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Sports Radio 66 WFAN Reaches 25th Anniversary

America's First All-Sports Radio Station


Sports Radio 66 WFAN

Sports Radio 66 WFAN

Screenshot: CBS Radio
In a volatile business where radios station formats are chewed up and spit out by corporations that expect ratings performance and high revenues, CBS Radio's sports-formatted WFAN in New York City has stood the test of time in both arenas. Now, the station is getting ready to mark its 25th anniversary.

On July 1, 2012 WFAN-AM will begin a celebration to commemorate the 25 years it has offered local sports fans in the Tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and southern Connecticut 24-hour, 7 day-a-week sports coverage. America's first all-sports radio station signed on the air at 3:00 p.m. on July 1, 1987. The first voice heard was Suzyn Waldman, the station's Yankee beat reporter.

The early days of WFAN offered a treasure of talent including the likes of Greg Gumbel, Jim Lampley, Art Shamsky, Howie Rose, and Steve Somers. Another early addition was Pete Franklin, a caustic personality from Cleveland, Ohio who had a heart attack just prior to joining the station and started in the Fall of 1987. After much controversy, Franklin left two years later and was replaced by Mike and the Mad Dog.

As with most successful radio stations, WFAN has evolved and matured over the years. Today, the station is anchored by marquee personalities such as Mike Francesa and Boomer & Carton, who consistently rank high in the ratings with Men 25-54 in the country's top radio market. WFAN is heard by over 1.5 million people each week, making it the most listened to sports radio station in America.

“We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York sports. WFAN has appreciative and engaged listeners who are the backbone of the station," says Operations Manager Mark Chernoff. "Our audience, along with our sports-talk personalities have allowed WFAN to achieve such groundbreaking success and helped the station become an institution in the Big Apple. It is no coincidence that the station is nicknamed ‘The Fan,’ acting as a mouthpiece for die-hard sports enthusiasts."

When WFAN signed on, it was originally located at 1050 AM. A little over a year later, in October 1988, the station moved to 660 AM, the longtime home for WNBC-AM. 66 WNBC's morning man, Don Imus, stayed during the transition and became WFAN's new wake-up personality. (By the way: the day of the switch to 660 was made to coincide with a Mets/Dodgers playoff game which was eventually rained out.)

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