collapse of its 2,000-ft. broadcast tower near Redfield. The ABC affiliate's cable and satellite service was restored shortly after the collapse, but options to deliver its analog signal to those viewers without cable or satellite were limited. It's estimated that between 10 percent and 15 percent of the station's viewers tune into the analog signal.

"That's how much we believe in local TV," said Larry Audas, general manager at KTHV in a news release. "We go nose to nose with KATV every day in news, sales and every competitive aspect of broadcasting. But THV's first obligation is to Arkansas viewers ... . Competitive results will take care of themselves."

KATV is broadcasting its analog signal from KTHV's auxiliary tower and antenna, which was normally reserved as a back up for the CBS affiliate's maintenance and emergency use.

"This kind of cooperation between KTHV and KATV is most appreciated and evidence broadcasters are here to serve the community," said Dale Nicholson, general manager at KATV, in the news release.
Scroll down this blog for photos

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You folks are finatics about tower collapses

The hits (to this blog) just keep on comming. I found this interesting. If you go to this site and scroll down near the bottom are some interesting tables that show tower heights and a complete list of tower collapses.

Interesting the comment I made about WAND-TV. I found an ice storm caused a collapse in the 70s.

Turkey Drop, Turkey Trot, WKRP, & KAAY

The state of Arkansas is rich in festivals and traditions. It was always KAAY's practice to get involved whenever possible. Even some events like the National Cow Chip throwing contest, required going out of state to Beaver Oklahoma. Full cow chip coverage is on this blog. Go to the upper left and type in cow chip and search this blog.

Today I would like to direct you attention to Yellville, AR. The name may say it all:

One of the longest traditions in Yellville is the annual Turkey Trot festival. Beginning in 1945 with the first turkey dropped from the roof of the Marion County Courthouse, the festival continues today. It is held every second weekend of October with the best-known attraction being live turkeys that are dropped from airplanes over the town square. October 2005 marked the 60th anniversary of this festival. The 1970s television show, WKRP in Cincinnati, parodied the turkey drop on one of their best-known episodes. Yellville and the Turkey Trot Festival were also included in the American supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer in 1989 with photographs of the festival and commentary on animal cruelty. Due to the bad press, the turkey drop ceased for a few years. It has since resumed. The Turkey Trot festival also includes a Miss Turkey Trot Pageant, a Miss Drumstickz Competition (best legs), dinners, musical entertainment, a 5 kilometer run, a parade (which has included former Arkansas governor and current presidential candidate Mike Huckabee), and a nationally recognized turkey calling contest sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation. Crafts and tools related to the hunting of wild turkeys are also sold in streetside booths along the town square. Entertainment at Turkey Trot has ranged in recent years from famous acts like John Conlee singer of "Rose Colored Glasses" and Jeannie Kendall from the Grammy-award winning group The Kendalls, to more local entertainment by area groups such as The Muddles, Crooked Creek, Joe Sasser and Friends, and Carnes McCormack.

Ham Radio

A comment to this blog:
Hello, A. J.! In remembering my involvement in the radio hobbies, KAAY (and to a lesser extent, a couple other radio stations) were instrumental in leading me to Ham Radio. As I mentioned before, I was a 9-year-old kid listening to KAAY growing up, I imagined doing deejay work...then, the wonder of DXing and listening to stations around the world on shortwave caught me, but AM broadcast DXing (long-distance listening) has been close to my heart all these years. Now, with consolidation having taken it's toll, there's little local flavor to listen for, in my opinion....but I still tune around!

I've always searched for the odd, the unusual, monitoring shortwave, scanners, etc.; played with antenna systems to "hear" better; got my CB license in the heyday (KBCW7718) and operated for a number of years...but it was my wife who encouraged me to go for my "ticket", so for over 18 years, I've been licensed and have my Extra Class Amateur Radio License (KC4HGH), and getting that was a story in itself!

Needless to say, I have one of the more advanced rigs in my truck with a decent antenna system & talk all over the USA easily, but WHAT do I fall back and listen to? The AM broadcast band at night! Yes, I still scan and flip the VFO around, listening, monitoring and remembering growing up on AM radio!

