Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
Scott Carpenter - 05/28/79

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Listen To This WPGC Aircheck


Scott Carpenter had previously worked at a host of blowtorch stations including CKLW / Detroit and later, CHUM in Toronto. He joined WPGC for afternoons early in 1978 after Brant Miller left for WLS, and left himself in early 1980 to do mornings in Baltimore at B104. He later made stops at KLAC in LA as well as back in Washington at WMZQ. After a stint at the WorldSpace's satellite network's 'UpCountry' Channel, Scott went to work at the U.S. Department of Energy as a Systems Administrator. Today, he is retired in Fredericksburg, VA.

Let's face it; Scott was just a damn good Top 40 jock and it really shows here. Sharp, witty and full of Rock & Roll energy, he handled afternoons with style, class and grace. A veteran performer at the peak of his career. And his ratings proved it.

Speaking of ratings, WPGC had been the center of a controversy since the year before by calling attention on the air to when Arbitron ratings periods were in effect. At the time of this aircheck on the Memorial Day Weekend of 1979, Arbitron still only surveyed households of their listening preferences for one month at a time, four times a year, unlike the continuous measurement method used today.

In their eyes, on air announcements of this type were sacrilege and purportedly tainted the results in the ratings. Because of running ratings period announcements on the air, WPGC was listed 'below the line' in the ratings book. Then an unheard of phenomena occured; other market competitors did the same thing. At one point, virtually all major stations wound up being listed below the line, thus negating any unfair advantage for any single station. You'll hear morning news guy, Scott Woodside do a typical announcement of this type on this tape.

Ratings were also a consideration with respect to WPGC's new format competitor, Q107. Though WPGC was way ahead in the ratings at this point, it was clear a war was in the offing. And it wasn't just with Q107. When the Spring 1979 ratings came out just a few weeks after this aircheck, WPGC beat WMAL in Total Persons 12+ for the first time ever.

Naturally, this did not please ABC management at all, whose primary mission in blowing up album rock formatted WRQX and launching Top 40, Q107 was really to protect its AM mainstay, WMAL from further attacks from WPGC by siphoning off as many teens as possible from 'PGC, thus lowering the 12+ figures. It was a strategy that worked - for a while, until WPGC righted itself and regained the Top 40 crown.

One tactic in the psychological war was the #1 Weekend that Program Director, Scott Shannon ran over the holiday weekend. The concept was simple but effective; #1 hits on the #1 station all weekend long, a quick and easy way to remind listeners of the station they grew up with and first heard these songs on. Touche. Various staging elements before the #1 songs were voiced by both Shannon & midday guy (and future WPGC morning guy), Dave Foxx.

That's Shannon too on the Soundoff about speeding. Since the Great Strike That Struck Out in May of 1977, listeners' gripes about seemingly anything had been read on the air by the DJs as well as Public Service Director, Sherry Berger. 'Mr. Soundoff', former General Manager, Bob Howard had left the station when it was sold in 1974 and proceeded to take long time morning man, Harv Moore with him to Buffalo.

Contesting took the form of Rod Stewart concert T-shirts, tickets to the show and copies of his 'Blondes Have More Fun' album. Since the station was playing a higher than normal percentage of Oldies with the #1 Weekend, souvenir Oldies albums were also given away.

Other promotional activity at the time included the 'Washington's Best' contest in which the station searched for DC's best looking guy & gal who were each awarded $1,000 in conjunction with the Capital Centre's 'Summer Fun Celebration'. Scott Carpenter does a live promo to this end on this tape.

Mechanically, the station had introduced cold segues between two songs without any identifying element in between them the year before. The 'Positron' jingles from JAM from the year before were noticeably absent by Summer 1979 outside of the morning show. Speaking of which, Jim Elliott & Scott Woodside had been together for not quite a year at this stage and were now billed jointly as 'Elliott & Woodside'.

Special thanks to Matt Craig of Big Apple for the above.


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