October 23, 1972 may not stand out as anything memorable. Its not a day that lives in infamy. It’s someone’s birthday out there, for sure (Happy birthday, to whomever this concerns!). In our case, it is the date we’ve been searching for. On 10/23/72, RKO General changed the call letters of its New York radio station on 98.7 from WOR-FM to WXLO. And when we say RKO General changed, we, of course, mean, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the proposed call letter change effective that date.
Paperwork, paperwork. We try to get all our facts correct on this site, since we’re a museum dedicated to the preservation of the medium known as radio.
Well, now for the fun. Some interesting things about this aircheck. First of all, it was recorded a few weeks or a month or two after the call letter change. You’d never know it. The only thing that appears different on this aircheck is the jingles. The format is exactly the same. The news is the same, the whole on-air approach seems the same, except with one twist – 98.7’s slogan is “The Rock of New York”. One has to wonder, now that they had new call letters, were they going to stay Top 40 with a harder edge, were they going to follow WPLJ and WNEW-FM into Progressive/AOR? We know what became of the station, hindsight is 20/20. But there’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ attached to this brief moment in time where WXLO sounded like an exact clone of WOR-FM. And in this case begs the ultimate question? WHY new Call Letters? People are speculating in our other posts. Please, add your insights in the comment section below.
Airchexx.com gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Steve Bleecker in donating this high quality recording. Thanks also to Andy Kitchen and Henry Frick for their roles in bringing this wonderful recording to our archives, so that all may enjoy and remember how radio was, and how it should be. Thank you.
Contributor Steve Bleecker writes:
“I need to Publicly say “Thanks Much” to Mr. Henry Frick, who is now retired, and living with his wife of many years, in Ft. Worth Texas. Before his long and Successful Career in Railroading…Henry and I were Curry College Buddies in Milton, Mass., and so many of the tapes I now have been able to share were given to me many years ago…and were painstakingly recorded by Henry, either while he was at school, in Milton, or in Greenwich, Conn., at his parent’s home. So…we are so Very Grateful, Henry ! Thank You !”