This is a photo taken in December 1972 of the WIP Radio air studio. Note the two turntables on each side of the console. Behind the microphone is the copy book for live spots and tags. Above the turntables are two banks of tape cartridge machines for playing commercials, jingles and other material.
Broadcast Pioneers member Tom Moran (who signed his e-mail "His Shortness") may be short in length but he's tall in the talent department. He e-mailed us:
The console was too high. (Members) Tom Lamaine and Wee Willie (Webber) said it was way too low.
Member Allan Hotlen, former WIP Orgram Director e-mailed:
I can tell you that the studio array looks exactly as I remember it from my stay at WIP from '64-'69. If my memory is correct, in 1972, the on-air people still worked with union engineers; no combo operation yet.
I know there was a multi-button "box" that controlled the carts remotely. McCauley, Garland, Clayton and Moran used the buttons to actuate "wild-tracks" (or drop ins). We DID play our own music from that studio. But the engineer had to turn the mike on and off.
Member Tom Lamaine, former WIP Air Personality e-mailed:
We had just moved up from the basement studios in the Wellington Building at 19th & Walnut and were finally allowed to actually play records without the engineers doing it. Amazing but true.
There is still a distinctive sound to the vinyl recordings. In this picture you can see the cart machines which eventually replaced the turntables below. I held out as long as I could at WIP playing RECORDS but all good things ......
I am now using turntables for my new (old) Memory Lane show that I have reprised at the shore on Kool 98.3.
Member Tom Moran adds a lot more information for us:
The photo is the second floor studio of WIP at the 19th & Sansom, end of The Wellington building on Rittenhouse Square. I did take the picture while 'on the air' between 4 and 8.
By this time we had been doing 'combo' work on our own for a few years. No more working with the greatest engineers in broadcasting as the result of an a less than amicable agreement between the engineers union and MetroMedia management.
There was a large plate glass window behind the blackboard, the clock and various memos that would have allowed 'eye contact' between the engineer and deejay, if it came to that. It didn't.
The first floor studio, where most of the staff except Tom Lamaine (who joined WIP after the move to the third floor 'closet') was where we worked in close cooperation with our engineers. As Allen pointed out, the air personality (sounded classier than 'deejay') turned the microphone on/off. The engineers did everything else.
If you two weren't on the 'same frequency/page' sloppiness ensued. That is not good. The 'large window' worked to perfection. Most of time. Example? Sure! How about when the engineer AND the deejay guy both fall sound asleep at 5:15AM on the overnight "Dawn Patrol." I have personal knowledge of this happening.
Joe McCauley never had the 'pleasure' of doing his own engineering (combo) work as he suddenly and sadly passed away in July of 1968. Joe's last morning show ended at 9:45AM on April 1st (April Fools Day.) He had called me to say he wasn't feeling well at all. I was Music Director at the time and qualified to 'fill-in,' which, in this case I did. Three months later Joe was gone. May he rest in peace.
Allan Hotlen left 19th & Walnut and moved to 22nd & Walnut (WPEN) in 1969 before we left the BIG studio on the first floor. Tom Brown, Chuck (Chuckie from Kentucky) Dougherty and Allen Michaels followed Allan 'down-the-block' to 'PEN.
One major benefit of that studio was the side door to 19th Street and a direct path to the R&W Deli right across the street. Ah, the memories...
The 'road' to the 1972 studio took many twists and turns. From the 'R&W Studio' we moved to the premiere location of all, the third floor corner of The Wellington, overlooking Rittenhouse Square.
In the meantime, our former FM station, WMMR; a creation of Allan Hotlen's by the way; was starting to 'kick butt' and needed a 'cool' broadcast studio from which to showcase their new found popularity.
We bade a fond farewell (pure BS) to our once upon a short time 'premiere' studio and moved to a next door 'closet' that was a production studio. So much for being 'king of the hill.' Eventually the new studio 'down the hall and one floor down' was constructed for WIP. This is the photo you're looking at.
This is the last studio that Nat Wright, Tom Moran and Tom Lamaine 'worked' before the axe fell. You never forget where you were when the axe falls. Nat - 24 years. Tom Moran - 17 years/ Tom Lamaine - 14 years.
Ken Garland and Wee Willie Webber survived the many format changes that were taking place. We all, with few exceptions, followed Dean Tyler from WIP to WPEN, which by the mid 80s was out in "Baladelphia."
All of us that were together during the 1960s &1970s time frame of WIP admit it WAS the greatest. How fortunate we were to have stayed together as a 'family' for that length of time.
Member Allan Hotlen referring to what Tom Moran wrote above says:
You called it right when you described the engineers as the greatest in broadcasting. They were. Every one that I can remember, THE best I ever worked with. Harry, Walt, Don. Can't think of the other names. But I can picture some faces. Help me with the names if you can. (Ray Lombardi, Nelson Smith and Don Barth).
Tom Brown, Chuck Dougherty and Allan Michaels left Metromedia to come to work with me at WPEN (AM-FM). So they never worked in the "closet" studio, either.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally taken by Broadcast Pioneers member Tom Moran
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