William B. Williams Farewell; Bob Jones, WNEW 1130 New York, Part 2 | August 3, 1986

1130 AM New York Klavan & Finch William B Williams Dick Partridge Mark Simone American Popular Standards, WNEW WBBR WQEW 1560 AM New York

WNEW Staff, 1964
… There’s only one. WNEW Eleven Three Oh in New York. There was, until 1992. Not counting it’s sister Album Oriented Rock FM station on 102.7, WNEW (AM) was the most unique radio station in America. To be sure, there were radio stations, primarilly on the AM dial, which played American Standards, but most of those were either some sort of automated jukebox, or part of the nationally syndicated “Music Of Your Life” satellite format. WNEW was different. It was alive, with a personality that only a New Yawker could possibly understand.

Presented to us thanks to Contributor Ira Warren Patasnik, this is part two of a wonderful tribute to the late William B. Williams, who hosted the “Make Believe Ballroom” for three decades. He was a man who was a true friend to both artists such as Frank Sinatra (it was Williams who dubbed Sinatra, “The Chairman of the Board”), and listeners alike.

Editor’s note: While there is a lot posted online about Top 40 stations, all of which played copious amounts of Rock n Roll, there’s not much out there about WNEW. This website, as any business endeavor, normally does not send it’s listeners to competing websites. However, in the interest of historical preservation, I’d like to offer a link to ONE site which, while obviously incomplete, does present some very important information about WNEW. If you’re interested, please visit wnew1130.com. There, you’ll find some photos, and very useful information for those wishing to understand how this great radio station came into being, and more information about it’s legacy as a presenter of American Popular Music for many generations. I trust that the webmasters of that site will appreciate our endorsement.

Our contributor had some words to say about WNEW’s signal, and some interesting observations;

WNEW had a 50,000 watt omini directional signal by day and directional signal
at night to protect Chicago. The transmitter had a very crisp clean sound and at
night the signal would go all the way upstate NY into Canada and out towards England so much so that in WWII our airforce used WNEW’s Signal for a guided signal back to NY. The WNEW studios were so sound proof that the station had an almost FM like sound. They had really great engineers.

It used to be that stations received reception reports, or, QSL’s (in ham radio speak) from listeners far and wide. A bit of observation from Mr. Patasnik…

WNEW 1130 at night went from Atlanta, GA all the way up to Canada.
WABC 770 went from New England and Canada all the way to Miami, FL and
WOR 710 went from New England all the way down to Atlanta, GA at night.

Perhaps you have memories of AM DX listening. Feel free to add them to the comments section below this aircheck.

WNEW Eleven Three Oh - New York City


  1. Ilia Toumadjanov

    It’s impossible to explain how this music personified America for us in the former Soviet Union, it inspired us, it made life worthwhile, it gave us hope when despair was just around the corner, it colored all our dreams, it made us eternal prisoners of that distant land ten thousand miles away. And it’s so sad that this uniqueness is almost completely gone drenched in celebration of mediocrity. God bless that unforgettable time. Never again.

  2. Ivy

    Every it’s in this article should be its. It’s is a contraction of it is.

  3. Eric Forbes

    Mr. Patasnik,
    WNEW’s signal could be heard from Atlanta to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Saying it went all the to Canada is not very specific. No one in most of the country would have heard it. Thanks for posting, WNEW AM was a treasure. I once had a colleague who worked in their newsrooom.

    Eric Forbes
    Regina Saskatchewan

  4. Gary Kerns

    You said WNEW had to protect Chicago at night. Did Chicago have an 1130 station. I’ve lived in west Virginia all my life and can get all three stations mentioned. I believe WNEW-AM is now WBBR (I do know they changed calls), and WNEW-FM (102.7) also changed calls and is a sister station to, among others, WCBS-AM and FM, WINS, and WFAN. I believe 102.7 (I don’t remember their call letters) is adult contemporary.

    • Gary, you’re behind on a few call letter changes. 102.7 changed call letters to WWFS, to match their “Fresh” branding several years ago. The WNEW call letters went to 99.1 (which was alternative WHFS when I lived there in the 90s) Annapolis. Then, recently, Entercom restored the WNEW calls to 102.7 in NYC. Recently, as in March 15, 2016. If you are interested in the history of 102.7 (of course you are or you wouldn’t be here LOL… silly webmaster…), check out this description. I’ll dig up a few more references shortly

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