1130 AM New York Gene Klavan Finch Standards

WNEW's Gene Klavan from the early 70s - NY Times PhotoThis starts out with a very nice narration by our contributor, Ed Montgomery. Very tastefully done and we thank Ed for this wonderful look at a very unique radio station!

One thing people remember about WNEW was the 15 or so year run that this station had as a pure, local, Standards station. What fewer people remember is when WNEW AM played some contemporary music. In fact, Metromedia had a very successful Full Service AC station on its hands, which was very heavy on personality. Gene Klavan is one of those hosts that WNEW fans remember fondly.

This begins with a 3 minute introduction by Ed Montgomery.
The aircheck opens in the middle of a commercial break – how about a 1975 Ford?! Then listen for WNEW News with Bob Hagan, and then on to the Gene Klavan show. What’s most striking about this is the conspicuous lack of what one would consider typical format elements. WNEW does play contemporary jingles, but in some odd places. Not once was there a jingle out of a stop set – or, for that matter, a typical stop set, since each song is separated either by Gene Klavan talking or a commercial (or two). And yet, for all it’s laid back mellowness, WNEW in this recording is playing a wide variety of contemporary music. Aretha Franklin, Keith Carradine, Glen Campbell and even 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” can all be heard, in pieces anyway, since this had to be scoped down for legal presentation.

Enjoy this slice of the old WNEW 1130 from a time before it was standard to play Standards!

1130 AM New York Gene Klavan Finch Standards
WNEW “Eleven Three Oh” – “The World’s Greatest Radio Station”

By Steve West

Steve West is a 41 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve is the founder of Airchexx.com and Hitoldies.net - All the BIG Hits!

63 thoughts on “Gene Klavan on WNEW 1130 New York | August 1975”
  1. I forgot how slowly things moved on this station back then. Jean seems disconnected at this point in his career. Some of the currents at the time were pretty terrible too, don’t you think?

  2. Wowo, Gene was the best. Too bad there is not ore of Him with Finch. I could still listento them for hours, still better than anything on radio today. Greatness is greatness, period

  3. This is absolutely fantastic; I grew listening to WNEW and Gene Klaven; listened to him even at WOR. What a great memory!

  4. Scary – 30 years ago today.. I met Gene at WOR (1978) when he did his last gig in NYC..Very nice guy..no ego.. This is MOR radio Big town style late 60’s thru the 70’s..I loved to listen to WHN/WNEW/WNBC battling it out!! Nothing like it anywhere else..

  5. It’s great to hear Gene Klavan again. I remember listening to him each weekday morning as I was eating breakfast and getting ready for school. My favorite part of the aircheck was the comment he made about the Keith Carradine song, “I’m Easy”. It was easily one of the worst songs of that time and possibly of all time, and Klavan pretty much said so, although he was nicer and funnier about it.

  6. i I really enjoy listening to the old airchecks. It brings back a lot of memories of an era gone by. I grew up listening to WNEW-AM.

  7. God what can you say? Absolutely fantastic. I mean like some fantasy I didn’t realize I had. A time machine. Takes me right back to the muggy Brooklyn mid-morning of my mid-teenage years. From 1964 to 1978 I got about 10 hours a week of WNEW if you include in the car. Is it okay to say I still prefer this pace, this umm ‘eclectic’ music mix? GAD, can I detect any of this in my delivery of the philosophy courses I now teach? I KNEW I recognized something familiar about Phil Hendrie’s voice — consciously modeled on Klavan? Dunno, Prefer Klavan, I know that.. Please put more of this stuff — this one WAS my Saturday morning show THIS morning in 2005.

    Oh and how did I ever forget that American Airlines jingle: “We’re American Airlines, doing what we do best.” And Mayor Beame and the Mets and Carvel ice cream, and that sci-fi news bumper music… Tickled parts of the brain even I didn’t know I had.

    Thank you for all your efforts getting this on and please keep it up — love it.

    1. Back in the Eighties, the “doing what we do best” of the American Airlines jingle was replaced with “something special in the air.”

    2. I was only a child at the time, but I think I remember some other distinct personalities – Trevor Traffic, and Dr. Isodore Isobar??? Somebody please correct me if I’ve mixed up the stations.

