History Of Talk Radio – 1966
1966 was an interesting year for radio. Top-40 AM radio stations were (finally) doing quite well as advertising for teens and young adults was hitting record highs. All-news radio was beginning to take off with the four (then) news stations – WINS, NY; KYW, Philadelphia; XETRA, Tijuana and WNUZ – Chicago.
Another format – talk-radio was getting a lot of attention as stations began adding the format: WBBM – Chicago, WNAC and WEEI in Boston.
WOR, New York and KABC/KLAC Los Angeles had good ratings and newcomer WNBC New York saw some ratings uptick.
Another interesting trend was talk radio syndication with the likes of LA’s Joe Pyne and New York’s Barry Gray being syndicated. These were live shows – taped, so, you couldn’t call in per se. Click pics for larger appearance.
If you were lucky enough to have seven TV channels (in New York and Los Angeles) – there was always something to watch. After school – New York’s WNEW-TV (channel 5) and WPIX-TV (channel 11) gave us a diverse line-up of kid’s shows and cartoons. It was also the era for local personalities. Here, WPIX-TV has six.
There was plenty to go around: cartoons, super marionation (Stingray), live action (Superman) and of course – Bozo the Clown.
Back then, WPIX-TV children’s programming brought in the bulk of the station’s advertising dollars – and, as you see here – a 1966 advertiser presentation pitching the channel 11 kid’s lineup. WPIX-TV scheduled this programming around noon – then again late afternoon into early evening – as late as 7pm.
Here’s a rare look at just what the station was telling the advertising community – and a fond look back at “the old” channel 11.
Check out the “Barney Google” cartoon. It’s the first time I heard the word, “Google.”
Below – New York radio DJ icon Frankie Crocker did a short stint hosting a Saturday night music show over WPIX-TV. “Electric Village” didn’t last long and at the time, Crocker was a “Soul” DJ at WWRL – but wanted to broaden his appeal. A year later – he would be heard on top-40 station WMCA. This was after Clay Cole left his music show and comes to us from September, 1968:
What? – New York’s Joe Franklin Endorsed An Elvis Presley Replacement?
There’s just no comparison to the art of the radio ad – yesterday and today. What’s missing? Besides clever, creative writing – it’s the art of the jingle. Or just jingles (so very few today). I picked three memorable campaigns that – decades later – listeners still remember – and – if you’ve never heard these – you just might like them. Gary West
First one – is a clever re-write from the catchy “Georgy Girl” theme/song for the East Coast-based “White Rock” soda people. This ran for several years beginning in 1966:
Next up – another soda – this time Canada Dry and “tastes like love” from the mid-1970′s:
“Pick-A-Pack” 1970′s Juicy Fruit Gum:
The Hours Between 6p And 11p Could Be Moneymakers For Stations
“Teen Idol” DJ’s
Since Alan Freed began playing rock ‘n roll on evening radio – there was no doubt – the evening DJ could bring in tons of ratings and revenue. Back then – many radio stars were born out of the 6p-11p area time slot – even with prime-time television viewing. Mostly teens and young adults listened, but, if you had them – you could have big ratings. At times – their average audience share could be bigger than the rest of the station.
The teen DJ set the tone for the next morning as well. If you listened at night – chances are – you had the same station tuned-in the following morning.
Every city had these night DJ stars – and New York City was no exception. Besides Alan Freed – there was – Paul Sherman, Bruce Morrow, Murray the K, Scott Muni, B. Mitchel Reed, Gary Stevens, George Michael, Chuck Lenoard – and others.
Unlike today, this could be a huge advertisingrevenue. I found this from Spring of 1966. Holding the 7 to 11p shift at WMCA – Gary Stevens was then, New York City’s #1 evening personality – and within a year – had served-up over 200 sponsors. Unheard of in modern radio.
Stevens just came off 20 shares in the New York radio ratings – beating big-time rival “Cousin” Bruce Morrow – with a 12 share.
This was an era when all evening radio was live. In many places today, it can be voice-tracked – especially in medium and smaller markets – and, some large markets contain voice-tracking between 6p and 6a.
Most of those who grew up during the 1960′s and 1970′s – can name their favorite DJ – and usually – they came from the evening hours. Do you remember?
Not “All News” – Yet
WCBS Tower Hit By Plane – 12 Hours Before Format Change
New York City was about to get a new “news” competitor – with more news than all other New York radio stations with the exception of one – WINS. The ad below talks about all the marvels of “Newsradio 88.” You notice it doesn’t say, “all news?” WCBS would have to wait a few years – as the CBS radio flagship still had to carry CBS radio programs, including the midday “Arthur Godfrey” show. Back in 1967 – most stations – music or otherwise, carried 5 minutes of news at the top and bottom of each hour.
To look at the ad, you’d think everything was in place on that Monday morning. 50,000 watt 880 had/has a great signal off a tower located in Long Island Sound. But – the morning of August 28, “Newsradio 88″ could only be heard on 101.1FM – WCBS-FM. Late afternoon the previous day – the tower was hit by a private plane – killing five. It was through a thunderstorm and the pilot wasn’t supposed to be flying that plane. One of the top stories of the morning – “five dead as plane hits WCBS radio tower.”
The same tower complex housed another 50,000 watt radio station – at 660 and WNBC. It too, was off the air. Both stations scrambled – 880 was back on later in the day on one of the WLIB (1190) towers and WNBC got a hand from WABC (77), using their smaller auxiliary tower. Limited power.
By Friday – both stations were back to their original location – City Island with a temporary tower at 200 feet tall. For the time being – WCBS operated with 10,000 watts and WNBC – at 5,000 watts.
