In 1960, Sklar became program director at crosstown competitor WMGM 1050 AM.
He moved to WABC in 1962 and became program director there in 1963. Under his management, WABC became the model for tight-playlist, teenager-targeted Top 40 programming, with a strong signal and famed disc jockeys such as "Cousin Brucie" Bruce Morrow, Dan Ingram, Chuck Leonard, and Ron Lundy.
In March 1977, Sklar was promoted to vice president of programming for ABC’s radio division. In 1984 he left ABC to start his own consulting firm, Sklar Communications. His autobiography, Rocking America: An Insider's Story: How the All-Hit Radio Stations Took Over America (ISBN 978-0312687977), was published by St. Martin's Press the same year.
In an interview recorded in 1982, when WABC switched from music to talk programming, Sklar said:
Everything has to end, that's life, WABC is … like anything else it's part of life, couldn't go on forever. But … it was a wonderful thing … it was a one-of-a-kind … I don't think there'll ever be another station quite like that. I mean, the scope of the thing was so huge, was so grand; everything that was done was on such a massive scale. We gave out buttons, we gave out 14 million with the WABC call letters and if we spot you we'll give you $25,000. You know, this stuff is … it's just not done today.… We'll miss it.
Radio will go on and on forever. Radio's the most adaptable medium there is, and … the old WABC's place in radio will be remembered by everyone who ever heard it, who ever grew up with it, it'll be part of millions and millions—tens of millions of people's lives, and certainly the lives of everyone in the radio business. Now we just have to go on to new things, and I think we will.
He began to have problems with his left foot, which necessitated him quitting the sport by 1990. In June 1992, he entered Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan for a minor operation that would allow him to run again.
Although in good health, he died on the operating table due to a lack of oxygen and other mistakes made by the hospital staff.
Rick Sklar was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame the following year.
In 1998...WXLO Personality Rick Shaw died age the age of 53. (Not to be confused with Rick Shaw in Miami)