Don Reegan, 98.7 WXLO New York | November, 1972


October 23, 1972 may not stand out as anything memorable. Its not a day that lives in infamy. It’s someone’s birthday out there, for sure (Happy birthday, to whomever this concerns!). In our case, it is the date we’ve been searching for. On 10/23/72, RKO General changed the call letters of its New York radio station on 98.7 from WOR-FM to WXLO. And when we say RKO General changed, we, of course, mean, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the proposed call letter change effective that date.

Paperwork, paperwork. We try to get all our facts correct on this site, since we’re a museum dedicated to the preservation of the medium known as radio.

Well, now for the fun. Some interesting things about this aircheck. First of all, it was recorded a few weeks or a month or two after the call letter change. You’d never know it. The only thing that appears different on this aircheck is the jingles. The format is exactly the same. The news is the same, the whole on-air approach seems the same, except with one twist – 98.7’s slogan is “The Rock of New York”. One has to wonder, now that they had new call letters, were they going to stay Top 40 with a harder edge, were they going to follow WPLJ and WNEW-FM into Progressive/AOR? We know what became of the station, hindsight is 20/20. But there’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ attached to this brief moment in time where WXLO sounded like an exact clone of WOR-FM. And in this case begs the ultimate question? WHY new Call Letters? People are speculating in our other posts. Please, add your insights in the comment section below.


Credits gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Steve Bleecker in donating this high quality recording. Thanks also to Andy Kitchen and Henry Frick for their roles in bringing this wonderful recording to our archives, so that all may enjoy and remember how radio was, and how it should be. Thank you.

Contributor Steve Bleecker writes:

“I need to Publicly say “Thanks Much” to Mr. Henry Frick, who is now retired, and living with his wife of many years, in Ft. Worth Texas. Before his long and Successful Career in Railroading…Henry and I were Curry College Buddies in Milton, Mass., and so many of the tapes I now have been able to share were given to me many years ago…and were painstakingly recorded by Henry, either while he was at school, in Milton, or in Greenwich, Conn., at his parent’s home. So…we are so Very Grateful, Henry ! Thank You !”


  1. Peter Q. George

    I guess RKO General wanted a complete distancing from WOR/710 (AM). Some people probably would inadvertently credit WOR-FM as simply WOR on their rating diaries. Many stations were beginning to try to distance their FM’s from their co-owned AM stations (i.e.- WABC-FM->WPLJ, WRKO->WROR, WLS-FM->WDAI and so on). But, in 1979, WXLO tried to reclaim the original WOR-FM call-letters for an oldies format which never occurred. WRFM/105.1 objected saying it was too close to WRFM to have WOR-FM in the same market. So, the FCC agreed. SO, eventually WXLO became disco WRKS (“Kiss 98.7”).

  2. Edward Ogden

    For many of us WOR-FM will always be the original format with Murray The K, Scott Muni, Johnny Michaels and Bill “Rosko” Mercer. Its mix of top 40 and new, progressive, longer album cuts presented in an intelligent, adult style made it to this day, IMHO, the best radio station ever. When Bill Drake literally raided the place overnight it left a really bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths and listening to it made us sick to our stomachs. I always felt the whole WXLO/99X thing was to cover up all the damage they did, and sound like the rest of the RKO rock stations.

  3. mike hotaling

    this very much sounds like the don reegan from kingston ny… who was on CHUM in toronto for a while as well… than went on to open a broadcasting school in albany ny.

  4. Karl Phillips

    Same Michael Dineen mentioned is Mike Dineen from WBBQ Augusta – WFIL Philly and WQXI Atlanta stops !!


  5. mike schwartz

    As poster Dave Iseman commented above, I agree that Reegan sounds like a Sean Casey clone. By this time in 1972, I think Casey was already on WWDJ in Hackensack, NJ along with former XLO morning man Jimmy King, who hosted the first morning show after the call letter change from WOR-FM to WXLO on Oct 23rd. The pd at the time was Mel Phillips and he was probably looking for the Sean Casey sound when he hired Reegan. When I listen to many of the other Drake stations, the jocks shared similar vocal styles that they became indistinguishable-which was the whole idea.

  6. Dave Iseman? Same guy I used to hear in Boston at WCGY and elsewhere? I just caught that! Hi Dave! Another of my Radio idols!!

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