On or near this date in 1960, WABC-AM 770 in New York decided that, with its 50kw signal heard in half of America after dark, it would do what crosstown WMCA and WMGM had some success with by taking rock-and-roll music to a much grander platform.
By Fourth of July, songs such as “Alley Oop” and Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” defined the new sound of WABC. For the next 22 years, “Musicradio 77” would come to define a generation brought up on the Four Seasons, the Beatles, Elton John and disco music.
The next 37 years would see WABC serve New York with Talk programming, as its overall ratings began a slow, steady decline.
On June 27, 2019, WABC was sold to a local businessman for $12.5 million.
Seems like a bargain, no? Two brokers shrug that it’s simply the new normal for AM radio stations — regardless of their rich history or past value.