  8. Ed, As I recall from listening to Klavan (and Finch) through my high school and college years, the 9-10 hour was a tad mellower than the earlier hours, perhaps accounting for what you perceive as a “tiredness” in Klavan’s delivery. The 9-10 hour did have more energy during the Finch years, building up to the final “Morning there, you!” chorus at 9:59:59 a.m. daily from this most entertaining of radio humor teams. Thanks to their style, which had me in stitches daily, I was also exposed to the best in jazz and standards I otherwise would not have known, having been a WMGM and WABC listener as an adolescent. I stuck with WNEW as long as it was around. Radio has never been the same and neither has humor.

  9. A wonderful hour of purest nostalgia. I wonder where Bill Hickock is these days. We have a couple of pictures he took of us in the mid 70s which are much valued. Anyone know where he is? I have some aircheck material of Will B, Ted Brow, Klaven & Finch from 1964/5 if anyone is interested.

    1. I was once on the air (phone call) with Bill Hickock, that’s a treasured memory. Did you track down Bill? He was a great host of The Milkman’s Matinee. Please let me know about your WNEW airchecks.


    1. Don’t suppose you have an aircheck of the Jazz By George George Shearing show from 1984. I taped that from Boston but the audio was dreadful. Have many swappables.

  10. I would like to know where I can obtain free airchecks of WNEW AM from 1965 to 1975 where I can once again hear those great radio personalities.

  11. Remember the sine off in the original days of Klavan and Finch????

    Just before the news at 10 AM it was….I’m Gene Klavan… and this is Dee Finch…”GOOD MORNING THERE

    1. Ironically, Tom Moran, who was a deejay on WNEW’s sister station WIP Philadelphia during both its 60s/early 70s MOR era and early-to-mid-70s-into the late 80s (he was on WIP until only into the mid-80s) signed on by saying,…”Hello, you!”

      1. That is, to say, “…its 60s/early 70s MOR era and early-to-mid 70s into the late 80s (he was on WIP until only into the mid-80s)…”.

  12. Gang, thanks so much for commenting on this aircheck. If people will send in recordings they have of WNEW I’ll certainly get them posted right away. The sad fact is, you have to realize that most of the airchecks we have and that most people thought to record were accidental – in other words, they usually did the recording at home as a teen just for the music, then re-discovered them years later in a box somewhere. For this reason, the majority of airchecks are of top 40 stations like WABC, instead of WNEW or some other MOR station.

    True, there are others like this floating around but they are very rare and hard to come by. This one showed up purely by accident in a large donation.

    Isn’t it sad how far radio has slipped? We listen to Gene Klavan here and while the show is at a snail’s pace compared with modern morning shows, it’s so much better. But nobody would think of trying a show like this today, nevermind an ecclectic AC/Standards mix.

    Keep all the comments coming, and perhaps someone with a tape or two will step forward and let us post it!

  13. I’d love to hear some of the material John Ross Bernard has on tape. John mentioned “Wild Bill Hickock”…did he do the Milkman shift for awhile? It’s unbelievable there is not more material out there from WNEW. Where is Klavan&Finch…Bob Landers on “The losers club”…William B. audio is shockingly
    missing…he was the premier East coast personality
    for decades but there is very little available to
    showcase just how great he really was.And there is a litany of others…Jack Lazare…Dick Partridge…Jim Lowe…Ted Brown (you can find the last two on the internet but not from WNEW.Same for Pete Myers,got all
    kinds of Mad Daddy stuff no WNEW.
    And it’s not just these men…take Herb Oscar Anderson
    for example. Herb says he has only one!!!aircheck from WABC and that it’s no good. Well someone finally persuaded him to send it in and it is now available,I think, on the web site. Herb was right…it isn’t very
    good….he was ‘mailing it in’ so to speak but still it’s H.O.A. with Hello Again and all the rest of his “stuff”.

  14. Good Lord, I remember this very hour.

    Klavan’s live-tag reads at the end of Beneficial spots were always classics.

    And *otherwise*, he didn’t waste a break, either. (Remember, you had to talk out of every song in those days … no sweepers and slick filler).

    He had fun. He WAS fun. What a wit. The funniest person ever to talk into a microphone imho. I saw him do his show once. He was completely ad-lib. NOTHING scripted. Just silliness and buffoonery ; no blue stuff and no ethnic stuff of the sour sort. And a lot of his material was fairly lenghthy in theme, not just quick-hitting.

