As of this writing, the sale has just been announced and although there is potential for programming changes in the future, they are not imminent. Yet, there are obvious factors about the buyer and seller which can't be ignored.
Clear Channel owns Premiere Networks and Premiere syndicates Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In New York City, Limbaugh and Hannity's flagship station is WABC-AM, a talk powerhouse owned by Cumulus Media. WOR-AM is also a legendary radio station that has embraced talk radio.
It is doubtful that Clear Channel would want a future where it is always competing against content and programming properties it owns.
That's why there is much speculation that Limbaugh and Hannity might eventually be brought over to WOR-AM when their respective contracts run out at WABC-AM. It would mean millions of dollars in revenue gain and loss to both companies. It's a high-stakes business and there is little room for corporate sympathy.
All this news creates a good time to salute WOR-AM as the legendary radio station it is. Below is a short (but incomplete) history of New York City's oldest radio station based on facts from wor710.com. Please also note the fascinating historic photo links at the end of this article.
- Signed on the air, February 22, 1922 using a DeForest transmitter on the 6th floor of Bamberger's Department Store, Newark, New Jersey
- First record played: "April Showers" by Al Jolson (Listen to the original recording at YouTube.com.)
- Original owner: Louis Bamberger. Bamberger wanted the call letters WLB-AM but they were already taken.
- Original city of license: Newark, New Jersey.
- Original frequency: 833 AM
- Call letters WOR were re-issued ship call letters original used by the S.S. California which was owned by Orient Lines.
- WOR-AM shared frequency with two other stations: WDT-AM and WJY-AM.
- In June, 1923 WOR-AM went to 740 AM. It also added a studio in New York City.
- In 1925, John B. Gambling became the morning show after filling in for a sick employee.