Jim Back - 09/12/99 19:20:30
First a little about sports talk. In the mid-1970s, when FM radio came into its own and was really eating AM radio's lunch in the ratings, AM had to reinvent itself (just as it had to do when TV entered its growth years in the 1950s).
Anyway, around 1973 or '74, KRMG launched "Nightline," hosted by then-newsman David Stanford, as a way to stop sagging ratings. In those days we played "middle of the road" music, like Frank Sinatra, Englebert Humperdink, et al. At night we had the legendary Johnny Martin, but his audience was aging and dwindling.
Soon thereafter, "Sportsline" was added. It started at 6:00 PM (after our "5 Oclock Report" news hour), and was followed by Nightline. I dont think Bill Land (a sportscaster we lured away from a TV station in Wichita) was the first host, but he was the host when it became a success. Bill now works for Fox Sports SW. Bill was replaced by Rick Couri.
One of AM radio's qualities is that some of the signal bounces off the Ionosphere (or is it that darn Ozone layer). But at night it bounces even further because the Sun's not around and even more of the signal bounces back to earth, back to the sky, back to the earth, etc., until the signal is too weak to be receivable.
Anyway, back in the 1930s when AM radio was still in its early years, the FCC laid out a plan designed to assure that every part of the country could hear at least a couple of radio stations. In most cases station licenses were limited to relatively small geographical areas. Remember, technically because of that bounce, or skip, a station's signal could travel thousands of miles if the transmitter was powerful enough [see earlier news posts about picking up KOMA in SE Asia; also see comments about XERF]. By limiting signal strength and making the pattern directional (using the same laws of physics that come into play when you place two or three magnets near each other with positive facing positive) you can control the overall signal. Thus, a station in one city could share the same frequency with a station in another city without anyone being subjected to two stations at the same time.
But the FCC wanted to make sure people living in rural areas could hear radio even though economically these rural areas could not support a local radio station. So the FCC set aside a few frequencies and designated a few lucky stations as "Clear Channel" stations. That meant no other station in the U.S. could be on that frequency, so even if you lived in Bokchito, OK, you could at least listen to a station in Chicago, or St. Louis without interference from some other station on the same frequency.
KVOO was set up as one step below "Clear Channel" status. It was 50,000 watts non-directional during the day, but limited to 25,000 watts directional at night. Very few other stations are on the 1170. (50,000 watts was the maximum allowable even for Clear Channel stations). "Daytime only" stations had to sign off at sundown to "get out of the way" of larger major market stations on that same frequency that would come booming in because of that "bounce" thing. KRMG was a step below that. 50,000 watts directional by day, 25,000 watts directional at night. Houston, TX, has a radio station on the 740 AM frequency. And the Canadian government had designated 740 as one of its "Clear Channel" frequencies in that country. So KRMG had to alter its signal drastically at sundown in order to satisfy the original owner's (Robert S. Kerr -- as in Kerr-McGee, KRMG, get it?) desire to serve OKC as well as Tulsa, while still complying with the FCC requirement that it not get into any part of Canada, and stay out of Houston, as well. Something has to give in order to fit that pattern. What was sacrificed was North Tulsa. The earlier writer is correct, the signal won't even reach the northern edge of Tulsa County. Also due south and southeast is sacrificed as well.
Those rules haven't changed much since they were originally written. Because no one fights much over AM licenses these days, there has been very little effort to get the rules changed. FM and TV don't have this "bounce" issue, since their signals pretty much are limited to "line of sight." Their signal hits the Ionosphere and keeps going into space. The only bounce they have is off tall buildings in the area, which causes "ghosting," which is another problem.
This apathy over signal pattern rules may end soon, however, depending on the direction the debate over Digital Radio takes. Will that cause renewed interest in radio? Will we have satellite-delivered radio, or cell-tower radio (like the cell phone system, or will we use the existing frequencies? Or will Digital Radio even be a big deal?
As I re-read this I realize I became technical in spite of myself, but hopefully
somewhere in here I answered the question about KRMG not being receivable
Lowell Burch - 09/12/99 13:51:27
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Oklahoma Memories
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Jerry Webber
Stupidest local commercial: In Muskogee!
