Del Reynolds is owner of Northern Star Broadcasting and a broadcast engineer. He has been affiliated with the same group of Northern Star Radio stations since 1989.
He is also engineer for TV 4 (WTOM-TV) in Cheboygan, TV 8 in (WGTQ-TV) in Goetzville, the 4 stations of the Northern Christian Radio Station Group and their two translators, Interlochen Public Radio stations in Mackinaw City and Harbor Springs, plus WBLW-FM in Gaylord and helps with projects for Strong Tower Radio.
Q: Please share with us a brief engineering resume.
Del: Most of my electronics have been self taught, as well as knowledge gleaned from other qualified broadcast engineers that I have had the privilege to know and work with over the years and the NAB Engineering handbook. I obtained my General Radio Telephone Operators License (GROL) and also have my Amateur Extra Ham Radio license as well.
I was also honored with the Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award from the MAB in 2007.
Q: How did you get started in broadcast engineering?
Del: When I was 13 years old I built a radio station in my attic at home in Cheboygan and capacitor coupled my Lafayette AM phono oscillator to the phone lines and transmitted to the neighbors on 740 kHz. I called it “WRFN Wireless Radio of the Frozen North.”
Then when I was 15, I tested for my 3rd Class Restricted Radio Operators License, when disc jockeys needed to be licensed, and began as a Disc Jockey for WCBY-AM 1240 in Cheboygan. I was fascinated with all aspects of radio and tagged along with Walt Reingahns, the station engineer and also credit my early days to engineer Marvin Veurink for mentoring me as well. I began doing the studio maintenance at WCBY AM/FM and slowly worked into understanding AM and FM broadcast transmitters and moved into that arena where I continued to learn.
I also enjoyed programming and became the program director at 21 and eventually the GM of WCBY AM/FM at 23.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know…
Del: I am a Licensed Airport Manager and Chairman of the Cheboygan Airport Authority. I am a private pilot and own a Mooney M20F. I’ve also been a church organist and keyboard player. I told my parents that I was going to own WCBY someday and as it turns out, I did, twice. The first time at 32 and then I sold it and 8 other stations I owned in 1998 and then bought it and the rest of the group back in 2013.
The first station I owned was at 27 years old and it was WLXX in Sault Ste. Marie and I changed the call sign to WYSS and called it YES-FM. WLXX was a pretty eclectic mix of programming so I launched the first Top 40 station on FM in the Sault. We went from worst to first in 9 months in Sault Cananda. The AM top 40 stations CFYN and CKCY eventually turned in their licenses to the CRDC and abandoned competing for the Top 40 CHR audience.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Del: “It’s all in the presentation.” If you communicate respectfully, honestly and with regard to how people may receive your advice or request, you will have better results in every area of your life.