Written by WOBM Chief Engineer Tom Trembly

Many years ago, the FCC required all broadcast stations to conduct a very detailed “Community Needs And Interests Survey” as a key part of their license renewal process.  This consisted of interviews with community leaders as well as the general public.

WOBM’s 1972 license renewal included the results of 65 interviews “with leaders in the fields of education, religion, agriculture, business, labor, the professions, and government” and “community leaders representing youth, the elderly, and community organizations”. 

A telephone survey of 153 random members of the general public was also completed.  The documents even include a detailed description “whereby names would be chosen at random from the most recent Ocean County telephone directory”, and “specifically on every other page, the first name in the second column was selected” to receive a survey call.

So what did this survey reveal as Ocean County’s problems in 1972?  Many are issues that you’ll still recognize today in 2018:

  • Recreational Facilities
  • High Taxes
  • Schools
  • Sewage
  • Transportation System
  • Drug Problem
  • Problems Incident to Fast Growth
  • Senior Citizen Problems
  • Pollution

“Other problems mentioned during the community leader and public surveys were crime, traffic survey, housing, lack of cultural facilities, need for better municipal governments, need for improved health services, inflation, problems of youth, traffic lights, stray dogs, and unemployment.”

WOBM was particularly credited for its news coverage, and helping keep the community calm during riots.

Most interestingly, in WOBM’s 1972 survey, “48 of the 153 persons interviewed during the general public survey indicated that there were no serious community problems”.

How much have things really changed in Ocean County since WOBM’s early days?

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