I remember Lionel getting kidnapped. It was big news. I heard he ended up
in Kansas somewhere.
Mike Bruchas - 09/12/99 12:56:06
Location: Working on a Sunday in Warshington,Dee Cee
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: G.Aillard S.Artain
Stupidest local commercial: Jude N Jody (or was that in OKC?) also Evans Furniture "Revulsion" or John F LongJohn Foiniture
Let me geezer-vate a second. Many a time making the run from Winfield, KS to Tulsa I would DX Nebraska stations when caught between direction signals from OKC and Tulsey.
When driving from Tulsey to my folks' home in Chicago - we always listed to rocker KAAY out of Little Rock - who was directional Northward (till we could get WLS!). Or spin the dial to the Charlie Douglas Road Show coming from Nashville, "NawrLeans", or KCMO. Would take breaks at the truck stops Charlie plugged on air.
When working at KVII in Amarillo KVOO and KNBR from San Francisco(!) were the 2 50,000 watters I would listen to driving home at 1am on Sunday nights - everyone else was "dark" for weekly maintenance.
Fellow TU student & Chicagoan Ken Terry had a 70's VW "squareback" that suffered from early electronic ignition nightmares but had the first AM/FM/SW radio I had seen in a car. Certain VW's and Karman Ghia's had these - oh to be listening to the BBC or Deutsche Welle from Bermuda at night!
Growing up in Chicago we had TOO many radio stations - I began to "savor" the 50,000 directional stations when I lived out West. Also in the early 70's FM radios in cars were considered luxuries. I think Greers, Radio Inc., Target and someone else sold these FM convertors made by Standard Radio (now big in satellite receiver manufacturing) for about $19.95. You'd get a little bracket to hook this onto your dash with (usually under the ashtray) and run your car's antenna cable lead thru the unit to your AM radio. You'd tune the AM radio to about 1600 then turn on the outrigger FM tuner which played thru the AM. Sounds complicated but for years that was the best FM I ever had - and you could DX FM stations from all over. In fact some of the first 8 tracks fed your AM radio the same way (sorry I missed this cultural phase of the 70's). I still have a never installed TV version of this my brother gave me for the car - tuned in TV audio channels 2-13 only though. About 8 years ago - one of my engineers here had a high dollar am/fm radio in his 10 year Saab that had a Sony high end sound system with all VHF/UHF frequencies on it too - he too was a radio DXing fan.
When I lived at the then new Twin Towers dorm on the TU campus in '70, we would try to get KOFM nightly from OKC on my then antique tube-filled Fisher receiver. We felt it gave KMOD a good run for the money on jazz. On some nights when KNOR in Norman was off the air - they were a "day-timer" forever it seemed - we could get WLS in Tulsey - which is on the same frequency.
I too listened to KGGF way back when - seemed like an enlightened small town AM.
And because a lot of TU undergrad friends worked at KWON in Bartleville - we'd tune in to hear them. I remember visiting KWON and Dave DeForest at the neat (then new) raised studios No. of B'Ville at the transmitter. It seemed very modern till he showed us the boat - I guess the studios were raised due to being too close to a flood plain or creek....
Now so many small market stations are totally automated - due to financial
reasons - it ain't the same!
Erick - 09/12/99 05:22:36
Heard an interesting KRMG story recently, and maybe Jim Back can confirm
or deny it's validity. I was told that the "StormCenter beeps" (short, quiet
tones that sound every 2 minutes when severe weather is near Tulsa) originated
by a engineer who thought it was a great idea to do, but never ok'd the idea
with management. The story sounds a little fishy to me.
Rita aka Sleepwalk - 09/11/99 22:37:22
Location: Bartlesville, Oklahoma USA
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Back then? The Uncanny Film Festival
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Lewis Meyer
Stupidest local commercial: Any of those screaming car commercials
How did you find TTM?: You signed RJH's guestbook
By the way, "Sleepwalk" is one of my favorite songs, too. The Larry Carlton
version is good, but the original Santo and Johnny is my favorite.
