WNBC Time Machine Staff
The Personalities of The WNBC Time Machine, 1987
Date of Recording: 11.29.1987
Station: 660 WNBC New York, New York, USA
Format: Adult Contemporary and Talk Weekdays, Oldies Overnights & Weekends (Variety format)
Featured Air Personality: Jim Collins
Contributor: Frank Davis

Presented ‘SCOPED

…”You Say it, We Play It!”


This is a fresh, re-issue of WNBC’s last, great format, “The Time Machine”. Sources say that before GE sold all of its radio properties, in particular, WNBC sold to Jeff Smulyan (who decided to shut it down and move then WFAN from 1050 down to 660), WNBC management was close to ending most of its daytime talk and variety programs and taking the weekend “Time Machine” Oldies format full time. As we all know, that never happened. Too bad, as many of us remember this format as the best thing WNBC had programmed in many years, perhaps going back to late 1979-80 when it programmed Top-40/Album Rock all day. We have a series of WNBC Time Machine airchecks which have to be scoped down to comply with DMCA rules, and here’s one of the first returnees to the site which have been tightly edited down by your webmaster.

Jim Collins was a major part of the Time Machine staff. He had been with WNBC since the early 80s, a part time fill-in host for Imus in the morning and serving as APD for WNBC. Before that, Collins had been with WPGC AM/FM Morningside Md and is fondly remembered by fans in both Washington and New York.

In this ‘Time Machine’ aircheck, it begins in the middle of WNBC News with Mike Hyde, a report from the WNBC Traffic and Transit Network into sports and then this wraps up into a WNBC Promo. The promo uses a modified Jam ‘Nothing But Class’ jingle bed (which WNBC quit using by the end of ’87). This cut was updated from the one they used for the previous three years but unmistakable. From here, it goes straight into a classic PAMS cut (SAME CUT that WABC used for many years out of news in the 60s!) sung for WNBC and the show begins!

One of the most obvious things you’ll notice right off about this and all these Time Machine recordings is the reverb. Reverb was used in the whole audio chain and not just the mic, so ALL the program elements got that 60s effect. Used in-context like this, the whole station sounded larger than life.

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!

10 thoughts on “Jim Collins, 66 WNBC “Time Machine” | November 29, 1987”
  1. Just as an FYI the newsman at the head of this air check spelled his name Mike Heide. I met him once somewhere along the way.

  2. I was such a big fan of the WNBC Time Machine. Music was great, and the jocks were incredible. I also loved the Nothing But Class jingle package. I wish it were still around.

  3. Somewhere in my collection of cassettes, I have the Time Machine from WNBC recorded off air from my Fujitsu 10 in Kahn Stereo. I will donate it when I find it. It added an additional dimension and was heard in Stereo, during the day, South on I-95 almost to North Carolina.
    You will hear why I was such a proponent of Kahn’s system.

    1. Bobby, WABC went talk on May 10, 1982. I imagine it would be on Wikipedia. I know it was in The New York Times and probably the other NYC papers.

    1. Jeff, I think WABC went talk on May 10, 1982. WNBC did borrow a couple things from WABC, namely WNBCDegrees: also it called itself “Musicradio”. You could look up what I said about WABC at Wikipedia.org.

  4. Oh yeah. They also said WNBeatlesC, another WABC feature. Also near the end of this ‘check, hearing about Gorbachev. Is Communism really dead? Sure hope so.

  5. this a cool and read station playing most if not all of my favorites now I can listen to at work thank you

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