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The Herald from Jasper, Indiana • 38

The Heraldi
Jasper, Indiana
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

Page 36 The Herald, Friday, December 9, 1 983 Texas radio station might jump to 500,000 watts doing that now. with about 250,000 watts. By MACK SISK DEL RIO, Texas (UP I) The "borderblaster" radio station that once beamed preachers and Wolf man Jack's rhythm and blues show across a quarter of the earth is back on the air with plans to double its transmitting signal. XERF is the most powerful commercial radio station in North America and the third most powerful in the world. With its mammoth transmitter across the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, XERF can increase its signal up to five times the limit allowed by the U.S.

Federal Communications Commission. Station officials say the two most powerful commercial stations in the world are one in the Netherlands Antilles with 500,000 watts and one in Luxembourg He put the station back on the air live Nov. 4, telephoning his new sales manager, Dava Cloudt, from across the border asking her to go outside and listen on her car radio as blind disc jockey Nancy Lynn spun an old Everly Brothers tune. Venditti now is hoping the station will make a hit with a new format designed to re-attract some of the same people who listened to Wolf man Jack howling out record introductions and selling mail-order baby chicks 1962-64. "We want to exactly re-create the '50s and '60s music, complete with fast-talking deejays," Venditti said.

"The way to attract an audience is to do something noone else is doing. Almost every adult loves the music he listened to as a kid. Nobody else is really 500,000 watts. He changed its format from all taped preachers last May. He went to adult-contemporary music during the daytime when the station was 50,000 watts and used the religious shows at night after switching on the monster Mexican transmitter.

"We're non-directional, 250,000 watts," he told an interested evangelist. "We cover the whole United States and 25 percent of the world. And we're for real about putting out the gospel. Venditti said he came primarily to continue the nighttime interdenominational religious programming, featuring such evangelists as Kenneth Copeland, but found that nostalgic music of the 1940s, '50s and '60s during the daytime also helped keep the station financially afloat. With "Love 16" as the station's new motto, he said he wants to try an early morning nos taglia show similar to the one Wolf man Jack used to do, perhaps even trying to attract the gravelly voiced disc jockey himself for one of the shows.

Wolfman Jack, 45, a native of Brooklyn, whose real name is Bob Smith, spent almost three years in Del Rio before moving on to a successful radio and television career. He now heads Wolfman Jack Enterprises in Los Angeles and has been talking about filming a part of bis life story- Venditti contracted with Del Rio attorney Arturo Gonzalez for broadcast rights to the station, complete with FCC approval to move the studio from Ciudad Acuna to Del Rio. XERF once reached homesick U.S. military servicemen as far away as the Mediterranean and the book "KGB Story" says Soviet agents learned English listening to it. But, by last year, the station had dwindled to 50,000 watts and featured 15-minute taped religious segments.

Then Mike Venctitti, a radio fanatic from Philadelphia, came last December and began making changes. "There is an excitement about being here because XERF is an historical station," Venditti said. "We want to make history again. It's a broadcaster's dream to have his hands on a station like this." Venditti, 32, who came from a station in Hunts ville, Texas, says he wants to double the transmitter's nighttime output to Jasper Cinemas 123 Junction 1 62 1 64 (adjocent to Village Saloon) Ph. 482-9388 STARTS TONIGHT FRIDAY thru THURSDAY SAT.


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The third time. FRI. thru THURS. 9:00 PM FRI. thru THURS.



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