Now Hear This – WCBS FM, 1970

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We are continuing our selections of airchecks from other markets, a sound presentation for our shut-in audience.

This struck me as an odd presentation. A mix, somewhere between adult contemporary and album rock, delivered in the style of an adult contemporary or MOR jock, with Coca-Cola as a sponsor.

WCBS FM had dropped the Young Sound format in 1969, and launched a freeform rock format, which was becoming increasingly popular, and all other CBS-owned FM stations followed suit. For the first time, WCBS-FM would have an airstaff. Bill Brown began his long tenure with the station, and Don K. Reed began his late in 1971; both remained there until 2005. Radio personalities such as Bobby “Wizzard” Wayne, Tom Tyler, Ed Williams, Steve Clark, Roby Yonge, K.O. Bayley (Bob Elliott from WOR-FM), Les Turpin, Bob “Bob-A-Lew” Lewis also briefly joined the WCBS-FM “freeform” format.

WCBS-FM was never successful with this rock format, where it competed with stations such as WPLJ and WNEW-FM; these two stations had most of the rock audience. As a result, WCBS-FM switched to oldies on July 7, 1972, becoming one of the first full-time stations in the country to use that format. (Wikipedia)

This aircheck consists of the album cuts and oldies mix of New York’s, WCBS-FM, in the summer of 1970. (26:29)

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Jason Remington

Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of PugetSound.Media, a former broadcaster at KVAC/Forks, KDFL/Sumner, KTTX/KWHI/Brenham, TX., KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KAMT/Tacoma, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KJUN/Puyallup, KASY/Auburn, KTAC AM/Tacoma, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. Retired from AT&T.

2 thoughts on “Now Hear This – WCBS FM, 1970

  1. Wow these guys were all over the place. Starts off promoting Velvet Underground and proceeds to play some rather tepid AOR selections. I did enjoy hearing Alvin Lee, though. This format must have frustrated listeners as well as corporate management.

  2. As all CBS FM stations followed suit, I can imagine their frustrations with this format. KIRO FM adopted the Yound Sound, along with WCBS FM, years earlier, but the Bonneville programmer didn’t go along with this free form sound and went to an MOR format and then Beautiful Music when the call letters switched to KSEA.

    KIRO still relegated some sports broadcasts to KSEA, prompting many angry phone calls to KIRO. One sports fan hollered, “Nobody has an FM radio!” (1977)

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