Friday, February 27, 2009

More KATV Tower

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Some Good News at KATV":

The last piece of the KATV tower was assembled last week. As of last Friday the new tower is up and running.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Directionals

Lancer has left a new comment on your post "KAAY Nighttime Directional Pattern":

One thing the "figure 8" protects is KRLD 1080 Dallas. I figured that out back when I'd try to tune in the Rangers baseball games with my dad in Hot Springs. KRLD also augments their pattern to Little Rock. So we could hear it but it was tough. Too bad the games weren't on WBAP, they are omnidirectional 50kw.

If you want to look at a truly directional station, check out KFXR 1190 Dallas. They have a 12 tower array for their night pattern. It was joked that the signal could go down Elm in downtown Dallas, without hitting the curbs.

Neat article here that details how it was built - end of article says it is a different callsign now but it is currently shown as KFXR on the actual FCC site:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Comment on Directionals

The Wrightsville water tower was within about a mile from the KAAY transmitter. The legs of the water tower had to be de-tuned (made electrically invisible) to keep the water tower from negatively effecting the KAAY night-time elongated figure "8" pattern. This was done by stringing a piece of wire along each leg of the water tower and then "tuning" them. There was so much power in the free air around the KAAY transmitter that almost anything that could conduct electricity (even sections of barbed wire fence) became part of the KAAY antenna.

I Canceled my XM Subscription

With all the changes to XM and the decision to charge extra for listening on the internet, I called and canceled. Sonic salute to great top 40 stations is gone along with many of the D.J.'s I enjoyed on the decades channels. I think satellite radio is a dying medium. Thanks to the Sirius bunch the death will be much faster.

KAAY Nighttime Directional Pattern

This has always interested me on patterns after sunset...helps to know how a statio's propagation works and, if using a directional "loop" receiving antenna, wher and how to null out one station and receive another:

This has always interested me on patterns after sunset...helps to know how a statio's propagation works and, if using a directional "loop" receiving antenna, wher and how to null out one station and receive another: This has always interested me on patterns after sunset...helps to know how a statio's propagation works and, if using a directional "loop" receiving antenna, wher and how to null out one station and receive another:
Nighttime directional patterns are very hard to maintain for some stations. The more elaborate the pattern the more difficult. The F.C.C. used to be very strict about the patterns because they protected other stations. Sometime a new power line or water tower close to a tower could throw off a pattern and cause a lot of expense to bring it back. I believe the chief had to monthly run a check on the pattern to make sure it was in compliance.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Treadway Comment

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Big Surprise for David Brian Treadway":

This is a really good aircheck - very much appreciated!

Bruce M
Houston, TX

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Digital TV

Gazmik has left a new comment on your post "Sirius?XM Comment":

I can understand the change to digital TV. The broadcast signal has been the same for over half a century with modifications for color and stereo sound. And it does take a lot of bandwidth.

But the thing that I don't like is that in fringe reception areas, you could watch a snowy picture. But, if you don't get a good digital signal, it's choppy, or nothing.

I used to have a rather large TV antenna and a rotor and it was always fun to DX TV. Especially in the rare times when there was skip on the TV broadcast band. How well would that work with an iffy digital signal?
The digital TV switch is a good example of the government rarely doing anything right.
It all started from the FCC's desire to auction off the analog frequencies. They brought in billions at the expense of the public having to convert.

I guess the next step should be to put the government in charge of Sirius/XM.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stay on the Subject

I try to keep this blog about KAAY. And as you well know I do drift off the subject and many of you help.

Today is one of those off the subject days. I am happy to introduce the new Bob Dylan.
It's my 3 year old grandson, Davis Jim and his first attempt at the harmonica.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sirius?XM Comment

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sirius/XM Item":

I always thought that "creating a need, then filling it" was a boo-boo way of doing business...not everyone would buy into the satellite, subscription-only radio. Folks who would enjoy it were those who travelled a lot (truck drivers, etc.), but, even at that, it was the radio version of cabel TV: "100 Channels and there's nothing on!". Nonetheless, in some cases, it beat twiddling the knob, constantly looking for a favored format, but I didn't think it'd last. Maybe something will happen, but, their audience was small and specialized to begin with.

Waiting to see what happens to HDTV, HD radio and other technologies being forced upon us...already, one local TV station is saying they're NOT pulling the analog plug 2/17/09....Bud, Mobile, AL

Comment on Bo RIder Aircheck

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bo Rider Aircheck":

I agree, A.J., sounded pretty homogenized, absolutely nothing like the raw, comedic, but professional version of KAAY in it's heyday.

Maybe that's a kinda disfunctional way of describing the station, but when there was fun to be heard, it was there...when some serious music came along, so be it...and, when the news came on or a community event was being advertised, you could be sure they got the idea across! I have never heard another station like KAAY in it's heyday and probably not hear another one again.

In a related vein, I listened to KMOX, St. Louis, MO this past weekend, when they were commenting on a hockey game; that was about the closest to home-town as I've heard in a while. On the weekends, there's little nationwide syndicated programming, so sometimes, local flavor can be had...but, I'm not a sports nut, so....