Mike Miller - 09/11/99 19:59:58
Location: near Baltimore
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Gailard Sartain
Mike Bruchas - 09/11/99 15:45:08
The Babe's very aged little sister lived for the opening of Camden Yard and the Bambino's boyhood home is a few blocks away (in a crack-house filled neighborhood now) but the hope of many that it would be named Ruth Field - was never realized.
Mr. Poe is buried not far from the Bambino's boyhood home - you could walk
there in about 15 minutes. His grave had so many vistors tramping thru for
so long - they moved it to the front of the churchyard after digging him
up again many years ago....
Michael Bates - 09/11/99 05:14:48
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Sportsnight on KXXO
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Hal O'Halloran
Transmitter item #1:
I saw the earlier item (from Jim Back, I think) on KRMG's unusual signal pattern, which enables its signal to reach OKC. Over the past couple of weeks I have had occasion to be driving back from Bartlesville or Nowata at night, and I've noticed that I can't pick up KRMG at all until I get close to Skiatook or Collinsville, and I don't get a decent signal until about 86th St North. Is KRMG's signal pattern really supposed to be truncated like that, or is KRMG no longer transmitting at its full authorized power (25 kW at night, I believe)?
Transmitter item #2:
I know KOMA (OKC) has a directional signal, but I still don't understand why I can't hear a 50,000 watt station clearly at a distance of 90 miles. Once upon a time, I am told, you could listen to KOMA all the way down Route 66 from OKC to the coast. Some nights I have better luck picking up their FM simulcast. (KOMA is the best oldies station in the state, one of the best in the nation; I think they aren't as strictly programmed. They seem to play a wider range of music.)
On another radio topic: Someone mentioned Hal O'Halloran's post-KTUL-TV career. I was among the regular listeners and callers to Hal O'Halloran's radio sports talk shows on various stations in the late '70s and early '80s. He was on KXXO 1300 every weeknight from 6:20-7:00 (they ran CBS Radio's "The World Tonight" with Douglas Edwards from 6:00 - 6:15). KXXO was then a news/talk station, a sister station to KMOD, sharing space in the City Bank building near 31st & Hudson. (Hal did sports updates for KMOD as well.) I started listening in '78 -- his weekly trivia programs usually offered the hope of winning Roughnecks or Ice Oilers tickets. Ken Broo was a regular guest. The show never had the audience of its rival on KRMG, but the talk was always more interesting, more opinionated, and more focused on the national pro sports scene instead of being fixated on the Dallas Cowboys and the Sooners.
Sometime around 1980 or '81, KXXO changed formats (to KBBJ -- big band and jazz), and Hal turned up on KTOW 1340 in Sand Springs, which was mainly a country music station, but wanted to try its hand at sports. (Great sung news intro: "Worldwide news from the Big Gun (ricochet FX), K-T-O-W.") It had been hard enough to pick up KXXO at night, but KTOW was almost impossible to get in east Tulsa, especially at night when it dropped to 250 W. (I've owned more powerful light bulbs.)
Eventually -- maybe later in 1981 -- Hal went over to KELi (1430) when they switched to news/talk and made a serious attempt at challenging KRMG's dominance under the leadership of Fred Weinberg. KELi built new studios on Skelly Drive west of Mingo (now the home of the Highway Patrol). At some point, the news/talk experiment failed, and Hal went on to become the old Ice Oilers' last GM for the '84-'85 season.
One thing that stood out about Hal was his patience, especially his patience
with certain regular callers, a group of high school kids and immature young
adults who called themselves the Sackheads, who saw his show as much as an
opportunity for comedy as for serious sports discussion. He lectured us,
sometimes invoked temporary bans, but ultimately always let us back in his
good graces, despite complaints from other listeners and station management.
In return, we made him an honorary Sackhead (he hung the framed certificate
in his den). Some of us had the opportunity to join him in the studio as
guest experts on his trivia shows. Those of us who went off to college kept
in touch, occasionally calling in from the East Coast, and he liked to brag
on his Ivy League listenership. He was a positive influence. It was sad to
lose him as early as we did.
Bill Hyden - 09/11/99 01:12:18
1-3 That is Bill Blair on left in weather set.
Ch.2 is attempting to put idents with a substantial picture file. A few of
us 'old timers' made progress yesterday and will do it again next week. Those
pics bring back a lot of memories.
