WCBS 880 AM will present “Celebrating 50 Years of News: A Night of New York Stories” on Tuesday, August 8 at the PlayStation Theater in NYC’s Times Square.
Hosted by 880AM’s Wayne Cabot and Alex Silverman, the event will celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary by bringing together some of NYC’s most notable names in news, politics, sports and entertainment. The evening will close with a special interview and song performance by the legendary Tony Bennett.
“Newsradio 880 is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news,” said Marc Rayfield, Senior Vice President/Market Manager CBS RADIO New York. “We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York and will continue to tell the stories of the people, places and happenings from all around this great city. This special night is a chance to gather with listeners, station personalities and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean well into the future.”
Throughout the evening, WCBS 880AM will welcome a range of memorable personalities who will share stories that have shaped New York City over the last 50 years.
Station personalities including Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott and Michael Wallace will take part in the program. Among the special guests sharing their New York stories on stage will be Jeff Fager and Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes), former New York Giants Co-Captain George Martin, Late Show with David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets Manager Bobby Valentine.
Doors open at 6:30 PM; the program begins at 8:00 PM. Tickets go on sale today, Friday, June 23 at 10:00 AM, ET, via www.axs.com. Ticket prices range from $55 to $150. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Exploring the Arts Foundation, Tony Bennett’s charity organization dedicated to transforming the lives of young people through arts education.
WCBS flipped from MOR to news August 28, 1967.
By the early sixties, WCBS had evolved into a Middle of the road (MOR) music and personality format, which included limited talk programming. Personalities included legendary morning host Jack Sterling, Bill Randle and Lee Jordan. Like many MOR stations at the time, WCBS did mix in softer songs by rock-and-roll artists, as its ratings at the time were ordinary compared to the higher ratings at WOR and WNEW, both of which also had MOR formats and more distinct identities.
Initially, the station ran news in the drive time periods but maintained an MOR format during the midday and overnight hours, and within a couple of years, it ran all-news programming for much of the broadcast day except for overnights. "Newsradio 88" began its transformation into an all-news format in 1970, when the overnight American Airlines-sponsored Music Till Dawn ended in January of that year, and completed the process in 1972, when Godfrey's weekday morning variety show came to an end. The station built a reputation as an all-news powerhouse during the 1970s, and has continued with an all-news format to this day.
WCBS-AM Newsradio 88 debuts inauspiciously on its little-heard 101.1 FM station on August 28, 1967, because a small plane demolished the AM transmitter tower on High Island in a fatal crash, knocking the AM station off the air. Interestingly, the debut begins with a staff announcer reading the WCBS-FM sign-on, followed by the "Star Spangled Banner." Then, anchorman Steve Porter reads an account of the air crash. (Porter was he was also the very first anchor when KYW 1060 AM Philadelphia switched to news two years earlier.)