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February 17, 2022 6:17 pm  #1


Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Next Tuesday, one of New York City's oldest radio stations hit the century mark. WOR began broadcasting on Feb. 22nd, 1922, and will be celebrating the centennial both on air and online. 

More here.

This article from their site - 12 Key Moments In WOR History - notes that the station's first studio was based in Newark, N.J. and not NYC.  Ironic, considering WOR-TV, a former Big Apple broadcaster on Channel 9, is now officially licenced to the Garden State. The more things change etc...
 

 

February 18, 2022 10:04 am  #2


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Well, tomorrow happens to be CFRB's 95th, but do ya think anybody at Bell notices?

 

February 18, 2022 10:46 am  #3


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

I'll be interested to see if Bell or 'RB will do anything when they reach 100. My guess - they'll probably ignore it, because Bell wasn't a part of it back then - and Rogers was! Last thing they want to do is point that out. (RB=Rogers Batteryless)

As for WOR, here's a great article about the centennial, with a few facts I never heard of:

-->The station was originally based in a New Jersey department store, with the idea of broadcasting to both New York and Philadelphia.

-->In those early days, with an uncrowded dial, they also tried to reach another far-flung audience. Very far-flung. "In the early days, the bandwidth was wide open and the signals were nearly limitless. At one point they had a nighttime show for China." Now that's what I call amazing DX! 

-->They were supposedly the very first American radio station ever received across the pond in London, England.

-->The station helped guide in a U.S. Navy warship over the air after it had gotten loose from its moorings. 

-->And it also once broadcast gym classes and bedtime stories. (How, exactly, do you do a gym class over the radio?)

It's also the only three-call letter station left in New York City.


WOR radio was born 100 years ago with two poles and some wire on Bamberger's roof in Newark

The station plans to broadcast a number of historic clips from the past hundred years during their on-air celebration on Tuesday. There's no geoblocking if you're interested in listening in. You can stream it here.   

     Thread Starter
 

February 18, 2022 10:58 am  #4


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

My memories of WOR are slim - despite its 50K signal, CJRN Niagara Falls was always in the way on 710 and no one in this area could ever really hear it during the 60s and 70s. With the death of the 710 frequency in Ontario, it now comes in here most nights. 

But my memories of WOR mainly come from the days when the family made frequent trips to NYC, because my sister lived there. And even then, it was on FM.
https://i.ibb.co/hdb2Wx2/WOR-FM-New-York-1968-Chart-Front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/GnrHP50/WOR-FM-New-York-1968-Chart-Interior.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/tBB9nB1/WOR-FM-New-York-1968-Chart-Rear.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/zmsTF72/WOR-FM-New-York-Sept-15-1969-Chart-Front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/cgp9h8w/WOR-FM-New-York-Sept-15-1969-Chart-Rear.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/W09xtWB/WOR-FM-New-York-Sept-15-1969-Chart.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0Q524KP/WOR-TV-AM-FM-T-Shirt.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

February 18, 2022 11:07 am  #5


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Can we get that on any of our FM stations?  I would love to listen.

 

February 18, 2022 12:08 pm  #6


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

It's a local NYC station, so it won't come in here. Only way to listen is to stream it online. 

     Thread Starter
 

February 18, 2022 8:33 pm  #7


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

I knew 1922 was a pretty big year for radio as all kinds of radio stations signed on the air in Canada and the U.S. I checked Wikipedia and there is quite the list (maybe not as many as I thought). Some of the stations listed are long gone, others have changed call sign, etc. I then decided to visit the websites of most of the listed station (still on the air) as I had a feeling not very many of them are going to do anything big for their big 100th birthdays. I was right. Now it is early in the year and as the months go along, more stations could add something to mark their big day, but the following are the only stations where I found a reference to their 100th anniversary: WBAP, WBT, WDEL, WGN, WGY, WHAM, WJAS, WJR, WOR, WSB. Some of these have already be mentioned on SOWNY. Keep in mind, I did not examine each home page in great detail. I scrolled down about halfway. I may have missed some but iHeart makes it very easy for you as it is so cookie cutter with every single station's site pretty much exactly the same except for local content. Many are even running the same contests. I also know that many of the stations that are doing any kind of celebration (this was the case last year as well), it is an employee who has volunteered his or her time to put something together as the ownership doesn't give a damn. Last year I assisted CJBQ and CKDO with airchecks and this year (so far), I have done the same for WHAM. Oh, and for Canada, CFRC Kingston at least mentions they've been on the air since 1922 and they do have a brief history on their site. 

