* Page 1 *
This page will attempt to showcase the histories of New York City AM Radio stations,
past and present.
Please feel free to e-mail me with any information you would like to contribute to this page and
you will be credited.
Some information provided by:
"The Airwaves Of New York:
Illustrated Histories Of 156 AM Stations In The
Metropolitan Area, 1921-1996"
Dave Hughes' NYRTV website (no longer online)
Jeff Miller's History Of American Broadcasting website
Do you, or anyone you know, work in NJ radio, either now or in the past?
is looking for you!
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3
Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6
WMCA - 570 AM, New York
WMCA went on the air February 6, 1925 on 880 AM from the 24th floor of the McAlpin hotel on Broadway and 34th St. in New York City.
It had originally tested on-air with calls of 2XH.
The original slogan for the station was "Where The Searchlight Flashes And The White Way Begins."
By the end of 1926, WMCA had moved to 810 AM and became a network flagship station, with programs going to WOKO in Peekskill NY, WCAM in Camden NJ, WDRC in New Haven CT and WNJ in Newark NJ.
In December 1926, WMCA was airing popular music continuously from 9am to 5pm - an unusually long broadcast period for that time and soon became the first station in the metropolitan area to regularly program the post-midnight hours.
In the autumn of 1928, WMCA was granted approval to move to 570 AM, and initially shared time with WNYC.
On December 23, 1928, WMCA bought the license of Hoboken NJ station WPCH and moved to new studios in the Hammerstein Theatre building at 53rd & Broadway.
The inaugural broadcast featured Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, Major Bowes, Helen Kane and other stars.
Some WMCA alumni from this era included singer and bandleader Rudy Vallee, dialect comedian Henry Burbig, Arthur Tracy "The Street Singer", Vaughn DeLeath and producer/director Phillips J. Lord, who later created "GangBusters".
As early as September 1929, WMCA was syndicating programs on motion picture soundtrack film and in 1931 was experiementing with television, utilizing the mechanically scanned system of Scottish inventor John Logie Baird, who at that time was also working with the BBC.
On June 5, 1933, the time-sharing arrangement with WNYC ended, leaving WMCA as the sole operator on the frequency.
In 1934, WMCA got involved with network broadcasting and joined up with the American Broadcasting System (not affiliated with today's ABC).
In early 1935, they dropped the affilation and organized the Inter-City Broadcasting System, serving a dozen stations in the Northeast.
In the spring of 1938, WMCA moved to 1657 Broadway at 52nd St., upstairs from the famed Lindy's Restaurant.
The new facilities included a 300 seat auditorium and wire connections to over 100 nightclubs and hotels.
WMCA had some of the most ambitious programming of the independent stations, from the "Bar-O-Ranch" to the "Broadway Newsreel" and female-oriented programs such as "The Bride's House" and "How To Hold A Husband."
Its 1939 evening schedule was filled with repeats of network daytime soap operas, including "John's Other Wife," "Young Widder Brown," and "Just Plain Bill."
WMCA also aired "Amateur Night" at Harlem's Apollo Theatre, as well as "New World A-Comin'" and a black-oriented magazine show, "Tales From Harlem."
Some other features included "Five Star Extra," a local version of "The March Of Time" dramatizing the day's events, and WMCA even broadcast the first commercials for condoms, which drew a reprimand from the FCC.
In December 1940, owner and president of WMCA, Donald Flamm, sold the station to Edward J. Noble, the manufacturer of LifeSavers candies and undersecretary of commerce in the Roosevelt administration.
But Flamm then refused to transfer the title to Noble, who finally took control of WMCA in mid-January 1941.
Three years later, Noble bought the NBC Blue Network, including station WJZ, and founded the American Broadcasting Company.
In September 1943, Noble sold WMCA to real estate developer Nathan Strauss, as required by new FCC regulations forbidding ownership of more than one station in a market.
However in August of 1943, Flamm sued Noble in Manhattan Supreme Court to block the resale of the station.
The court battle would continue until 1946, when Flamm was awarded $350,000 in damages.
However, his quest to "recapture" WMCA was fruitless.
During the mid-1940's, some of the biggest names in popular music became disc jockeys on WMCA.
Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey played their own and others' records, announcer Andre Baruch and singer Bea Wain became "Mr. & Mrs. Music," and "Symphony Sid" Torin had an "all night, all frantic" jazz program starting in 1948.