    Klavan deserves his own tribute board.

    Wonderful morning radio! Thanks Gene and Ed and Airchexx!

  15. Hearing Gene again takes me back 47 years (getting older!). No one in radio has ever equaled his ability and creativity. My Dad listened to WNEW 12 hours a day at his store starting after WWII and where I leaned to love it starting in the late 50s. Today Gene and WNEW is as wonderful as ever to listen to on this airchexx. I agree with everyone else it would be nice to also hear Willie B and the rest of the old WNEWgang from the 50s-60s.

  16. Thank You so much for this !! It was great to hear Gene again!! My dad also listened to WNEW all the time and I got hooked as a kid.

    I was lucky enough to become friendly with Ted Brown and Gene Klavan and went up to the WNEW studios (565 Fifth Ave) many times just to sit and watch them do their shows. It was alway a thril for me as a kid and I will alway cherish thoses days !! Unfortunately all the air chacks I had of them on tape have long since gone bad.

    Thanks again !!!

  17. I never had the pleasure of meeting Gene but as a former air personality myself I am awed by his unrivaled talent as a broadcaster. Perhaps more important to me is what a truly nice guy (from all accounts) he was to everyone regardless of their station in life…a rather rare commodity in the business topheavy with annoying egos.
    Thank you for allowing me to again experience great radio that is timeless.

  18. Being a former air personality myself I can really appreciate the talent of Gene Klavan perhaps more than others who haven’t been in the business. I literally had to wash away the tears of laughter as I listened to the tape. This man was absolutely the best at what he did. As important to me is that reportedly he was just as nice to an ordinary person as he was to someone of “status.” My big regret is that I never had the pleasure of meeing Gene. I know God’s blessing will always be upon him.

  19. How nice to find a place full of people who fondly remember Klavan and Finch and all the old WNEW names. I was in high school during that time and hated leaving my radio friends to go to school. WNEW woke me up every morning and the first thing I did whenever returning home was to turn on the radio and hear some more.
    In fact it was WNEW personalities that inspired me to major in broadcasting in college. I visited their studio a few times and thereafter delighted in hearing Klavan and Finch references to my home state, Pennsylvania and they even mentioned “Linda” frequently. Very nice, personal touches from very nice men.
    I met Willie B., too and just a few years ago located Ted Brown here in Palm Beach County, Florida. Unfortunately that frequency switched to an unlistenable format. No more six-foot-four, gold-flecked eyes, etc. I miss them all terribly.

  20. I remeber listening to Gene later in his carrer on WWOR. I was a delivery driver for a local drug store in the late 70’s whe I was in high school and couldn’t wait for a delivery to be dispatched so I could get in the car and listen to Gene and all his wacky characters and skits like:

    Full Nelson the wrestler who created “Camp Swamp” for kids, then later converted it to a dieters camp “The Fabulous Fat Farm” where he also owned a delicatessen across the street so the over-weight people at the camp would escape from the camp and go across the street to the deli and pay to eat sandwiches.

    Or the coverage of the winter olympics from a local pharmacy where I think it was Bob Snod would report what was selling in the pharmacy instead of who was winning medals. He was reporting from the pharmacty because apparently WWOR was too cheap to purchase a Press Pass for Bob Snod!!

    Or his Character your “Buddy Mitch” that was a take off on Bernard Meltzer who would instruct callers who were kids to go upstairs and go into their parent purses and make a check out to your Buddy Mitch and WWOR.

    Great stuff!!!!

  21. WNEW-AM 1130 was always the station of my since grade school. Listening to WNEW during the 1970’s throught the early 90’s formed my music taste and its still holds up to this very day.

    WNEW-AM not only had the best radio personalities on the air,but the station had a great presentation when it came to its music and commercial selection.

    When WNEW left the airwaves was like removing or tearing down Carnegie Hall.

    This day, August 10, 2008, the NYC Metro area still doesn’t have a fulltime Pop Standards station which one is needed, especially if we could support a Classical music station.

    1. Actually, it would be another 4 1/2 months before the NYC Metro Area (or certainly NYC itself) WOULD be without a full-time Pop Standards station (and the one that would end its run in that format and the full-time (and the city’s only full-time) classical music station were still sister stations!).

