Running my first station

My first business card as owner of a radio station. "Director" was a more common term than "General Manager" and indicated, of course, ownership as well. 

When Radio Musical went on the air, there were nearly 40 other AM stations in this market of 700,000.
This was the cover of the original sales presentation for Radio Musical... Quito stations did not have such things in 1964 and all rate cards were verbal! (and rates, were, shall we say, fluid.) HCRM1 had the highest rates in the market... and a commercial limit of 10 minutes an hour at a time when 30 minutes was common. Click HERE to see a list of all the competitors in 1964!
To serve this market, Radio Musical went on the air the 5th of December of 1964. It had no commercials to air on its first day... just music.
Radio Musical was a daring venture in retrospect. Against over 30 competitors, all with block programming, appeared the first Top 40 station in South America. Advertisers thought it was a ridiculous proposition, as they were used to sponsorable block programs, not a 24-hour music format. No one advertised. Our first client didn't pay his bill... (I learned that it is not a sale unless it pays.) A competitor referred to us as the "pocket station" as only kids with pocket transistor radios listened.
Anyone with more experience in Ecuadorian radio would not have done this crazy project.
By the sixth month, HCRM was only billing about $50 a month. 
  We were a month away from bankruptcy.
In June, a box arrived from Guayaquil, the major ad center for Ecuador. It was from McCann-Erickson, and had orders and acetate commercial disks for every radio account they had, and for 15 to 20 spots a day each! McCann had done a survey. The little new station was #1. Within weeks, we were sold out.The station was under such demand that by the end of 1965, clients could only by Run-of-Schedule spots and a quarter of the schedule ran between midnight and 6 AM. In the Datos surveys, it was frequent to see the evening hours with shares in excess of 75% of listening; the hours after 10PM came close to 100%.
A "57 of the Week" from the late 60's. 

Click on the chart to see a more readable PDF version.

As befitting a Top-40 station, Radio Musical had its "57 of the Week" and the list of the city's most popular songs was published every Sunday by the Diario El Tiempo in Quito, and the entire hit parade was counted down at 5 PM! (The #1 song was by Argentine duo Fedra & Maximiliano, and the #8 ranker was "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley.

Radio Musical played the hits no matter the language... there were many French and Italian songs on the list as well, and we made an annual trip to the San Remo Festival in Italy to bring back the competing songs which always found great acceptance (and was sponsored by Ing. Luigi Perotti, the importer of Borletti sewing machines).
Radio Musical played lots of hits from the US; of course, they were not available in Quito anywhere. So my mother, in Cleveland,  each and every week of the year, went to a record distributor in Cleveland and sent the new songs that had just debuted on the WIXY chart! A few days later, the same songs were heard on Channel 57 in Quito, to the obvious delight of our listeners
"Official letter of Verification" sent to a listener in Texas who received Canal Tropical in its first year of broadcasting.

Note that by late 1966 there were 6 sets of call letters for the group. Click on the letter for a more readable PDF version of the letter.
From the International Radio Club of America's DX Monitor from December of 1964 comes my DX report as well as the report of noted Denver area DXer Larry Godwin who visited my station while touring South America by Jeep! 
Click the scan above for a better quality PDF of the page.
In the pre-fax, pre-Internet world, several groups of independent radio stations were formed to exchange ideas through private newletters. One group was the International Broadcasters Idea Bank, a group of 100 stations in the US, Canada and australia. I joined as the only Latin American member in 1965. One of the newsletters I sent is at the left. Click on it to read the whole report which describes sales, promotion and other activities of my stations.
In an article in the Quito daily paper "Hoy" Francisco Febres Cordero writes about La Mariscal, the traditional upscale neighborhood of Quito where Radio Musical and its sister stations were located. In the article, he shows how much Radio Musical was a part of the culture and history of Quito in the late 60's.  
"Muchos años después -desplazados que fueron los caballos a sectores ignotos- los autos continuaron simbolizando en La Mariscal el paso de la niñez a la adolescencia: los "hijitos de papá" paseaban por la avenida Amazonas en un incesante tránsito circular de todas las tardes a la salida del colegio y todo el fin de semana, sin otra misión que la de ser vistos por la parroquia y la de admirar a las quinceañeras que, a su vez, cruzaban en sentido contrario una vez tras otra vez tras otra vez, al ritmo de las melodías de Enrique Guzmán o Alberto Vásquez, que Gabriel Espinosa de los Monteros o Pepe Rosenfeld hacían sonar en la consola de Radio Musical. A través de una de las ventanas de esa casa, identificada con el número 1027, se dejaban ver los primeros disck jockey de la radiodifusión, para recibir, con sonrisa conquistadora, el saludo de sus fans.  "Many years later, the horses having been removed to more remote areas, cars continued to symbolize in La Mariscal the passage from childhood to adolescence. The rich kids drove  back and forth along Amazonas Avenue every afternoon after school and every weekend with no other goal than that of being seen and admiring the young ladies, who followed the same circular route in the opposite direction to the beat of the songs of Enrique Guzmán or Alberto Vázquez that Gabriel Espinosa de los Monteros and Pepe Rosenfeld played at the console of Radio Musical. From the one of the windows of that building, identified with the number 1027, you could see the first disk jockeys of (Quito) radio, who were ready to acknowledge with a winning smile the waves of their fans."
A local magazine features the Radio Musical chart and night jock Gabriel Espinosa de los Monteros.
The text reads:

"History, for Ecuador, begins at Radio Musical in Quito, which, in addition to being the first link in the Núcleo Radión (group) opens the era of "disk jockey stations." Non-stop programming, always agile, obviously informal, but always dynamic and happy.

Success is total in the Capital of the Republic, making it necessary for Canal Tropical to soon appear, satisfying dance music fans with the same style of radio. Both stations reach, and still hold, the highest positions in the ratings."
No greater compliment have I ever been paid. I was just 20 at the time.