Julian Breen, 1968
Julian Breen, 1968
Julian Breen, 2005 Julian Breen, 2005
Media Preservation Foundation Presents The Julian Breen Collection

The Media Preservation Foundation presents these exhibits from the estate of Julian H. Breen. Breen died of cancer in 2005, at the age of 63.

Breen was working at WCTC in New Brunswick, N.J., doing production and news, when his former college roommate, working as an ABC engineer, told him there was an opening for the Production Director at WABC.

Breen joined WABC New York and Program Director Rick Sklar in 1968, first as Production Director, and then as Assistant Program Director, before leaving for San Francisco and KYA in 1971.

Breen was group PD for the Greater Media group. He is remembered as the inventor of Back Seat Music, an oldies format at WPEN, and the soft hits Magic format on WMGK-FM in Philadelphia.

Breen's last contribution to radio was Breen Broadcast, where he provided Arbitron analysis.

The Repository thanks The Media Preservation Foundation and Peter Kanze for sharing!

[Descriptions by Uncle Ricky unless otherwise indicated]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (12 Khz)
Promos and Howard Clark, KYA San Francisco July 1972 (14:24)

. . . Every hour, KYA gives away thousands of fabulous Blue Chip stamps . . .

Following a composite of Rip-Off and Pick Your Own Prize promos, and a Rolling Stones collage, Ex-KFRC jock Howard Clark is heard in morning drive on KYA San Francisco. (Clark's soft-scoped portion begins about 4:40 in.) There's also a short portion of KYA news at the end.

Read "KYA FORMAT BASICS", a memo generated by Julian Breen on December 20, 1971 for KYA staff. (Acrobat PDF format, 149KB)
During Julian Breen's watch as PD at KYA, the station was very well-engineered and very, very tight. Except for a hint of reverb, you might not guess this format, complete with super-short jingles and jocks over music only, was programmed by the former assistant PD of WABC.

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G2/5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM 64 Kbps (12 Khz STEREO)
Christopher Cane & The Last Contest, KYA San Francisco, January 25, 1973 (56:25)

. . . Please hang up and try again . . .

Christopher Cane is assisted by Chris Edwards in selecting the first winner in KYA's Last Contest on January 25, 1973.

The Last Contest was originally developed by Jack McCoy for KCBQ in San Diego a couple of years earlier. By 1973, McCoy was syndicating the contest to stations all over the country. In San Francisco, Program Director Julian Breen (former WABC Assistant PD) purchased the rights to the contest for KYA.

It's possible that the promos for this contest sound better than the actual "moment of winning". The big moment begins about 37 minutes into the exhibit and continues for 15 minutes. We listen to all the rules, then we are subjected to the first 29 callers (some of whom give their home addresses!) being told to "hang up and call again" and when we finally get to the specified Caller #30, incurable feedback threatens to trash the entire event.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (7 Khz)
Russ McDonald, KYA San Francisco, February 20, 1973 (58:41)

. . . still trying to figure out if that song has any political significance . . .

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (21:57)

Low-key morning guy Russ McDonald ("The Breakfast Flake") is featured in this low-fidelity capture from 7-8 AM on Tuesday, February 20, 1973 at Avco Broadcasting's KYA, San Francisco.

PD Julian Breen purchased the San Francisco rights to Jack McCoy's Last Contest, and in this hour, we hear that "The Computer" has provided instructions to conduct a "continuity test" for the secret phone number. Thankfully, the test is completed successfully!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (8 Khz)
John Hardy, KYA San Francisco, February 20, 1973 (58:14)

. . . Our computers now project that we will reach five point eight nine seven million dollars in prizes, and announce the secret phone number, before the sun sets today . . .

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (12:31)

John Hardy is featured from 10-11 AM on a Tuesday morning at Avco Broadcasting's KYA, San Francisco. Hardy has a cool, soulful presentation that is reminiscent of New York's Chuck Leonard, and we were curious as to what happened to Hardy after KYA. Our thanks to Jay Marks for more information (see COMMENTS). Hardy died of lung cancer in 2002, at the age of 77.

PD Julian Breen purchased the San Francisco rights to Jack McCoy's Last Contest, which concluded with a second winner and the announcment of a "secret phone number" later on this day in afternoon drive.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44 Kbps (15 Khz)
Julian Breen, WABC Jingle & Promo Sampler, April 10, 1992 (33:07)

. . . Ingram is by far the best technician, as an announcer, I have ever worked with - by far. There's no one even close . . .

[Description by Tracy Carman, Media Preservation Foundation]

Included in Julian Breen's hundreds of reels and cassettes were a handful of DATs. One was simply labeled WABC Jingle Sampler 04/92. It's a collection of cuts that Julian put together for an unknown person named "Don" where he reviews many of the jingles and production pieces done during his tenure at WABC.

While a lot of the featured audio will be very familiar, ad nauseam, to many collectors, it's Julian's behind the scenes stories that bring these old materials back to life. Thanks, Julian!

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REELRADIO established The Julian Breen Collection on January 21, 2007.
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