  22. Just to add, I am 47 years old from Jamaica, Queens, NYC. I was an exception listening to WNEW during my teen years, while my peers were listening to WABC, AOR or Black radio stations like WBLS & WWRL.

    1. Me too! Listening to Wnew – am was my parents idea but this clip brings back lotta memmories. Gene Klavan,William B.Williams,Julius LaRosa,Ted Brown Jim Lowe etc….

  23. Amazing- I am back as a high school student thanks to this aircheck. I recall as another person wrote as the other kids were tuned to WABC/WNBC et al I grew up in the 60s listening to WNEW; Jim Lowe, William B. Williams etc; and sadly radio is now so watered down that a station like WNEW would never be able to exist in a major market. (Example- most stations on AM outside of Toronto are now moving to FM to service their local audiences, the listeners on AM in Toronto are small in numbers now).
    And 1 other memory of WNEW; that is the station I first heard Elton Johns ‘Crocodile Rock’ at the auto center at KMart in Staten Island with my father back in the 70s. Dad passed away this year but all I an say is…
    Thanks for the memories!

  24. Utterly wonderful to be taken back in time even if for just a little while.

    I listened to WNEW in the mornings because I was quite an early riser. I missed the Finch years, but listened every morning to Klavan. I lived near the station in Manhattan and one morning decided to walk over to see if I could get an autograph. I did and saw Klavan hooting at the garbage men, having fun.

    I talked my way in to visiting a couple of days hence and I got to sit in on an entire show. I was about 18, but in retrospect seemed much younger! This was summer, about 1971, I think!

    The best thing about Klavan was his ability to switch gears within a microsecond. In the same studio with him was Mike Apicella (sp?), his “producer” –really the fellow who cued up the records and in a sound booth, Charles Euvasis, his engineer. He would have loud, raucous, often swear-filled conversations with them off the air and then, blink, the ON AIR bulb would light, and he smoothly intro-ed anything! From crazy voices to smooth commercial reads, anything.

    The “door” sound was an actual door, just narrow and short, mounted fairly high in a rolling tall boxy closet shaped thing, about 6 feet tall. In it he kept his guitar and other instruments. He hung on that noisy door knob like an old friend. He did the entire show on a tall stool in front of a 3-ring notebook on a music stand. The door gadget was right next to him.

    He had the whole show listed in front of him, so he knew exactly when he was to intro songs, spots and read ads. Part of what he was good at was “timing down” and filling in the random seconds that pop up.

    He was really nice to me, a goofy kid. I managed to get in a couple of times because he let me in with him. Once, the fellow in the newsroom who did the traffic broke his leg and Klavan whispered, go in and say you’re available! Amazingly, I spent two weeks showing up at the station at 5AM and “clearing” the teletype machines. With no effort at all, I can summon the memory of that hot oil and the relentless hammering noise of a dozen newswire teletype machines going at once! UPI, AP, Reuters, plus others I forget, a sports wire— and– duplicates of the major wires in case one broke down!. The Police Wire was the only one in the newsroom itself and it rarely fired up. It reported murders and some events.

    I had to change the huge rolls of paper each machine used– several layers of paper and in between, layers of “carbon paper.” I had to split up the copies and present the huge lengths of newswire raw copy to each of the newsmen. Bruce Charles and Rudy Ruderman were the nicest guys I have ever worked with as “bosses.”

    Here’s a trade secret! I had to listen to the traffic reports on 1010NEWS (I think) where “Flying” Fred Feldman flew his helicopter to observe traffic conditions. I would listen in and furiously type up the traffic. I had the use of this outlandish typewriter with enormous letters– all capital letters, so the on-air guys didn’t have to squint! This was at about 7 minutes before the hour and half-hour. I had only a couple of minutes to type it up and run it in to the news broadcaster in his soundproof booth. I was lucky I had been taught to type– this was a large manual machine.

    It was the experience of a lifetime and a great deal of fun. Hard work, but after all, I already listened in at 5:30… Another “secret” was that Klaven, for some odd contractual reason, did an extra half-hour of show at 5:30-6. As it turned out, he recorded that show after the main 4-hour show, including records and commercials– no sound effects, as this was done in a small studio elsewhere in the building.

