WPBC-AM 980 Minneapolis MN Vern Arthur 1972

After I posted the first WPBC aircheck, I was deluged with e-mails, asking if I have any others.  WPBC enjoys somewhat of a “cult” status among us radio geeks.  I guess it’s because the station left the airwaves 42 years ago, so relatively few tapes exist.  There’s an endless supply of KDWB, WCCO, WDGY, and KSTP airchecks available on the Internet.  But very little of “The People’s Broadcasting Company”, WPBC.

WPBC AM and FM was owned and operated by Bill and Becky Ann Stewart.  WPBC played “the prettier, popular music for easier listening.”  You would never hear Rock and Roll on this station.  In fact, rumor had it that Becky Ann would take the sharp point of a compass and scratch out the grooves of any album cut she considered to be “too loud” for airplay.  This to keep the DJs from playing them, accidently or otherwise.  The Stewarts ran WPBC from 1949-72.  At the end of 1972, the stations were sold to Fairchild Communications.  The AM became Oldies WYOO and the FM evolved into WRAH, “Rah-Dio for the Twin Cities.”  The tape you will hear was recorded just a few months before WPBC was sold and the format abruptly changed.

Here’s the best aircheck I have of WPBC: Evening announcer Vern Arthur does a complete :30 Station ID (with background music) and newscast.  Note the story about someone firing gunshots at the Olympic Village.  This occured just a few days after the Munich Massacre, where several Israeli athletes were murdered during the 1972 Summer Olympics.

You can hear some interference from other stations underneath WPBC.  Being in Apple Valley, I was on the back side of 980’s directional pattern.  This wasn’t a factor during the day, but it did affect my nighttime reception.  Even though I was only 4 miles from the Eagan transmitter, their null to the SSW was very tight.  Presumably, this was to protect KMBZ in Kansas City.  I’m guessing KMBZ is the dominant station being heard underneath WPBC.

This recording was made using a Spartan/Atlantic recorder with built-in AM radio and an Audio Magnetics 60 minute “bag” cassette.

WPBC_AM_Vern_Arthur_Newscast_Sep_1972

2 thoughts on “WPBC-AM 980 Minneapolis MN Vern Arthur 1972

  1. CT

    Was the news sounder used for the “9:30 report” one of Eric Siday’s “Identitones”? It definitely had the Siday sound, with the violin-like Moog synth.

  2. Drew

    It could be. I’m not sure. I was only 8 years old when WPBC signed off for the last time. I do know they did local news at :30 during each hour and that every newscast opened with that sounder. Anyone else know more about this?

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