Could An AM Oldies Station Work In NYC?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  limegrass69 12 months ago.

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    About a month ago in Los Angeles 1260 AM flipped to oldies and is now known as KSUR.  They stream at  I don’t think there are any ratings in yet, but I am wondering if an AM oldies station can work in NYC.  WMTR in Morristown is too far away to reach much of the NY Metro.  If WABC is losing money, maybe they should flip.  Any thoughts?


    MTN Productions

    Interesting question. We’ve been talked about oldies stations so many times in the past, I’ve talked about WGNY-FM’s “Fox Oldies” in the Hudson Valley, WROW’s “Magic 590/100.5”, WLNG, WBPM and now WALL up in Middletown where is now the home of Mark West where he now does evenings instead of mornings, because Van Ritshie left “Fox Oldies” last month and moved over to WALL and does a great job shifting from “Fox Oldies” to its competitor WALL. And now, Bob O is doing a excellent job with his morning show since he returned back in late December 2016, and I love Bob O, because he’s still my favorite guy, but I either listen to Scott Shannon on WCBS-FM or Bob O on “Fox Oldies”. I can listen to Bob O first at 5:30 AM for a half  hour until Scott Shannon time at 6 AM.


    My other favorites would be JJ Carter on WBPM, Brian “The Cannon” Bannon on WLNG which is a great afternoon show, and I enjoyed them. Bob Johnson on “Magic 590/100.5” for a hour, and my new favorite is Mark West on WALL from 7 PM to midnight. On weekends is Bob O on “Fox Oldies”, Jay Scott on “Magic”, Warren Lawrence on WKNY does his Saturday afternoon oldies show, and my favorite is Richie Norris (aka “Rockin’ Richie”) where he does an excellent job with his “Saturday Night at the Oldies” where it plays 6 hours of your favorites where “Fox Oldies” and WBPM united for one incredible show.


    I’ve posted a bunch of airchecks from “Fox Oldies” and “Magic” in past posts, but I will post it again as soon as I have to get things straightened, because I have not post any of the new airchecks in quite awhile since I was busy on my work.


    I know what you’re thinking that oldies on AM might ended up in NYC, but I have no clue, but anyways, the answer is “NO!” You can get your oldies fix, listen to Satellite radio like Sirius/XM’s 50’s on 5, and 60’s on 6. Or you can get your local oldies from out of the city like “Fox Oldies”, “Magic 590/100.5”, WLNG and WALL. All you need is a TuneIn app.


    Steve Green

    @ Bruce:  Just curious From what format did the 1260 in Los Angeles flip,  and why?

    Either which way,    KSUR does seem to put a decent-enough signal through the city proper and other places. However,   so do a lot of NYC stations (including some former ‘regionals’ who have goosed their power four-fold).

    The reasons for the paucity of Oldies (as we knew them) are numerous and terminal.    Even the biggest FM stations regard ‘Oldies’ as ancient history.    So the huge AM stations trying the format would ramming their earphones into three walls.    One wall would be the thorough lack of  a glimmer that such a format is getting traction anywhere,  never mind a major-major market.    Wall # 2 should be marked:  ‘Caution — Demos!’.   Those who enjoyed The Belmonts,  Chiffons,  Beatles,  Beach Boys et al are now as old as Glendale’s Casey Stengel used to be.   Barrier #3 arguably might be the most resolute obstacle,  namely:   any such major AM to try this would somehow have to find a way to entice that long-lost ‘hardest-to-sell’ audience away from what they’re enjoying now …. and convince them that they hould return to …. AM fidelity?

    Since the the big operators are chewing their nails in current times balancing their books,  they’re not about to try and patch up a ship that not just sailed but already sank.

    It’d be neat to hear and see a WOR or a WABC or even a WFME or a WBBR have a go at it.   But until any of them do,   I for one will have those swell Internet Oldies stations handy for entertainment.




    @Steve – the history of the 1260 AM signal in Los Angeles can be found at .  It obviously has a checkered history.  The last format was adult standards.



    Technology will never allow AM radio to get any real traction.  No one under 50 even knows AM radio is there anymore, or cares.

    Not one radio company executive’s bung hole doesn’t pucker up tighter than snare drum when it comes to spending money on a format change.

    My layman’s guess is no.



    The ratings for March for K-Surf at 1260 in LA were only 0.3.  In any event, it will take time for a new radio station to gain a following.  Let’s see what happens in the months to come.


    And Oldies in Los Angeles skews 55+, just as it does everywhere else.

    There’s only one AM station in NYC playing music in English. WLIB has a Gospel format. Not only does it have a small audience, it was put up for sale last year.

    Too many people are putting Oldies on a pedestal and worshipping it as a magic bullet for whatever ails AM radio. That’s false idolatry. Just let it go.



    There are oldies stations in Morristown, NJ (WMTR), Central NJ (WOLD-LP), and WLNG (Eastern Long Island).  These suburban stations seem to be attracting enough advertising dollars to be viable.  My question is can it still work in NYC.


    Morristown: Inherited by Beasley Broadcast Group when it acquired Greater Media.

    Central New Jersey: Local yokel low-power FM. As an “-LP” it’s a non-commercial license, therefore it’s not allowed to accept advertising.

    Eastern Long Island: Local yokel station that’s way, way out of range of New York City radio.

    New York City: Not unless a broadcaster has a death wish.



    Charles – there is advertising on 107.9 FM in central NJ.  I suggest you check it out at  Most of their advertisers are local merchants.

    WLNG is way out of range of NYC radio, but since it is on the internet, there are many listeners from outside the area.  I am suggesting that a small AM like 620 or 930 give it a try.

    Let’s see how K-SURF in Los Angeles does in the long run.



    About a month ago in Los Angeles 1260 AM flipped to oldies and is now known as KSUR. They stream at I don’t think there are any ratings in yet, but I am wondering if an AM oldies station can work in NYC. WMTR in Morristown is too far away to reach much of the NY Metro. If WABC is losing money, maybe they should flip. Any thoughts?

    The “LA Station” is actually a duburban station, mostly covering the San Fernando Valley, and its coverage of the rest of the huge LA metro is quite limited. In the latest weekly, they ranked 41st.



    You are being told by multiple people (one, in particular, who is quite knowledgeable), that oldies on AM is not likely to work in NYC.  You don’t seem to like the answer.  I get it.  You want an oldies station.  An oldies AM station might get 10, 100 or maybe thousands of listeners…but advertisers (who pay the bills) will not all of a sudden start buying time on a station with demographics that they believe are undesirable.

    Just because a station does not show in the 6+ beauty numbers or has a format that you don’t personally like, does not mean that it is a not profitable enterprise for the station owner.

    With very few exceptions, the fact that you are citing stations that are either LPs, translators, gimped AMs or in the middle of nowhere should tell you something.

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