A.J. no matter how advanced we get in our radio hobbies, it's always good to go back to our roots & remember- thanks for the good times!

Thanks for the memories. Most of the jocks I encountered in the radio and television business included myself, were not involved with ham radio. I guess we got our kicks out of the commercial band. The engineers were more likely to be hams but not as many as you would expect. Same thing for CB radio. There was such a kick out of broadcasting and getting paid for it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More KATV tower fall info

Read the third paragraph of this Fox 16 story for more insight into the collapse.

"Cause of the KATV tower collapse still not known"

Of course, there were tower crews working on the guy wires. Comments from an anonymous source hinted that other towers of this manufacturer type are down and the KATV tower was condemned. But, hey, that's stuff you read on the internet. Here is an actual News story from Northwest Arkansas' morning news. Be sure and scroll down this blog for lots of pictures.

KETS Analog Still Down
This article was published on Monday, January 14, 2008 8:50 PM CST in News
By Jason Wiest
LITTLE ROCK -- KATV Channel 7 was back on the air Monday after its 43-year-old tower collapsed Friday, knocking the Little Rock television station and part of Arkansas' public television network off the air.

Getting KETS Channel 2's analog signal restored will take a few more weeks, said Allen Weatherly, executive director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network. The station, which part of the AETN network and serves Central Arkansas, had its analog transmitter destroyed when KATV's 2000-foot tower collapsed while workers were stringing new guy wires.

One person was slightly injured in the collapse of what was the world's largest structure when it was built.

Within about 30 minutes of the collapse, KATV began uplinking a signal through Equity Broadcasting, according to Debbie Hook, an assistant to KATV president Dale Nicholson.

"Everybody that received us before should be able to receive us now" through cable, satellite or analog feeds, Hook said Monday.

KATV will eventually broadcast from a new tower, the specifics of which have not been worked out yet, she said.

AETN will purchase a lower power analog transmitter and mount it on its digital tower, Weatherly said. He said he was not sure how much it would cost.

AETN officials considered not restoring the analog signal since Congress and the Federal Communications Commission have mandated that analog television be updated to digital by February 2009, Weatherly said. About 10 percent to 15 percent of AETN's viewership in Arkansas watches via an analog signal, he said.

"Our whole mission is universal service, and (analog viewers) deserve to see programming as much as anybody else," Weatherly said.

He said the public television network serves about 1 million viewers in Arkansas.

The cause of the collapse is not yet known, Hook said.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A snapshot of recent visitors

Italy Florence, Toscan

Hong Kong Central District

Malaysia Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang

United States Bedford, Texas

United States Des Moines, Iowa

United States Escanaba, Michigan

Chile Villa Alemana, Valparaiso

Australia Melbourne, Victoria

KATV Tower Comment

This is from an Arkansas TV news blog that is linked below. There are so many comments you might hsve missed this one. This person seems to be knowledgeable and reveals some information I have not read anywhere else:

KATV's website says they are working to find the reason for the collapse. Are they surprised? There is a reason the tower is the last of its kind standing. The rest with this design have fallen already. The tower was condemned, and should have been replaced years ago. Bring back the day when local tv was actually owned locally. It was a greedy corporate business decision not to replace an aging tower that was will now cost 7 more than money.

This may be old news to some.....

You may have seen this clip before, but it is well worth repeating. It is posted on You Tube and God Tube with several entries on each. This particular link is approaching 6 million hits. It was a phone call to a Christian radio station. Here is the link:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Every DJ has probably played it!

Every DJ has probably played it, (if they will admit it). The Singing Dogs and Jingle Bells. I know Christmas is past but this is an interesting story.
It's goes back farther than the 1970s release. Here's the story:

Of course today, you could do it with a sampling keyboard in just a few minutes.

KATV tower fall picture


KATV Tower

I hate to keep riding a dead horse, or in this case a downed tower. But I keep getting dozens of visits to this blog about the downed KATV tower. What is so amazing, I spoke with a top rated TV personality in the NW Ar. TV market this morning and he was unaware of the KATV tower story.

