The photos below came from former WAKY
Chief Engineer Bob Newberry who writes:
"I was Chief Engineer
at WAKY for a couple of years between October 1979 and October 1981.
I replaced John Timm who was Chief at the time. He had just
ordered the new stand-up studio furniture and Auditronics console
for the showcase studio up front. I received the enjoyment of
installing it all. I also had to teach the Duke how it all worked
and boy that wasn’t easy. The loud color stripes were painted down
the hall while I was there but they weren’t my idea.
"I remember John Timm
had a some kind of buzzer and light hooked up to come on when the
jocks consistently ran the board in the red. Boy did the jocks hate
that. That building was so long it seemed like a mile cable run from
the front to the back where the STL racks were.
"There used to be a
department store of some kind in that building. It had very high
ceilings. When you got above the false ceiling of the radio station
there were catwalks and room to stand up. All the original façade of
the department store was still there. An inquisitive person could
silently join any meeting just by standing over the office of their
choice. Then there was that big wide open basement -- If those walls
"Jerry Shea was
my most capable assistant. Mike McVay then Bob Moody
were the programmers and George Francis then Alan Gantman
were my General Managers.
"I was there when
Multimedia bought WVEZ. At the time their studios were at the
transmitter site on Floyd’s Knob. Jerry and I built a new studio,
production room and rack room at the back of the building. We
installed brand new transmitters for WVEZ (Harris FM-20K) and WAKY
(Harris MW-5). I was the one who had the newer sign installed up
front and had the logos painted on the rear of the building. I was a
much younger lad back then but I really did enjoy the Schulke Radio
Productions format on WVEZ. I was sent to SRP in New Jersey to sit
at the feet of the masters, Jim Schulke, Phil Stout
and Irv Joel to learn how to finesse great sound from the
Beautiful Music format.
"I wish I still had that MacKenzie loop tape repeater. It had the
WAKY shout on it, the same audio on your home page. It would get
stuck sometimes and Bill Bailey would start hollering on the
air for somebody to 'come in here and stop this crazy thing!!!' The
ITC triple decker proved more reliable and won out and the shout was
transferred to cart.
"When I got there it was only a couple of weeks before the new
furniture and board arrived so I don’t remember the old stuff that
well. I remember we of course wanted to stay in the same raised
control room up front so we rebuilt in place while we ran a couple
of days or so from one of the production rooms. The MacKenzie was in
the bottom of one of the three racks in the wall where the
transmitter remote control and some other stuff was.
"What I remember most
about it was there was no more inputs on the Gates console they were
using, so the McKenzie was actually attached to the program bus of
the board. There was no way of shutting the audio off if it ever got
stuck, and get stuck it did. The MacKenzie recued the tape to the
beginning with a piece of aluminum foil just like an 8-track from a
car. It held the tape in little metal cartridges and the shout was
the only one left when it got pulled."