➦In 1923...Comedian "Bob" Elliott born (Died at age 92 of throat cancer – February 2, 2016). He was one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray. He was the father of comedian/actor Chris Elliott and grandfather of actress and comedians Abby Elliott and Bridey Elliott. He is most remembered by the character of Wally Ballou, a mild-mannered, but indefatigable radio reporter.
Beginning a career as a radio announcer in the 1940’s, his rise to national recognition began when he was teamed with Ray Goulding on WHDH Boston. Moving to New York the pair appeared on various networks and radio/TV outlets with their unique brand of humor spoofing broadcasting until Goulding’s death in 1990.
➦In 1929...WQXR signed-on as W2XR in NYC.
Hogan was a radio engineer who owned many patents, and wanted a permit for an experimental station. To avoid interference, the frequency granted in 1934 by the Federal Radio Commission was considerably above the normal broadcasting range, which at that time ended at 1500 kHz. Hogan's permit was one of four construction permits W2XR was licensed as an "experimental broadcast station" on June 29, 1934.
W2XR began to broadcast classical music recordings on 1550 kHz. His television broadcasts came to naught, but Hogan began to hear from unknown individuals who encouraged him to continue broadcasting music.
In 1936, Hogan and Elliott Sanger formed the Interstate Broadcasting Company, with the intention of turning W2XR into a commercial station at at time when there were already about twenty-five radio stations in New York.
The transmitter, which used a homemade antenna mounted on a wooden pole, was located in a garage in Long Island City, near the Queensborough Bridge, and its 250 watts provided just enough power to reach midtown Manhattan and parts of Queens. On December 3, 1936, W2XR became WQXR—the cursive form of the letter "Q" mimics the number "2". An FM service, W2XQR, was added in 1939.
The New York Post approached the company in the early 1940s about purchasing the stations. Sanger said publicly that he would have preferred to sell to The New York Times, and in early 1944, the Times agreed to pay just over $1 million for ownership of Interstate Broadcasting Company.
In 1971, the Times put WQXR up for sale. Many offers were received for the FM station, but none of the bids for 1560 AM were satisfactory to management. When the FCC agreed to waive rules prohibiting stations from simulcasting if they were broadcasting classical music, the Times took WQXR off the market.
|WQXR AM circa 1989|
On November 21, 2014, Radio Disney New York filed an application to sell WQEW to Family Radio, who also owns WFME-FM and WNYJ-TV (and who previously owned what is now WNSH, owned by Cumulus Media. Family Radio bought the station for $12.95 million. The FCC granted the sale on February 10, 2015. As a result, the station went silent the following Tuesday on February 17, 2015, in anticipation of the change of format. The sale was "consummated" on February 20, 2015 and the call sign was changed to WFME.
The station returned to the air on February 27, 2015, broadcasting Family Radio programming, again giving the network full coverage of the New York City market that it lost in January 2013, when Family Radio sold the original WFME to Cumulus Media.
➦In 1954...Curtis Sliwa born. He's anti-crime activist, founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels, and Talk 77WABC show host in NYC..
➦In 1996...WPAT 930 AM NYC Market flipped to a Spanish format. Today, the station airs brokered programming format. WPAT is owned by Multicultural Broadcasting,
➦In 2008…Radio Personality Walter 'Wally' Phillips died of Alzheimber's disease at age 82 (Born - July 7, 1925). He was best known for hosting WGN 720 AM's morning radio show in Chicago for 21 years from January 1965 until July 1986, and was number one in the morning slot from 1968 until he left for an afternoon radio slot in 1986. A pioneer of the radio call-in talk show format, Phillips delighted in a form now banned by the FCC: putting people on the air without their knowledge
After the end of World War II, he attended drama school for a while and then became a disc jockey in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A year after beginning his DJ career he returned to Cincinnati.
Phillips expanded his career as a radio personality at WLW in Cincinnati where he established his call-in format and his trademark style of remixing prerecorded interviews as a comedy piece. He was eventually fired after he inserted a phony item into a newscast.
Later, Phillips moved to Chicago, Illinois. His WGN morning show was consistently top-rated in Chicago, and led to his being labeled "the king of morning radio." At the height of his popularity, Phillips attracted nearly 1.5 million listeners, a now unheard of half of the market's listening audience.
Phillips was one of the first broadcasters to routinely use humorous and offbeat phone calls in his show, including prank phone calls. Sometimes, he called random payphones to see who would answer. For example, he called a pet cemetery to arrange a funeral for his mouse, and on another occasion he tracked down Benjamin Gingiss, founder of Gingiss Formal Wear, while the man was on vacation in the Bahamas to ask him where the fire extinguishers were kept in the store.
In 1998, he retired from WGN radio after 42 years, twelve years after giving up the morning show where he was succeeded by Bob Collins, who continued the format and the high ratings.