For convenience here is a link to the KATV video and story:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bill And Hillary Clinton,Monica Lewinsky would have made great Ear On Arkansas Subjects

Today's politicians would have made such great Ear On Arkansas material. For new comers to this blog, Ear On Arkansas was a thirty minute weekly satirical review of the news that ran on KAAY for many years. To get the full background, type in Ear On Arkansas in the upper left search box and click on search this blog.

I have often thought how much fun it would be to do Ear again. With computer technology it would be much easier. I would need some help. If anyone would like to volunteer just drop me an email at:

More KATV Tower Collapse Pictures

Sunday, January 13, 2008

KATV Tower falls

For those of you outside the metro Little Rock area, it may come as news to you that the KATV(ABC affiliate) channel 7's 2000 foot tower collapsed as tower crews were doing maintenance on the guy wires. KATV's tower is at Redfield, AR same town where the KAAY 3 tower directional array is located. (down the road a piece) Most of the TV stations in Little Rock have their towers on a mountain near Little Rock. KATV is actually licensed to Pine Bluff/Little Rock and used to maintain a small studio in Pine Bluff. That was long ago closed and most people including those in Pine Bluff, have forgotten the Pine Bluff part of the license.

I learned about it from Issac Wingfield who lives in California. Here in Alma, AR, Little Rock might as well be in another state. We ignore Little Rock and they ignore us, even though it is the state capitol.

(message to WAND-TV Decatur, IL: Go out and check the guy wires and don't stand under the tower. WAND with Lin Carl as manager, built a tower over 2000 feet and I moved from KAAY to WAND to be an area salesman.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More Pams Jingles

Here is another jingle site. Great thing about this site it is from an individual's collection not just another Pams demo tape. Scroll down the page and click on the individual Pams tape boxes. Not all the boxes have jingles in them. There are a couple from KAAY.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Coons are bringing in many to this KAAY blog

Recently I wrote about a story that just kept surfacing about a coon being put to death with a nail gun on a school parking lot in Huntsville, Arkansas. That caused me to remember the Gillette Coon Supper that we always promoted on KAAY. Of course Bill Clinton was always involved with the Gillette Coon Supper. I'm sure Hillary stayed home and baked cookies.

If you are new to this blog, just type in "coon" in the upper right hand corner and click on search this blog.

Coons are all over Arkansas and are a constant source of amusement. I guess we should refer to them as raccoons.

Movies,KAAY,KCLA, Lynn James

I have written before about the close ties of the movie business and KAAY. It was important to us because of advertising revenue and the publicity and promotion possibilities. In the early 60s movies were threatened by television. Color was comming on strong and the movie business was afraid. Drive-in movies still existed in Little Rock but had to promote heavily to stay in business. I'll always remember the "Birth of a Baby" that ran often at the Broadway Drive In Theater in North Little Rock. They advertised a nurse in attendance in case anyone watching needed assistance. Then there was the "Birth of Twins". I never saw these epics but the drive-ins were in full exploite mode. One occasion I remember the Razorback Drive-In ran a war movie that was also playing as a late show on TV. We produced a knocked out spot that filled the drive-in when the could have stayed home and watched it on TV. Often the city manager didn't like supplied spot and would ask for something better. It was a challenge we enjoyed. We even recorded the entire sound track of a movie in order to get some good audio for a spot.

After I left KAAY and went to manage KCLA in Pine Bluff, the association with movie theaters continuted. All the theaters in town when I first arrived were owned by Commonwealth Theaters. Alice Miller was the manager of the Malco, Chuck Neff was the city manager. We did a promotion for "Jaws" that was playing at the Malco. We built a huge paper mache shark on a float for a parade and around town afterward. The float promoted JAWS, KCLA, and Lynn James a/k/a Jim Harvell. Great times!
I also liked the Commonwealth pass policy at the time. I was fortunate enough to get a permanent pass for me and my wife. (Best we could get in Little Rock were one time passes that the city manager closely guarded) The balcony of the Malco was closed to the public, but Alice would let friends use the balcony. Great times! We still had to buy popcorn and drinks.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Did I miss Elvis's birthday yesterday?

