98.1 WCAU-FM

Barsky in the Morning, 98.1 WCAU-FM Philadelphia | July 10, 1984

Date of Recording: 07.10.1984 Station: 98.1 WCAU-FM Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Featured Air Personality: Paul Barsky Aircheck Entry: 1,433 “Something’s different this morning. Pretzels and Brew…” Comments: Raise your hand if you remember “Barsky in the Morning”? In Philly or Chicago? Yes, Paul Barsky was on the old WCAU-FM and was so successful that ABC Chicago noticed and offered him a job at WLS-FM.. although at that point, the station became straight ahead CHR as WYTZ “Z-95”. Barsky really was a consummate professional. Even dabbled in station ownership for a while. Other stations Barsky was heard on include WAXC Rochester, KRBE Houston and WYSP Philadelphia. Note the almost overpowering reverb 98 Now was running in 1984. It wouldn’t...

Rich Hawkins, WCAU-FM ’98-Now’ Philadelphia | December, 1984

Somewhere in our vault of yet-to-be-posted airchecks, we have more recordings of WCAU-FM, and the ‘Hot Hits’ ™ format from other stations around the country, which consultant Mike Joseph propelled to huge ratings success in the 1980s. For now, however, let us be the beneficiaries of a great show put on my late morning jock Rich Hawkins. It’s December on this tape, and everything is gearing up for Christmas. Listen to the number of commercials – at least three breaks in this hour with both produced and live reads (live? oh, there’s a concept!). Listen to the amount of reverb WCAU-FM is using. This is 1984 and the station is red hot – truly Philadelphia’s only REAL Top 40 hit station of any consequence at this point in it’s existence. You...

Bill O’Brien, the Philly “Hot 30 Countdown”, 98.1 WCAU-FM Philadelphia, Part 2 | January 8, 1984

The Philly Top 30 Countdown continues with Bill O’Brien. This segment starts at number 19 and goes down to number 9. Listen for such stiffs as “The Curley Shuffle”, and Matthew Wilde’s “Break My Stride”. Remember hearing those at little bars and clubs that did the first Karaoke nights? The jingles in use here are unmistakably from JAM Creative Productions, I recognize a few of them from one of the WLS-FM Chicago packages. They sounds great on the air, but in context of this format where O’Brien talks over song endings INTO the jingle & next song, its a bit odd sounding, at least if you remember the old WLS-FM 95 years (1981-1985) Enjoy this slice of history, repeated only by the limited playlist of CBS’S current 98.1 WOGL which overlaps t...

Bill O’Brien, the Philly “Hot 30 Countdown”, 98.1 WCAU-FM Philadelphia, Part 1 | January 8, 1984

An impressive aircheck from this date in January 1984 – the GREAT “98 Now” Hot Hits ™ format at WCAU-FM. Here’s the first part of the Philly Top 30 Countdown which we hear shortly after the start. Plenty of mentions of schools, dedications and all the great things that classic Top 40 radio was about. Note for you format geeks – Consultant Mike Josephs had the WCAU-FM jocks talk on the OUTRO of songs and into a jingle, which is kinda reverse of the ‘forward momentum’ that most consultants have been pushing for 30 odd years now. For those who are just radio listeners, ‘forward momentum’ means that the air personality NEVER speaks over the end of songs, except the last note or two going into a commercial break, any speaking is usuall...

Mike Frasier, 98 “The Hot FM” WCAU-FM Philadelphia | July 27, 1987

Call this “Diary of a Confused CHR Station”. WCAU-FM is in the waning days of its contemporary music format, and obviously at a crossroads as to which way to go, musically. The station leans very rhythmic, and while the jocks are now calling this “98 The Hot FM” in their live banter, all the imaging still says 98 WCAU-FM. In editing this for presentation, I had to wonder, if CBS had not decided to take the station Oldies in November ’87, would WCAU-FM have simply gone Urban or Dance oriented in order to separate itself from its closest format competitor, WEGX “Eagle 106? A moot point, to be sure but it brings up some interesting questions for discussion (below). Here is Mike Frasier (Frazier?) has studio jock duties while Glen Colina is on location at Ve...

Bob Garrett, “Hot Hits”(tm) 98 Now WCAU-FM Philadelphia | November 26, 1982

First, a little history. Before the birth of what’s known today as WOGL, 98.1 was home to a heritage set of call letters and a trademarked hot Top 40 format which graced a dozen or so markets from 1977-1986. Mike Josephs’ “Hot Hits” format revolutionized the way the Top 40 format was presented. “Hot Hits” was so tight, Josephs’ so unwavering in the format’s execution, that while each station that aired the format had its own uniqueness, the core format was absolutely the same wherever it aired, be it little WFBL “Fire 14” Syracuse NY (a tiny, 1,000 watt candle on 1390 AM), WTIC-FM Hartford or here, at WCAU-FM Philadelphia. Of course, there were other stations which aired “Hot Hits”, including WMAR-FM (later, WMKR) Balt...

Billy Burke & Terry Young – The Top 100 of 1982 on 98-Now WCAU-FM Philadelphia | December 31, 1982

In our last episode of WCAU-FM, we gave our listeners a bit of background on Philadelphia’s “Hot Hits” outlet. Mike Joseph consulted this CBS O&O, the FM sister station of the legendary 1210 WCAU, at this time a News/Talk hybrid that would eventually become the Big Talker, 1210 WPHT, with some format changes and call letter changes along the way. Much is written about the rise and fall of early 80s CHR, as invented, literally, by one of Top 40 radio’s pioneers. Mike Joseph didn’t just come along and create “Hot Hits” in Philadelphia, but rather, as he said in an interview sometime in the 80s, the “Hot Hits” format in this form actually began in the planning stages as early as 1972. It was first launched in 1977, at little 1390 AM W...

Pete Michaels, WCAU-FM ’98-Now’ Philadelphia | February 15, 1983; 1:45-2:00 AM

Look what we found gathering dust! A pristine “Hot Hits” recording from Philadelphia’s Hit Music Leader, 98-Now! From the overnight hour of 1-2am, Pete Michaels is on with a super high-energy show! This is scoped, and so you get a very good idea of the Hot Hits format, at the apex of it’s success. There are a LOT of jingles, mostly from JAM. The early TM “Fusion” jingles had been replaced in ’82, so you won’t hear those on this recording. But the formatics are all there, including talkups INTO jingles, OUT OF jingles, and anywhere that consultant Mike Joseph could get the jocks to speak. A jingle is played after EVERY element, which makes for exciting, if not monotonous listening – there had to be a significant burnout factor with this ...

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