John Barth was the pipe-smoking chief engineer seen in the construction
I'll get the updates out to those pages tomorrow...thanks.
Channel 2 does have a whole lot of pics that I didn't use...are they going
to do their own feature with them?
Mike Miller - 09/10/99 22:32:18
Location: Vienna, Virginia
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Mazeppa
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Ditto
One night, the son-of-a b...(er,Fire Chief,) asked if he could sit on the set next to me when I closed the news. Why not, I thought. Most of my viewers are probably drunk anyway. Well, with the camera on a two shot, Mazeppa just glared at me when I signed off, and then he walked me into the studio next door to begin his show. All on camera, of course.
When I got back to the newsroom, Jeff Rosser (news director) telephoned and
went ballistic. I had no good explanation except that I was a die-hard fan
of the Mazeppa show and we needed all the viewers we could get.
Lowell Burch - 09/10/99 03:47:53
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Lee and Lionel
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Leavus Beavus
Stupidest local commercial: How long has it been since you've had a nice hot punch in the mouth?
The previews were usually better than the feature. Ennui usually set in
as the show wore on. But at least it was somewhat illicit, and that was a
Don Lundy - 09/10/99 03:11:59
Favorite Tulsa TV show: The John Chick Show
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: John Chick
Stupidest local commercial: Chick (Norton) Don't Care
Mike Bruchas - 09/09/99 22:43:43
Location: DC Hoss Chompright Fan Club
They speak THAT way in Baltimore while we ex-Oklahomas use the Ed Dumit school of speech inflection, you betcha!
Also how long is your stay in Charm City?
G.Ailard S.Artain - 09/09/99 21:15:34
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Tulsa Teen Town Topics
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Rojo Jorge in HiFi
Stupidest local commercial: Callio's
Concerning KELI experiences, I have one too: believe it or not, my first professional job, circa 1965, was as a mobile disc jockey for KELI. My dj name was Terry Knight and my duties were driving around to local drive-ins so that teenagers could request songs from Dan Keli. I think I lasted about two weeks: in an effort to get home to study for finals I left a local high school football game early and reported what I thought was the score. In the meantime, a field goal was kicked. I got on the air and apologized for the incorrect score by saying "I really screwed up." Dan Keli took great delight in having me fired for using such foul language. Some of the language that I use in this film I'm doing would have made Dan Keli spontaneously combust! But he'd have to go through Warner Brothers to get me fired this time!!
John Wooley told me that he was the lead singer of "The Beef Squad", a jug band seen numerous times on the Uncanny Film Festival & Camp Meeting. We may be hearing from The Beef Squad soon on this site.
Baltimore, home of Edgar Allan Poe and John Waters.
Erick - 09/09/99 18:05:08
Did a search for KELI on Infoseek, and came across Beau Weaver's homepage. Here's what he had to say about his days there:
"KAKC/Tulsa was the non-RKO Drake-consulted station. This is where I cut my teeth, ingratiating myself with Lee Bayley, Scooter Seagraves and Robert Walker by bringing them fresh airchecks of Morgan and Steele on KHJ which I obtained from a family friend in Anaheim. It worked. I eventually got to work those hallowed halls myself in 1970-71, paving the way for later stints at KFRC and KHJ. KAKC was an amazing radio station. I think opening the mic there for the first time was a bigger thrill than going on the air in Los Angeles."
Bigger than LA? And he worked at the legendary 93/KHJ!
Mike (KELI) Bruchas - 09/09/99 00:32:53
Do you old radio hands remember when the NAB strongly discouraged stations from using siren sound effects (among many others) on commercials? Evidently a lot folks driving around thought they were hearing real sirens and might pull over - looking for that darned emergency vehicle. After the NAB dropped their seal of good practice (you used to always see this slide at TV sign-on/sign-off) and were made to kill off the NAB TV and Radio Codes - I remember being in Kansas City and driving. I heard a whoop whoop and a siren on the low volumed radio and thought an emergency vehicle was around. The station there was pushing the envelope - when the Codes went away, anything was fair game I was told.
I can't remember why though - NAB was forced by the FCC or some group to
kill off the Codes. Can anyone help on this????
