Tuesday, December 8, 2009


From the USS Canopus newspaper comes the story of AFRTS Rota

A look inside that strange looking building Upon entering the building, you see the thousands of electrical transcriptions available for programming use.
Off to the right is the main control room, with the auxiliary control room being off to the left and straight ahead. Past the auxiliary control room is the administration room, where the paperwork that is needed to keep the
complex running 24 hours per day is done. No, you are not in the secret control center of a mad
scientist who is planning to take over the world. You are in that familiar and interesting place known as AFRS. American Forces Radio Service, Rota, is a detachment of the Navy Broadcasting Service, number 13 to be exact. The station operates 24 hours per day, seven day per
week, to keep the community informed on pertinent issues, as well as to provide entertainment to suit nearly every individual taste.

STEREO 96Out of a total 168 hours per week, nearly 90 hours are filled with what is known as "canned" programming. These shows are recorded either on tape or record and shipped to the station on a weekly basis. Such favorites as Charlie Tuna, Gene Price, Roland Bynum, Tom Campbell and Johnny Darin, as well as some information and drama programs are included in these shipments. The majority of the DJ's on these programs are from the Los Angeles area and are contracted because of their proximity to AFRTS Los Angeles and their high ratings in their respective field of music. They are all civilian, and those among us who are from California have probably
heard some of them before. LT Deborah Burnette, NAVSTA Public Affairs Officer, says the station receives many calls requesting, for example, that Gene Price play a certain song or if they can talk to Charlie Tuna over the phone. The programs are recorded and sent to the station, so Charlie Tuna, Gene Price and Wolfman Jack are not at the station. Sorry about that!
The station receives news every hour from Torrejon Air Base. Torrejon receives the news from the major news wires, as well as AFRTS Washington. AFRTS Washington provides the station with live and taped sports and news conferences.

The remainder of the on the air time is filled with local programming. The electrical transcriptions mentioned earlier are simply records. There are approximately 15, 000 to 18, 000 records at the station, dating from the late 40's up to the hottest music off the charts today.
New records are shipped to the station on a regular basis to keep up on the latest music. These records are supplied by AFRTS Los Angeles. The station records the top 20 songs from the Hot 100, Country and Western, Soul and Easy Listening charts on carts, a tape that resembles an
8 track. These are on hand for the station personnel for easier programming. Certain types of music are programmed for certain times of the day, but for the most part, the station personnel program their own shows. Certain people have request line shows, but that involves a bit more work.

To provide information to the area, the station gets news from various organizations and commands here in the area. This information is written in the form of spot announcements, or spots, to be read over the air. Each person must read 12 spots per hour.

Here's Marty Prater from AFRS Rota 1976