Steve York, 66 WNBC New York | April 23, 1983

660 New York WNBC

1983 might be considered the year that 66 WNBC finally hit the post as a true Top 40 station. Nights were full of the hits of ’83, one of the top rated shows in New York, and the station was boasting Imus in the Morning and Howard Stern in the afternoon. Having witnessed the demise of WABC almost a year earlier, WNBC finally achieved what it couldn’t all throughout the 70s – ratings superiority over 77 WABC. In addition, while the programming was superb, the station switched to AM Stereo (the Khan system) and it sounded incredible even in mono!

This era is largely forgotten by nearly everyone but its important to remember that while Z-100 launched in 1983, WNBC really took over for a time as THE Top 40 station in the Big Apple. Shortly before WHTZ came on the air, 7-Midnight on WNBC became the Number one station (12+) in the market, something that had eluded the station previously. With a largely California Top 40 sound, no reverb, and a personality based Top 40 sound, WNBC had it all. It only lasted a year or so before talk began to kill the music outside of drive time, but it sure sounded great. Here, Steve York is playing oldies on a 60s Saturday.

WNBC composite graphic from the 80s


  1. Based on the reference to “Ronnie Milsap’s new one…Any Day Now”, this aircheck would be from April of 1982, not 1983. “Any Day Now” was released that month and topped the Billboard country chart in July 1982. The April 1982 date places the aircheck just a few short weeks before May 10, 1982—“The Day the Music Died” on WABC… and, well over a year before Z-100’s debut in August 1983. Still… a fun aircheck to listen to (and would be even better had it been from 83/84 when WNBC added jingles back into the format!)

    • Gary Kerns

      Joe, you’re right about “Any Day Now’. I heard it on WHN in July of ’82 when I was up there. I’ve lived in west Virginia all my life, but lived for trips to NYC to hear WHN, as it didn’t come in too well where I live.

  2. This is not 1983, please post the correct date. WNBC was a much hotter top 40 at this time, they were heavy on jingles from the jam “Nothing But Class” package, and Casey Kasem was gone by September of ’83 because ABC/Watermark bought the show and WNBC lost the rights to broadcast it. Million Dollar weekends were also prominent by September of 83 and there is not a mention of it on this aircheck. Clearly the wrong date.

    Chris DiPaola WBLQ owner and WNBC expert

  3. L. A. TARONE

    For what it’s worth, there was a Steve York who worked at WCFL in Chicago in the early ’70s. I thought he sounded great. While this Steve York also sounds good, it’s not the same one.

  4. This is a great aircheck !!! very rare to hear airchecks from NBC between the years of 1981 thru 1984…this actually sounds like a slightly upbeat version of their sister station 97 WYNY…….Nice Post !!!

  5. Mike D.

    Man, this station was boring. No wonder Z-100 and PLJ took over the market so quickly. So much less energy than the post-crash WABC.

  6. Gary Kerns

    My favorite thing about WNBC was Big Jay Sorenson’s Time Machine. I”ve lived in West Virginia all my life, and when I would call up there, he’d razz me a bout being a hillbilly. In later years he worked at WJRZ (somewhere in New Jersey, Newark, I think, but I wouldn’t swear to it). When I called him at JRZ, he said that New Yorkers would get a kick out of my southern accent. Two more things, and then gotta go. About thirty years ago, someone said that everyone north of the Mason-Dixon line says “youse”, while everyone south of it says y’all. Also, if anyone would like to discuss WHN’s days as a country station, I’d love to hear from them.

  7. To further clarify the correct date of this aircheck, Baseball Almanac shows the Mets lost to the Giants 6-3 on Saturday, May 1, 1982.

    • David

      So if this aircheck dates back to May 1982, then, contrary to the above introductory comment, this was three or four months before Howard Stern came to WNBC.

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