 

February 19, 2022 2:09 am  #8


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

The WOR website does not mention the fact that in 1934 WOR became the flagship station for the Mutual Broadcasting System together with WGN Chicago and WLW Cincinnati.  Mutual had more affiliates than the big
three networks but had a cooperative structure and could not afford the big stars of radio’s golden age, instead
concentrating on scripted mystery programs such as The Shadow and The Mysterious Traveller. Most of these
shows were produced at WOR for Mutual.  In fact the Lone Ranger radio program originated in 1934 on WOR and
Mutual, moving to ABC in the 1940s. I recall listening to several kids adventure series in the early 1950s on Mutual
including Superman, Sgt. Preston, Bobby Benson and Wild Bill Hickok.  WOR-Mutual was the radio home for World
Series baseball during the 1940s & 1950s. WOR was a prominent source for information and entertainment during
radio’s golden age.





 

 

February 20, 2022 3:33 pm  #9


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Bill Dulmage wrote:

I knew 1922 was a pretty big year for radio as all kinds of radio stations signed on the air in Canada and the U.S. I checked Wikipedia and there is quite the list (maybe not as many as I thought). Some of the stations listed are long gone, others have changed call sign, etc. I then decided to visit the websites of most of the listed station (still on the air) as I had a feeling not very many of them are going to do anything big for their big 100th birthdays. I was right. Now it is early in the year and as the months go along, more stations could add something to mark their big day, but the following are the only stations where I found a reference to their 100th anniversary: WBAP, WBT, WDEL, WGN, WGY, WHAM, WJAS, WJR, WOR, WSB. Some of these have already be mentioned on SOWNY. Keep in mind, I did not examine each home page in great detail. I scrolled down about halfway. I may have missed some but iHeart makes it very easy for you as it is so cookie cutter with every single station's site pretty much exactly the same except for local content. Many are even running the same contests. I also know that many of the stations that are doing any kind of celebration (this was the case last year as well), it is an employee who has volunteered his or her time to put something together as the ownership doesn't give a damn. Last year I assisted CJBQ and CKDO with airchecks and this year (so far), I have done the same for WHAM. Oh, and for Canada, CFRC Kingston at least mentions they've been on the air since 1922 and they do have a brief history on their site. 

CKOC will be 100 years old on May 1. I wonder if they'll do anything to mark the occasion. They are - I believe - the oldest Canadian station still on the air.
 


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

February 20, 2022 4:33 pm  #10


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Given how Bell has made them a throwaway station with terrible programming, zero promotion and practically invisible ratings, my guess would be no. Any promotion of their 100th birthday would mean someone would have to do some work preparing for it. And it's apparent that's not something Bell is willing to spend even a single dime on. 

So happy anniversary in advance to the former Busy Bee of Hamilton. Too bad no one will notice when the time comes. What a sad legacy for such a broadcasting pioneer.

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/ckoc-bee-61.jpg

Image courtesy Rock Radio Scrapbook.ca

https://i.ibb.co/kQ8sTnw/CKOC-Old-Logo-May-1966.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

February 20, 2022 7:06 pm  #11


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

I can't imagine CKOC or any other Canadian stations doing anything special. If some of them read our comments...maybe they will. Probably not.

 

February 20, 2022 7:28 pm  #12


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Bill Dulmage wrote:

I can't imagine CKOC or any other Canadian stations doing anything special. If some of them read our comments...maybe they will. Probably not.

I agree with that. Wishful thinking on my part!


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

February 20, 2022 7:36 pm  #13


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Bill Dulmage wrote:

I can't imagine CKOC or any other Canadian stations doing anything special. If some of them read our comments...maybe they will. Probably not.

CKDO in Oshawa is in the midst of their 75th Anniversary and have had specials on air and their website signifying this event.  CFOS Owen Sound always celebrates big anniversaries, they had many special programs and features for a whole year in 2020 for their 80th.  CJAD Montreal marked their 75th a few years back and did a decent job on this as I recall. 

