Newswatch 62.... Is A 24 hour service of ....
Without exception WHEN's award-winning news team contributed significantly to the station's continued success throughout the 70's and 80's. The NewsWatch 62 Team was aggressive, well-respected and led by News Director, Bill Carey. A team of extremely talented and professional news people, included the likes of Jules Coleman, Donna Speziale, Dan Cummings, Dave Bullard, Christie Casciano, Devon Blair, Jim Campagna, Tony Rizzo, Laurie Bean, Geoff Dunn and many others. These were the people who contributed timeless energy and work in helping establish 62 WHEN's one-time national reputation.
One of Newswatch 62's most distinct voices was that of Jules Coleman. Jules, pictured at the above left and below during a broadcast, was one of Syracuse's best on-air newsmen. His authoritative style and rich baritone helped make the drive home in the afternoon informative and seemingly a little shorter.
Also in the above photo and looking through the booth window and over Jules' left shoulder, one can have a sense of the area from which news anchors presented their hourly and half hour reports. Obviously this shot was taken during Jules' first PM drive newscasts with the clock reading a little after 3 PM. The controls immediately in front of Jules were remote starts for the tape cartridge machines located to the right. Some buttons on this control surface could also control tape machines in the main studio directly on the other side of the window in front of the news anchor. The on-air anchor and disc jockey on duty faced one another at about a 45 degree angle and the news anchor always started the first song out of the news by remotely starting the machine playing the song from their booth. The news anchor also always activated their own commercials during a newscast, but these commercials were loaded in playback machines and aired from the main studio. It was, therefore, important that the jock on-air remember to have the commercials placed securely in the machine for playback at their appointed times. Failure to do this would mean periodic gaps of "dead air" which was definitely frowned upon. Another issue that sometimes caused a problem was when the DJ on duty would properly load the commercials for playback during a newscast... but then forget to turn up the volume for playback. Duhhh...whoops. Today that "Dead Air" is as commonplace as hair on your knuckles. Most local programming has been replaced with syndicated programming and a computer is basically running the station. Great, maybe, for investment bankers in Texas and New York as they shovel money out of the community, not so hot for local listeners.
DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY! - If all commercials
were properly loaded in their respective machines...and the first song following the
newscast was also properly engaged in its playback machine, the news anchor could
give an air personality close to a 8 or 9 minute break (5 minute newscast + 3
- 4 minute song)at the top of the hour. Because we do not live in a perfect world and sometimes things
don't always work as planned, contingency plans are always in order. As a means of preventing the nemesis of
DJs everywhere (dead air) a backup song was always ready for playback from the news booth when music in the studio failed to start at the end of
a newscast. DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY...was not only the song listeners sometimes heard out of the top of the hour news...but it was
a signal to all in the station that things had failed to go perfectly this time around. Thus, over the year's Thelma Houston's
song likely gained a few more plays than would normally be expected. When Thelma started singing at either 5 or 35 after the hour
you knew things weren't going quite according to plan down the hall.
On the left, a photo which had been included in a BM/E Magazine article on "Best Stations" in 1978. This photo gives you a clearer look at the newsbooth and some of the equipment inside. On the other side of the glass, the main studio which can also be seen HERE in better detail.
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