Al Bandiero, 105.1 WBIX (WTJM) New York’s Jammin’ Oldies | December 10, 1998
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Al Bandiero (WKBW, WXLO, WIFI…) sounds less than excited about the NEW “Jammin’ 105. So new that they haven’t even changed the WBIX call letters to WTJM yet. This is a worn-out tape made when Jammin’ 105 was launched. Not sure WHO recorded it, but it landed in the hands of Magic Matt over at Big Apple Airchecks (and that’s how WE got it!).
I could write the history of this station, but why duplicate what’s out there already. You can read all about the storied history of the station that started out as WWRL-FM way back in the 1950s HERE. Wikipedia has a whole paragraph dedicated to the station’s flip to “Jammin’ 105”:
On December 10, 1998, at 6 p.m., after playing “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day, the station flipped to then-growing “Jammin’ Oldies” format, and (after a “name the station” contest) branded as “Jammin’ 105”. The first song on “Jammin'” was “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang. On March 1, 1999, WBIX changed call letters to WTJM, in order to match the “Jammin'” branding. The station played rhythmic and dance pop hits of the mid-1960s through the 1980s. TV comedian Jay Thomas was hired for morning drive time. WTJM did better in the ratings than the previous format, and its results initially challenged those of longtime oldies station WCBS-FM.
Chancellor merged with Capstar Broadcasting to form AMFM Inc. in 1999. Then, in 2000, Clear Channel Communications merged with AMFM Inc., giving WTJM and the other four stations a new owner. Under Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia), WTJM evolved into an urban oldies direction, and then to an urban adult contemporary format, while keeping the “Jammin’ 105” moniker. Frankie Blue was brought in to program the shift to urban AC. He immediately brought in Jeff Foxx (formerly of WRKS and WBLS) and teamed him with comedian George Wallace to form the “Jammin’ New York Wake-up Club”. While the morning show was a hit, it did not warrant keeping the format due to the station’s low ratings in other dayparts.
And that’s how Jammin’ came and went.
The two decades since the turn of the century (are we really THAT old?) has seen such upheaval in the radio industry… I don’t think any of us who got our start in the 60s, 70s and 80s could have envisioned a world where stations come and go on the turn of a dime; where one rating book can throw an entire, increasingly smaller, air staff out of work. Recycled music seems to be still in vogue, as Classic Hits and Oldies formats are still popular… although the bean counters say listeners who like 60s and 70s music are aging out. Perhaps. Your founder is getting frighteningly close to 60 already. To think I was 39 when I started Airchexx. Why this paragraph? Oh, I don’t know. I’m feeling like a statement on the state of radio is coming on. And then, the right side of my brain says why bother. Everything has probably already been said about this dying industry. One thing is certain, 2020 is a year that I’m sure ALL OF US would like to forget.
Have a good, safe and PROSPEROUS New Year! Good Riddance 2020!
Now, ON with the show!
This is in AUDIO-ONLY form. I won’t create a YouTube video from a muffled recording. Click the waveform below.