THE WRKL R-CHIVES
featuring historic documents from WRKL's past
Official Correspondence & Documents
- Letter from the FAA, the Federal Aviation Agency, regarding the new towers to be erected in Mt. Ivy (1961)
- NDEA Authorization letter from the FCC allowing the station to remain on the air during an Emergency Action Condition (1969)
- WRKL's FCC License from October 1969
- The FCC's History Cards for WRKL. From the FCC's microfilm archives. These will open on a new page.
Maps & Stuff
- Town of Ramapo Zoning Map showing the location of the station (1961)
- Site Platte giving an up-close and personal view of the WRKL tract (1961)
(supersize 'em by clicking on the thumbnails)
This letterhead from some 1963 correspondance isn't so much a logo as a font. The phone number was Spiro's residence.
The first and longest-running WRKL logo placed an oil derrick in Mt. Ivy. Okay, so it was supposed to be a tower. This logo endured for over 10 years. It was followed by:
(1986) used on promotional material
(1989) a co-branding experiment with the FM
(1990) the dial returns!
The first logo under the ownership of Odyssey Communications (later Big City Radio)(1995)
(1997) this logo was plastered on county buses in '97&'98
(1998) the station finally got a van in 1998 with the new logo--but it wouldn't last
The earliest rate card we've found is from 1969, and is pictured above. It was folded in thirds and measured 7 by 9 inches unfolded. On the inside was a coverage map which didn't exagerate too much. This one-sheet from about the same time features Charlie Greer, recently of WABC, New York. The 1979 rate card had a more conventional look than the one from a decade before, and reflected the station's membership in the National Association of Broadcasters. Remember, rates are NET to station. About the same time, the station put out a coverage map. In the 1980's the station distributed these posters to sponsors, for posting at their businesses. These 8-1/2x14 inch posters were displayed on bulletin boards in local high schools, promoting Scott Salotto's new "Teen Magazine" program.
Click here to view a Help Wanted display ad for sales help at Odyssey-owned WRKL. Remember, you can't spell Odyssey without OY!
Until 1978, WRKL didn't use mike flags at all. Then, these logo-challenged 4-sided ones were used ,but only by reporters, not on microphones in the station itself. Also from this era was also a round, 3-sided "clip-on" type.
In 1995, with new ownership came a new mike flag which was BIG, measuring 3-3/4 x 2-1/4 inches. All of the above flags were manufactured by Aladdin Media Products in Branford, CT.
(click on the thumbnail to get the bigga picture)
The first WRKL sticker anyone can remember was on orange paper with black lettering . When they appeared is unknown.
In 1976, the station ran a " 33 Days of Prizes" contest, which required players to stick a red and white 3 by 5 inch sticker on their car. Winners would be spotted and their license plates read on the air. These stickers were interesting in that across their bottom, they showed a shrunken AM radio dial, showing frequencies and call letters of 6 other stations, in addition to WRKL. Several years later, these stickers were given away at remotes, but were missing the radio-dial bottom.
Between 1977 and 1995, WRKL had only 2 runs of bumper stickers. The first were tiny "safety stickers". Measuring a mere 4-1/8 x 1-1/2 inches, they were reflective, thus rendering them useful. Next, in 1985 came a regular-size sticker offered as part of a "Watch Rockland's Kids with Love" (W.R.K.L.--get it??) safety campaign. Get spotted with this on your car, and you had 91 minutes to call in to win a Replogle globe. Daily winners were then eligible for the grand prize, a trip anywhere in the world.
In 1996 & 1997, the station's "Rockland Proud" campaign was co-sponsored by Pepsi. There were 2 different stickers used during this campaign; a smaller one shown here , and a larger one, which we haven't yet found. Please email us if you have this missing bumper sticker.
Stuff They Gave Away
(click on the thumbnail and make it bigga)
This is a bizzare one: would you believe a razor? This is NOT a photographic trick. These WRKL-branded Bic razors were given away at remotes starting in 1977. Bic was also willing to trade out for disposable lighters, but station management determined that could be interpreted as pro-smoking, so they passed on them. You can't make this stuff up.
From around 1980, there was this key ring
This is the cover of a 1987 street map with Spring Valley on one side, New City and a small map of the entire county on the other. When unfolded it measures 24x38 inches. The maps were given away at local retailers, whose advertisements framed the borders of the map. Printed in black & white, it featured a street index on each side.
Then in 1997 there were these refrigerator magnets pushing the WRKL-Union State Bank Weatherphone.
They also had these can cozzies you could stick your canned drink in and keep it cool. Cool!
Here's an original WRKL QSL card, a little bit worse for wear. And here's another from 1969. The reverse side states WRKL's first on air date as July 3, 1964. It was....but only for about 30 minutes.