Hope this makes up for it. This is a picture of Elvis very soon after he went to RCA. It is from a 45 extended play album.

Another Jingle Site

Great collection of jingles:

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More jingles but not KAAY

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know I love jingles. Today I found a great site that has a lot of jingles on line. If is a WFIL site and if you scroll down you can play some individual jingles but scroll down almost to the bottom and there is a complete Pams demo of "The Philidelphia Story". Jay Cook went to Dallas to supervise the package. It was so good, Pams put it out as a demo to sell it as a series. Its almost 8 minutes long. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

This is not Beaker Street all the time but.......

It has generated many new in typical top 40 mentality play it every hour.

I found a good blog with a Beaker Street comment worth reading:

I cannot get enough of your comments regarding what Beaker Street did to influence your life or livelihood. Please email me your comments at:

Beaker Street and the future


I just found the blog, and you wanted comments from
about the influence BS had on their careers.

I'd say that BS helped me get interested in the music biz,
and I've
got 25 years under my belt now. I was in radio for 8 years,
worked in
record retail for years, ran record labels for 12, Worked
for Warner
Bros in distribution for 12, and now sell old LPs at
full-time. Opening up a teenager's mind to weird music has
incalculable influence. My whole life revolves around it

My friends in St Paul all listened to Beaker Street, and so
did my
cousins in South Dakota. We would talk about the music
played the
evening before at school the next day.

I received a KAAY bumper sticker in the mail once.

Question: I haven't gone over many pages of the blog yet,
and I my
find the answer is already been covered, but I seem to
remember a
version of Beaker Street in the mid-to-late '70s also. Am I
this up?

-John Kass

Beaker Street was on KAAY from 1966-1972. Thanks for your comments. It's interesting to find someone who went into radio AND the music business. It is also interesting to find someone selling vinyl on the interent. I see a few brick & mortor stores seilling vinyl. I am also seeing turntables selling again. New products like USB turntables and stand alone copy units that make CDs from records. I think there is a resurgance in vinyl happening at the same time as the ipod revolution. All this to wonder what is the future of radio?


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Cuban Cab Driver

Who knows how this fits on a Tulsa TV Memory book but here it is:

Name: Dave
Location: Road mapping to Beaker Street
Comments: Most of this site's readers who are old enough remember "Beaker Street," the late night progressive rock/underground music show that was on KAAY 1090 AM in Little Rock in the late 60s-early 70s with all the eerie beeping and whistles in the background. Its 50,000 watts boomed all over North America. One story has it that a Little Rock guy once visited Havana in that era and when a Cuban cab driver found out where his passenger was from he said, "Little Rock! KAAY! Beaker Street!"

Clyde Clifford was the host of Beaker Street, which left the KAAY airwaves long ago. But Clifford (who in real life is a fellow named Dale Seidenschwarz) now does the show once each week on Sunday nights on a Little Rock FM station, with all the old albums back in play.

There's a web site commemorating all this at It includes MP3 files of the past couple of years of shows from the FM station and three or four files from some 1970-71 shows on KAAY. But they're all at least 10 MB, so if you're on a modem be prepared to tie up a phone line for awhile. (I haven't; if you do, let us know how the programs sound!)

Ham Radio Listener

KAAY brings back some fond memories for me too. I grew up in very rural
northern Illinois and was a loyal fan of rock legend WLS whose
transmitter was a mere 70 miles away. I was 15 and travelling with my
family on a vacation trip in 1968 when I discovered the Beaker Street
program on KAAY late one night. I was absolutely mesmerized by the music
bed that played constantly in the background whenever the mic was open.
It was many years later before I learned that this was done to cover the
noise from the transmitter cooling fans since Beaker Street originated
from a small studio at the transmitter site. The music bed gave the
station a very original sound unlike any other station that I had heard.
Plus they played long album cuts that couldn't be heard on other AM
stations. When we returned home I was excited to find that KAAY boomed
into my rural Illinois home at night. From then on WLS had the early
evening and KAAY owned late night on my Hallicrafters S-120 receiver. I
still have the sky blue QSL card that I received from KAAY to
acknowledge my late night reception in May of 1968. The card was signed
by Chief Engineer Felix McDonald. It notes that the transmitter then was
an RCA 50FI with three 500 foot towers.