Phillips was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, in the Museum of Broadcast Communications in 1993 and into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1997, marking his 50th year in radio.
➦In 2009...Toronto radio station CHUM 1050 AM ended its music era again and this time it went to simulcasting the local cable-only TV news channel CP 24. The final full song played was “Release Me” by Engelbert Humperdinck, just before 5 am. The station changed to sports talk April 13, 2011.
CHUM AM was founded by four Toronto businessmen, including Al Leary, a former sportscaster, who had been the station manager at CKCL for 14 years. CHUM received its licence in late November 1944 to operate a station with 1000 watts. CHUM launched as a daytimer on 28 October 1945, with John H.Q. "Jack" Part, an entrepreneur in the business of patent medicines, as its president. The station broadcast a format typical of the late 1940s, with a combination of information, music, and sports.
CHUM was taken over in December 1954 by Allan Waters, a salesman from Part's patent medicine business. Waters' first major move was to secure a licence for 24-hour-a-day broadcasting for CHUM, along with a power increase to 5,000 watts.
"1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and the Beatles (1964, 1965, and 1966). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it also built yet another new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power once again to its current 50,000 watts around the clock.
|CHUM 1050 AM (50 Kw-DA-2)|
By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes". Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored.
He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters.
He would be followed by housewives' jock John Spragge; singer/DJ Mike Darow; Pete Nordheimer, replaced in 1961 by Bob McAdorey, teen DJ Dave Johnson, and all night DJ Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came from rival Toronto rocker CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke).
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CHUM DJs included Duke Roberts (also known as Gary Duke for a time), Johnny Mitchell (better known today as Sonny Fox), J. Michael Wilson, Tom Rivers, Scott Carpenter, Jim Van Horne, John Rode, Don Reagan, John Majhor, Mike Cooper, Daryl B, Terry Steele, Mike Holland and current CHUM-FM morning man Roger Ashby.
Among their later night-time hosts was J. D. Roberts, who joined CHUM for a time in 1977, eventually becoming known across North America as John Roberts, White House correspondent for CBS News, then the co-anchor of CNN's morning program American Morning. He now reports for the Fox News Channel.
Rick Moranis, later famous for his work on SCTV and Ghostbusters, was briefly a late-night CHUM DJ in the mid-seventies under the name "Rick Allan".
CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.
The CHUM Chart was, for many years, the most influential weekly Top 40 chart in Canada and has been hailed as the longest-running continuously published radio station record survey in North America. The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27, 1957, with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song.
By the mid-1980s, CHUM had lost ground in the Toronto ratings to competing Top 40 station CFTR and FM-based music stations. On June 6, 1986, at 3 PM, after the playing of Starship's "We Built This City", CHUM dropped its Top 40 format for a gold-based adult contemporary format ("Favorites of Yesterday and Today"). The first song after the relaunch was "Beginnings" by Chicago. The change also discontinued the CHUM Chart, which ended the week of June 14, 1986 with Madonna's "Live to Tell" as the final Number 1 song. By 1988, the station had evolved into a brighter AC format, focusing on pop hits from the past decade and dropping much of the older music.
- Alan Arkin (actor, Catch-22, Sesame Street, Edward Scissorhands, Glengarry Glen Ross, Little Miss Sunshine) (86)
- James Caan (actor, Dick Tracy, The Godfather, Misery, Mickey Blue Eyes) (80)
- Leeza Gibbons (talk show hostess, Robocop) (63)
- Keira Knightley (actress, Bend It Like Beckham, the Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, The Duchess) (35)
- Jennifer Grey (Actress, Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) (60)
- Vicki Lawrence (Actress, The Carol Burnett Show, Laverne & Shirley) (71)
- T.R. Knight (actor, Grey's Anatomy) (47)
- Sandra Day O'Connor (former Supreme Court Justice) (90)
- Diana Ross (singer, formerly of the Supremes) (76)
- Johnny Crawford ("Rumors") (74)
- Nancy Pelosi (Democratic House Speaker, the first woman in U.S. history to hold the position) (80)
- Michael Imperioli (actor and screenwriter, Detroit 1-8-7, The Sopranos, Life on Mars) (54)
- Martin Short (Actor, Father Of The Bride, Innerspace, The Three Amigos!) (70)
- Bob Woodward (Journalist who uncovered the Watergate story for theWashington Post along with Carl Bernstein) (77)
- Steven Tyler (lead singer, Aerosmith) (72)
- Richard Tandy (keyboardist, the Electric Light Orchestra) (72)
- Amy Smart (actress, Varsity Blues, Road Trip, Crank, Shameless) (44)
- Kenny Chesney (singer) (52)
- Leslie Mann (actress, wife of Judd Apatow) (48)
- Jonathan Groff (actor, Glee, Looking, Frozen, American Sniper) (35)
- Jay Sean (singer) (39)
- Floriana Lima (actress, Supergirl) (39)