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A Profile of WNEW-FM

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WNEW-FM is one of New York City’s oldest and most storied FM radio stations. It began its broadcast history in October 1967 as a freeform station that let the DJ’s pick their own music. It quickly became one of the most influential radio stations in the country, inspiring copycat stations in markets all across the country. Many musicians who live in the New York metropolitan area, such as Billy Joel, Lou Reed, and Joey Ramone, have been quoted saying that the station was very influential in the development of their musical tastes. (WNEW R.I.P., Eric Boehlert, Rolling Stone 10/28/99, pp 33) The station also helped start the careers of many artists, including Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, by introducing them to a wide and varied audience. The station’s influence was so great that when declining ratings prompted a format change, Rolling Stone actually ran a story about the station, citing the station as “once rock radio's most influential station,” stating that “WNEW also changed the way rock radio sounds.” (WNEW R.I.P., Eric Boehlert, Rolling Stone 10/28/99, pp 33)
Today WNEW is an all-talk format station. The station is trying to build programming around their very successful afternoon drive team, Opie and Anthony. Greg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia were brought to WNEW in July of 1998 by then General Manager Scott Herman because “We noticed that classic rock in New York, as a pure format, isn't going to win in the long run.” (Local Media, Media Week, 07/27/98 pp14) They were well known for getting fired from Boston’s WAAF after an April Fools Day prank in which they falsely reported the death of Boston’s Mayor in a car accident. The show quickly became one of the top rated radio programs in its time slot. By the Spring of 1998, Opie and Anthony were number one with males 18-34. (Local Media, Media Week 7/30/2001 pp12)
The Stations current weekday lineup is as follows: “The Sports Guys” from 5 to ...

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