It’s the first day of the “All-New WNBC” – Bob Pittman’s mostly failed attempt to remove the expensive personalities and streamline the station down to a more music, FM-style approach. Love it or hate it, it’s a part of the station’s legacy that can’t be forgotten.
It’s worth noting that while the idea was to make WNBC a “more music” station, it didn’t really kill off all personality. Sure, Imus was sent packing to Cleveland, and the entire staff right down to Cousin Brucie was let go, but this ushered in the era of people such as Scott Bingham, Ellie Dylan, and New Orleans native Allan Beebe. The station developed a unique personality that was totally different from what was before, while WNBC was able to shed its image as a middle-of-the-road music station to become a sort of Adult Hits outlet before AC really became a format. This would evolve into full-out Top 40 by 1981… but that story can wait for another time.
You will notice that WNBC was trying very hard to not let its on-air staff say too much in the beginning. Beebe actually SAYS very little, outside brief song intros and a few promos. It’s not at all what you would expect from one of the most powerful stations in America’s #1 radio market, and fortunately, this approach didn’t last very long – but it is a part of WNBC radio’s history that needs to be saved to the annuls of history.
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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Big Apple Airchecks is one of our original contributors, having donated several hundred airchecks since 2002. Matt is an aircheck collector and maintains a library of cassette tapes in the thousands. You can view most of his collection at BigAppleAirchecks.com, where he has his tapes meticulously cataloged by market and tape number. Matt trades with other collectors, so if you have something of interest, you may wish to contact him. His email address is email@example.com.
Matt lives on Long Island with his wife Marcy, their daughter, and two cats.