In 1946, WMCA became a New York Giants baseball affiliate, which lasted through 2 pennants and a 1954 World Series victory and ended in 1957 when the Giants moved to San Francisco.
In 1954, WMCA initiated regular station editorials and on October 27, 1960, it became the first station to editorially support a presidential candidate when Straus read an endorsement of John F. Kennedy.
By 1958, WMCA had drifted into a "rock n' roll" format.
Herb Oscar Anderson replaced Roger Gallagher and Joe O'Brien on the wake-up shift.
Gallagher left and O'Brien moved to afternoon drive.
Ted Steele's "Bandstand" was heard from 1p-5p and Scott Muni's "Music With Muni" was heard 8p-12mid.
Barry Gray hosted a talk show in the late evenings, as well.
Staff veteran (and WMCA's chief announcer) Alun Williams did WMCA's first all-night rock show, later hosted by Burt Sherwood.
Later, under the guidance of station manager Steve Labunski and program director Ruth Meyer, the station eventually tied or vied with WINS or WABC as the city's top rocker.
"Dandy" Dan Daniel, Harry Harrison, Gary Stevens, Frankie Crocker, Dean Anthony, B. Mitchell Reed, Jack Spector, Ed Baer and Frank Stickel were known as the "WMCA Good Guys."
Teenagers gained status by wearing an orange and yellow "Good Guys" sweatshirt.
On December 29, 1963, WMCA signaled a cultural revolution when Jack Spector played the first Beatles record heard on New York radio, "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
Eventually, Herb Oscar Anderson, Scott Muni and Harry Harrison all jumped over to WABC.
In April 1969, WMCA instituted a talk format, initially overnights, and retained its rock format at other times.
Alex Bennett and Leon Lewis were the premier talk hosts at this time.
In September 1970, DJ Frankie Crocker signed off the rock format for good and WMCA continued on as a talk station full-time.
"Long John" Nebel and his wife, Candy Jones (previously heard on WNBC and WOR - see both profiled below), dwelt on the offbeat and occult from midnight to dawn, with Jones continuing the show on her own after Nebel died.
Other talk show hosts included Dominic Quinn, Ken Fairchild (who served as PD and morning drive host) and Bob Grant.
In the early to mid 1970's, Jack Spector, and later John Sterling, hosted one of the first sports talk call-in shows.
Some 1970's era WMCA ads can be seen here.
In 1987, J. Peter Strauss (son of Nathan Strauss) sold WMCA to Federal Broadcasting for $10 million, and capped the end of an era: WMCA was the last family-owned station in New York City.
In April 1988, Federal switched WMCA's format to financial news.
On September 16, 1989, WMCA was sold to Salem Communications and switched to a religious format, which continues to this day.
An aircheck from June 16, 1991 featuring Rick Salerno can be heard here.
Another Rick Salerno aircheck from the winter of 1991 is here.
On January 19, 2015, 570 was renamed, "The Mission."
(Thanks to "GaryMrMets", Jim Hanley, "Marc", "Patrick" and Burt Sherwood for some of this information)
(Thanks to Bryan Vargo for sending in an old WMCA logo)
(Thanks to Richard Salerno for the 1991 aircheck)
WJUG - 580 AM, New York
WJUG was an unregulated (ie "unlicensed") station that broadcasted in 1926 and 1927.
WBMB - 590 AM, New York
WBMB is a carrier-current station run by Baruch College.
WSNR - 620 AM, Jersey City
See: NJ AM History Page 2
WFAN - 660 AM, New York
The origins of this station go way back to 1919 when original owners, AT&T, inaugurated an experimental radio-phone station, 2XB, at 463 West St. in Manhattan.
Then, on May 18, 1922, the Commerce Department granted a license to AT&T's Western Electric subsidiary to upgrade 2XB.
Original calls, taken from an alphabetical list, were WDAM, however they were deemed too profane.
On May 29, 1922, the next available calls were assigned: WEAF.
WEAF stood for "Water, Earth, Air, Fire", the four elements of matter.
On August 16, 1922, WEAF hit the air on 360 meters (or 833 AM on our present AM band.)
WEAF was the first station to offer commercials, with the Queensboro Corp, a real estate company, being its first sponsor on August 28, 1922.
During hours when they had time to fill, AT&T recruited their office personnel who could sing or play music.
On April 10, 1923, WEAF moved its studios to 195 Broadway.
On June 7, 1923, WEAF originated the first true network broadcast, an hour of speeches and music from the Carnegie Hall convention of the National Electric Light Association.
