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May 1, 2021 9:52 pm  #1


Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

A few days ago, Radio Ink had a column asking for submissions from U.S. radio stations that had the exact same format going back 50 years. 

This got me thinking (not something I do well!) about our little neck of the radio woods. I can't think of any stations here that match that number. The only one that might come close would be Q107, which has basically been album rock since it signed on in 1977. The former format of CHUM-AM might be close, as well, although they went from Top 40 to Oldies, with some interruptions in between, so that may not count.

WXRL in Buffalo has been country at least since 1970, which would have put it at half a century in 2020. And while the music has changed a bit, WBLK has been broadcasting R&B and what's now called Urban Music to a mostly black audience since way back in 1964.

It's pretty rare to see a station keep doing the same thing for so long, but are there any others that fit the broadcasting bill? It doesn't have to be 50 years. In fact, given the changing nature of the business over the years, I'm hard pressed to think of anyone else locally or in Buffalo that's made it that long.

 

May 1, 2021 10:44 pm  #2


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

Not arguing the "rock" of Q, but merely disputing that they too changed format from all rock to classic rock and back again to anything that rocks. Therefore, while it's still maintaining that they are a rock station, there's the slight absence of "same" in the overall scheme of things, format wise.

 


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May 1, 2021 11:04 pm  #3


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

The music has changed a lot of course, but CHFI has played light music continuously since it first signed on in 1957.

Last edited by Dale Patterson (May 1, 2021 11:04 pm)


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

May 1, 2021 11:07 pm  #4


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

Buffalo's WDCX has had the same owners and the same religious format since it first went on the air in 1963.

Outside of this market, WSM in Nashville - home of the Grand Ole Opry - has been broadcasting country music since it signed on in 1925.

Last edited by Dale Patterson (May 1, 2021 11:12 pm)


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

May 1, 2021 11:13 pm  #5


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

Dale Patterson wrote:

The music has changed a lot of course, but CHFI has played light music continuously since it first signed on in 1957.

https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/laughing.png
 "light music"  That's a good one!!! 





 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

May 2, 2021 7:35 am  #6


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

Dale Patterson wrote:

Buffalo's WDCX has had the same owners and the same religious format since it first went on the air in 1963.

Outside of this market, WSM in Nashville - home of the Grand Ole Opry - has been broadcasting country music since it signed on in 1925.

WSM has done a wonderful job in recent years of promoting its country heritage, and it's true that it has had the Opry going back to the beginning. But the truth is that until the late 1970s, the Opry was a weekend specialty show, with some country programming late at night on weekdays, and the rest of WSM's programming was middle-of-the-road full-service AC. 
 

 

May 2, 2021 8:03 am  #7


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

If we think Canada wide, does it count if an AM station goes FM with the same format? 
When the CRTC terminated the 49% non hit rule for FM, there may be some AM stations that went FM and kept the same format. 

I can't think of an exact station, but you get the idea... 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

May 2, 2021 11:07 am  #8


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

FM96 in London has been rock continuously since 1979. And in the same market, Pure Country 93 has been country since its sign-on in 1980.

South of the border, WCBS 880 has been all-news since 1972, though it had all-news during some dayparts prior to that.

 

May 2, 2021 1:51 pm  #9


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

CKNX 920 has always played country music as far as I am aware.  They have been on the air since about 1928.  Actually they have always been an information station as well.  Same as CFOS in Owen Sound which has been around since 1940.  CHYM in Kitchener has been A/C for about 60 years, first on AM then on FM.

 

May 2, 2021 1:55 pm  #10


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

Radiowiz wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

The music has changed a lot of course, but CHFI has played light music continuously since it first signed on in 1957.

https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/laughing.png
 "light music"  That's a good one!!! 





 

OK then, "lite" music.
 


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

May 2, 2021 2:25 pm  #11


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

One could make a case for WXRT in Chicago. They switched to part time  Progressive Rock in 1973 and have continued since the early 1990's with a very wide format triple A and are one of the only major market outlets in North America with somewhat of a semblance of a cross genre format that today resembles  what CFNY was was doing when Reiner Schwarz became PD in 1989 during his second tenure at the station.

I have caught WXRT live during my visits to Chicago and on the internet over the years and have found them to be a nice alternative as they stay away from the mainstream rock that is the blight of classic rock and classic hits.


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May 2, 2021 3:50 pm  #12


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

Dale Patterson wrote:

The music has changed a lot of course, but CHFI has played light music continuously since it first signed on in 1957.

I would say CHFI started off with the "Beautiful Music" format and gradually became "Lite" A/C.

 

May 2, 2021 3:56 pm  #13


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

Not sure of the year for this one, but is "Gently" the same as "Lite?"

https://i.ibb.co/xD6Kq0v/CHFI-Ad.jpg

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May 2, 2021 5:45 pm  #14


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

CBC Radio (Radio One) has had the same basic format for over 60 years, maybe longer.  Just listening to Cross Country Check Up and Ian mentioned that Check Up is celebrating their 55th season.  As it Happens has been on the air since 1968.  Even their popular Metro Morning has been the same format and name since 1973, but the actual format is probably much older.

Last edited by paterson1 (May 2, 2021 5:46 pm)

 

May 2, 2021 5:51 pm  #15


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

I'd count both CHFI and Q. They've both adjusted, evolved, and tweaked, but have occupied the same general format and place in the market, not to mention brands.

CHEZ in Ottawa (1977) and CHOM Montreal (1969) similarly.


 
 

May 2, 2021 9:30 pm  #16


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

CJCS AM Stratford was oldies and more when I was on air in late 80s and is still a classic hits station as CJCS-FM (107.1 Juice FM) CJCS started back in 1935 and was a great starting place for legendary icons Lloyd Robertson, Bob Bratina and Tony Parsons.  It was a great station to work at.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CJCS-FM
 

 

May 3, 2021 12:12 am  #17


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

paterson1 wrote:

CBC Radio (Radio One) has had the same basic format for over 60 years, maybe longer.  Just listening to Cross Country Check Up and Ian mentioned that Check Up is celebrating their 55th season.  As it Happens has been on the air since 1968.  Even their popular Metro Morning has been the same format and name since 1973, but the actual format is probably much older.

Metro Morning actually replaced a show hosted by Alex Trebek called I’m Here Til 9. From what I’ve read, it was a very different format and the addition of Metro Morning was part of a CBC strategy to put more emphasis on news and information in the morning on its AM radio stations.

 

May 3, 2021 9:29 am  #18


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

WINS has been an all-news outlet since 1965.
 


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

May 3, 2021 3:59 pm  #19


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

CHIN-AM has had the same format since it launched in 1966.

 

May 3, 2021 4:07 pm  #20


Re: Which Stations Have The Longest Running Continuous Formats?

mace wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

The music has changed a lot of course, but CHFI has played light music continuously since it first signed on in 1957.

I would say CHFI started off with the "Beautiful Music" format and gradually became "Lite" A/C.

CHFI has definitely been Middle of the Road since its inception but Beautiful Music is a specific subformat that is basically instrumental covers of pop tunes and standards (ie elevator music) mixed in with some light pop. CHFI moved away from that in the mid-80s and switched to Soft AC. Not a dramatic format change. and still MOR, but still a different format.