Mike Miller - 09/08/99 23:38:36
Location: outside D.C.
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Gary (Pete Kelly) Chew
Brad Smith - 09/08/99 19:25:27
Some KELI memories...
The KELI Klunker - a car they were giving away, don't remember what it was, but it was something they fixed up. A visit to Amarillo found their sister station, KIXZ, giving away the KIXZ Klunker!
All the DJ's were named Kelly (KELI?). Bill Kelly, Dan Kelly, Don Kelly (news), etc. Found out later, Don Kelly is Don Foster, a ham radio friend of mine. Bill Kelly had an alter ego, I think it was Jasper P. Jones, someone correct me if I got that wrong. One of their phone numbers was General 7-1430. I think the other number was Fillmore 5-KELI.
When someone lost a pet, they called KELI and they issued a Pet Alert.
In the summer, they rang a cow bell every 15 minutes and played a jingle - "Time to turn, so you won't burn."
I lived "across the pasture" from the KELI studios and transmitter. I could
lie in my bed and see the tower lights at night. I visited them once and
got a tour of the place. They moved the studio out of there shortly after
that, I believe to the fairgrounds rig observation building.
My big KELi story is winning a KELi Dollar on the spin of an unseen KELi
Wheel as the 2nd caller in about 1963.
Bill Hyden - 09/08/99 19:09:03
After his program was dropped from a Tulsa station, we had 'Doc' on KTBA,
Broken Arrow, for awhile. He was a nice guy and had quite a following as
Mike Bruchas - 09/07/99 17:01:22
Jerry Lewis and a Sound Unlimited story - in the 70's Jerry traveled with one of the first big boomboxes - I think he also carried a ton of audiocassettes with him.
He was in Tulsa at ORU lecturing to TV students, visiting, doing some golfing,too, and came by Sound Unlimited in a limo to buy an ac adaptor for the boombox - he left his somewhere else. A friend was clerking there and was floored that Jerry Lewis was dealing with him! He looked up the adaptor number and told Mr. Lewis they were out of stock and nothing else in the store would be right for the unit.
Jerry said gimme that one and pointed at one in the case. My friend said it wasn't the right voltage for his boombox. Jerry snapped - "I know TV and audio gear - sell it to me". My friend did.
Jerry came back the next day - the wrong voltage a.c. adaptor had melted his boombox and he bought the most expensive Sony or Marantz unit in stock to replace it.
No - he never said anything to my friend, just bought it and huffed out....
Karl Soliday - 09/07/99 16:53:28
My URL: http://www.mindspring.com/~mauikarl
Location: Owasso, Oklahoma
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Sun Up
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Teddy Jackady
Stupidest local commercial: Linda Soundtrack
Check out Karl's web site...he has a Rock'n Record Juke Box, this month
featuring Buddy Holly, whose birthday was 9/7/36. Karl also has the distinction
of being the first person to sign the Guestbook of this site.
Mike Bruchas - 09/07/99 00:34:52
TV show pioneer Allen Funt died at 84 today. I worked in '77 with some of his former crew - which became Eye View Films - on hidden camera research at a McCartney's in Tulsa for a detergent spot.
Neat stuff but the folks in Tulsey were a bit taken back by "clerks" wanting to buy back from them, the last box of a famous detergent brand on a shelf. My job to block aisles while dressed as a McCartney's clerk - to contain other shoppers from walking in on conversations. We shot the test spots with B&W video cameras which were viewed in the back of the store and hidden wireless mics. Nope - Tulsa did NOT pass muster for a place to shoot the spots but then I made a glorious $75 a day for a week or 2 as driver, production assistant and restaurant advisor for a 14 person crew!
How about Jerry Lewis - will he make it thru this Labor Day's Telethon, as ill as he is? I remember him coming to Tulsa and lecturing at ORU. Also playing golf a lot there in the 70's.
Someone said - one of these years - Jerry will go to that great telethon
in the sky while doing one of these marathons and America will open it's
wallets up and finally finance that cure for Muscular Dystrophy!
Rest in peace, Allen Funt.
