June 2015
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The old school marketing campaign

I found these old drawings in the filing cabinet and thought they were kind of cool. They look like they were drawn sometime in the 50’s for the WPTR studio at 1860 Central Avenue in the Town of Colonie.


It looks like there was a lot of Neon, including a speller, which I take to mean the sign would spell “W-P-T-R 1540” then turn off again.

This was the sign for the entrance to the studio building

WPTR sign for front of old studio building at 1860 Central Avenue

WPTR sign for front of old studio building at 1860 Central Avenue

I think this is a take off on the old KHJ sign in Los Angeles.

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4 comments to The old school marketing campaign

  • Rene Tetro

    Too bad Jim Cruise is no longer alive. He could probably provide a lot of background on those signs.

  • Scotty McAndrews - John McGrath

    Jim Cruise was great – I remember him fixing TV’s for folks and he had a place on Racquette Lake. Some other engineers were Burt Reynolds, Tom “Tommy Weatherscope” Shearer, Bob Raffaele (W2XM), Stan Israel, Dave Testa (Dave once got new license plates that began with WGY and management went crazy, Mike Strauss (now a patent attorney in DC)and of course Paul Thurst came later. When I started there overnights you had to have a First Phone to do overnites as that was the only time they didn’t have an engineer on duty. The cash flow they had before FM, MTV etc divided the revenue was incredible. John (W2PTR)

  • Rene Tetro

    I can’t even begin to express the importance Jim Cruise played in my career. It was Jim, perhaps more than any other, that taught me directional antennas. I had worked for a couple of directionals prior to working at WPTR, but in those early days they still seemed to be 25% engineering and 75% black magic. Jim was a very good engineer, and an exceptional mentor to someone like me who was just beginning to feel his way around DAs and high power. What I learned under Jim has served me well. I was at WPTR from 1977 – 1980. Since then I’ve done lots of high power directionals (WNEW, WBBR, WIBG/WZZD/WNTP, etc) as well as a lot of mid-power DAs (WPAT, WFIL, etc). And I still love that aspect of engineering more than any other.

    I remember some of the names you mentioned – particularly Bob Raffaele, Dave Testa, and of course, Paul. I’m sure that our paths have circled around many of the same people (like JW Wagoner, Boom Boom Branigan, and other WPTR and Albany radio people). 73, Rene (W2FIL)

  • Jim Seaman

    Those were the sketches for the signage at the old Central Avenue building after they moved out of the city, and before the infamous fire. I’m not sure the second sign ever got built, but the billboard was up there at one time. I remember seeing photos of the old building in my office. Love reading and recalling the old names like Bob Raffaele, W2XM. I haven’t spoken with Bob in about 10-years, but I know he was seriously ill. Jim Cruise was two chiefs before me at WPTR, about a year before I came onboard. I never met Jim, but heard a lot about him. He had been with WPTR since a few years after sign-on in the 40’s and lasted until Rust sold the station around ’83. He was treated cruelly when the station was sold. The story I heard was that he resigned in a fit of pique when Bill Rust allegedly screwed him out of his pension. He was already well into his 50’s, and was told he was a young man and could bounce back. Dave G. tried to get him to stay, but he wouldn’t hear of it. Mike Erickson replaced him, and about a year later I replaced Mike. I still remember the meter panels in the Gold Studio to which someone applied the label, “Cruise Control”. The three numbered buttons on the antenna monitor panel were labeled, “Cruise Missles”. I would have liked to have had Jim Cruise around, even part time.

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