Patrick Griffith, N0NNK

More RE; Tom Perryman

As noted in the post below, Tom Perryman was the deep voice on most all the KAAY station IDs. program intos etc. Over all the years of KAAY top 40, he was the voice. He did thousands of voice tracks. I'm not sure he was paid in money. I think he received Pat Walsh "take care ofs". This was something Pat did to reward good behavior. It was usually a trade out goodie. Could be hotel script, airline travel, transistor radio, whatever Pat could come up with. "Take care ofs" were usually awarded in advance for something he would come up with in the future. We all enjoyed them.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Who was the voice?

Someone asked:
Just had a thought: who was the deep-voiced announcer who did the "Beaker Street, with Clyde Clifford, a Division of Lin Broadcasting" opener and "Beaker Street, KAAY, Little Rock Arkansas" voice beds?

Tom L.Perryman was the BIG voice announcer that did the Beaker Street opening and almost all the station IDs. Tom never actually worked for KAAY. He just sent us the voice tracks from our scripts and the were produced at KAAY. I don't think he ever sat foot in KAAY. Well, maybe he dropped in on a vacation once. Seems like when I was there Tom was at WIL in St. Louis, reading news. I think Tom did the voice tracks from the beginning to the end of top 40 KAAY. Can anyone contribute any more info on Tom?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Another Beaker Street Aircheck

Go to:

Thanks to Bud Stacey :
Good morning & Happy New Year, A. J.!

I got this clip from Bob, from the website

You can still heard the transmitter blowers in the background. This is obviously recorded off the skywave.

A Little LIN Broadcasting History

1962 KTHS (later KAAY) radio acquired by Lin Broadcasting Corporation

1962 buys KEEL Shreveport

1967 pays US$7.5m for KILT radio Houston

1968 LIN Broadcasting buys WAVY-AM and WAVY-TV

1968 buys King Starday Records for US$5m

1971 sells James Brown music catalogue to Polydor

1971 sells King Starday to Leiber & Stoller's Tennessee Recording & Publishing

1974 buys KXAS Fort Worth from Amon Carter Publications for US$35m

1975 sells KAAY to Multimedia

1976 buys WPBS (later WUSL) radio Philadelphia

1979 buys KTVV-TV (later KXAN) from Kingstip Communications

1983 buys WOOD-TV

1986 LIN Broadcasting sells paging operations

1986 LIN Broadcasting sells six of its radio stations

1990 McCaw Cellular Communications acquires 52% interest in LIN Broadcasting

1991 LIN Broadcasting takes stake in Radio Satellite Corp with Hughes

1994 McCaw acquired by AT&T for US$11.5bn

1994 LIN broadcasting stations spun off as LIN TV

1995 AT&T acquires rest of LIN Broadcasting

1998 Lin TV acquired by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst for US$1.9bn

1999 acquires WOOD-TV Grand Rapids

1999 LIN establishes Banks Broadcasting, minority-owned tv broadcaster (KWCV-TV Wichita and KNIN-TV Boise) in which it has a 50% interest

1999 buys WAPA-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico

2000 acquires WLFI-TV Lafayette from Block in exchange for 66% of WAND-TV (Champaign, Springfield, Decatur)

2000 buys WWLP-TV Springfield

2001 buys WJPX-TV and two satellite facilities in Puerto Rico

2001 buys WNLO-TV Buffalo (formerly WIVB) for US$25m

2002 buys WOTV-TV Battle Creek and WVBT-TV Norfolk

2002 agrees to acquire seven stations in six markets from STC Broadcasting (formerly HMTF-controlled Sunrise Television), inc WDTN-TV Dayton, WEYI-TV and WUPW-TV

