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New York

1050 WMGM Becomes WHN

1050 WHN WMGM New York Peter Brown Top 40 1962

Previous Format: Top 40 “1050 WMGM”
New Format: Middle Of The Road “1050 WHN”
Date & Time Of Change: February 28, 1962 at 5:30pm
More Info: Wikipedia, Las-Solanas

Aircheck Via: WCPR1620

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14 Comments


  1. A very early and interesting format change. I have the last half hour of WMGM into WHN. The quality is the same as this, but complete.

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  2. But didn’t WHN last only a few years as a middle-of-the-road format, nowhere near as popular as it’s previous Top-40 incarnation, and flip to country??

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    • I’m pretty sure this format lasted through the ’60s — WHN went country around ’72 or ’73.

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      • It did last through the rest of the 60s. WHN switched to country in February or March of 1973.

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  3. I spent 8 years at WHN in the 1970s but never heard the format change from WMGM. Thanks for this. And I always loved the original WHN jingle package. Never could find a complete copy…

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  4. it made sense to get out of a 4-way top 40 battle with WINS, WABC, and WMCA at that time but I’m wondering if the change back to WHN and good music had something to do with George B. Storer who ran Storer Broadcasting, parent company of WMGM.

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    • Probably not, as Storer Broadcasting was very successful with rock ‘n’ roll, as evidenced by Top 40 stations WIBG Philadelphia and WTIX New Orleans, to name just two.

      By the way, that “4-way battle” would have been a 5-way battle had WADO been Top 40 full-time instead of from morning drive to early evening or so from its late 1959 sign-on (with Italian programming in evenings and R&B and jazz (in that order) overnights [all left over from WADO’s predecessor WOV until new owners moved the R&B shows from daytime to overnights and replaced them with Top 40 shows] and gradually replaced the pop and rock programs with more African-American and Italian and later Spanish programming]) until ’63, when it began its (initially) mostly- (and now all-) Spanish format. Never mind that its signal perhaps asn’t quite strong enough to compete properly with NYC’s full-time Top 40 rockers (even though WADO and WMCA were both 5,000 watts??, I believe?).

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      • Storer would make the same change at WJBK Detroit (Top 40 to Beautiful Music/MOR) about two and a half years later. JBK had a good run of maybe seven or so years with Top 40, but their change was precipitated by the meteoric rise of WKNR less than a year earlier (not to mention the market also had WXYZ and CKLW as Top 40 outlets, so this, too, was a crowded marketplace). I remember reading the station had also had some additional bad luck around the time of Keener’s launch with one of its towers being knocked over in late ’63 and the station being reduced to 250 watts when it came back on, and WJBK never had that great a signal to begin with. Storer actually took WJBK back to Top 40 for a short time in 1969 (having moved it more toward Adult Contemporary the previous few years) prior to changing it to country as WDEE. So Storer doesn’t seem to have been anti-rock to me. I think they would have continued with Top 40 on JBK longer had it not been for Keener.

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        • In fact, Storer continued to own WTIX New Orleans and probably most of its other Top 40 properties through the mid-seventies, at the earliest. Storer sold WIBG in Philly either during its brief AOR format or upon reverting to Top 40 well into the early 70s (or in the mid-70s, no later than 1975, (when it went to an Adult Contemporary format). That said, there is no way that Storer Broadcasting could’ve been anti-rock.

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          • (WIBG, by the way, after two years as an adult contemporary station, again reverting to top 40–only to go off the air some half-year later and resurface as Adult Top 40 (and later religious WZZD and now conservative talk WNTP)).

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            • Make that, “…again reverted to top 40…”.

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              • OOPS! Did I say that Storer also owned WTIX New Orleans? I was right about Storer having owned WIBG, but it was STORZ that owned WTIX. That’s Storz as in Todd Storz, considered to be the inventor of the Top 40 format. (He also bought a station in Omaha that, like WTIX as well as WIBG Philadelphia, was one of the pioneers of both Top 40 radio and rock ‘n’ roll.

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  5. The WHN jingle package was created by Roy Ross, who did many jingle packages in the 1960’s. For WHN, they used the Ray Charles Singers, However, other MOR stations throughout the country used different vocal groups, including the CRC Dallas singers. In retrospect, the format change to bland MOR was probably a big mistake. Storer would have been better streamlining their top 40 format and enjoying several years in competition with WMCA, WINS and WABC, before Group W pulled the plug on 1010 and the FM music stations began to emerge. But that’s all history now.

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  6. I miss the glory days of wmgm. Even though I was 9 years old and fascinated with radio back then. It was a station that tri-state area residents could enjoy. Peter Tripp, Dean Hunter, Ted Brown, Norm Stevens, Jerry Marshall, Bob Fallen, Dick DeFreites, Bill Edmunds, Dick Shepherd and Bob Lewis were all top notch air personalities who made WMGM worth listening to.

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