Thursday, August 9, 2018

Aug9 Radio History

➦In newscaster Robert McCormick, for more than 30 years a feature member of the NBC news corps, was born in Danville Kentucky. He broadcast some of the first televised news on the 15-minute “Camel Caravan” show.  He was the first NBC anchor of a political convention on TV, at the 1948 Democratic National Convention. McCormick retired in 1976 after several years of covering Capitol Hill, and died of heart failure Sept. 5 1985 at age 74.

➦In 1942...CBS radio broadcasts the debut of "Our Secret Weapon."

➦In brought word of the dropping of a second atomic bomb which caused Japan’s surrender, thus ending World War II. The US Air Force exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, Japan, instantly killing an estimated 39,000 people. The explosion came just three days after a similar atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

➦In 1955...Bill Stern , ABC radio network sports commentator is injured in an auto crash on the Henry Hudson parkway. 20 years ago,Stern’s left leg was amputated because of injuries suffered inanother auto accident. This time, he suffered a concussion,cuts, bruises and possible internal injuries

In 1964...Storer-owned WJBK 1500 AM in Detroit, dropped contemporary hit music and adopted an easy-listening format.

In 1954, WJBK moved to its current frequency at 1500 kc. with 10,000 watts. By this time, Storer Broadcasting owned WJBK-AM-FM and had also signed on WJBK-TV on channel 2 as Detroit's CBS TV affiliate. In 1956, WJBK became the first radio station in Detroit to feature the Top 40 format 24 hours a day; WJBK also published Detroit's first printed survey of the station's most popular songs for distribution at local record stores, dubbed "Formula 45" (which became the station's catchphrase). WJBK's chief competitor in the format during the late 1950s and early 1960s was WXYZ/1270, and the two stations were frequently neck-and-neck in the ratings. 

Since WJBK had retained ownership of the "Jack the Bellboy" name after Ed McKenzie left the station, there were several more "Jack the Bellboy"s at Radio 15 during the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Tom Clay (known for creating a romantic aura on the air), Dave Shafer, Terry Knight and Robin Walker. Other popular WJBK personalities included longtime morning host Marc Avery, midday host Clark Reid and afternoon drive personality Robert E. Lee (who claimed to be an actual descendant of the legendary Confederate Civil War general and opened his show every afternoon with a "Rebel Yell").

In 1962, WJBK was granted 50,000 watts day and 5,000 watts, night.

Then, WKNR "Keener 13" was launched at 1310 AM on Halloween 1963, burying the Motor City's Top 40 competition - including WJBK - in its wake with a shorter playlist and a tighter, more energetic presentation than any other station in the market. WJBK gave up the fight in 1964 and switched to an easy listening music format. In 1966 the station tweaked to an early version of what would today be called Hot Adult Contemporary, featuring a mix of softer Hot 100 chart hits from the likes of the Mamas & the Papas, B.J. Thomas, Nancy Sinatra and Bob Dylan, and select album cuts. Through the changes, ratings remained low. The station made a second attempt at Top 40 in 1969 with a lineup of disc jockeys that included K.O. Bayley, Lee 'Baby' Simms, Tom Dean, Jim Hampton and CKLW mainstay Tom Shannon, but it lasted only a few months.

WJBK made another run at Top 40 format in 1969.  The format lasted only a few months. WJBK dropped Top 40 late in 1969 and became WDEE, airing a country format.  It used a Top 40-style sound to present country sound, driving old-style country competitor WEXL out of the format. WDEE also aired a racy program called “Fem Forum,” in which female listeners called in to share their sexual frustrations.

Today 1500 AM is WLQV and airs religious programming.

➦In 1978...The great NYC newspaper strike began.  During the strike, leader William J. Kennedy delighted his union's members, but angered managers at The Daily News, The New York Post and The New York Times, by digging in against the newspapers' demands to cut back the number of people operating their printing presses.

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