During the course of 1923, WEAF changed frequencies a couple of times: 740 AM, 750 AM and then 610 AM.
In July 1924, WEAF covered the Democratic National Convention at Madison Sqaure Garden, with announcers Graham Mcnamee and Phillips Carlin on the scene for 15 days following all 103 ballots.
The coverage was fed to 77 stations.
In July 1926, RCA took over WEAF as the flagship for the Broadcasting Company Of America, a name soon changed to the National Broadcasting Company.
The purchase price was $1 million.
The first broadcast of the National Broadcasting Company originated from the Waldorf-Astoria on November 15, 1926 from 8p-12mid.
WEAF was the key station of the Red Network and "sister" station WJZ was the flagship of the Blue Network, which went into operation 6 weeks later.
In late 1927, WEAF and WJZ moved to 711 5th Ave., between 55th & 56th Sts.
On November 11, 1928, WEAF moved from 610 to 660 AM.
The move that solidified WEAF's position as the most pretigious of all broadcasters took place in the autumn of 1933, when NBC moved to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and became the "radio" that gave Radio City its name.
Some early airchecks of WEAF and what would become the "NBC" chimes can be heard here
In October 1943, sister station, WJZ, dropped out of the NBC Blue Network and establshed the American Broadcasting Company and eventually became WABC.
In August 1946, "Buffalo" Bob Smith began hosting WEAF's morning show, then left in 1951 to concentrate on "Howdy Doody."
Later in 1946, NBC came to an agreement with a small station in New Britain CT to relinquish that city's initials from its call letters and on November 2, 1946 at 5:30p, WEAF presented its last broadcast, entitled "Hail And Farewell," and at 6p turned into WNBC.
Initial WNBC programming featured shows with Jack Benny, Kath Smith, Burns & Allen, Fred Allen and Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy and programs such as "Your Hit Parade" and "The Great Gildersleeve."
However by late 1948/early 1949, CBS was taking some of the big names over to their network and NBC began losing their audience.
By the mid-1950's, network radio was flagging as a profitable enterprise, but local radio was proving its value with recorded music, news and community service and WNBC focused on that advantage.
When "Buffalo" Bob Smith left the morning show in 1951, he was replaced by musician Skitch Henderson.
Also in 1951, WNBC brought in Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding from Boston.
Bob & Ray soon introduced to New Yorkers (and soon the entire nation) to such characters as Wally Ballou, Mary McGoon, Wealthy Jacobus Pike and "Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife", a soap opera parody heard daily.
In 1952, "Music Through The Night" debuted featuring classical and semi-classical works from midnight to 5:30am, hosted by staff member Harry Fleetwood.
In 1954, "Pulse," a music and information show, hosted by Bill Cullen (of game show fame), debuted.
Then on October 18, 1954, WNBC switched calls to WRCA, as a tie-in to their parent company, RCA.
In 1959, WRCA worked up a blend of pop and easy listening that it called "Wall To Wall Music."
The announcers were Ed Herlihy, Wayne Howell and two former WNEW persoanlities, Jim Lowe and Bob Haymes.
The music was presented in "binaural" sound, a stereo system that required two radios tuned to WRCA-AM and FM.
Also in 1959, veteran newscaster Kenneth Banghart began "Up To The Minute," a news and feature program interspersed with the music.
In the late 1950's/early 1960's, Al "Jazzbo" Collins hosted a late night show called "Collins On A Cloud", which featured music heavy with strings, and no jazz or pop.
On June 1, 1960, WRCA became WNBC once again.
There was a little inaugural program and the first person to officially speak the re-issued call letters was New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner.
Caught between their local and national identity, WNBC dumped their music and news format in March 1964 and became a talk station - the first in New York.
Talk show hosts included actor Robert Alda, musical comedy star Mimi Benzell, satirist Mort Sahl and one of the provocative pioneers of talk radio, Joe Pyne.
Albert Weeks hosted a couple of talk shows during the 1960's including, "A Week's View Of The Red Press", that aired Sundays at noon, and he also frequently sat in for Brad Crandell's talk show during the week.
In 1970, music returned to WNBC, featuring mostly up-tempo current hits, later turning to Top 40, as a rival to WABC.
In 1970, the lineup included former WMCA morning man Joe O'Brien doing mornings, Ted Brown mid-days, Big Wilson on afternoon drive and Jim Lowe and Jack Spector on weekends.
Overnights featured Reggie Lavong, formerly "Dr. Jive" on WWRL.
