In this week’s issue… KDKA starts centennial celebration – New lineups in NYC sports – Country spreads in Hudson Valley – AM’er seeks new home – HD move for Bell – “Abandoned studios” razed

By SCOTT FYBUSH

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Welcome to 2020!

This is, remarkably, our 27th year here, week in and week out bringing you the stories of broadcasting and broadcasters all over the northeastern U.S. and Canada. We have no corporate masters or overlords – it’s just me at the editor’s desk, Lisa handling your subscriptions and calendar purchases (you do have your 2020 Tower Site Calendar by now, right?), and Lance Venta as our content partner and web host at RadioInsight.com – and no ulterior motives other than keeping you informed and updated, hopefully with some nice bits of history and a little humor along the way. 

(Unless, that is, you’re looking for consulting help on improving your signal, taking part in the upcoming FCC FM auction, or perhaps buying or selling a radio station, in which case we’re here to help by way of Fybush Media and StationSale.com, of course.)

In addition to the subscription-based NorthEast Radio Watch columns every Monday in this space, we’re also here every Friday with our Site of the Week feature, a free column documenting our travels through the landscape of broadcast facilities around the country, as well as the Top of the Tower podcast, our mid-week feature that’s always looking for more interesting broadcasters to talk with. There’s a free e-mail list that will notify you every time there’s new content here on the site, and you should sign up for it on the right side of this page if you haven’t done so yet.

If you missed it over the holidays, our NERW Year in Review is one of our longest-running features, and this year’s edition remains available for your reading pleasure; it appears every year in multiple segments, starting with the Year in Sales and moving forward through the Year in Formats (part 1 and part 2), the Year’s Top Ten Stories (part 1 and part 2) and wrapping up with Those We Lost

And so, before we move on with all the news of the new year, a friendly reminder: we’re able to keep doing all of this entirely on the basis of your support. Beyond the free lead story you can read in this space each Monday morning, there’s so much more in each NERW column that’s available only with a NERW membership. Our rates start at just $15 a year for seniors/students, and we’ve held them steady at $35 a year for a standard membership and $75 for the professional level, which includes a free Tower Site Calendar.

If you’re a member, please tell a friend or colleague about us – and if you’ve been reading the free content and haven’t joined yet, your support is essential to our ability to keep doing what we’re doing for another year. 

*The start of the new year and new decade means the centennial year has begun for Pittsburgh’s KDKA (1020), complete with a new logo for the anniversary that’s coming up in November. And while we’ll continue to quibble with anyone who tries to make the ahistorical claim that KDKA was “the first radio station,” we’re certainly enjoying some of the ways in which the Entercom-owned talker is celebrating its history.

On Tuesday morning, for instance, Jack Bogut will return to KDKA as morning co-host for a day at the invitation of current host Larry Richert. Bogut was KDKA’s morning man from 1968 until 1983, later working at WTAE, WSHH and WJAS before his retirement in 2014. More recently, Bogut has been contributing short features to KDKA.

“Larry and I go way back to when he was running the radio station at Clarion State College (University now),” Bogut posted on Facebook, “and we did a Children’s Hospital Broadcast from a Savings and Loan Association window in downtown Clarion, PA. Should be fun,” he said of his return to the morning shift.

We are officially into the new year and out of the holiday season. If you didn’t get a calendar as a gift, now is the time to buy one for yourself.

You can also purchase a bag to keep it after the year is over, since the pictures are so pretty. You can even purchase a pen to put notes on your calendar.

Visit our store to buy the calendars and check out our other products.

The Radio Historian’s 2020 Calendar is SOLD OUT. If you didn’t order but wanted or meant to, please contact Lisa immediately. No guarantee we can get more, but we’ll at least ask.

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You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

If you are already a member, please login to view the rest of this column. (If the site does not recognize your username, don't panic! Either your subscription has expired and we need to reactivate your account, or your username and email do not match our payment records and we need to link them. Please email Lisa,  or call her at 585-442-5411, for instructions.)

Why are we now subscriber-based? Click here to read more about the reasons behind our decision.

Click Here To Register And Purchase This Column!!

You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

If you are already a member, please login to view the rest of this column. (If the site does not recognize your username, don't panic! Either your subscription has expired and we need to reactivate your account, or your username and email do not match our payment records and we need to link them. Please email Lisa,  or call her at 585-442-5411, for instructions.)

Why are we now subscriber-based? Click here to read more about the reasons behind our decision.

1 COMMENT

  1. I would say that Imus’ departure from WNBC in 1977 wasn’t totally from drugs and booze. Charlie Warner and Bob Pittman were NBC’s fair-haired boys who had made WMAQ successful by basically Pittman taking Buzz Bennett’s playbook at 13Q and applying it to country music, with the big promotions on top, and then basically doing the Lee Abrams playbook at WKQX, since WDAI didn’t have real competition in AOR back then (yes, I mean you, WXRT), with the difference voice-tracking. Whoopee. Anyone could’ve told Pittman that putting his girl friend Ellie Dylan in the I-Man’s time slot, with her syrupy southern accent, was not going to work. Eventually, Pittman backed down and came up with the teaming of Scotty Brink and Richard Belzer, a risky move that didn’t pay off, leaving WNNNBC not much choice but to call the I-Man back from Cleveland. Meanwhile, the guys NBC hired to keep the stations in Chicago going ran them into the ground, with WKQX, unable to keep up with the Loop and WMET at the height of Disco Demolition, going AC and WMAQ slowly turning to talk before Westinghouse bought it to compete with WBBM in all-news.

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