Thursday, August 2, 2018

August 2 Radio History

➦In 1922...Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, died. He was 75.

➦In 1964...comedy actor Jack Kirkwood, who portrayed a very funny character on radio’s Bob Hope Show and The Edgar Bergen Hour, and who for many years had his own daily network radio show, died of a heart attack, 6 days short of his 70th birthday.

➦In 1983...WHTZ-FM, Newark, New Jersey (serving New York City and surrounding area) - signed on as "Z100" with Scott Shannon and the "Morning Zoo". It went from "worst to first" in just a few months.

The station, which now had the callsign WHTZ, went on the air at 6:08 AM on August 2, 1983 with new program director and morning jock Michael Scott Shannon. The first two songs ever played on the station were "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, followed by "America" by Neil Diamond.

➦Initially, the station called themselves by their new call letters, but by late August, they began calling themselves "WHTZ Newark, New York's New Z100". The station signed on from its new and still-incomplete studio in Secaucus, transmitting from the old FM tower site in West Orange, New Jersey, as their antenna was not moved to the top of the Empire State Building until August 4 at 6 AM.

Z100 was the second station that summer to attempt to bring the Top 40 format back to New York, with rock station WPLJ having begun the evolution to top 40 in June. WHTZ was programmed to remind listeners of one-time AM powerhouse WABC, which had gone from a tight Top 40 format to leaning Disco in early 1979 to leaning adult rock later in 1979, to leaning adult contemporary in 1980 and then evolving to Adult Contemporary/Talk in 1981, before it finally flipped to an all-talk format on May 10, 1982.

Within 74 days of signing on, WHTZ had climbed from last place to first in the New York Arbitron ratings book. Over the years, Z100 stayed with a top 40 format, with WPLJ behind them in the ratings

➦In 1993...NYC WFAN 660 AM personality Don Imus' lung collapses

➦In 1993...Shamrock Broadcasting, a Disney company, officially takes ownership of Cleveland's WMMS 100.7 FM & WHK 1420 AM from Malrite.

➦In 2004...Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Murphy, the original voice of the New York Mets,died at age 79.

➦In 2014…Longtime Atlanta Braves broadcaster (1976-2008) Pete Van Wieren died of cancer at age 69, one day shy of the sixth anniversary of the death of his 33-year on-air partner, Skip Caray.

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