January 2013
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

Categories

WVOS, Liberty New York

In keeping with the theme “Take pictures now, because someday these stations may disappear,” I was out at WVOS-AM in Liberty, New York today removing some old studio equipment.  The former studio building is going to be leased out as office space.  The call letters mean the “Voice Of Sullivan” county, where the station is located.  Urban legend has it, the station’s claim to fame is that while Max Yasgur and Michael Lang were negotiating the use of Yasgur’s nearby farm for a music festival at the local diner, the diner staff overheard and called the radio station.  Thus, WVOS-AM was the first to break the story of Woodstock.

WVOS-AM transmitter building and former studios

WVOS-AM transmitter building and former studios

The station originally signed on the air in 1947 from this location with a power of 250 watts.  At some point, the power was upgraded to 1000 watts along with all the other class C AM stations in the lower 48 states.  The original building has been added onto and recently resided.  An FM signal was added in 1967.  These studios remained in use up to December of 2005, when the stations were moved into the co-owned WSUL studio facility in Monticello, NY.

WVOS-AM tower, along NY Route 17, Liberty NY

WVOS-AM tower, along NY Route 17, Liberty NY

This is the original tower, which is 194 feet  (59.16 meters) tall.  As such, it is no longer required to be lighted or painted.  This is the tower that is on the right hand side of NY Route 17, just as one is entering the village of Liberty.

Lobby, former WVOS studio building

Lobby, former WVOS studio building

The former studio building itself is in remarkably good condition.  Often times, when a studio gets moved, the old equipment is abandoned, the heat is turned off and the place is shuttered.  After years of neglect, these buildings are usually in very rough shape.  Not so with this building.

Nautel Amphet 1, WVOS-AM, Liberty, NY

Nautel Amphet 1, WVOS-AM, Liberty, NY

The transmitter is a Nautel AMPFET 1, short version.  Its serial number 132, which, I don’t know the year of manufacture but I’d bet it was before 1990. At some point, an add on matching unit was installed to better match the transmitter to the tower.  In my mind, transmitter to antenna matching is best done at the tower with an ATU.  I don’t know why the matching unit was deemed necessary.

Gates BC1T transmitter, WVOS Liberty, NY

Gates BC1T transmitter, WVOS-AM Liberty, NY

The backup transmitter is a Gates BC1T, made in 1968.  The nice thing about these old tube transmitters is you can match them to almost anything.  On more than one occasion, I have used a Gates BC1 series transmitter with a horizontal wire, while a tower was being replaced.

WVOS 1240 KHz

WVOS 1240 KHz

It looks like the roof might have leaked onto this transmitter at one time.

When I was there, the station was playing some sort of Hot AC format.  There is no mention of the AM station on any company owned website.  It appears to be changing formats often as several sources have it listed as either Spanish talk, ESPN sports or country music.  Seems to be a throw away, at this point.

Be Sociable, Share!

7 comments to WVOS, Liberty New York

  • I had a Nautel AMPFET 1 at our AM, s/n 145. It was still on the air when we sold the station. Awesome little box.

  • Nick Straka

    Good grief! I was just up there today, servicing the WJUX transmitter. Back when I was at Jukebox Radio, I remember the “main studio” we had in the basement with a little BE board, a couple of ancient ITC decks and a reel to reel. We actually used it a few times when the switched 56 was out for a couple of days.

    For a long time, this was about 13 years ago, that thing ran at 1/2 power with the module on the right all blown out. The tuning network was added after it kept popping modules. I’d always check on it when I was headed to the WJUX/WVOS tower site.

  • Alan Peterson

    My first boss, Bob Gessner (WSGO, Oswego NY, 1979) says he started a station in that region of New York state, and I always thought it was this one. His partner at the time was Sy Dressner, who took a chance and gave Howard Stern his first *really* visible gig, prior to Detroit, DC and NY.

    Bob’s office had pix of him clowning around with Jerry Lewis and Red Buttons — both working the Borscht Belt at the time.

    Memories…

  • Gerald Hatzmann

    I was a teletype tech for U.P.I. Took car of teletype nat WVOS and many other stations

  • Wesley Horton

    Any studio equipment left in place? So Paul, what would the the transmitters fetch on the used market?

    Regards,
    Wesley
    KOWHH

  • Larry Weiss

    Wow – that brings back memories. I was on the air there in the early 1970’s. I remember powering up that Gates transmitter in the mornings – it sat right outside the air studio. I don’t know why this particular memory stands out, but when I was there they still had Conelrad equipment in the studio (even though Conelrad had long been replaced by EBS) including Geiger counters and radiation suits (we were supposed to stay on the air if they dropped the “bomb”). And thanks for reminindg me about the UPI teletype over by the bathroom and rip-n-read newscasts on the hour. The boxes from the UPI paper were the exact right size for holding 45RPM records. And Sy Lubin and Harry Borwick – what a pair. And yes, the station did helicopter into the Woodstock festival and provided important coverage as the only radio signal in the area. Oh, I could go on and on …

  • Rick

    Tuesday Mar 24, 1987 The Island Packet page 2A
    Monticello, NY-A private funeral service is planned for Harry G. Borwick, 77, of 35 Atwell Lane, a journalist and former owner of WVOS radio station in Liberty, NY. Mr. Borwick died Sunday on Hilton Head Island after a long battle with cancer. He was a winter resident of the island who was vacationing on Hilton Head Island. Island Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
    Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Beverly Borwick; two sons, John Borwick of Monticello and James Borwick of Monticello and Hilton Head, a reporter for the Island Packet; two brothers, Richard and Peter Borwick, both of Washington; four sisters, Mrs. Ruth Wilens of Washington, Miss Mollie Borwick of West Virginia, Mrs. Ann Miller of Brockton, Massachusetts, and Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards of Boston.
    Mr. Borwick was a graduate of University of Chicago. During President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, Mr. Borwick was Washington bureau chief for the New York Journal of Commerce. He had been a member of the White House press corps and the National Press Club.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

Free counters!