    I would like to refute the notion that Klavan sounded “tired” as though there were a larger meaning. The simple fact was that he had been up since 3:30-4AM. I recall him once saying to me that “getting up this early aged you.” But his endless and improvised vocal gymnastics had to take a toll after so many hours in front of a microphone. He made it look easy, but he was working. I don’t hesitate to use the word genius when talking of him. Klavan was a great entertainer, both on and off mike!

    I have to note that the picture above was taken by his son, Scott and used on his second book, “Turn That Damned Thing Off.” Klaven himself was a gifted serious amateur photographer who worked hard to do difficult and technically challenging color printing himself!

    I’m glad this tribute is here and do hope that more air checks come to light.

  25. I’m very much interested in Klavan and Finch air checks. How do I make contact with John Ross – Bernard JP? Thanks.

  26. Oh how I miss to this very day…1130 on the dial and what it meant back then in general to radio listeners who caught WNEW AM in the British Isles and up into the Scandanavian Countries to here at home as far west as Chicago and south to Atlanta.
    Personally WNEW was a family member from wake up time until late night time before the intrusion of TV. I started with Lascoulie & Rayburn to Rayburn & Finch to Klavan & Finch. K & F were the best! Not since then have I enjoyed morning’s as much or laughed as often. The slamming doors! What a team they were and how great Gene always was. The names are a golden repository in my mind…Willie B….Bob Landers…Art Ford…Jim Lowe…Ted Brown…Bob Jones…Joe Givens…Jerry Marshall…of course Martin Block…Jazzbo Collins…Wally King…John Dale…Mike Rich…Jim Gash…Freddie Robbins…Bob Haymes…I could go on and on.
    Willie was a dear friend…met a run of big time entertainers through him including the Chrmn of the Board. I lucked out and worked among them as a news guy. Gene used to call me “Wiley Post.” Years later we became friends and I still treasure the lunches we had on the East Side…to be in his company…his wit…his style…his class!
    I teared up the day 1130AM went silent probaby as much so because the character who bid us goodbye was Mark Simone and I couple him with the assassin…Michael “K” for helping to bring down the greatest independent radio station in history…The Queen of Independent Radio as WNEW was crowned. Mike “K” because he was clueless and Simone because he was a pebble of a figure in a landscape once occupied by GIANTS! Of course it was too the changes in our culture…but lesser stations of note still provide the music.
    I recall the words of a listener who once observed, “If life was a song book, WNEW would provide all the mmusic.”
    AMEN to that!
    Art Browne
    Marketing Specialist
    Cancer Treatment Centers of America
    1331 East Wyoming Avenue
    Philadelphia 19124

  27. Art Browne’s comments, as well as many before, are so on point. Greatness with humility probably best describes Gene Klavan. WNEW was and is unique in radio history. Although I was a baby boomer and part of Rock and Roll, every morning with K and F, then just Klavan, mid-day with Willie B, Jim Lowe and Julius LaRosa, rock and roll was left for the week-ends. AM radio could still be great if independence was valued, as opposed to the plain vanilla, cost optimized, mindless corporate production of today’s content. Listening to this aircheck is a bit of heaven and wonderful memory. Thank you for your bit of history Art. I am lucky enough to have the book published by WNEW “Where the music lingers on” from my Dad’s estate. If only those pages could talk. Thanks, Mike Strange (njmresearch@yahoo.com)

  28. I cut my teeth on WNEW in the 60’s. Ted Brown was a favorite, and Wally King. I know that Ted passed away a few years ago, but can anyone tell me what became of Wally King. He had a couple of classic lines: “Wally King, and glad to be” and “It’s (time check), the latest it’s ever been.”

    Would love to be able to contact him. I’ve been in broadcasting now for about 47 years and Ted, Wally and many others at WNEW were my broadcasting teachers without even knowing it. Any info would be appreciated.



  29. I remember WNEW would change their transmitter pattern at local sunrise – usually during Klavin and Finch. So every morning they would have to pause while the switch was made. And every morning they would make a remark, such as “Goodbye Halifax, hello Holmdel!” Or, “So long Cape Cod, hello Camden!” Farewell Plattsburgh, hello Pottstown!” As a eight year-old, I would get the biggest kick out this. Maybe I was easily entertained at that age, but the fact that they could make a joke out of technical requirement, is indicative how creative they were. They were the best in business.

