Thursday, December 22, 2016

WTOP AM Log Reel - December 23-25, 1975

     First of all, a BIG thank you to E-Bay seller "ram484" for digging this up for me when I ordered this from him. You might as well not bother the guy with "Do you have any Christmas tapes?", because I did that already - and this is the result.

     Here's a complete radio log reel from WTOP AM radio (now WFED) in Washington, DC, going from about 2:30 PM on December 23, 1975, to about 11:56 PM on Christmas night.
     The station has a news format, but also carried other CBS programming - including "The CBS Radio Mystery Theater" every night after the CBS news at 11:00 PM. It also carried Washington pro sports teams, including Washington Bullets basketball. During this time, the station signed on and off, with the broadcast day usually going from a little before 5AM until a little after 1AM.
     This is a 7-in. reel with 3600 feet of tape, recorded at 15/16 IPS. It was recorded in the order of: left channel sides 1 & 2, right channel sides 1 & 2. As you can tell, recording in this way made for a lot of material on the tape.
Listed start and end times are approximate.
Left channel, side 1
Dec. 23, 2:30 PM to signoff Download, 215 MB
The Washington Bullets face the Detroit Pistons starting at 7:23 PM. The recording cuts off during the national anthem at signoff.

Dec. 24, 5:03 to 6:56 AM Download, 39 MB
It's Christmas Eve!
The recording starts with the 5 AM CBS newscast in progress and goes until the end of this side of the reel.
Left channel, side 2
Dec. 24, 6:56 AM to 7:20 PM Download, 254 MB
Right channel, side 1
Dec. 24, 7:20 PM to signoff Download, 116 MB
The "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" rendition of "A Christmas Carol" premiered on this night, to be rerun every Christmastime until the show ended.
After the show, it's midnight - and Christmas begins!

Christmas, Signon to 11:33 AM Download, 136 MB
The Christmas broadcast day begins with an ID, followed by 2 minutes of silence, and then - signon!

Right channel, side 2
Christmas, 11:33 AM to 11:56 PM Download, 254 MB
Due to what I guess was a dirty tape head on the station's recorder, the audio starts getting "squeaky" about 2 minutes into this side, which starts clearing up about 50 minutes into the side.
The Washington Bullets play again, this time against the Atlanta Hawks, with the broadcast starting at 7:54. Then there's a Christmas episode of "The CBS Radio Mystery Theater". The tape ends during the preview of the next episode.


  1. What a neat collection! And can imagine the effort it took to get it into playable order. One thing: the file starting at 7:20 PM on 12/24 won't download--it shows up as empty. Would love to hear it, if it's easy to fix.

  2. Hi Sammy, loving all this great stuff you put up!

    Big fan of your WFMU 365 posts, as well!

    Seems like the last three tracks here have gone down:

    December 24, 7:20PM
    Christmas, Signon
    Christmas, 11:33AM