Keep the audio coming!!! Bud, Mobile, AL

Monday, February 16, 2009


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Where are programmers who care?":

I've been in radio for 30 years now and the decline is amazing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Big Surprise for David Brian Treadway

Hello AJ & all,

I did more digging into my old tape collection and came up with this brief aircheck of David Brian Treadway on KAAY. It was on Sunday afternoon July 10 1977. I was in-between jobs and took a vacation with a drive from Chicago to the West Coast and back. I hooked up a cassette recorder to the car radio and airchecked stations along the route. On the way back to Chicago I drove thru Arkansas and captured some KAAY (and a smattering of other stations). It sounded like KAAY was pared down to the very basics on the weekends, no jingles and I don't remember any other fancy voiceovers or ID's, just the jock, songs and spots. You'll hear that KAAY was heavily pushing an upcoming Doobie Brothers concert with advance tickets going for just 6 bucks! That's pretty hard to imagine now.

Enjoy the aircheck, and I'm always eager to hear from other aircheck traders.

Greg Barman
Denver, CO.
David is a regular reader and contributor to this blog so here it is everybody...enjoy and many thanks Greg.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bo Rider Aircheck

Hi AJ,

I enjoy reading your blog on KAAY. I have contacted you a couple times in the recent past. If you recall, I just moved to Little Rock from Wisconsin in August 2007.

I used to DX as much as possible when I was getting into radio, and I thought you might enjoy this cut. It's a short aircheck of KAAY from March 13, 1981. It was taped in my room in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin when I was 18. I was a teenage Top 40 rock jock who was being influenced by KAAY and WLS. I always thought I missed the "golden age" of Top 40 by about 10-15 years. The old AM giants were on the downslide in 1981.

The jock is Bo Rider - and the liner is "Where the Music Is." I notice he says the calls as "KAY-Double-A-WHY." I think I read on your blog that was frowned upon at one time since the listener interpreted as "KWAY".

Oh well, it's a nice piece of Americana. Feel free to use it on your site, maybe someone else will enjoy hearing it.


Bob Schultz
Little Rock, AR
Obviously the program director was not concerned about the "double A" business. Also notice he is introducing one hour of uninterrupted music. Might as well been an FM station.
Here is the link to the air check:


Friday, February 13, 2009

More on contests

Lancer has left a new comment on your post "More on Contests":

Dialing in for contests on a rotary phone was brutal. I nearly dialed my fingers off as a kid trying to win prizes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More on Contests

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "More KAAY Programming Principles":

"Doc", my wife used to work at a hospital here in Mobile, as the Chief Operator/Insurance Biller, so she had access to many phone lines all day long. This hospital was caty-corner across the street from long-time Top 40 station WABB AM/FM. She would listen to the station all day long and start hitting line after line after line, trying to win the stuff they offered. And, BOY! did she ever rake it in! It got to the point that she won so much, they had to limit what someone could win each month. Needless to say, she would win stuff in her mom's name, her two sister's names, etc. They KNEW the voice, but the other women members would go & pick the prizes up, so things could be kept "straight"! And, these were the days before Caller I.D.

Nowadays, there are still stations here in Mobile, AL announcing that, if you have won in the last 30 days, you cannot claim a prize....

Sirius/XM Item

Hi AJ,

From the Glenn Reynolds website this morning, quoting a story in the New York Times:


A POSSIBLE SIRIUS XM BANKRUPTCY: I’m not surprised. The service is decent (I have XM) but the companies took on way too much debt. I remember my dad looking at the stocks a few years ago and saying that Sirius’s only viable business plan was to be bought by XM, and XM’s only viable business plan was to hope for some kind of miracle. ** Posted at 10:15 am by Glenn Reynolds


I suspect in the current

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More KAAY Programming Principles

I've written before about contests. Take a look at previous posts by typing "contests" in the upper left window and search this blog.

In the KAAY top 40 days, contests were a year round day to day programming function.
Often the sales department was called on to find and trade out the prizes.

There were major contests and phone-in smaller contests. There were registrations at sponsors, mail- in and of course phone.

These contests were run regardless of the rating period. Even in those days the rating services would put an asterick on your rating if they felt you ran a contest that artificially inflated your rating.

These contests were in addition the the numerous record "name it and claim it" features.

Even in those days there were professional contest players. This resulted in limitations on how often you could win.

Contests were fun for the listener and the jocks. Everyone enjoyed them except possibly the sales department.

What do you see happening in radio today in the contest area.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Where do we go from here?, comment

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Where do we go from here?":

Yup, I get where you're going...we need MORE "American Grafitti" experiences! Kinda how more folks had memorable experiences while listening to the "Mighty 1090".

Well, I usually have fun semi-reliving those days...I'll put a CD on with the audio we've collected at work, turn it up and work in the office or the warehouse...the LATER, the BETTER, since, when I listened, it was usually mid-to-late evenings at work. All those nights, diving 'way out of the way, as well, so I could listen longer...but, hey, I could pop the CD into a player and drive around late at night, but I tend to fall asleep early, being past 50! Plus, gasoline isn't 30-35 cents, any more....

