Recording Date: 02.04.1982
Station: 66 WNBC (defunct) (W2XY/WBAY/WEAF/WRCA/WNBC) New York (Wikipedia)
Format: Adult Contemporary
Branding: “Sixty Six, W NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN B C”
Ownership: The National Broadcasting Company
Featured Air Personality: Big Ron O’Brien (02.24.1951 – 04.27.2008) (Obit) (Wikipedia)
Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks
Total Time: 12:53 (Telescoped)
W NNNNN B C! Four Fourteen with the all-night creature feature…
Knowing Big Ron was in a class by himself, having worked with many of the legends, such as Larry Lujack at WCFL and all, one would think that this talented guy would be holding down drive time on what by 1982 was New York City’s de-facto Top 40 station. Adult oriented for the most part, but heavily dayparted, WNBC was literally all things to all people, in the months prior to the launch of Z100, and just three months before WABC got out of the music business. WNBC had found its niche. Here’s Big Ron, holding down the OVERNIGHT slot on the flagship station of NBC, and sounds like he’s having a good time in the middle of the night.
WNBC was saddled with all of its network commitments despite the hit music. So, shortly into this aircheck, you’ll hear Don Alexander anchor NBC Network News on the hour at 4am. Seriously, anything you want to know about what was happening in the world on the date of this aircheck, you’ll find out in a full, four minute newscast that includes stories about mideast peace talks (so, we’ve been trying for 40 years to get them to talk peace?!), Nicaragua and El Salvadore and what President Reagan was doing. Did you know, the unemployment rate in early 1982 was almost TEN %? And we think it was bad after the ’08 crash. Wow.
The audio is a *little* scratchy. This recording suffers from tape rumble, which sometimes one would hear after recording on a cheap boombox or other similarly inexpensive tape recorder. I was unable to remove the rumble without seriously compromising the integrity of the broadcast, so program your ears to deal with it… and a slight amount of distortion. But overall, this is a great recording, and it shows that before all that consolidation which began about 5 years after this aircheck, AM radio was live, local, informative and exciting – even at four in the morning!
4 thoughts on “Big Ron O’Brien, 66 WNBC New York | February 2, 1982”
Great check. Boy that NNNNN B C gets annoying fast!
Who was the announcer (at 4:50) for Doan’s Pills? I’ve heard him many times. Also, Charles McCord (6:54) used to do the news on “Imus in the Morning”. He continued even after 660 became WFAN. I thought of something for the first time a few nights ago. Imus was fired from 660 in NYC twice, the first time was ’77, I believe, and eleven years ago this month. He’ll be doing his last show March 29th of this year, and I wish him a happy retirement.
DIsappointing aircheck. Very little of Big Ron, too much news, commercials, and Big Ron at his less-than-finest, personality-wise. I have airchecks of B.R.O. in the fall of 1982 when he went to the 8-12 midnight shift following Howard Stern. Superb! Also have “all night creature feature” with Ron at his best!. Have never felt motivated to share my recordings with this site or Reelradio for fear of editing of the tape content,
and not giving me due credit for my telescopic efforts…..
If that’s all you worry about… Everyone who sends in a tape or mp3 gets full credit for their work as Contributor. As for editing tape content, the actual tape is never altered in any way. I use digital editors. However, if it’s because you object to the actual music being removed, that I can’t help. There are laws which I have to obey that stipulate no musical performances unless a hefty royalty payment is made to the labels/artists. But that’s the only editing that I do besides some cleanup and a bit of processing if needed. You have to realize that I re-master everything to get the best quality possible out of old dusty tapes.
Hope that explains what I do here. Feel free to donate or not. Either way, thank you for visiting Airchexx!