Montages – WJPZ – 1985
I had a shift on the 100 milliwatt AM WJPZ station in ’83. My friend Dave Walzer, who was doing Newswatch and Purely Coincidental dragged me up to the 3rd floor of the Spectrum building to the ‘station’. It was an attic with a pay phone outside it. There was no power – they ran an extension cord outside the window to the 2nd floor to get power for the turntables. And half the time it was either not on the air, or running so hot you could hear the signal illegally in the whole city
I loved the place on the spot.
It also was on cable TV. Not just any cable tv channel – it was a BLANK channel that covered the whole city. Over 80 people volunteered to do shifts on that blank TV a week. Hundreds of people called in requests all hours of the day. All in this soon to be torn down shack of a building on the 3rd floor.
Fast forward 2 years later – funded, alumni supported, and hard to believe University tolerated, the station gets a 5000 watt license for FM, and we start broadcasting an alternate Top 40 format on the air. Since I’ve been around for a while, I’m one of the producers of the new morning show, with 8 DJs, a few dozen news, sports, and features reporters, and a blank slate. So what to do?
Produce your heart out. Scott and I lived in the production room for weeks, doing bits, bumpers, ids, etc, all the backend support for the show which ended up causing a bit of a ruckus when we kept trouncing the ‘big boys’ in the ratings books.
I’m trying to make it to the WJPZ banquet this spring, and was lifting archive stuff from the reels – here’s some of the liners and segments from the first few months on the air. Enjoy.