A B O U T T
H I S D O C U M E N T A R Y
December 1978 - The late 1970s
is a golden time in New York radio news.
All news radio is at its prime, with hard news stations WCBS (880 AM) and
WINS (1010 AM) competing head-to-head, 24 hours a day.
Pop music stations, effectively required by FCC guidelines to run news as
part their programming, are working hard to prevent news from being a "tune
out" for their young audiences. Just sample the increasingly creative and
diverse news programming approaches from stations like 99X WXLO (98.7 FM),
WPIX (101.9 FM), and WNBC (660 AM), WNEW (AM 1130) among others.
And, change is in the air: There is an uneasy tension between traditionalists
who view news as education and information and a new breed of programmers
who think as news as part of their stations' overall entertainment programming.
And, there is an increasing push among the broadcast business community
to scale back FCC news requirements, which some view as an expensive drain
For the past two months, during this Fall of 1978, I have been priviledged
to get a unique behind-the-scenes view of a dozen top radio news rooms
in New York, the world's largest radio market. I've interviewed their anchors,
reporters, engineers and news directors; sat in the studio during on their
broadcasts; traveled with reporters on assignment; and reviewed and edited
dozens of hours of taped "air checks" of New York stations.
This resulting documentary is part of an independent study project at the
University of Florida School of Journalism and Communications. [Orginally
produced in 1978 as a written report and a two-hour audio documentary, it
has now been transcribed to the medium of the web to provide an accessible
historical record of New York radio news in the late 1970s.]
Why New York?
Why New York? The audio clips below, from the 1978 New York
Market Radio campaign, say it all...
Eddie -- NY market radio works like crazy for us."
"NY market radio reaches the largest consumer market in the country."
goes everywhere you go, and so does Blue Nun."
"NY market radio reaches 88% more consumers than Los Angeles, and 120% more
than Chicago. In fact, more new yorkers listen to the radio than CA and
Chicago put together."
|"Barnes & Noble... New York
Market Radio... Of Course, Of Course."
"NY market radio reaches the largest concentrated population in the country,
and every day most of them listen to the radio."
We'll be adding more to this documentary regularly, so tune in again! If you have comments or remembrances, please leave your comments in the guest log.
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About this report
This research documentary is Copyright 1979, 2002 Martin Hardee
- All Rights Reserved. (read more...) Material may
be quoted or excerpted for non-profit research purposes without additional
special permission. For additional information email martin @ hardee.net.