1985 was a crazy year. I graduated college, got married shortly after and began work for a local radio station that was in the process of having its broadcasting license revoked.
This is the second former employer of mine who has died in the past year.
It was a strange place to work, like many of my jobs, with weird and wonderful coworkers. I've never been so scared at work before, as I tried figuring out a newscast out of the local paper and nicking the other station in town. Had no idea what I was doing. None. There was no AP teletype in the station, the owner was too frugal to pay for that. The morning guy was a hoot, a former stand up comedian he made me laugh on the air constantly, God rest his soul.
The former owner of WBUZ, Hammerin' Hank Serafin, died on Saturday, aged 89. I've been playing with this for over a year and a half, finally got motivated to finish it today.
Ten Reasons You Lost Your FCC License
In 1989 radio station WBUZ Fredonia/Dunkirk had it’s license pulled by the FCC. It was only the second license revoked since the Communications Act of 1934. The owner of the station, Hammerin’ Hank Serafin, died on May 2nd.
1) Do not rig a contest in which first prize was a trip to Niagara Falls in which you sent a major advertiser and his wife went to because you were worried people in an immoral relationship would win. Second prize was a hi-tech radio you kept in your office.
2) That time you called the agency for a secretary then asked her supervisor if they had any white girls because the one that showed would make charcoal look white.
3) That day you hacked a public phone booth to air a high school baseball game.
4) Do not keep the public from inspecting your public file during business hours. Do not harass the person who came to view your public file by mocking his hair length.
5) Do not forge the records in your public file. Even if the guy you strung along for years so you could try to sell him the station lied for you.
6) You were also a well known local slumlord. Do not call an advocate for the poor a bitch on the air. Said person was the daughter of a well known county judge. But you could not help yourself, could you?
7) Never charge sponsors for ads they did not agree to run. It also helped your bookkeeper pay her electric bills without you knowing for years.
8) Do not lie about paying your ASCAP fee. Even the polka musicians had to get paid.
9) Because you were such a cheap bastard, you left a visible storefront in town, bought a double wide and parked it next to your transmitter. Enviably located next to a pallet factory at the end of a dead end street. Painted a sign that read the temporary home of WBUZ.
10) In the last days even nature knew you were done. Days before the station went dark a bird flew into the trailer, fluttered around the station, then shat on your desk