The lights have been hung, the cookies and milk have been left out and now WOR 710 is just waiting for the radio version of Santa Claus to deliver two special holiday gifts: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity who begin on that station January 1, 2014 after long runs at rival WABC-AM.
After over 25 years of syndicated success, Rush Limbaugh is now the crown jewel of talk radio. And if Limbaugh holds that place in the hierarchy, then Hannity is the gold standard. Limbaugh has broadcast his program from flagship WABC-AM since 1988. Hannity went full-time on WABC in 1997 and moved to afternoons in 1998. His syndication from WABC began September 10, 2001. Both men are now top-ranking Talk format radio hosts in New York with persons 12+ according to as of November 2013, according to Nielsen Audio
But, radio stations change owners - and talent change syndicators. It is a high roller game with a lot of money at stake. Now, with this new incarnation of Limbaugh and Hannity’s shows the oldest radio station in the largest U.S. radio market will also have the biggest guns in conservative talk radio. With this switch, an enviable revenue stream will now be diverted from WABC-AM to WOR-AM as locally, listeners are sure to follow. It is a big coup for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, the company that now owns WOR.
WOR’s Plan to Dominate New York Talk
WOR was formerly owned by Buckley Broadcasting for 23 years but that company sold the property to Clear Channel in August, 2012. Limbaugh and Hannity’s syndication contracts with affiliate WABC were also ready to run out. Fortuitously for Clear Channel, the duo's syndication company, Premiere Radio, is also owned by the media giant. Clear Channel saw an opportunity and pounced, invoking the ability to use its own successful content on its newly acquired property.
Beginning January 1, WOR’s lineup looks like this:
Elliot in the Morning, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Mark Simone, 10 a.m. - Noon
Rush Limbaugh, Noon - 3 p.m.
Sean Hannity, 3p.m. - 6 p.m.
Andy Dean, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dave Ramsey, 9 p.m. - Midnight
The Joan Hamburg Show (Saturdays & Sundays) 10 a.m. – Noon
WOR mornings will be led off by Elliot in the Morning. Elliot Segal has been heard on WWDC/Washington and WRXL/Richmond and will continue to be heard in those markets while now being based at WOR in New York.
Segal said he was “…excited to be coming back to New York” and “beyond thrilled” that his show would continue in Washington and Richmond.
Besides the new lineup, WOR will now be the flagship radio station for the New York Mets.
WOR a Legendary Station
WOR signed on the air February 22, 1922 using a DeForest transmitter on the 6th floor of Bamberger's Department Store, Newark, New Jersey.
The first record it played was “April Showers” by Al Jolson. The original owner of the radio station was Louis Bamberger. Bamberger wanted to call the station WLB-AM but those call letters were already taken.
The station was originally licensed to Newark, New Jersey and wasn’t even located on the current 740 frequency. The original license was to operate at 833 AM . It moved to o 740 AM in 1923 after obtaining the call sign WOR which was re-issued ship call letters originally used by the S.S. California. It wasn't until 1927 the station moved to 710 AM.
For more about WOR’s fascinating heritage and history, see: WOR-AM, A Long and Winding Road Since 1922
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is now the largest owner of News/Talk formatted radio station in the United States. The company owns about 840 radio stations that operate in 150 markets.