RadioInsight Radio Industry News & Discussion

77 WABC changes format from Top 40 to Talk

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There’s not much to really say about this one. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s WABC was New York Radio and nationally known to the point in the early 70’s it was consistently ranked in Pittsburgh’s ratings. The 50kw Top 40 machine in America’s biggest market. In the late 70’s the radio landscape began to change nationwide as FM became a bigger player. In New York “Disco 92” WKTU and 107.5 WBLS reached the point where they battled WABC for the #1 slot in the ratings. Corporate Ownership saw the success they were having with an all talk format at KABC in Los Angeles and in what has become known as “The Day The Music Died”, May 10, 1982, WABC changed from Top 40 to Talk.

The WABC legacy lived on at 101.1 WCBS-FM, whose Oldies format played much of the same music WABC did in its heyday with many of the same DJ’s. It took a little over a year for Top 40 to return to New York, but when it did “Z100” made sure the mantle was in good hands.

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