➦In 1893...singer/comedian Jimmy Durante was born in New York City. His distinctive vocal personality made him a natural star in bigtime radio, and later TV. He was still headlining a weekly TV show as late as 1969 when he was in his late 70’s (Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters.) Famous for the sign-off, “Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.” He died of pneumonia Jan 29, 1980 at age 86.
➦In 1925...WTIC-AM in Hartford, CT signed-on.
WTIC AM dates back to 1925 when it came on the air with 500 watts of power from the 6th floor of the Travelers 26 Grove St bulding in Hartford where there were seven studios, most or all with control rooms. The station was licensed to the Travelers Insurance Company ("TIC") and had studios in downtown Hartford.
The 1931 CT State Register shows WTIC, owned by Travelers Broadcasting Service, operating on 1060 Khz with 50,000 watts, the most powerful station in the state. The transmitter, referred to as "old number one" was the first 50,000 watt transmitter ever manufactured by RCA and has serial number 001. This RCA 50 transmitter was the first high power commercial transmitter to use 100-kilowatt tubes, the first to use mercury-vapor type rectifiers throughout, and the first capable of true 100 percent modulation of its full rated 50-kilowatt carrier output.
By 1941 they had changed frequency to 1080 khz. WTIC is now owned by CBS Radio.
WTIC's best-known personality was Bob Steele, who started with the station in 1936 and stayed with WTIC for his entire sixty-six year career, ending with his death on December 6, 2002 at the age of 91.
Steele continued to broadcast a 5:30 - 10:00 AM Monday-Saturday morning show for WTIC for fifty-five years, scaling back to Saturdays only after September 1991; by the time of his last broadcast in November 2002, he was only heard on the first Saturday morning of every month. Despite WTIC's various format changes over the years, Steele's show (which featured musical standards, farm news and prices early in the morning, novelty songs, silly jokes, horrible puns ("...and the weather for Mexico City is chili today, hot tamale") and a regular "Word of the Day" segment - even long after WTIC itself had abandoned music for a focus on news/talk remained unchanged throughout its run, making it perhaps the longest-running radio program in history to have never undergone a significant format change.
➦In 1964...Personality Johnny Holliday started at 1010 WINS. He hosted the station's final music broadcast in 1965. This led him west to Top 40 giant KYA in San Francisco where in 1965, Holliday was named America's number one disc jockey by the Bill Gavin Radio "Gavin Report." His radio work is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In connection with the station he hosted record hops and concerts, including co-hosting the final concert by the Beatles at Candlestick Park in 1966.
Holliday moved to Washington, D.C., in 1969, handling morning drive time duties for WWDC until 1978, and sports for WMAL from 1978 to 1991
➦In 1996...“The New” WKTU officially debuted at 103.5 FM.
Drag performer RuPaul co-hosted mornings with Michelle Visage, Lisa Taylor and Freddie Colon around this period, further helping their ratings. Sean "Hollywood" Hamilton and Goumba Johnny made their debut at night and after much success were moved to mornings in 1998.
By 2002, the moderate amount of rap played on the station was gone and the station evolved into more of a Rhythmic Hot AC.
➦In 2004...Rick Dees announced he was leaving the morning show at KIIS 102.7 FM, Los Angeles, after 22 years. The issue was a contract dispute. Click Here for his final KIIS-FM Show.
➦In 2015…NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was suspended for six months from the broadcast for misrepresenting his experience in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. At the time, his salary was $10 million a year. He was replaced by Lester Holt. Williams now appears on MSNBC.