Posted In: History Of Radio
Several years ago, IIRC, I asked if anyone could name any radio stations out there that have been affiliated with the same network for fifty years or more. It was difficult to come up with very many, and now that NBC Radio (as we once knew it) has bitten the dust, I’m wondering if we could put together a current list. Three that I know of are WPKZ (formerly WEIM) in Fitchburg, MA, which has been an ABC affiliate since 1968; WKBK (formerly WKNE) in Keene, NH, which has been with CBS since 1941; and New Orleans’ WWL, which joined CBS in 1935.
Former network O&Os don’t count.
Since nobody else is biting, I’ll add a list of NBC stations with affiliation dates of 1936 or before from Broadcasting, June 9, 1986. Accuracy, theirs and mine, not guaranteed. WNBC, WMAQ and KNBR excluded as O&Os.
KMJ Fresno CA 12-31-36
KPRC Houston TX 1-15-28
WAPI Birmingham AL 3-24-29
WDAY Fargo ND 3-15-31
WFLA Tampa FL 5-30-30
WGY Schenectady NY 1-1-27
WHO Des Moines IA 9-4-27
WMIS Natchez MS 9-10-35
WOOD Grand Rapids MI 9-15-35
WPTF Raleigh NC 5-15-29
WRVA Richmond VA 1-7-29
WSM Nashville TN 1-9-27
WSYR Syracuse NY 10-22-36
WTAG Worcester MA 11-15-26 (Day One)
WTIC Hartford CT 11-15-26 (Day One)
WTMJ Milwaukee WI 8-15-27
Wow. And almost all of ’em left the network once Westwood One took over and began to disembowel it. I remember when WGY bolted after 70 years — noisily and not pulling any punches, in a front-page article in the Schenectady Daily Gazette. The station affiliated with CBS for a year or two, then joined ABC and later Fox. CBS made a big thing of the affiliation on the day it happened; Charles Osgood devoted his morning broadcast to it.Mario500 OnJuly 22, 2018 at 9:54 am #183223
Wow. And almost all of ’em left the network once Westwood One took over and began to disembowel it. I remember when WGY bolted after 70 years — noisily and not pulling any punches, in a front-page article in the Schenectady Daily Gazette. The station affiliated with CBS for a year or two, then joined ABC and later Fox. CBS made a big thing of the affiliation on the day it happened; Charles Osgood devoted his morning broadcast to it.
Could you explain the “broadcast” mentioned in the message above.
I don’t have a recording, but on the day WGY joined CBS, Charles Osgood, on his morning five-minute CBS program, welcomed the station and told a bit about WGY’s distinguished history. He concluded it by talking about General Electric’s part-ownership of NBC in the network’s early years, and the legend (not true) of how G-E-C on the musical scale, corresponding to the NBC chimes, supposedly alluded to the tie between the two. Then he said, “This is Charles Osgood . . . (long pause) on the (pause) CBS Radio Network.” I remember this broadcast very well.
I am pretty sure that WIBW (AM) Topeka, KS (CBS) and KOFO (AM) Ottawa, KS (ABC) have been affiliated with their respective networks for 50 years or more. In 1968, I would have been 6 years old so I can’t know for sure about then, but I do know they have both had their same affiliations since around 1972. Growing up, both stations were part of my mom’s morning routine and I remember CBS always having the top of the hour CBS News and KOFO having the bottom of the hour ABC newscast (until they discontinued it) and Paul Harvey.
WKBN/570 in Youngstown, Ohio was a CBS Radio affiliate from day one in 1928 until the Williamson family sold it to Jacor in 1999, at which point it flipped to ABC. (They weren’t exactly a charter affiliate of CBS, but pretty darn close to one, and a very loyal affiliate to boot.) The (at the time) CBS-syndicated “Music and the Spoken Word” remained on Sunday mornings well after the switch to ABC (and ultimately Fox), and I believe WKBN still carries it to this day.
WEOL/930 in Elyria, Ohio took up the ABC Entertainment Network in 1968 upon the ABC “split” into four networks, an affiliation that has, indeed, lasted 50 years.
For sports play-by-play, WLEC/1450 in Sandusky, Ohio has been a charter affiliate of the Cleveland Indians Radio Network when it was launched in 1948. Their ongoing 70 year tenure with the baseball club has to be among the longest for any professional sports team that’s not named WTMJ (flagship of the Packers since 1929!).
Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!
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