➦In 1964...Hooper ratings in Los Angeles haf KRLA (then 1110 AM) leading rival top-40 station KFWB 980 AM: KRLA 16.7....KFWB 13.6. KFWB had recently tightened up their music playlist. KRLA jocks included Bob Eubanks, Casey Kasem, Dick Biondi, Wink Martindale and others.
In 1965, KHJ started its “Boss Radio” Top 40 format, which launched it to the No. 1 position. KRLA was the second-place Top 40 station. KFWB abandoned music and flipped to all-news in 1968.
➦In 1964...It’s learned that WYNR 1390 AM in Chicago , a Rhythm and Blues station, would be going all-news on September 3. The station, operated by Gordon McLendon, will change call letters to WNUS.
When WYNR suddenly switched to all-news WNUS in 1964, McLendon bought WFMQ 107.5 FM and changed the call letters to WNUS-FM, creating an FM simulcast of the all-news station. This 1966 advertisement is looking for WNUS “newsmen.” McLendon was paying $88,800 a year in 2011 dollars.
All-news was catching on in big markets across the country. Westinghouse’s WINS 1010 AM in New York switched to all-news in 1965. In 1968, CBS and Westinghouse decided to flip many of their stations to all-news. In Los Angeles, KNX (CBS) and KFWB (Westinghouse) both switched to all-news. McLendon’s All-News XTRA could not compete with the fully staffed news operations of KNX and KFWB. He pulled the plug on the format.
The same happened in Chicago when CBS flipped powerful WBBM-AM to all-news. WNUS-AM-FM became an easy-listening station. Globetrotter Communications, the owners of soul music station WVON, bought WNUS-AM-FM in 1975. It wanted to move WVON-AM to the more powerful 5,000-watt allocation that WNUS used at 1390 AM.
WNUS-FM became urban WGCI-FM, which is a very successful Chicago radio station today. The AM station became WGCI-AM in 1984. Today it’s WGRB, a gospel station. Clear Channel owns both stations.
➦In 1964...WNBC 660 AM, New York morning man Big Wilson, joined Lynda B. Johnson to serve as master of ceremonies at the first Folk Music Concert ever presented under the auspices of The White House. Big Wilson was personally asked by President Johnson to emcee the folk concert with participants Theodore Bikel, Nancy Ames, the Serendipity Singers, Steve dePass and the comedy team of Stiller and Meara.
➦In 2001...Chicago Cubs broadcaster/Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau died of cardiac arrest at age 84.
➦In 2008...Artist and WRKS NYC Personality Isaac Hayes died from an apparent stroke.
➤In 2016....Sportscaster John Saunders, who worked for ESPN for almost 30 years, who handled Toronto Raptors play-by-play for six years in the late 90’s, died at age 61. Cause of death was an enlarged heart together with complications from diabetes.