What I’d like to consider a local radio milestone will be celebrated on Friday December 15th when Fun 107.1 WDOH turns 45 years old.
The station first went on the air at 107.1 FM at 7:15 P.M. on that Friday evening opening up with Donna Fargo’s “Funny Face” as the very first song played.
In it’s own way, WDOH was quite a trend setter.
It was the first FM station in the area to play anything but orchestra or background music for listeners.
It was the first FM station in the area to work to develop a strong news presence.
It was among the first to broadcast high school sports including girls basketball, the Cleveland Indians Cleveland Browns, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish games on FM.
The small staff worked on the second floor of what is now the Delphos Canal Commission Museum with 1 studio, which contained 1 turntable, 1 cart machine, and a studio board that I think had 8 knobs on it.
Music came from reel-to-reel tape machines that I think came from the early space program with a homemade automation system designed and built by our first chief engineer Ray Tanner.
The only air conditioning in the building cooled the small on-air studio.
I recall that, for a time, duct tape was used to cover the fire escape door because it would get so cold in the winter time that equipment was prone to freezing up.
A thunderstorm lightning strike in 1976 or 1977 (there’s debate about the date from those of us who were there) prompted a hurried move in to what have been our studios on East Second Street since that time.
Through a succession of ownership changes, formats that have included oldies, light rock, country, and our current classic hits programming, the commitment to serving our local listeners in every possible way has remained unwavering.
My first on-air broadcast, a report on a city council meeting from March 25, 1973 when I was still a junior in high school, is so bad that it’s hidden on a zip drive that no one will hear until after I’m gone….that is if anyone should choose to listen to it.
I count among my many life’s blessings that I was able to do what I love, to learn on the job, and be a part of the lives of listeners since Richard Nixon was President.
And I’ll always be thankful for the listeners and business sponsors who’ve allowed that to happen.
That’s the way I see it.