1972 was a major turning point for WNBC when Don Imus joined the station.
He was the first "shock jock" to crack the New York market.
Joining Imus on the WNBC lineup were Oogie Pringle, Dick Summer and Bob Vernon.
Newscasters included Charles McCord, John Bohannon, Judy DeAngelis, Mitch Lebe and Don Rollins.
Later, such personalities as Wolfman Jack, Soupy Sales and "Cousin Brucie" Morrow were featured on the station.
During this time, the music format refocused to include adult contemporary along with the Top 40 album cuts.
In 1977, GM Bob Pittman took over the station and intially moved Imus out of morning drive and replaced him with Ellie Dylan, and later, Lee Masters.
The music then refocused again, becoming more of a CHR station.
When Pittman left in 1979, Imus returned to the morning slot, and the music went back to Adult Top 40.
In late 1981, WNBC became a Hot AC station, but also added alot of oldies to the mix.
In the fall of 1982, the music became "hotter", with a few Rock crossovers thrown in.
In September 1982, Howard Stern took over afternoon drive.
His show was more suggestive than Don Imus' and his blue humor offended large segments of the audience, from religious leaders to feminists.
Howard Stern was eventually fired in 1985 and moved over to WXRK.
In 1983, with WPLJ's evolution to CHR and Z-100's sign-on, WNBC moved into a more Full-Service AC format.
In 1984, the station added Sports Talk to their lineup in the evenings.
In 1986, they added more talk-based programming on overnights and some weekend shifts.
Still, on these talk shows, the station played about 4 to 6 songs an hour.
Later in 1986, they added "Big" Jay Sorensen & The Time Machine on overnights playing mostly hits from 1964-1969, with a few 70's and pre-1964 oldies.
In the summer of 1987, WNBC eliminated all of their talk shows, except for Alan Colmes from 3p-7p and Sports Night from 7p-12mid, a nightly sports-talk program with Jack Spector and later, Dave Simms.
On weekends and overnights, they ran live DJ shifts and played only oldies from 1955 to 1974.
The only one playing regular AC cuts was Imus.
In their last year (1988), WNBC was a Variety format, featuring talk, sports and oldies.
1988 also saw the breakup of RCA, which spelled the demise of WNBC.
RCA's broadcast operations were sold to the General Electric Co., however GE decided to concentrate on the NBC televison network, and sold the network to Westwood One.
WNBC and WYNY (it's FM station) were then sold to Emmis Broadcasting for $39 million.
In its final moments, WNBC featured "The First 66 Years," produced and narrated by PD Dale Parsons.
Once again, by transcription, Vincent Lopez, Rudy Vallee, the Silver Masked Tenor, Amos N' Andy and Fred Allen were heard from Radio City.
Pearl Harbor, D-Day, the death of FDR, the assassination of JFK - all reminded listeners that this was once the station that millions were likely to tune to first at a time of crisis and stay with the longest.
For one more time, there was Toscanini, Tallulah, Imus and Mr. M.H. Blackwell of the Queensboro Corp. urging tenament dwellers to come out to Jackson Heights.
At 5:30pm on October 7, 1988, WNBC signed off forever and became WFAN, bringing over the sports programming that had originated from 1050 AM.
“For The Final Time…. This Is WNBC, New York….. (Followed With The G-E-C Chime Notes Ringing For The Final Time, Then The Station Went Dark, And Then The WFAN ID Plays)”
Don Imus stayed with the station after the switch.
On April 12, 2007, Imus' morning show was cancelled, due to comments he had made on his April 4th show, where he had called the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos."
On November 2, 2012, at midnight, WFAN's programming moved to 101.9 FM.
660 is expected to remain for now.
(The old WEAF and WNBC logos, courtesy of The 66WNBC Tribute Pages)
(The Howard Stern/Don Imus poster - from my own personal collection)
(Thanks to John Bohannon, Mark D, Albert Weeks & Frank Zarate for providing some of this information)
WOR - 710 AM, New York
WOR signed on February 22, 1922 with the help of engineers Orville Orvis and Jack Poppele, who powered up a DeForest transmitter on the 6th floor of Bamberger's Department Store at 131 Market St. in Newark NJ and played Al Jolson's record of "April Showers."
Louis Bamberger, original owner of the station, had wanted the station to be called WLB, but it had already been assigned, so the station received a re-issued ship's call, WOR.
The ship, by the way, was the S.S. California, owned by Orient Lines.
