Pittsburgh Press, July 15, 1959
First Station In U.S. To Use System
By Fred Remington
A favorite activity of Ralph Beaudin, the tall, youthfull general manager of KQV, is to sit in his white Chrysler, punching buttons on the dashboard radio.
He punches, pauses to listen with a critical ear, then punches and pauses at the next button. Which sound in that oral cafeteria confronting the listener will compel him to stop punching and surrender his attention frets Mr. Beaudin.
It is Mr. Beaudin's conviction that a station gains or loses a listener in that fleeting instant in which he pauses at one position on the radio dial.
For this reason, he want KQV to sound bright, clear, exciting at any given instant. Not everyone may like the particular musical selection being played at the moment, he concedes, but this can't be helped. He wants the sound good, with none of the quality which he describes distastefully as "muddy."
He wants it bright, and has just sunk $10,000 into automatic tape control units to assure a high quality of sound in commercials, station breaks, lead-ins and lead-outs to news shows, weather, station promotions and so on.
KQV is the first station in the country using these devices which are fascinating to watch. The sounds have been recorded on tapes which are packaged in little plastic boxes, not unlike those in which you might purchase a safety razor at the drug store.
Each box, which is called a cartridge, contains a spindle and reel of tape. There are little boxes for tapes of 45 second or one minute duration and big boxes which hold as much as an hour, should that such programming be recorded in advance.
The record players which take these devices have slots in them, quite like mail slots. The whole box is slid into the slot and it plays. That simple.
If you stand outside KQV's fishbowl studios in the Chamber of Commerce Building on Seventh Avenue you can watch the disc jockeys and announcers using them.
... This appeared in the Friday July 17, 1959 column...
To Leonard Kapner, Geer Parkinson, Jim Greenwood et al at WCAE, apologies.
It was stated here on Wednesday that KQV was the first to place in operation a new system of automatically playing tape cartridges for station breaks, lead-ins and lead-outs to news, etc. Actually WCAE has had a unit of this sort for nearly a month.
Where KQV's is a big multiple factory-built system, WCAE's is a single unit built in the studio by it's chief engineer Jim Greenwood. Watching Jay Mitchell operate this on his record show yesterday afternoon, along with his regular record turntables, plus another automatic device for tapes, he looked more like the pilot of a jet bomber than a disc jockey. The console at which he sits presents a baffling array of switches,patches and dials.
A disc jockey these days has to know considerably more than the latest recording of the Skyliners.