Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 26 In Radio History

In 1932...Hall of Fame singer/guitarist Johnny Cash was born on this day in 1932. He died Sept. 12, 2003 at 71.

In 1951...WMCA FM changes call letters to WHOM FM in NYC

In 1954...Michigan rep Ruth Thompson (R) introduces legislation to ban mailing "obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy" phonograph (rock & roll) records

In 1955…Billboard magazine reported that 45-RPM singles were outselling 78s for the first time. The number 45 came from taking 78 and subtracting Columbia's 33 rpm. RCA introduced the first 45 on March 31, 1949. The first 45 to hit the Billboard charts was "'A'-You're Adorable" by Perry Como with the Fontane Sisters on May 7, 1949.

In 1966..."These Boots are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra peaked at Number One on the pop singles chart.

In 1970...Beatles release "Beatles Again" aka "Hey Jude" album

In 1973...WHN 1050 AM NYC changed to country music. After researching the market, Storer converted WHN to a country format in 1973. Mutual bought WHN in the late 1980s. WYNY- FM  flipped to country from 1980 to 1984, hurting WHN’s ratings.

Doubleday Broadcasting bought WHN in 1985, and Emmis Communications bought it the following year. Emmis added sports talk in the evenings, keeping the country format during the day.

In 1987, Emmis announced WHN would become all-sports WFAN.  When Emmis purchased NBC’s New York radio stations in 1988, the company moved WFAN from 1050 AM to 660 AM, formerly occupied WNBC.

Spanish Broadcasting System purchased the 1050 AM license and became WUKQ, a Spanish Adult Contemporary station.  Spanish Broadcasting System wanted to swap 1050 AM with cash for the Jewish Daily Forward’s FM station, WEVD 97.9 FM.  The deal was approved in 1989.

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 WEVD’s call letters and programming moved to the 1050 AM frequency.  The station mainly carried a brokered format of ethnic programs, talk shows and foreign-language programming.  By the mid-1990s, WEVD moved to a left-leaning news-talk format.

An agreement with ABC/Disney brought ESPN’s “The Dan Patrick Show” to WEVD in 2001.  On September 2, 2001, WEVD became “1050 ESPN Radio.”

The call letters were changed to WEPN in 2003, competing directly with WFAN’s all-sports format.  In 2012, WEPN’s programming moved to 98.7 FM.  ESPN Deportes later moved the 1050 AM frequency.

In 1976...Jay Reynolds does last show at 77 WABC NYC almost 6-years to the date when he started.

In 1983...Michael Jackson's Thriller hit Number One on the U.S. album chart, where it stayed for 37 weeks on its way to selling more than 40 million copies worldwide.

In 2011…Longtime Kansas City broadcaster Bill Grigsby, for 46 years the radio play-by-play voice of the National Football League's Chiefs, died after a fall while being treated for prostate cancer at age 89.

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