WOR started off on 360 meters (833 on our present AM band) - the only frequency available in the early days of radio - licensed to Newark NJ.
WOR intially shared time with two other stations: WDT (see below) and WJY.
Jessie E. Koewing became station manager, one of the first women to hold such a position.
WOR was the only station to broadcast on Christmas Day 1922, and thus was the first sound heard by those who found a crystal set under the tree that year.
In June 1923, WOR moved to 740, sharing time with WJY.
In December 1924, WOR added a studio in Manhattan, on the 9th floor of Chickering Hall at 27 W. 57th St.
Morning exercise sessions - New York's first wake-up show - originated from there, conducted by publisher and physical culturist Bernarr MacFadden.
The control operator at Chickering was an English-born engineer named John B. Gambling, who was soon given announcing duties as well.
When MacFadden called in sick one morning, Gambling took over the whole program.
He later turned it into the "Sun Up Society," "Musical Clock," and later "Rambling With Gambling" and established a dynasty of Gamblings who would awaken WOR listeners for the rest of the 20th century.
Some celebrities like Paul Whiteman, Harry Houdini and Charlie Chaplin came to the WOR microphones, whose appearances were arranged by Alfred "Hollywood" McCosker.
In 1926, McCosker became WOR's managing director.
In July 1926, WJY shut down, giving WOR full use of the 740 frequency.
Later that year, the station moved its New York studio to 1440 Broadway, two blocks from Times Square.
On June 17, 1927, WOR moved to 710 AM.
In the fall of 1927, WOR moved its Newark studio to 147 Market St.
WOR was the first New York station to carry programming of the Columbia Broadcasting System, originating CBS's premiere broadcast on September 18, 1927.
It alternated with the Atlantic Broadcasting Company's WABC as the CBS outlet in New York, and after William S. Paley became head of the struggling network in 1928, he offered to buy either of the local affiliates as the New York flagship.
Bamberger was willing to sell WOR to Paley, but WABC was cheaper, and in September 1929, WOR and CBS parted.
In 1929, Bamberger's was bought by R.H. Macy & Co., with WOR in the package.
Even though the Newark studios were enlarged and the corporate name changed to Bamberger Broadcasting Service, some Jerseyites protested that WOR had become a New York station.
McCosker replied, "Although most of our programs go on the air from the Broadway site, Newark is WOR's home."
In 1931, when a new trade magazine called Broadcasting appeared, the cover of its first edition was a full-page ad from WOR.
In 1934, during an era when newspapers were able to restrict access to news by radio stations, WOR helped to form the Transradio wire service and aired five 15-minute newscasts a day.
Newspapers wanted to retaliate by dropping free daily program listings, but the popularity of WOR and the potential loss of print advertising from Macy's and Bamberger's neutralized the threat and opened the way for wider news coverage.
During the 1930's, WOR featured children's programs, such as "Sky Pictures By Mr. Radiobug" and "Chandu, The Magician," where in the autumn of 1932, had WOR's biggest mail pull - drawing 8000 letters a week.
The biggest children's personality on WOR was "Uncle Don" aka Don Carney, the stage name of Howard Rice.
Uncle Don was such a wholesome and beloved figure that people were shocked to learn that during one of his broadcasts, thinking the microphone was off, muttered something like, "That ought to hold the little bastards for another day."
Whether this incident really occurred has been a matter of dispute since the day it happened, or didn't happen.
In the aumtumn of 1934, WOR formed the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Additional studios were built at the New Amsterdam Theatre and the converted Guild and Longacre Theatres in the Times Square district.
Alot of best-known dramatic programs originated from WOR's studios, including "The Shadow", "Nick Carter, Private Detective" and "True Detective Mysteries."
On March 4, 1935, WOR officially upgraded their power to 50,000 watts - with the help of President Roosevelt.
In 1938, WOR tried to push into the future when it began facsimile transmission, utilizing overnight hours to experimentally deliver a morning newspaper and other printed matter by radio.
The effort never met with public favor, though it can be seen as a forerunner to today's online services.
Most of WOR's daytime schedule consisted of families, including Ed and Pegeen Fitzgerald, Dorothy Kilgallen and Dick Kollmar, and Alfred and Dora McCann.
The Fitzgerald's show had a run of 44 years and later Patricia McCann took over her parent's program in 1975.
WOR's local programming was often the testing ground for shows that would turn into network features.
"Can You Top This", a gagfest created by Roger Bower, became a national favorite in 1942.
