WOR a catch for Clear Channel, but room for improvement


What does it bring to Clear Channel’s stables to have this 50-KW directional flamethrower in The Big Apple? First of all, major coverage—not only in the NYC metro area, but beyond from its transmitter in Rutherford, NJ. Living here in Northern Virginia, I can say that the WOR signal comes in 24/7. At night it at times has issues with Cuban AM stations, but not very often. The directional pattern beams some 150,000 watts straight toward DC, covering Jersey, Philly and Baltimore in the process.

See the huge coverage pattern:

WOR is programming Talk, so it will be a giant voice for CC/Premiere’s Talk products—they may someday move El Rushbo over from Cumulus’ WABC in that market. CC may even decide to try pushing news a little harder there than the station currently airs. With the built-in listenership, it will also be a tremendous marketing tool for what CC is attempting to achieve with iHeartRadio.

It is a big voice, but WOR has room to get bigger. The latest Arbitrons place it at #19 in the market with a 1.6 share. This could have been a major factor in the sale.

Here’s the current weekday schedule:

12-1 a.m. Health Talk with Dr. Hoffman

1-6 a.m. Coast to Coast AM

6-10 a.m. John R. Gambling

10-noon Mike Gallagher

Noon-2 p.m. Joan Hamburg

2-4 p.m. Dave Ramsey

4-6 p.m. David Paterson (NJ Governor)

6-8 p.m. Michael Savage

8-10 p.m. Mike Huckabee

10-midnight Dr. Joy Browne

Some other WOR factoids:

–WOR was the first station in NYC to add AM HD Radio.

–WOR began broadcasting on February 22, 1922, using a 500-watt transmitter on 833 kHz from Bamberger’s Department Store in Newark, NJ—to help the sale of radio. The station is currently celebrating 90 years on-air.

–WOR was first a charter member of the CBS Radio Network on September 18, 1927.

–In partnership with WGN-AM Chicago and WLW-AM Cincinnati, WOR formed the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1934 and became its New York flagship.

–In 1941, the station changed its city of license from Newark to New York City.

–In 1957, WOR ended its relationship with Mutual and became an independent station

–In 1949, WOR started a sister TV station, WOR-TV

–From the 1930s to the early 1980s, WOR was a full-service MOR station.

–From 1983 to about 1985, WOR gradually stopped playing music altogether, as they evolved to an almost completely talk format.

–Past notable hosts were Ed and Pegeen Fitzgerald, Arlene Francis, Patricia McCann, Long John Nebel, Bernard Meltzer, Barry Farber, Jean Shepherd, Bob and Ray, Jack O’Brian, Bob Grant and Gene Klavan.