Mike Miller - 09/06/99 23:09:55
Location: very damp Vienna, VA
Favorite Tulsa TV show: The Best of Jack Morris closers
The late night jocks at several Tulsa radio stations formed a drinking club, called Knights of the Knight, Others included Scooter Segraves of KAKC, Larry Strain of KRMG, Jim Hill (I think) of KOME and a few others, mostly former TU students who had worked at KWGS. On Fridays, after sign off, wed gather in the studios of KRMG, drink large quantities of beer and record our babble. Then wed play it back to hear how stupid we sounded. In our drunken state, it sounded funny.
The Knights crowning achievement was our on air prank of playing the same, obscure record, simultaneously, on three or four stations. Wed set a specific time, and I would listen to Scooter to take my cue to start the record.
One night I heard Segraves cut in during the tune to say: Punch around
the dial, youll hear this record on all the stations. I nearly
fell off my chair.
Scott "Scooter B" Segraves had asked where you were in Guestbook 15...sent
him an email to let him know you have arrived.
Webmaster - 09/06/99 01:50:51
Location: Near the Capri Drive-In
Mike Bruchas - 09/04/99 19:18:31
Location: In the non-hurricane path on the East Coast
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Hal O'Halloran +Don Woods
When Don Lundy was working in Toledo - he sent me a clip reel of great promos
and Addy winning spots. One was for WRIF radio in Detroit and had a flight
of movie trailer like spots and other TV promos with DICK the BRUISER - who
was the gravelly voiced morning DJ on WRIF. They were hilarious! This was
back in the late 70's when wrestling wasn't big but Dick was a hilarious
class act - that he could branch to doing a morning radio show was wild!
He just couldn't speak SOFTLY!
Mike Bruchas - 09/04/99 19:00:03
Jimmy's claim to fame or infamy was to blow up his house one Winter while at 6. We ran all these stories on 6 about NOT crawling under your house to check for frozen pipes with a lighter or oven source of flame. Jimmy did - hit a gas pocket and blew up his house! Somehow he survived. Jimmy also played in some REAL honky tonk bands. He pestered me to shoot some band pictures while in performance - so 1 Saturday night I went to a VERY redneck club on 11th by Sheridan and started popping off pix with my flash as the band played. I was asked/no threatened to leave by folks in the audience afraid of them being captured on film WITHOUT their spouses AND by Jimmy's band. Gulp.
I digressed from wrasslin' - at KGMC/34 (now KOCB in OKC) we carried wrasslin' but I forget from who's circuit. Several times well-known wrestlers - often "known" hated ring adversaries would be driving cross country together and would drop off the most up to date "commercials" for the OKC market. Often they would hang out in Master Control, get a cup of java and chat the on-air guys up. They were pretty funny big guys
We had a Master Control op Jerry Harris (no NOT the Gerry Harris-whatever on OETA) who was a near-dwarf in stature and several times they tried to convince him to forsake TV and get into midget wrasslin'...
I do remember seeing Danny Hodge, Susan Green and others once at the Civic Center in Tulsey in about '71 when Wayne McCombs got several of us comp tickets from KVOO where he was working at the time. It was high circus stuff - the crowd was more amusing than the wrasslers. Danny Hodge got beat and bloody by "some trickery" - so the next time back, he was supposed to have a boxing match with the much younger guy that "won". Hodge was I think a Golden Gloves then pro boxer for a while way way back when.
I remember years later the Tribune doing a story on Danny for some kind of craftwork he did - sculpture from horseshoes or some type of folk art. A rennaissance man!
Wish I could remember if it was Cowboy Bill Watts or someone else who WERE
very legitmate and successful ranchers when not in the squared circle - they
too were written up in Tulsey papers for their business acumen.
Bill Hyden - 09/04/99 16:02:51
M. Ransom - 09/04/99 06:15:05
Stupidest local commercial: Let's hear it for Hickey!
Be sure to go back and read Guestbook 19, just finished. We had an interesting
discussion going about pro wrestling on TV. We also learned that "Chauncey"
was a creation of KAKC Top 40 jock Don Kelly back in the early 60s, that
teleprompters can be made to surprise unwary newsmen, about a near-sighted
Romper Room mistress, about news coverage of a nudist camp, DXing to east
Asia via AM station KOMA, and much more! Stay tuned...