2002 IPO on the New York Stock Exchange

2002 sells KRBC TV Abilene and KACB TV San Angelo to Mission Broadcasting

2005 buys WNDY-TV Indianapolis and WWHO-TV Columbus from Viacom

2005 announces agreement to purchase WALA-TV and WBPG-TV (Mobile), WTHI-TV (Terre Haute), WLUK-TV (Green Bay) and KRQE-TV (Albuquerque) from Emmis for US$260m


this site
the web

LIN Broadcasting Corp. is part of McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc., America's leading cellular telephone group. LIN owns seven network-affiliated television stations in urban markets in Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, and Illinois. Although LIN was historically a broadcast communications company, cellular operations contributed almost 80 percent of the company's revenues by the early 1990s. The 1990s promised more change at LIN. The company's 1990 merger agreement with McCaw stipulated that, in 1995, the subsidiary's assets would be put up for sale and sold to the highest bidder. And in 1993, American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) purchased McCaw Cellular for $12.6 billion in AT&T stock.

LIN Broadcasting Corp. was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1961 as a radio broadcasting company. During its first decade, LIN built up a relatively small communications conglomerate dominated by broadcast radio holdings. Under the leadership of Frederick Gregg, Jr., the company purchased WTVP-TV, of Decatur, Illinois, from Metromedia Inc. for $2 million in 1965. LIN went public the following year with its first over-the-counter stock offer. That same year, the company traded $3 million in stock for a controlling interest in Medallion Pictures Corp.'s 375 feature films and cartoons. The company expanded its radio holdings with the purchase of three Houston, Texas stations, KILT-AM and FM and KOST-FM, for $15 million in 1967. LIN also purchased sister radio and television stations WAVY and WAVY-TV, of Norfolk-Portsmouth, Virginia, that year. In 1968, the company acquired the Adonis Radio Corp., an advertising media buyer, to complement its broadcast holdings.

Although most of these early acquisitions focused on broadcast media, LIN also bought into several peripheral businesses during the 1960s, including a chain of national art galleries, a telephone answering and radio paging service, several direct marketing companies, an educational concern, and the Miss Teenage America Pageant. These wide-ranging operations contributed to over $1 million in combined losses in 1967 and 1968, which culminated in dramatic administrative changes at LIN.

The company's leadership crisis began in January 1969, when Martin S. Ackerman's Saturday Evening Post Co. purchased Frederick Gregg, Jr.'s four percent interest in LIN. Some shareholders later charged that the $3.5 million price tag (which topped the stock's market value by $1.5 million) also bought LIN's presidency, chief executive office, and several seats on LIN's board of directors. Ackerman was a financier whose hostile takeover of the Curtis Publishing Co. and its subsidiary Saturday Evening Post Co. had previously sparked four lawsuits. His infamy definitely shortened his tenure at LIN; after five weeks as president and CEO, Ackerman was fired by the broadcast company's board of directors. Joel M. Thrope, a LIN vice-president, became interim president. LIN's leadership crisis had compounded the company's financial troubles; it had operated under three leaders within less than two months, and lost $6.5 million in 1969.

Donald A. Pels was called in to evaluate the situation and make recommendations. He quickly won the board's confidence and was appointed president and CEO in April, 1969. His prescription for LIN called first for the divestment of all the company's non-broadcast business except the Page Boy Inc. radio paging business in metropolitan New York City. The proceeds from the sales were used to cover operating expenses. Second, Pels instituted strict cost controls governing everything from raises to programming. Although LIN would continue to be involved in broadcast radio until the mid-1980s, Pels shifted the company's emphasis from radio to television.

Until 1973, television broadcasting accounted for only about 25 percent of LIN's total broadcast revenues. But after two years of negotiations, LIN made a pivotal acquisition in 1974. The purchase of WBAP-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth from Carter Publications Inc. for $35 million altered LIN's focus from radio to television and set it on a course for higher earnings. After LIN sold four radio stations to Multimedia Inc. for $8.7 million cash in 1975, television accounted for two-thirds of LIN's broadcast revenues. Perhaps more important than the source of revenues, however, was the increased profitability LIN enjoyed after 1975.