CFRB was a big disappointment not acknowledging anything about the stations 90th a few years back.  Whether this was the local staff and management dropping the ball or Bell who knows?  CJAD is owned by Bell and they certainly marked their anniversary properly. And personalities like CHUM's Roger Ashby, and CHOM's Terry Dimonte,  news people like Steve Murphy CTV Atlantic and recently Jim Crichton at CTV Windsor were all sent off in style with weeks long reports and interviews regarding their various retirements.  So maybe the onus for recognition of anniversaries and major retirements is more the responsibility of the station and not necessarily head office?

Last edited by paterson1 (February 20, 2022 7:57 pm)

 

February 20, 2022 11:21 pm  #14


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

All of those stations did celebrate, including CJBQ Belleville. But we are talking about the stations with the big 100 this year. These were once important stations and now they are just shells. Same as with my post above about US stations marking 100 this year - there are many - but I doubt most of them will celebrate unless a staff member(s) decides to do something about it. It seems in most cases, management/ownership will not!

 

March 8, 2022 9:05 am  #15


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Well known (at least in Illinois) media scribe Robert Feder believes WGN Chicago is celebrating its 100th birthday too early - by several years!

WGN Radio jumping the gun on turning 100

https://www.robertfeder.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WGN-Radio-100-300x300.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

March 8, 2022 11:27 am  #16


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

WJR 760 Detroit is also celebrating 100 years. They have been doing some short spots to mark the occasion.

 

March 8, 2022 10:20 pm  #17


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

darcyh wrote:

WJR 760 Detroit is also celebrating 100 years. They have been doing some short spots to mark the occasion.

Good point, and they've put up a special section on their website that highlights the early years of the station, with more to come promised over the next few weeks. It contains, photos, audio, sports memories and lots of pics of the early years of the legendary 760. 

WJR At 100

     Thread Starter
 

May 12, 2022 1:15 pm  #18


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Bill Dulmage wrote:

I knew 1922 was a pretty big year for radio as all kinds of radio stations signed on the air in Canada and the U.S. I checked Wikipedia and there is quite the list (maybe not as many as I thought). Some of the stations listed are long gone, others have changed call sign, etc. I then decided to visit the websites of most of the listed station (still on the air) as I had a feeling not very many of them are going to do anything big for their big 100th birthdays. I was right. Now it is early in the year and as the months go along, more stations could add something to mark their big day, but the following are the only stations where I found a reference to their 100th anniversary: WBAP, WBT, WDEL, WGN, WGY, WHAM, WJAS, WJR, WOR, WSB. Some of these have already be mentioned on SOWNY. Keep in mind, I did not examine each home page in great detail. I scrolled down about halfway. I may have missed some but iHeart makes it very easy for you as it is so cookie cutter with every single station's site pretty much exactly the same except for local content. Many are even running the same contests. I also know that many of the stations that are doing any kind of celebration (this was the case last year as well), it is an employee who has volunteered his or her time to put something together as the ownership doesn't give a damn. Last year I assisted CJBQ and CKDO with airchecks and this year (so far), I have done the same for WHAM. Oh, and for Canada, CFRC Kingston at least mentions they've been on the air since 1922 and they do have a brief history on their site. 

I just found some of Bill's work which was used on WHAM Rochester's celebration of its centennial. I have to say they've done an amazing job of feting the 50,000 watt giant at 1180 AM.  So far, they've posted almost 20 special podcasts tracing the history of the place, one of the biggest AM voices in the Western New York area. If you grew up DXing this station, there's a lot here to hear. 

My favourite is episode 8, called A Rocker and A Talker, about its Top 40/rock days. In one memorable recollection, a guy named Brian Simek recalls how he ended up having to change his name to go on the air. The weird thing - they let him keep his last name but insisted he change his first - Jeff - to something else. How he wound up as "Brian" is a story that could only happen in radio. 

SOWNY member Scott Fybush, a Rochester radio and TV institution, has also contributed a look at the history of radio in the place Kodak once called home.

You can check out all the specials here: 

WHAM @100: An Oral History

     Thread Starter
 

May 13, 2022 2:13 am  #19


Re: Iconic Radio Station Marks Its 100th Birthday Feb. 22nd

Check out WGY as well. Great stuff there too. For the record, I also contributed material to CKDO and CJBQ last year for their anniversaries. As to name changing for radio, I certainly remember that too! Had to do it twice. Sometimes you forget who you really are! lol