In the 1940's, low-budget quiz and audience-participation shows were regularly featured such as "Twenty Questions", "True Or False", "Quick As A Flash" and even impromptu quiz sessions from in front of WOR's studios at 1440 Broadway.
Twice each day from 1937 to 1952, "The Answer Man" (Albert Mitchell) responded to listener's questions about literally anything.
On February 1, 1941, WOR officially changed its city of license from Newark NJ to New York.
In December 1952, the Bamberger Broadcasting Service transferred WOR to General TeleRadio, a subsidiary of the General Tire and Rubber Company, and when General Tire acquired RKO, the corporate name became RKO-General.
In 1956, WOR created "Music From Studio X".
It was simply continuous pop music, but it originated from a special high-fidelity studio and each clean new record was touched by a needle only one time.
The host was John A. Gambling (whose father, John B., was still doing the morning show).
On March 17, 1958, WOR broadcast the first stereophonic recording heard on New York radio.
The Audio Fidelity discs were heard during John Scott's news and information program, "Radio New York" and the other channel as part of the "Ted Steele Show" on WOR-TV, Channel 9.
This was 5½ years after the start of WQXR's AM/FM "binaural" service, but 3 years before FM multiplex stereo.
In August 1961, WOR left the Mutual network to again become an independent station.
Its strong local personality did not leave it unsure of its future.
Under the leadership of news director Dave Driscoll, the station's news coverage was among the city's most solid, announced by some of radio's best voices including, Henry Gladstone, John Scott, Prescott Robinson and Harry Hennessey.
WOR continued to focus on local talk persoanlites, including Arlene Francis, nutritional guru Carlton Fredericks, financial advisor Bernard Meltzer, husband and wife team Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenberg, Jean Shepherd and "Long John" Nebel, who specialized in the offbeat and the occult (he left for WNBC in 1964 and later went to WMCA - see above).
In the late 1960's, WOR featured hourly 15 minute newscasts and a 2 hour news block from 6 to 8pm - the city's most extensive news coverage in the days before the start of all-news radio.
There was an attempt to rekindle daytime radio drama in the 1970's, and it became the home of comedy team, Bob & Ray.
In the mid-1980's, WOR's quest for a younger (and more male) audience resulted in station manager Rick Devlin to retire some of the station's most durable personalities.
Pegeen Fitzgerald refused to pre-record her farewell program and walked out - her fans followed her over to WNYC.
John A. Gambling stayed at WOR, and his son, John R., offcially took over the morning show on December 15, 1990.
"Rambling With Gambling" was responsible for over 40 percent of the station's income.
However, in the late 1990's, the Gambling empire finally came to an end, when WOR revamped their schedule and dumped the program.
"Rambling With Gambling" is now heard on WABC.
In 1987, the FCC forced RKO-General to divest itself of its stations due to misconduct by the parent firm.
The next year, WOR was sold to S/G Communications, which in 1989, sold it to Buckley Broadcasting for $25 million.
In October 2002, WOR became the first station to utilize its IBOC (In Band-On Channel) digital signal.
In August 2012, WOR was sold to Clear Channel for $30 million.
(Thanks to Roger Harry Arm for some of this information)
WDT - 740 AM, New York
WDT, owned by the Ship Owners' Radio Service Inc., signed on December 22, 1921 on 360 meters (833 AM).
The station relayed tides and harbor weather to incoming marine traffic.
Operating intermittently while sharing time with other broadcasters was not an effective way to provide this vital service.
But shipowners, and other radio owners, also got to hear some of the best shows on the air during radio's first years.
The studio and transmitter were located at Stapleton, Staten Island, and the station was on the air for an hour or two a day with entertainment programs.
Programming was arranged by the Premier Grand Piano Company, and for a while, WDT was managed by one of the most popular singers of the day, the "Original Radio Girl," Vaughn DeLeath.
On June 8, 1923, WDT moved to 740 AM, and shared time with WOR (see above) and WJY.
Programs then originated from a studio at the Premier Grand Piano building at 510 W. 23rd St.
On December 22, 1923, WDT's broadcasting was "permenently discontinued" and the transmitter was put up for sale.
A religious organization, now known as Jehovah's Witnesses, bought the station's equipment and started up their own station, WBBR, a year later, not to be confused with today's WBBR on 1130 AM.
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3
Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6
Radio-History.com Home Page
Also visit our "sister" sites: PirateJim.com | LPFMDatabase.com