    1. I listened to a podcast of a special WPEN Philadelphia-tribute edition of the regionally (suburban-Philly)-syndicated “Andy Kortman Show” (hosted by the former Trenton, NJ and Philly Adult Standards deejay). (This was broadcast live during the third or fourth anniversary or thereabouts of WPEN’s 2004 format change from Standards back to Oldies.) One of the deejays who was on the station during the MOR format that, up until the mid-’70’s, preceded its first oldies format, said that either WPEN’S then-overnight deejay or the two-man team who hosted the morning-drive show at that time, announced the pattern change in similar fashion. Only the “goodbye” and “hello” was directed at, respectively, an outer suburb of Philadelphia and an inner suburb of Philly/Philly itself/probably a section of Philly (as WPEN…, well, WASN’T 50,000 WATTS LIKE WNEW WAS/(ITS SUCCESSOR)WBBR IS!

  30. What a great treat! I worked with Big Wilson in Miami and he said Gene Klavan was the funniest man he ever heard.I don’t think most people realize how difficult it is to to go on the air,( by yourself!) five days a week for four hours each day and be clever. I miss that gang of crazies…Ted Brown, William B, Bob landers et al.Who was the idiot in 1975 that believed you could mix formats.a music format is not a chemistry set. It’s like the”Playing what we want”concept of today. How bumb. Listeneres have no idea what that means. They believe that all stations play what they want to start. radio PDs…some of the dumbest guys I knew in all my years on the air.Here’s another example: While on the air at WIOD,I was chastized by Alan Anderson,the PD,not to have “my friends” as contestants on the air. after listening tpo an air check of the contest with me he said “it’s obvious she’s(the contestant) a friend . I responded that I did not know the woman and that I thought it was my job to make the contestant feel as though we were friends! a real jerk.
    Stay out of radio!!
    Gene Packard( retired)

  31. God, the set up for this air-check is painful. I’m sure you think this was brilliant commentary, were listening to Klavan not you

  32. Radio lost a lot when the big MOR stations switched to Adult Contemporary or Talk. This was adult radio, kind of martinis & steaks kind of radio, instead of fast junk food. Reminds me a bit of the kind of craziness Al Lohman & Roger Barkley pulled off in Hollywood. Gene Klavan is a true performer, nothing today like this.

  33. I am 71 years of age. I still remember listening to Klavan & Finch. I rember in my teens or twenties how thrilled I was one day when they announced they had received the cartoon-ish drawing I made and had sent to them of their fictional character “Trevor Traffic” flying around in his (yellow, if I remember correctly) helicopter.

  34. Radio lost a lot when the big *Adult Contemporary* stations on AM switched to talk, too, NYH George, including those that switched to AC from Top 40 as well as MOR. And even the early soft rock stations on both AM and FM were “martini and steaks” radio (whether the station’s imaging was AOR [what was labeled the “soft rock” format] or MOR or even was Top 40 imaging that was toned down [both then-labeled pop adult-what we commonly know as soft rock as well as adult contemporary]) compared to today. Plus, Steve, the AM Top 40 stations having been # 1 (or #2) in the ratings (in New York City, anyway) and WABC having been # 1 for most of its time as a Top 40 station and in that format longer than most its competitors in the format probably accounted for Top 40 airchecks being more numerous on this site than MOR or even AC airchecks.

  35. You know WHY (or maybe I should say, “You know WHY ELSE”[?])no one would even dare TRY an eclectic AC/Standards mix today? Because such formats are in syndication now!

  36. “We’re American Airlines, doing what we do best.” The second part was later rewritten as “something special in the air”. I also remember the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines commercial from that era–particularly the TV version that ran during the local news at the time. The announcer who said, “Come have an Amsterdam good time” extended exactly the same invitation on the TV ads for KLM.

  37. Wow! This takes back to being a 10 year old. I spent many mornings in Philadelphia, listening to Gene Klavan. As I child, listening to a station that was in no way targeted to me, I knew he was something special. I even followed him to WOR when he went to WOR in 1978, and followed him back to weekends on WNEW in the 1980s. He is part of the reason I went into radio.