LIN changed WBAP-TV's call-letters to KXAS-TV. In 1975, KXAS-TV's first full year with LIN, the parent's revenues increased by half, from $20.85 million to $31.35 million, and earnings leaped 75 percent, from $2.18 million to $3.95 million. The higher profits were due, in part, to rising print ad rates that pushed many local retailers into television advertising. By the end of the decade, local spot advertising contributed about 44 percent of LIN's television revenues. The above-average prosperity of the Dallas-Fort Worth area also boosted KXAS-TV's performance.

Although radio broadcasting accounted for only one-third of LIN's business, it was also profitable in the 1970s. The highlight of this division, KILT-AM/FM, located in Texas, accounted for about 40 percent of LIN's radio revenues. When other stations in the Houston market shifted their programming, this FM outlet was left with only one primary competitor in its album-oriented rock format. The AM station had a good reputation for local news reporting, and both stations outperformed industry averages.

LIN also still held a remnant of its days as a diversified conglomerate: its two-way mobile radio-telephone services in southern Connecticut and Houston contributed almost ten percent of total revenue. Paging seemed promising, but competition from American Telephone & Telegraph Co.'s New York Telephone Co. and New Jersey Bell hurt this small division's profits. In the 1980s, however, this foothold in telecommunications would help lead LIN into the cellular industry. Net income at LIN quadrupled from 1975 to 1980, from $3.95 million to $16.01 million. The company's profits grew at an average rate of 34 percent annually from 1974 to 1979, ranking LIN highest in this category among the United States' largest broadcasters.

LIN continued to concentrate on television broadcasting in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From 1979 to 1984, the company worked to build up its media holdings to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limits. In 1979, LIN purchased KTVV-TV of Austin, Texas, for about $6 million. The next three years saw the addition of two Milwaukee radio stations (WEMP-AM and WNUW-FM), a Michigan television outlet (WOTV-TV, Grand Rapids), and GuestInformant and Leisureguides, hardcover magazines distributed in hotels and motels. In 1984, LIN acquired two Indiana television stations (WISH-TV, Indianapolis and WANE-TV, Fort Wayne), bringing its television group to seven. Television still contributed almost 75 percent of LIN's annual revenues, and the company's complement of ten AM/FM radio stations (in Philadelphia; Houston; St. Louis; Milwaukee; and Rochester, New York) contributed another 21 percent. Although radio paging contributed about four percent of LIN's annual sales, the company had already planted the seeds of its transformation into a full-fledged communications company by mid-decade.

LIN entered the then-speculative field of cellular communication in 1982, when it applied for a license from the FCC to operate a cellular mobile radiotelephone system. Governmental regulation of this infant industry created a "duopoly": two licenses were granted for each of the United States' 733 markets. One license was routinely awarded to the local "wireline," or Bell telephone company in each market. "Nonwireline" licenses were awarded to independent entities through hearings and lotteries. The lag between the automatic awards to wireline companies and time-consuming hearings gave traditional phone companies a competitive edge over their independent competitors.

To help speed up the process, many independents made joint applications. In 1983, for example, LIN teamed up with Metromedia Inc. and Cellular Systems Inc. to compete for the New York cellular license. These cooperative ventures helped LIN become the second-largest player in this new industry, with substantial interests in licenses for Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston. By 1984, LIN was the only company to have significant stakes in the two largest markets, New York and Los Angeles. By 1989, LIN had solidified its position in five important markets, giving it 18.1 million potential customers ("POPs" in cellular market jargon), and making it the seventh-largest cellular company.

Two primary bidders vied for control of LIN's cellular potential: BellSouth Corp., the largest regional wireline company, and McCaw Cellular Communications Inc., the largest non-wireline cellular company. Under its namesake leader, Craig O. McCaw, the latter company had attained the leading position in cellular communications through smart acquisitions and heavy leveraging. McCaw hoped to repeat Theodore Vail's early-twentieth-century consolidation of local telephone companies into American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) by merging the United States' 733 independent cellular licensees into a consolidated, national network known as Cellular One. Despite their time advantage, the Bell companies would not be permitted to form a national cellular network, because it would too closely echo AT&T's recently divided monopoly.

