Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
Bruce Kelly - 12/26/82


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Bruce Kelly left Y100 / Miami to join WPGC in the Fall of 1981 when Don Geronimo left for KIIS-FM. Initially he did nights, then afternoons. He left the station in the Spring 1983 for B94 in Pittsburgh. He later did mornings at WHTT / Boston and at KZZP / Phoenix.

By the time of this aircheck, the station has pretty much bottomed out. The disastrous format change instituted after Labor Day saw droves of listeners leave the station en masse. A staggering 50% of WPGC's cume audience left during the Fall 1982 ratings period. Virtually all of them went over to Q107 which reached #1 by default.

Bruce was an obvious hold over from the station's final glory days as a Top 40 giant. Predictably, his days at the station were numbered if not of his own accord then by station management. In fact, he left voluntarily when early in 1983 he reunited with former WPGC Program Director, Steve Kingston who by then had resurfaced in the same position at B94 in Pittsburgh, itself a CHR powerhouse.

The station's music library had been particularly emasculated. Gone was anything with even the slightest edge to it. Worse still, the likes of Dan Fogelberg, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie replaced current CHR artists that had defined the station since it's inception as a Top 40 mainstay when it went 100% Rock & Roll in 1960. The positioning statement in use at the time, 'Washington's Best Music' might more aptly have been, 'Washington's Wimpiest Music'.

About the only place new music by new artists was heard was on American Top 40 which had been relegated to Sunday nights. A promo for the special year-end Top 100 of 1982 Countdown is voiced by Casey Kasem and bookended by Dave Foxx and Loo Katz. Sadly, it was to be the last year- end countdown of AT 40 ever heard on the station. Watermark, the company that produced AT 40 had by 1982 been acquired by the ABC Radio Network. As contracts with stations expired, they took the show in markets where ABC had owned & operated stations and gave it to them. In DC, WPGC which had been one of the original seven stations to carry the show from its start on July 4th, 1970, lost the show to ABC owned, Q107 in early 1983.

Dave Foxx is also heard on a Soundoff about, appropriately enough, New Year's resolutions and the failure of people to keep them. The anonymous voice heard at the beginning and end of it belongs to John Young, the station's imaging voice who happened to be Program Director at WPGC's sister station, Z93 in Atlanta.

Every single commercial on this aircheck from the day after Christmas was agency produced. The ones for Topol Smokers' Tooth Polish and Bantron Smoking Deterrent Tablets were those that ABC required stations to play as a condition of running American Top 40.

Jingles were from JAM's 'Double Plus' package which had been created originally for WYNY in New York. They were to be the last package ever ordered from JAM. Only a locally produced package of cuts created in 1984 by a production house in Rockville would succeed them.

Contesting was no longer a vital component of the overall product mix as it once had been. Still, a tease that WPGC was 'the only Washington station that guarantees the music' is heard near the end of the tape. Immediately after the holidays when the commercial load traditionally is the lightest, the station promised listeners a $10,000 reward if it ever played less than 51 minutes of music an hour.

Unlike the previous year when the goal was to purposely break the promise and deliberately give away the money, the station did not do so this time. Making matters worse was the reality that 51 minutes of lame music wasn't conducive to longer listening. In essence it amounted to a wasted effort. In doing so, the station only managed to add insult to injury to its audience.

 




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