It's interesting to see what's posted on the Internet about the station. Also interesting is to see that no one really knows the story behind how WNTK started. As I mentioned on the WCNL page, I was the General Manager of WCNL AM/FM when the RadioActive Group bought the stations in 1988.
Bob Vinikoor was my client (Satellite Video). When I told Bruce Lyons I had a potential buyer for the AM, which had a Construction Permit for 6500 watts on 1020, he agreed to pay me a finder's fee. Bob and I did all the new construction. I spent my 32nd birthday in that swamp on the Sugar River helping install new radials for the neglected ground system. I thought I was going to die!
I advised Bob to buy a new Nautel transmitter and I oversaw the construction of the new studios in New London. I came up with the call letters. I bought our first jingle package. I hired Dorien Jaye and Art Shannon away from the RadioActive Group and I hired Doug Carrick, with whom I had worked in Milwaukee to be my Operations Manager.
I remember one day in August of 1988 when Doug Carrick summoned me to the studio before the station went on the air. He said, "You have to listen to this! He had been monitoring the the closed-circuit satellite feed. It was Rush Limbaugh. I decided then to include him in our on-air lineup. We were among his first 75 stations.
With Dorien Jaye and Doug Carrick, we had two rock stars. Rush Limbaugh was the cherry on top. The lineup looked like this:
6am - 9am: AM MAGAZINE with Dorien Jaye
9am - 10am: Two-Way Telephone Talk with Doug Carrick
10am - Noon: Dr. Joy Browne
Noon - 2pm: Rush Limbaugh
2pm - 4pm: Michael Jackson
4pm - 5pm: Dr. Dean Edell
5pm - 7pm: Dr. David Viscott
We brought on former Dartmouth football coach, Joe Yukica to do a sports talk show on the weekends. He had access to national caliber guests.
Later, I hired Dave Mutney (Dave Morgan) who had worked with us at WCNL.
Once we threw the switch, we ended up disrupting everyone's telephone service within a mile of the transmitter in Newport, including Emergency Services. I spent the first three months putting out fires. While being in New London was supposed to contribute to our cachet, Newport merchants were very unhappy with us. So much for our plan for them to be the backbone of our advertising base. It was tough to say the least.
After a year passed and we started to gain traction, Bob Vinikoor liquided his interest in Satellite Video and decided he wanted to be the station's General Manager and that I would become the Sales Manager. I passed.
I didn't see Bob again for over 20 years. When I finally did, he didn't remember me. That's the real story.