Featured Air Personality Bob Gilmore donated this fascinating aircheck of a station that went silent on May 31, 2019 (as WQUN).
It’s a Beach Party Weekend!
There are times when I really wish I could post an aircheck unscoped. This is one of those times.
Here is AM 1220 Hamden, Connecticut, just a bit northwest of New Haven. It’s a 1,000-watt station that gets out pretty well but what makes this shine are the formatics, the jingles, the fact that it’s TOTALLY live – in fact, you can hear the scratches at the beginning of songs – and most important, it’s in AM Stereo! Now, I don’t know what AM Stereo system then WNNR was using. Presumably, Motorola C-Quam, since that was the standard that the FCC finally adopted, albeit too late to save AM Radio.
This recording sounds superb. This is right off the master cassette, digitized by our contributor himself. It’s so good, I really wanted, was very tempted to post this unscoped and try to sneak under the radar. Not worth the risk, however. What you DO hear sounds like radio candy. Your ears will thank you.
Bob Gilmore is certainly young in the picture… of course, if you know Bob, the man has a magic ability to not age one year since this picture. Bob, I’ll trade my white hair for yours… LOL!
So, the winning combination at WNNR was: Oldies, full reverb, great jingles, great personalities, good imaging, and AM Stereo. If not for the fact that 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford with its giant signal flipped to Oldies shortly after this recording was made, WNNR “Winner Radio” might still be around today.
The story behind 1220 is that after six call letter changes and format changes (most of them were very good), the station went dark suddenly for six months because it had been acquired by Quinnipiac University. After 5 months of building new studios, the station returned to the air as WQUN and debuted the “Music of your Life” format which was delivered via satellite. This happened on 02.07.1997. On 05.31.2019, ironically, the same day that WPLJ New York signed off as a commercial station, WQUN was taken silent by the university, citing the lack of interest by students of learning broadcasting and the lack of profitability. Right up until the final broadcast, the staff worked tirelessly to present quality, local programming. In the final year, the Standards music was replaced by an evolving Classic Hits format, wherein listeners might hear anything from Journey to Seals & Crofts… produced locally.
The total time on this exciting Oldies aircheck is 10:04 (see notes above). It’s AM radio done RIGHT, in my humble opinion.
Thanks, Bob Gilmore, for this outstanding aircheck!