Yesterday was National Radio Day… wha?

You know, you would think I would be on top of something like this.  I had never heard of National Radio Day until this tweet came across my feed.  So, I did a little digging (aka, Googling).  I didn’t find much in the way of information about this day, but I did find a page at Holiday Insights that had this to say:

When : Always August 20th

National Radio Day celebrates a great invention and communications medium.

Oh!  That’s, um, useful.  The same page goes on to say:

The Origin of National Radio Day:

We found some evidence on blogs and radio station websites suggesting that this is a more recently established holiday, dating only to the 1990s. Radio station personnel, in a number of radio stations, began talking about creating their own holiday. After all, they frequently promoted bizarre and unique holidays of all kinds. From these conversations, this special day took on life.

Our research did not find a identify an individual or group having created this day.

We did not find any documentation confirming this to be a “National” day. We found no congressional records or presidential proclamation.

So, this National Radio Day really isn’t official, it’s just something some folks decided would be a good idea.

No more Hope for 107.1 FM

On August 1, Hope radio will no longer be on 107.1 FM:

Pillar Of Fire Christian AC “Star 99.1” WAWZ Zarepath, NJ/New York is expanding its programming to Long Island on August 1.

Pillar of Fire will begin leasing Livingstone Broadcasting’s 107.1 WLIR-FM Hampton Bays and its network of translators across Long Island to expand its “uplifting music and personalities to a whole new audience of Christian music fans on Long Island” as “Star 107.1“. The stations currently broadcast Holding Out Hope Church’s “Hope Radio” programming.

I’d been wondering what would happen to Hope Radio, ever since they converted their sports station back to Christian programming and WLIX-LP started simulcasting on Hope’s other translators at 96.9 FM and 101.5 FM.  We’ll see what happens next after August 1.

A look back at WNEW-FM

I’d been hanging on to these links for a while, but I forgot to include them in my post about Dave Herman.  It’s a documentary called Airplay, by photographer Andrew Maclear.  It’s a nice time capsule of 1982, and you’ll get to match the faces with the voices of Scott Muni, Pete Fornatale, and Dave Herman.

Airplay (Part 1)

Airplay (Part 2)

Videos found via MediaTonic

Dave Herman

On May 28, 2014, former WNEW-FM DJ Dave Herman died:

Legendary New York DJ Dave Herman died behind bars Wednesday while awaiting federal trial on charges of trying to seduce a 6-year-old girl.

The 78-year-old ex-WNEW-FM morning man apparently suffered a fatal aneurysm inside the Essex County Jail in Newark, according to his lawyer, Marc Agnifilo.

His death brings a sad end to an even sadder story.  However, as RadioInsight points out, it’s his time in radio that is worth remembering:

Dave Herman will likely be remembered not for his radio legacy, but for his actions late in life. He’ll never get his trial in court, but has been judged by the court of public opinion. Regardless of whether you believe him to be innocent or guilty of the charges levied against him, there is a radio legacy worth remembering.

You can read more about his decades-long radio history (with stops at WMMR, WABC-FM, and WNEW-FM) at RadioInsight, but I’d like to bring up one personal memory here.

When Dave Herman was at WNEW-FM, he would play an album side (now that vinyl is fashionable again, the term “album side” isn’t as antiquated as it used to be).  He’d play all the tracks on one side of an album, leaving in any silence between the gaps.  I looked forward to those album sides, heard The Who Sell Out, and got turned on to Jimi Hendrix.  One day he put on Side D of Electric Ladyland, and I heard something pretty amazing.  In the mid-1980s, I was familiar with computers and the sounds they could produce, and when the needle got to “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” I could hardly believe this was recorded back in the 1960s, way before the Commodore 64 was invented.  I thought this was amazing, and immediately I was hooked.  The rest, as they say, is history…

Frequencies to Watch: FM 97.5 and 98.3, AM 1370 and 1100

When it comes to Long Island radio ratings, WALK-FM 97.5 is an 800 lb. gorilla.  You kind of have to take notice when something happens to it, and there’s definitely something happening.  Connoisseur is going to take ownership of WALK-FM & AM:

Qantum, led by Frank Osborn, will swap its 29 stations in five markets to Clear Channel for the Aloha Station Trust held Standards 1370 WALK and AC 97.5 WALK-FM Patchouge, NY. Qantum will then turn around and sell the two Long Island stations to Connoisseur Media. They will join a cluster that already includes Rock “94.3 The Shark” WWSK, AC “K98.3” WKJY, Classic Hits “B103” WBZO, and Standards 1100 WHLI.

In the words of George Takei, “Oh myyy!”

Speculation time: what’s going to happen when WALK FM & AM become part of Connoisseur?

Musically, there’s a lot of overlap between WALK-FM and WKJY (K-98.3).  It’s quite possible that a format flip is in the future for 98.3, but flip to what?  94.3 already covers 90’s to now rock, 103.1 is classic hits, another rock-based format might not (or might?) be in the cards.   In the Nassau-Suffolk April 2014 ratings, WALK-FM is ahead of WKJY by quite a margin, but WLTW in between the both of them (although nearer to WKJY than to WALK-FM).

The AM side is in a somewhat similar situation.  Musically, WALK-AM (AM 1370) and WHLI (AM 1100) both overlap with their adult standards playlists.  Could there be a simulcast in the near future?  It’s not the first time 1100 simulcast with another station.  Some years ago, 740 (then WGSM) simulcast the 1100 signal, back when Barnstable was still around.

All we can do now is sit and wait, and (maybe) something will happen.

I write things down, and you sometimes read them.

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