  38. I had the opportunity of working at WNEW from 1973-1980…during that time I I also had the privilege of programming many of the shows…and while you may have though that Gene Klavan did his show without an audience…how wrong you were…many of us staffers were usually seated at a table inside the studio as having breakfast with Gene in studio was the only way to start our day…he was a genius to watch…”Mr. Ned is here”…the closet door opening and closing…and “Ron” his politically incorrect character…they were all figments of Gene’s amazing imagination…back then it was all in good fun. I cherish those years and the memories I took with me the day I left in 1980…I miss Gene, William B. and Julie LaRosa, Ted Brown (may I have the honor once again of someday of working with them again at the biggest radio station in the sky)….see ya sound guys!

    1. I find this to be fascinating (to quote Mr. Spock). They say history is written by those who were there, but in this case I can’t be sure. You’ve obviously corrected me, rightfully so! I’d be interested in reading more from your experiences about Gene Klavan and WNEW (AM) from this era, as comparatively, very little seems to exist about this Metromedia powerhouse, most likely because of the Top 40 77 WABC enthusiasts who have written so much about 770 and 660 – in fact, while there is the well-known tribute site about the old “Musicradio 77”, there’s even more written about the National Broadcasting Company’s efforts on 660 (WEAF/WRCA/WNBC) than there is WABC and all others combined! Comparatively very little is written about “Eleven Three-Oh”, and it does seem as if much of WNEW (AM)’s legacy faded away the day Mike Bloomberg flipped the station to All-Business so long ago. I welcome your and others’ comments regarding Mr. Klavan and WNEW.

  39. Actually, by 9/5/2008, when I posted an earlier comment in response to this aircheck,it had been *10 YEARS* and **3** 1/2 months since New York City had been without a full-time standards station. That was when W*Q*EW went from being “The home of American Popular Standards” to being the NYC affiliate of the children’s radio network Radio Disney. Ten years and two or three months after that, Radio Disney, after selling most (and right before selling the last) of its stations (with the exception of its Los Angeles terrestrial-radio flagship) to concentrate on its digital distribution, became NYC’s first affiliate of the noncommercial religious network Family Radio since WFME Newark, NJ (now commercial country station WNSH aka “94.7 (pronounced “ninety-four-SEVEN) NASH FM”.

  40. It’s been ten years since I wrote my first commentary on radio(and gen Klavan.) Today radio is on the brink of extinction(music stations, anyway.) There simply are easier ways for music lovers to obtain music without listening to too many commercials and bad DJ’s Could not happen to a worse group of “program directors.”

    1. I hate to say it but I totally agree with you. Problem is, today, corporate doesn’t let Program Directors be PD’s. In most cases today, at least in CHR radio, the program director simply implements corporate music and brand policy. Thus, program directors are really simply content managers. They direct NOTHING. Except implement the corporate format manager’s policy. This is one reason why radio is essentially antiseptic, and devoid of any kind of personality where they stand out as great stations. Frankly, corporate doesn’t WANT “great” stations. They want a station where voices are interchangeable and no one becomes a loyal fan of one jock or another. They don’t care about local music, they don’t WANT stations in their cluster to stand out as better than some other station. Because if talent or the station itself becomes too big for its britches, it costs corporate too much money in salaries. Since they feed the bottom line and only care about corporate policy, jocks are a throw away commodity. This is why radio is dead as a doornail. Radio COULD attract an enormous audience and take it away from services like Pandora and Spotify, but to do that requires things to be done on the local level – hiring jocks who have a passion for the music they play and who can communicate and relate to their audience.

      It will NEVER happen again, sadly. If it did, radio would use the one leg up they have over the internet – people who can connect with people in their audience. This is why News/Talk and Sports formats can sell out, even on AM if it’s locally produced. Music stations? Not so much. FM Music radio is headed for a big crash, once advertisers realize they are wasting their ad dollars on a medium which is totally irrelevant to anyone under 30.

  41. Here’s one that’s hard, if not impossible, to top. I’ve lived in West Virginia all my life, but I lived for trips to NYC to hear WHN. I was heavy into country back in the day, and when I went there in ’79, ’80, and ’82, I’ll bet I listened to WHN 92% of my waking hours. You and I are about the same age (I’ll be 55 June 10).

  42. “Later than it’s ever been” was a Jim Lowe audio marker, not Wally King. The latter was a studio announcer for WCBS Radio and network TV; he had worked at WNEW as well, but I’m not sure he ever had a regular time slot.

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