As far as radio format changes – this one had to top them all. August, 1967:
1010 WINS Morning Men
Murray the K Most Popular – 1961
And Other New York DJs – 1961/1963
1010WINS, New York will be celebrating 50 years as an all-news station in 2015. That’s an amazing run. The station still has decent ratings given the exodus of AM radio listeners. This, as of July/2014.
When the station played top-40/pop music – it was on top from 1958-1962. With a team of DJ’s centered around Jack Lacy, Stan Z. Burns (Bernstein) and later, Murray the K – WINS always had problems with mornings – going through a morning man a year since the death Irv Smith in 1960.
Here’s one of those forgotten 1010WINS morning men – Dick Clayton, who replaced Lonnie Star late in 1962. Clayton would be replaced by Ed Hider in late 1963.
This comes to us from 1963, courtesy the WCBS-AM site – apparently Avon was doing a new radio campaign and selected certain New York DJ’s for targeted live reads. You can see two from WINS/1963 – Jack Lacy – and Dick Clayton.
Clayton came to WINS from WIL, St. Louis – a station that also gave New York City amazing radio talent such as Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, Jack Carney, Gary Stevens and Bob Dayton
More 1010WINS – Murray the K owned nights in New York between 1961 and 1962. Here’s a Murray the K/WINS item from 1961:
It Still Holds Up – The “Circle 7″ TV Channel Logo
You see it on WABC-TV, KGO-TV, WXYZ-TV and WLS-TV, KABC-TV – that “7″ and the circle that wraps it.
It’s been with us since 1962 when KGO-TV hired an ad agency to design it. Quickly – WABC-TV New York, WXYZ-TV Detroit and WBKB-TV (later WLS-TV) in Chicago & KABC-TV Los Angeles began using the circle 7 logo. All are channel 7 TV stations – and at the time – all five were owned by ABC. Today, they still use it.
Just after this time – WPIX-TV New York - liked it so much, they had their version – a circle around an “11″ – their assigned channel number. Many other stations did variations – such as WKBW-TV (channel 7) in Buffalo.
But, the original is still the best.
This was a time when TV station ID’s – featuring channel designations, were used at the top and bottom of each half hour. They were actual slides – a work of art onto themselves.
Let’s go back to the summer of 1962 – when it all began at KGO-TV San Francisco…
1010 WINS Radio History – 1961
It was big news back in the summer of 1961 – The Mutual Broadcasting Service – trying to re-invent itself (as did all radio networks back then) – became the news network for independent stations. Mutual just lost WOR radio – then landed 1010WINS – back then, one of the top radio stations in New York.
WINS was of course, a music station in those days and this ad lists all the DJ personalities on the station. Murray Kaufman is of course, “Murray the K” and his nightly show was hitting 20-25 shares – mostly teens.
CBS-TV Summer Replacement Series – “The Prisoner” 1968
U.S. – When “The Prisoner” debuted in 1968 – viewers were a little confused. What was this really about? By the end of the debut episode, you either liked it, loved it or hated it. Here’s a TV Guide listing from the very first CBS-TV airing of “The Prisoner” starring Patrick Magoohan. It already had an ending. Interestingly – when the series debuted on CBS-TV during the summer of 1968 – all 17 episodes had already run in its native Britain. Also, was “The Prisoner” part of, or a continuation of “Secret Agent/Danger Man” of which, Magoohan also starred? Agent No. 6 was used in this series as well – so – it could be very confusing. Whose side was he on? There was nothing like it then or now.
This is from a New York TV Guide with WCBS-TV/2 and WTIC-TV/3.
Radio Programmer Neil McIntyre During The 1970′s
From Christy – I hope you can help me. I just heard that Neil McIntyre passed away September 11. I can’t find his obit anywhere. Do you know more about his life? I was an old friend from the 1960′s at 1010 WINS NY: a teenager trying to break into rock. We would practice with my girl group at WINS. Murray the K’s friend was our manager. We kept rehearsing so that we could meet Phil Spector but we never perfected ourselves to that degree… circa 1964.
Mr. Pop History – Radio programmer Neil McIntyre was indeed at 1010 WINS in 1964 during their last gasp at top-40 and WINS sounded great that year with DJ’s such as Ed Hider, Jack Lacy, Johnny Holiday and Murray the K. The problem was, WINS had WMCA and WABC breathing down their backs and there just wasn’t room for 3 top-40 stations. McIntyre had come from WHK Cleveland and brought WHK DJ Johnny Holiday with him to New York. WINS decided to go full-blast top-40 (again) and hired him during the fall of 1963. WINS scooped the world after all the Beatles came to New York in February, 1964, when John, Paul George and Ringo gave WINS all kinds of promos: “This is Paul McCartney and You’re Listening to 1010 WINS.” (Ringo and John Lennon did the same for WMCA).
1964 was such a great year to be in top-40 radio with the British invasion of the Beatles, Stones, Kinks and so many others. Murray the K’s exclusive Beatle interviews were tops. WINS and WMCA tried to scoop each other with “firsts” in New York and it made for exciting radio. It was music competition at its best. The WINS sound in 1964 was exciting and highly produced. If a record was in the WINS top-10, it was in the “WINS Winners Circle.” You gotta love it.
Group W transferred McIntyre to KDKA Pittsburgh in 1965 after the WINS all-news change. Later, Neil McIntyre programmed WPIX-FM (New York) during the early and mid-1970’s and was it my favorite choice for top-40. Like WINS, the station was loaded with personality DJ”s like Dennis Quinn, Les Marshak, Alex Hayes, Ted David and Jerry Carrol.
He was 68 and passed away from cancer. I’m told McIntyre was one of the nicest in the business. I’ve sent you his obit and thanks for a great e-mail.