Friday, August 12, 2011

Return to the Hot Spot

This week the humble blog comes full circle, as it again spotlights WHOT/1330 (now WGFT) in Youngstown. In this aircheck from 1971, energetic afternoon personality Michael C. Richards keeps the music coming, with headlines provided by newsman Al DeJulio. To avoid any legal hassles, the editor has cut most of the music from this unscoped aircheck. The commercials and newscasts are intact.

At the time of this recording, Richards had recently departed rival WNIO/1540. He was just the latest in a string of personalities and reporters who left WNIO for 1330 in the early 70's, thereby shortcircuiting 1540's attempts to dethrone WHOT as the market's leading music station. Richards would later work at WFAH/1310 and WDJQ/92.5 in Alliance.

As the station i.d's indicate, WHOT was frequently simulcast on its sister station, WRED/101.1. This practice would continue into the mid-70's, when WRED took on the 'HOT call letters before switching to WSRD. WSRD's popular AOR format was broadcast until 1984, when 1330's longrunning Top 40 format migrated to FM and dispatched "The Wizard" from the Mahoning Valley's airwaves. WHOT is now owned by Cumulus Broadcasting. WGFT is owned by Bernard Group.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Certain Ethnic Radio Station

Forgive NEO Airchecks if its editor chooses to open this post with a reference to a series of comedy sketches that appeared on the late, great Big Chuck and Little John television program. Perhaps it's fitting, given that the humble blog this time around features WXEN/106.5 (now WHLK), a longtime on-air provider of ethnic music and programming heard in Cleveland during the 1960's and 70's.

This submission comes to us courtesy of Salvation Army. No, really. The reel-to-reel tapes that contain the following recordings were recently found at the aforementioned thrift store. Recordings of programs heard on WCLV/95.5 (now found at 104.9) were also retrieved and are being edited for a future post.

What you'll hear here is a representation of WXEN as it was heard during the spring and summer of 1970. Included are portions of two separate programs hosted by Archie Rothman, the first of which is an encore tribute to singer/actress Judy Garland. Also heard are the odd commercial, public service announcement and snippets of ethnic music programs that aired immediately prior to Rothman's shows.

For more details concerning the history of WXEN, go here.