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WRC Radio and TV Studios

These photos and text in blue are from a booklet printed shortly after WRC moved into their new radio-TV facilities at 4001 Nebraska Avenue Northwest. Construction began in 1956 and the building was occupied in 1958. (Click any picture for a larger image. To view the entire booklet, click here.)

drawing of 4001 Nebraska Avenue To your right is an artist's rendering of the new building. Its 91,370 square feet of floor space provide room for three television studios, three radio studios, a technical center, two announce booths... six million feet of wire are laid throughout this carefully designed structure, and the power facilities required to operate it are sufficient to light some 1500 homes.

WRC radio control panel Three radio studios that can be controlled from the control board of any single one of them, at any time, form the heart of WRC's new radio broadcasting center. Their unique engineering design makes it possible for WRC to send one program out on AM, another program out on FM and still a different program over the NBC network -- all simultaneously.

view of studio Each studio is visible from the other, and double-glass windows between the control rooms and studios serve to deflect sound downward so as to protect against echo.
In both of these pictures we're looking from the control room into Studio One, the largest of the three radio studios, and the one from which the Joy Boys show was broadcast.

recording control room Complete recording facilities -- both tape and disc -- make possible reproduction of programs for delayed broadcasts. As far as your webmaster can recall, the studios and equipment looked much the same throughout the Joy Boys' run on WRC, ending in 1972.

I was also fascinated by the monitor speakers in these studios. They were operated by a relay system which allowed the speakers to play music in the room, while the microphones were live, without causing feedback. This was a 1950's system using tube amplifiers and relays for switching. Even now, most radio stations don't have that feature... it's normal to completely "mute" the studio speakers whenever the microphones are on.

Here's the cover of the WRC booklet. Inside the cover, another sketch of the building and tower, with the words The new look of WRC-TV and WRC in Wasington -- heralding a new "Age of Color" in Television... a finer future in Radio... This copy of the booklet was autographed by Ed Walker and Willard Scott.

cover of radio-TV booklet    inside cover, autographed

These images are only part of the 12-page booklet. To view the entire booklet, click here.

For more technical details on WRC, visit The Great 98 web site, especially their Tech Talk section.

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