Friday, April 18, 2014

Marine Radio Communications Assignment Pamphlet

Note To Student: Do not forget to submit lesson 3 IBM card with your answer sheet.

That's the last words on the last page of this 48-page pamphlet.  It's a reference to a punched card, an item one website called the "earliest icon of the Information Age."  It sounds like a non-sequitur for a pamphlet from 1962, but early punched cards were used to control looms in the late 1700s. The more recognizable Hollerith cards were actually patented in 1884. (Source)

While the rest of us didn't see any computers until the rise of PCs in the 1980s, at Quantico, the Marines were using IBM cards to score students tests.  In this case the Extension School of the Marine Corps Educational Center issued their students 4 IBM cards and a pencil. Good luck kiddo. It estimated the student would take 12 hours. The test had no questions about the weight (26 lbs) of that backpack mounted monstrosity.

 But it did cover topics like various radio sets and antennas. The radio above is actually one of the lightest units described, one weighed in at 3300 lbs!  It's a fascinating historical document on the state of radio at that time. Of course I scanned the whole thing. You can download all 24 MB...



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tom Fitzmorris and WWL On Demand

Tom Fitzmorris is a Certified Culinary Professional by the IACP. I had to Google that acronym to make sure he didn't make it up. It's the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I can't say how important that is, but I can say that I don't have one. His radio program has been running for 25 years and if you don't live in New Orleans you probably have no idea who he is.

"The Food Show" with Tom Fitzmorris started out in July of 1988 on 1350 WSMB-AM back before it became WWWL-AM. (You can read more about 1350 here.)  But Fitzmorris began his career in radioland. broadcasting a daily two-minute restaurant review on WGSO radio in 1974. In 1983 he moved to WBYU before the big jump to WWL. That move to was huge. For a time after Hurricaine Katrina the program was actually trimulcast airing at 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM on weekdays on 1350 WWWL-AM, then Saturdays on the simulcast: 870 WWL-AM/WWL-FM 105.3 FM. It was a tumultuous time. Let's review:
105.3 WWL-FM 
Went silent at the end of August 2005 and returned in October with "United Broadcasters of New Orleans."  Four days after returning they dropped their WKBU calls for WTKL, a couple weeks later they started simulcasting The Big 870. In April 2006 they changed calls again to match. 

870 WWL-AM
Has been unchanged for the better part of a decade. From 9/1/2005 to  11/7/2005 they ran the "United Broadcasters of New Orleans" emergency services programming. After that it was the heritage station it always had been, only better. The WWL brand proved itself worthy of it's homeland.

1350 WWL-AM
1350 was an odd frequency, starting on November 11th 2006, WSMB-AM became WWL-AM mostly simulcasting WWL-AM/FM. It was branded as "WWL On Demand" and it dropped Air America to get there. Off air for part of September 2005 due to flood surge debris from then until November it was also part of the "United Broadcasters of New Orleans." 
Today Tom's program airs only on the 870 WWL-AM/WWL-FM 105.3 FM simulcast. His radio program "The Food Show" continues without interruption. The newsletter he began in 1977 continues and is now online at nomenu.com. It's also worth noting that he's married to a former radio talk show host, Mary Ann Connell Fitzmorris.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Radio Stocks: UPDATE 5


At the bottom of the market I was updating this every few months but it's still interesting to examine this since I haven't taken a look at the numbers since 2012!  The market as a whole has been two long years in recovery... but has radio? Take a look below:

Clear Channel Communications CCU/NYSE
IPO 7/6/1994 - 29.9
Peak - 11/5/07 - 38.4
07/24/08 -WENT PRIVATE

Cumulus Media CMLS/NASDAQ
IPO - 11/16/2001 - 6.99
Peak - 4/23/2004 -22.25
10/15/08 - 1.77
03/02/09 - 1.82
12/22/10 - 2.27
12/15/10 -  3.70
01/12/12 -  3.71
CURRENTLY - 6.72

Saga Communications SGA/NYSE
IPO - 10/15/1993 - 5.4
Peak - 5/3/2002 -23.20
10/15/08 - 4.9
03/02/09 - 4.28
12/22/09 - 12.75
12/15/10 -  24.40
01/12/12 -  38.39
CURRENTLY - 45.34

Entravision Communications EVC/NYSE
IPO - 8/11//2000 - 18.1
Peak - 8/18/2000 - 20.0
10/15/08 - 1.3
03/02/09 - 0.84
12/17/08 - DE-LISTING LETTER
12/22/09 -3.39
12/15/10 -  2.49
01/12/12 -  1.38
CURRENTLY - 5.70
 
Citadel Broadcasting CDL/NYSE
IPO - 8/1/2003 - 20.09
Peak - 12/26/03 - 22.7
09/15/08 - DE-LISTING LETTER
10/15/08 - 0.26
03/02/09 - 0.2
03/06/09 - DE-LISTED
12/20/09 - DECLARED BANKRUPTCY
06/01/10 - EMERGED FROM BANKRUPTCY

Regent Communications RGCI/NASDAQ
IPO - 3/4/2000 - 13.12
Peak - 3/11/2008 - 13.68
08/16/08  - DE-LISTING LETTER
10/15/08 - 0.7
06/30/09 - DELISTED (Stock now trades on the OTC Bulletin Board.)

