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It was a different world back then!

WPEN - Philadelphia, PA


I was working at WRHY, Starview 92 on weekends. I was working full time third shift at Motor Masters in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia.

Since I didn't own a car, that meant getting off work at 7am in the morning, taking two bus lines to get back home, taking another bus to the Broad Street subway station at Fern Rock, taking that to the Market-Frankford line, and then taking the train out to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It essentially Going to the station meant sleeping on the floor. There were no pillows or anything and I usually woke up for the 6am Saturday morning shift more tired than I'd been before I fell asleep. RJ would come buy and throw me a cheeseburger or two and then on Sunday take me back to the train station where I would do the trip in reverse. It was tough and I sounded awful.

One day in October we came into the station and Rick had a message from Peter Mokover at WPEN and that he wanted to talk to me. They had an opening for the "Assistant Director of Creative Services". It was a part-time, twenty-hour per week position. I told Rick that in spite of the title, it sounded like a "Copy Girl" position and I really wasn't interested, but I would talk to Peter about it anyway.

Peter told me that I would have to interview for the position with the Director of Creative Services, Bill Price (no relation). If I got the job, Peter had it in his budget for an assistant that was for another 20 hours a week, so essentially this could be a full time position.

I interviewed with Bill Price. He hired me.

So, my very first full-time job in radio was in a Top 5 market at the station where I most wanted to work. This was very cool!

I left WRHY when I started at WPEN and moved over to WDDL/WNCE in Lancaster on the air as a part timer. Since I was working regular daytime hours during the week, it was somewhat easier. I would go up to Lancaster on the train and then sleep on a cot in the ladies room. It was much more comfortable. Why the Ladies Room? There was no cot in the Men's Room and there were no women in the station at night when I would sleep there.

Being at WPEN was a rush. I was technically the Assistant Director of Creative Services for both WPEN and WMGK-FM. I had to listen to the commercials that came in on tape to make sure that they met legal standards, i.e., no lottery violations, language standards, etc. and that they fell within parameters from a length perspective. If a client bought a thirty, it had to be anywhere from :28 to :32 and if they bought a sixty, :59 to :62. About 95% of our business was agency, yet some people tried to slip things through. I also was responsible for getting the commercial rotation information to the traffic department and the commercial cart numbers we assigned. I would go into our on air studios each week and remove all the expired commercials from the cart racks and return them to production.

As a Programming Assistant, I was responsible for updating our current playlist and mailing it to the record companies. I was also responsible for contest coordination and various research projects.

For this, I was paid the handsome sum of $160 per week and I had health insurance.

It was the best equipped and most state-of-the-art radio stations in the city. I loved it. Peter was awesome and treated me very well. When it came to organization, Peter had no peer. Shortly after I came on board, Peter asked me if I would write a critique of the radio station. I did. It was a four-page confidential memo. After he read it, he told me that my observations to improve the station were spot on. The only problem was that my solutions cost money that was not in the budget. It was a great lesson for me.

There's more to this story. Come back later!






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