WRKL Station Logs
- April 4, 1997
Here's the one from WRKL's last day as an English-language station,
- March 18, 1999. The station signed off at 3:00PM. SO LONG!!
- From the July 31, 1967 issue of Broadcasting magazine, a story about the arson fire at the station. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)(image courtesy www.americanradiohistory.org)
- An article about WRKL from the April 1968 issue of Pageant, a national magazine. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
- A 2-page .pdf file from 1972-73 courtesy of Mike Girouard. First up, a newspaper ad for a special WRKL Hotline presentation, then on page 2 some press clippings about the WRKL Swamp Rats softball team.
- June 18, 1978: Article from the Gannett Newspaper's TV-Radio Week Sunday supplement. The article about WRKL appeared in both Rockland & Westchester editions, and is posted here in 2 files, Part 1 and Part 2. Note that News Director John Russell is incorrectly listed as General Manager under his page 2 photo
- Front cover of the August 16, 1978 Rockland Reporter showing "yours truly" Bob Marshall
- Centerfold story on Rockland radio from the 8/16/78 Rockland Reporter
- From the Rockland Review in 1984, Dave Neuser on assignment at a blood drive.(Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
- The new WRKL morning team, as seen in the November 30, 1995 Rockland County Times
- The January 3, 1996 Rockland Review article about the station
- January 12, 1999 Journal News article about the proposed sale of WRKL
- January 29, 1999 Journal News on the sale
- Say it ain't so. Reaction from emergency services officials to the sale, in this March 8, 1999 Journal News article
- March 20, 1999 Journal News on Rockland's new 910 AM
- Technically not a press clipping, this was the program handed out at the 1995 D.A. Debate at Pearl River High School
- A HELP WANTED ad placed in the Journal News in 1995
CAVEAT EMPTOR! (Buyer Beware!)
Reprinted here is a small booklet published by WRKL in 1966 in response to exaggerated coverage claims made by the new Spring Valley station, WRRC. It's called Caveat Emptor!, and it's chock-full of maps, testimony, facts and figures. Interesting reading.
Front Cover Inside front cover Page 1 Pages 2&3 Pages 4&5 Pages 6&7
Pages 8&9 Pages 10&11 Pages 12&13 Pages 14&15 Inside rear cover
The Impossible Dream LP
In 1969 the station produced an LP record (on the SWAMP label, of course) called "The Impossible Dream". It was a posthumous tribute to founder Al Spiro, who died of a massive coronary on 6/3/68 at 47. The album chronicled the first few years of the station's life, and was offered for sale, with 90% of the proceeds going towards a fund to raise money for an intensive care unit at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern. It was narrated by news director Art Athens.
WRKL'S Listing in the May 1978 RADIO GUIDE
In 1978, volume 1, number 1 of the "New York AM-FM Radio Guide" was published. We don't recall ever seeing issue number 2 of what was supposed to be a bi-monthly mini-magazine (annual subscription: $6), but here's a copy of no. 1's cover and WRKL's listing. The listing is followed alphabetically by WRNW, a station that 10 years later would become WRKL's sister FM, WRNW (and subsequently WXPS, WRGX, and then, under separate ownership, WYNY. Today, it's the Peak, WXPK). And look who's listed as WRNW's midday DJ.
- THIS IS IT! Here's the General Manager's 1976 memo that laid it on the line for the WRKL deejays. Many of the "don'ts" listed on the memo were practiced regularly by the former morning jock, and seemed to be a deliberate jab at him.
- The new, new WRKL morning team, as told in a memo from WRKL's General Manager
The U of M Collection
Take a look at samples from the University of Maryland's WRKL Collection, part of UM's Library of American Broadcasting, featuring contributions from former WRKL owner Betty Ramey. Interesting photos, newspaper articles & promotional stuff.
The FCC's History CardsFrom the FCC's website, we grabbed a copy of the WRKL History Cards. The cards are the Commission's records of station changes before they went to their first computer database in 1980. Originally, entries were typed onto index cards. At some point, they scanned those onto microfilm, then later, they scanned the microfilm images, created a negative (for easier reading), and made the pdf file which is duplicated here. It's one 12 mB file, and you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it, but who doesn't have that these days?
There's more to come. Stay tuned.
Make your visit complete by stopping by the rest of the KIOTR pages:
Sound files from the glory days of WRKL
Photos of the R, inside & out
Whatever happend to your friends at WRKL?
A brief history of the station
A look at the construction and additional equipment necessary to make WRKL a 24 hour facility. Warning: lots of pictures--it may take a minute to load.
See what people R saying about the R, and post your own recollections
Got a comment? Got stuff? Write us!
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