"Doc", I hope you continue to recuperate and get well SOON! And, I'm awaiting the opportunity to hear the audio you still have, if and when you are able to get it changed over...don't tease us!!!

Thank you for all you do, and for this blog as well. Bud, Mobile, AL

Friday, February 06, 2009

Where are programmers who care?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Clear Channel More Thoughts":

This is why I listen to Larry Lujack and Big Ron O'Brien airchecks on my ipod in my car.

The days of sounding like stations care are long gone - the on-air production is not tight, the live jocks have nothing to say, you hear the same 300 songs over and over, etc.

I know these people still care, but it sure doesn't sound like it. Sorry, but John Tesh isn't the end-all-be-all. It's unfortunate that deregulation killed any development of local talent. It all ended years ago.

Oh well, back to Ol' Uncle Lar...
Much of radio and television today are owned by corporations whose sole goal is finding a cash cow. It could be nursing homes or whatever but they are not broadcasters at heart. Clear Channel may have started as broadcasters but the bean counters soon came in control. Nothing wrong with making money. The goal of KAAY was to make money. The station did have some principles and a desire to create the best programming around. When KAAY first went on the air, which we have extensively documented here, there were three other top 40 radio stations in the market. Even though KAAY had the wattage advantage, it still had to compete with 3 other stations that had been praying top 40 for years. Ratings were a battleground with a large segment of the audience going to Brother Hal a folksy combination of a morning personality and country music. The Black station had a lock on a large segment of the audience. KAAY's entry into the market did not bring over night success.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Where do we go from here?

Good day, "Doc"! Well, I was thinking last night...I've exhausted my research and audio files for anything to do with KAAY/Beaker Street. I've always tried to keep it connected to the station and not drift off the subject too much. I was wondering, can you give me any hints of what you'd like contributed in the future?

As I continue to research, I continue to come upon the same material, hence my occasional e-mail contribution relating to similar radio or comments on general radio practices. I hope this hasn't been too laborious for you to trudge through!

Any ideas, so I can contribute, are welcome! I'd like to see the KAAY blogspot continue to grow!

"Safety-Courtesy-Responsiveness-Accuracy-Efficiency"...Service Is Our Passion!

Proud Dad Of A USCG Son!

For HIS glory,

Bud Stacey
My on going illness has greatly limited my work on this blog. I too was thinking where do we go for material. First, I have a ton of reel to reel tape that I cannot
convert to digital at this point.

Also, we have to move the discussion and the blog away from a bash Clear Channel site. There are plenty of those.

I would like to examine some of the principles that made KAAY great. As you read comments on this blog many times it points to the music. If a consultant looked at KAAY he would say it would never work. The blocks of religious and farm programming and at least 7 minutes of news every hour would never work for a top 40 station.

Many of the comments come from "sky wave" listeners. Remember KAAY had to be a commercial success based on local ratings and sales.

We will look at these principles and how they apply to today's radio in days ahead.

More Clear Channel

Lancer has left a new comment on your post "Clear Channel More Thoughts":

I live in Dallas but regularly tune in KJIM 1500 in Sherman, TX for the same reason. Out of all the powerhouses in Dallas-Fort Worth, I go to the 1,000 watt rimshot station 60 miles away, go figure. I just like the local community sound of it. Sherman is a small town near the Texas & Oklahoma state line.

The DFW dial is full of "in your face" overmodulated trash, but that station is a nice exception.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Clear Channel More Thoughts

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "More Clear Channel":

It seems more and more to me that Clear Channel is a monopoly...didn't the courts bust up AT&T years ago, because it was a monopoly? Is it possible that Clear Channel is approaching that same state? Or, are there still enough on-air alternatives to keep them from being busted up, too?

I didn't agree with the F.C.C's decision to let Clear Channel buy up all these stations years, give them so much power as to squeeze out smaller LPFM (low-power FM) and LPAM (low-power AM) stations with rules and license fees outside the normal person's budget. It's as if Clear Channel was telling the F.C.C what to do, instead of the other way around! But, as we all know, money talks know the rest....

It's no wonder that, even before mega-corporate radio, pirate radio stations have been in existance. When Low-Power stations' licenses were budgeted out of reach, the howling really picked up! Needless to say, where some of these pirates used to operate is now the upper end of the AM broadcast band (formerly known as the "expanded AM band") and are operating in shortwave and some in the FM broadcast band as well. Many rail against mega-corporate radio and Clear Channel, in particular.

Will the mega-bubble of Clear Channel burst one day? In a way, I wish it would, making local radio come back to the communities it really serves, instead of listening to news from somewhere hundreds or even thousands of miles away. I STILL dial around the AM band, listening for local "mom-n-pop" stations outside the Clear Channel bubble. It's refreshing when I can hear one (if at all, any more) and NOT have to liten to "cookie cutter radio".

Bud Stacey, Mobile, AL

Sunday, February 01, 2009

More Clear Channel

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Clear Channel Comment":

"One of them is KKPT (The Point 94.1). All their DJ's are on live and are local people."

Not quite true.....there is plenty of voice tracking / pre-recording going on - especially on the weekends. Beaker Street is always live. True, the DJs are all local.