By the end of the decade, McCaw had come a long way toward accomplishing his goal: his company held 50 million POPs, 68 percent more than its next-largest competitor, Pacific Telesis Group. Craig McCaw hoped that the addition of LIN's strong positions in the nation's five most important cellular markets would be the company's most significant step toward his goal. But McCaw had to pay a high price to outbid major telephone groups like BellSouth Corp., Pacific Telesis, U.S. West, and Southwestern Bell to acquire LIN. In June, 1989, McCaw bid $120 per share, or $5.9 billion, for the 90 percent of LIN it did not already own. The bid--$275 per POP--was based more on LIN's potential value than its actual worth. In 1988, LIN's actual revenues were only $226 million, and $100 million of that income had come from its broadcast television and publishing businesses. But BellSouth came back with a plan to sell LIN's broadcasting operations and combine the two companies' cellular businesses, thereby capturing the top spot in the cellular industry from McCaw.

After months of vacillating between BellSouth and McCaw, LIN reached an agreement with the latter in December 1989. The merger called for McCaw to pay $154 per share, or $3.4 billion, for a 40 percent share of LIN that raised its stake in the company to 50.1 percent. The agreement stipulated that, in 1995, LIN's assets would be put up for sale and sold to the highest bidder. McCaw had an option to purchase an additional 23 percent of LIN's stock on the open market before the auction, or put all of its interest on the block.

The agreement gave McCaw about five years to turn a profit on its purchase, which looked like quite a feat by the time the sale was settled. McCaw paid $350 per POP in LIN's license areas; it would have had to capture eight percent of those potential customers within ten years just to justify a $200 per POP price. At the time, the cellular industry's penetration rate was just two percent, and LIN had a wireline competitor in each of its markets. To help shift the odds to its favor, McCaw sold six million of LIN's POPs to Contel Cellular for $1.3 billion, leaving it about $2.5 billion in debt. Even so, McCaw and LIN's combined operating cash flow could not cover the parent's debt service.

McCaw planned to upgrade LIN's services and capture more customers in the early 1990s. The company began to upgrade the New York and Los Angeles cellular systems from analog to digital systems, dedicating $150 million to improvements in New York alone. Digital technology promised subscribers improved call quality, increased voice privacy, more portability, better data transmission capabilities, and other advanced features. The conversion to digital also instantly tripled LIN's capacity. LIN hoped to activate digital service for all of its markets by the end of 1994. The addition of information services, like stock quotes, local weather, and traffic reports, also promised to attract more subscribers and extra income. LIN and its customers began to benefit from the corporate affiliation with McCaw by the end of 1992, when the parent's North American Cellular Network (NACN), which linked cellular coverage areas on the United States' two coasts and north to Canada into one system, grew to serve over 2.3 million customers. Craig McCaw's vision was becoming reality.

LIN's annual cellular revenues grew over 400 percent from 1988 to 1992, from $121 million to almost $609 million, completing the transition from a television broadcasting company to a cellular business. Although telecommunications clearly demanded more time, attention, and money, LIN had not abandoned its broadcasting roots. Cash flow for the company's television group increased by 13 percent from 1991 to 1992 to $70 million, as many of LIN's stations reduced their reliance on more costly outside programming to concentrate on local-interest series. By 1992, LIN's longest-held station, KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, occupied an important position in the United States' eighth-largest television market.

Any threat that LIN's television interests could be sold to help diminish McCaw's colossal debt was eliminated when AT&T purchased McCaw. McCaw used the proceeds of the sale to pay down a significant portion of its debt. Although the upper-level merger may have been somewhat reassuring, LIN still faced the possibility of fundamental change in 1995, when the question of corporate ownership would again arise.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

"My Home Town" Revisited

Sometime ago I wrote a couple of entries about the "My Home Town" jingle. Many of the Pams jingles that KAAY would have liked to have used were already taken in the market.
Here is a link to the history of the Pams jingle from their website:

And here is the link to the "My Home Town" jingle that was used in Little Rock by KVLC. Anyone from Little Rock will appreciate this jingle:

And here is the "My Home Town" for New Orleans furnished by Jim Pitcock:

Does anyone have any other cities? Let me know. Email me at"