Vertical Technology Services Logo
Who: Dave Sproul
From: WMAL, Retired
What: WMAL’s Greentree Road Bethesda Transmitter Site
When: November 24, 2020 6:30 PM
Sponsor: Vertical Technology Services, LLC

Our November 24th meeting was a very timely presentation from our own Dave Sproul.  His topic was:

The Beginning, In Between, and End Phases of WMAL's Greentree Road, Bethesda Transmitter Site, Bookended by Details of My Personal Career

As many heard from local news reports, WMAL's four, 400-foot tall towers were demolished Wednesday, November 4, 2020 after more than seven continuous decades of service.  Dave's presentation chronicled WMAL's legendary operation largely from his perspective.  As shown in his bio (below), he was there!  Last but not least, Dave generously shared a glimpse into his present life along with his post-retirement pasttimes and passions.

We were delighted to see many in attendance who lived similar histories at other legendary Washington, DC stations and media facilities.  Also present were beloved regular members and visitors, both local and distant.  We were happy to see everyone.  

Dave's Bio 

  1. Grew up in Staunton, VA, taking naps on Woodrow Wilson's bed while my grandmother managed and gave tours of the town's Woodrow Wilson Birthplace.
  2. Father was an obstetrician who, I only discovered much later, delivered the Q107 production man I worked with for several years.
  3. 1965 - Worked my first radio job at WTON in Staunton at age 16, doing the Saturday evening Top-40 record show
  4. 1966 - First soloed an airplane in Waynesboro, VA
  5. 1968 - Graduated from Staunton Military Academy
  6. 1973 - Graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA
  7. Summer 1973 - Lucked into a vacation-relief NABET engineering job at WMAL.
  8. 1973 - 1974 - Took graduate level biology courses at George Washington University, hoping for entrance to medical school. (Nope.)
  9. 1974 - 1975 - More vacation-relief at WMAL(AM) and WMAL-FM
  10. 1976 - Fulltime NABET engineering job at WMAL(AM) and WMAL-FM.
  11. 1982 - Married Robin Vierbuchen. Soon enough: two daughters.
  12. 1999 - Transitioned to management as Chief Engineer of WRQX(FM) (Formerly WMAL-FM) and WJZW(FM)
  13. 2003 - Added Chief Engineer title for WMAL(AM)
  14. 2011 - First soloed a Schweizer 300 helicopter at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport
  15. 2014 - Retired from Cumulus Media, Inc. Washington
  16. 2015 - Extensive flying hours in a classic Bell 47 helicopter at the Lancaster, PA Airport
  17. Fall 2017 - Present - Extensive flying in a Robinson R-44 helicopter at the Frederick Airport and a fixed-wing flying club at the Gaithersburg Airport. Enjoying many other hobbies (piano, organ, art) and providing frequent support for three nearby grandchildren.

Thanks to sponsors Paul Fitts and Owen Garland of Vertical Technology Services for their financial support of Chapter 37's recent Zoom sessions and other technical support costs during the last few months. 

Meeting Video:

Meeting Attendees

Mr. Bud Aiello
Mr. John Andrews III
Mr. Robert Ballou
Mr. Jonathan Bennett
Mr. Michael Berry
Mr. James Butler
Mr. John Byrne
Mr. Richard Cassidy
Mr. John Fleetwood
Mr. Steve Floyd
Mr. Mike Friedman
Mr. Scott Fybush
Mr. David Garner
Mr. John Garziglia
Mr. DJ Gray
Mr. Willy Halla
Mr. J. Eric Hoehn
Mr. David Kolesar
Mr. Kent Kramer
Mr. Bill Magliocco
Mr. Marshall Malmberg
Mr. Rick Marquez
Mr. Greg Miller
Mr. Stuart Moore
Mr. Horace Murray
Mr. James O'Neal
Mr. Tim Popham
Mr. Hal Roach
Mr. Daniel Ryson
Mr. Tim Sawyer
Mr. Kenneth Sleeman
Mr. James Snyder
Mr. Jonathan Solomon
Mr. David Sproul
Ms. Leslie Stimson
Mr. Carl Swanson
Dr. Ted Tait
Mr. Jim Wallace
Mr. David Weaver
Mr. Fred Willard
Mr. Kelly Williams
Mr. Garrett Wollman