Monday, July 16, 2012

I Wanna Rock- Debbi Lyon's FCC Radio Permit 1980

Debbi's FCC Radio Permit. ©2012 Debbi Lyon
My life changed for the better when I got a little red, white & blue transistor radio. The kind that took a nine volt battery and had one earphone that wedged uncomfortably into my little ear. If I fell asleep listening to the radio, as I often did, the battery was dead before morning. So my parents had to constantly buy me new batteries.

The dial was tuned to WJET-AM and I anxiously awaited my favorite songs....But wait, I already told you about that here:

When I finished eighth grade, I decided I was going to be a disc jockey. I practiced and practiced with my little tape deck and a record player. Let's hope these tapes never see the light of day.

What did I need to do to get on the radio? I learned that I couldn't just walk in off the street, run the board and pop in the cart. No, I had to get a license (I don't remember if it was Jim Cook, John Minton or A.J. Miceli who told me this). I sent away for my FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit. And I waited, and waited, for what seemed like eternity.

Then one day, my card showed up in the mail. Of course, I thought I was on my way to the big time. I was a typical fourteen year old kid with delusions of grandeur. I was convinced that I could have my own show on WERG-FM, which broadcast from the basement of the Zurn Science Center.  I was about to get my heart broken in a big, big way. Since I was not a student at Gannon University, I could not get a shift on the radio. And without an aircheck tape my career at WJET was doomed.

I never did jumpstart my radio career. Looking back, it's probably a good thing I didn't. Radio ain't what it used to be. Guess you'll have to settle for my closing announcements at the Blasco Library every Wednesday night between eight and 8:30.


  1. Hey! You never shared your big dream with me
    : ( !! What other secrets are you hiding? lol At least you won a ton of stuff being caller #14 a bazillion times!

  2. Debbie,
    I was 14 and I got on WERG and its some of the best memories I have! I stayed there for 6 years.
    I was there during the last of the Zurn years. It took me just answering the phones for Dan Rapela's Metal Show to get me in but it paid off!
    - @NickBorelli

  3. You're never had to take the test and pass the dreaded Element 9. I sweated that one out...let me tell you

  4. I got into radio like alot of people, in college. I was a DJ and later station manager of WKDT 89.3 FM (West Point's Only Alternative). I got my restricted radiotelephone operator permit after going through the training. The trainer manager just gave me a the form and told me to mail it in. No one ever asked to see it or asked for a copy of it for the files. I still had the paper card and had it changed over the new style FCC diploma type license.