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Oct 1, 2006 12:00 PM, by Kari Taylor, senior associate editor

Do you remember?

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Broadcast Electronics manufactured the Spotmaster 400 playback unit from 1959 until the mid-1980s, with several models in between. The average frequency response was a flat �1dB with a signal-to-noise ratio in the low 50s. Wow and flutter was measured at about 1.5 percent. During its more than 25 years of production, many models were produced with varying improvements, such as record and playback, a delay unit and improvements in noise figures. The biggest improvement came with the releaseless solenoid. This was a mechanical arm with a pressure roller that raised the cart up and down.

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The picture on the right is a Spotmaster in a wooden box. It was one of the first 100 cart machines ever made. the picture on the left is a Spotmaster still in operation at Internet radio station WJJD, a tribute station to the original Chicago station.

That was then

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On March 31, 2006, Greater Media turned 50 years old. On that day in 1956 Yale classmates Peter Bordes and Joseph Rosenmiller began broadcasting as a single radio station in Southbridge, MA. By the 1980s, Greater Media's business included radio, cable TV, printing, publishing and telecommunications operations.

Today, Greater Media is the parent company of 19 AM and FM radio stations in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey; a modern printing facility and a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey; and several telecommunications towers throughout the United States.

The photo shows WCTC's studio in New Brunswick, NJ, which was the second station Bordes and Rosenmiller operated. It was taken within the first five years of Greater Media's existence.

Sample and hold

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Is radio important in consumers' everyday lives?

Source: American Media Services, April 2006,