Cox Radio CXR/NYSE
IPO - 10/11/1996 - 7.2
Peak - 12/31/1999 - 33.25
10/15/08- 6.85
03/02/09 - 5.20
06/01/09 - WENT PRIVATE

Entercom Communications ETM/NYSE
IPO - 3/12/1999 - 29.68
Peak - 2/4/2000 - 65.8
10/15/08- 2.34
03/02/09 - 1.28
12/22/09 - 7.48
12/15/10 - 9.35
01/12/12 -  7.21
CURRENTLY - 10.33
 
Salem Communications SALM/NASDAQ
IPO - 07/02/1999 - 26.375
Peak - 04/23/04 - 33.08
10/15/08- 1.01
03/02/09 - 0.56
12/22/09 - 4.48
12/15/10 - 9.35
01/12/12 -2.54
CURRENTLY - 8.95

Beasley Broadcasting BBGI/NASDAQ
IPO - 02/11/2000 - 14.125
Peak - 02/13/2004 - 19.05
10/15/08 - 1.71
03/02/09 - 1.11
12/22/09 - 3.82
12/15/10 - 4.77
01/12/12 -  3.38
CURRENTLY -8.94
 
Emmis Communications EMMS/NASDAQ
IPO - 03/04/1994 - 7.75
Peak - 12/31/1999 - 62.32
10/15/08- 0.60
03/02/09 - 0.31
12/22/09 - 1.23
11/05/10 -  DE-LISTING LETTER
12/15/10 - 0.47
01/12/12 - 0.72
CURRENTLY - 3.31
 
Radio One ROIAK/NASDAQ
IPO - 06/02/2000 - 65.00
Peak - 06/02/2000 - 65.00
10/15/08 - 0.301
03/02/09 - 0.41
12/22/09 - 3.29
09/20/10 - DE-LISTING LETTER
11/22/10 - REGAINED COMPLIANCE
12/15/10 - 1.01
01/12/12 - 0.94
CURRENTLY - 4.37
 
Sinclair Broadcast Group SBGI/NASDAQ
IPO - 06/09/1995 - 9.54
Peak - 04/03/1998 - 29.81
10/15/08 - 6.64
03/02/09 - 1.13
12/22/09 - 3.66
12/15/10 - 8.36
01/12/12 - 12.74
CURRENTLY - 27.41
 
Spanish Broadcasting System SBSA/NASDAQ
IPO - 11/05/1999 -26.625
Peak - 12/31/1999 - 40.25
10/15/08 - 0.41
03/02/09 - 0.09
12/22/09 - 0.75
02/13/10 -  DE-LISTING LETTER
05/01/10 - REGAINED COMPLIANCE 
10/18/10 -  DE-LISTING LETTER
12/15/10 - 0.74
01/12/12 - 2.84
CURRENTLY - 6.49
 
Up, up up!  Every radio stock has bounced back and then some. SBS and Sinclair actually doubled in value. But the down jones over that same period of time has increased by 25%. But even if you consider that growth par for the course, these media stocks have done very well indeed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Transcription Mystery Disc #211

This a paper-core Wilcox-Gay Recordio.  Those dark marks are actually purplish and undoubtedly oxidation..possibly from iodine. The first side I ripped had only 6 seconds of perceivable audio "Frankie got something... something."  The original recorded audio levels were just too low. Bed noise was pretty reasonable but there was no recovering it. The second side was a bit better. It was even labeled "AGAIN with record Helen."  The engineers grammar was somewhat lacking but it's what we have to work with.

Helen "Again"



The lyrics are a bit familiar but also pretty trite. It turns out to be a cover of the Doris Day song "Again." That single hit in 1949. The production here is pretty good so I assumed it was a dub but it's a live recording. It's no surprise that there are more versions out there. It's been done by Vic Damone, Tommy Dorsey, Gordon Jenkins, Tom Jones, Art Mooney, and even Mel Torme.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Old Fashioned Revival Hour

Rev. Charles E. Fuller was a radio evangelist in every sense of the word. He hosted the Old Fashioned Revival Hour, a weekly Sunday broadcast that ran for over three decades. At it's peak it was carried on over 450 stations. Even the music was popular. The Old Fashioned Revival Hour Choir and quartet, and it's organist George Broadbent made several popular recordings in the 1940s and 1950s.

Charles was born in California to a wealthy family that owned mines and orange groves. and his first work was as an orange grower working for his father. Some biographies say he saved up his money and bought a telegraph and learned Morse code. It's more likely that this was a crystal set of some kind. He attended Pomona College in 1906, he worked for his father managing an orange packing plant but later quit to pursue bible study.  He spoke on radio at a bible conference in 1927. His study group grew. He joined the Cavalry Church and began broadcasting his Sunday evening services on KGER-AM. He left that in 1933 to begin full-time radio evangelism.

He began the Gospel Broadcasting Association in 1933. His services were carried on KFI and KNX. In 1937 he began paying for airtime on the Mutual Broadcasting Network. He started a second show on Mutual called the Pilgrim hour that ran from 1944 to 1947. Mutual started with 13 stations but when they expanded their network Fuller went with them, ballooning to 450 affiliates. But 10 years later it all collapsed for Fuller. Mutual dropped all paid religious programming after noon on Sundays. Fuller had to scramble to piecemeal a network of independent stations without a national middleman syndicating. In 1949, (1951 in some accounts) he cut a new deal with the ABC Radio Network, which bumped him back up to 650 radio stations.
Fuller died in March of 1968, two years after his wife. The program was briefly hosted by Fuller Seminary president David Hubard.  After the final episode was recorded in March of that year, Fuller died of heart failure. His son Dan Fuller and David Hubard began a new radio ministry called the Joyful Sound. In 2002 the junior Fuller began rebroadcasting the Old Fashioned Revival Hour on a station in Ventura, CA. (I've been unable to determine which one) Today, the program is broadcast on 120+ stations across the United States including shortwave. More here.