Now Hear This! The All-New WNBC New York, September 1, 1977

Bob Pittman – WNBC PD and creator of MTV

In 1977, Bob Pittman was hired as WNBC’s new Program Director, replacing Mel Phillips. His first decision was to lay-off all of the station’s personalities, some of which were veterans (including Don Imus, Cousin Brucie, Norm N. Nite and Joe McCoy), replacing them with younger-sounding disc jockeys from Boston and medium markets. He also shifted the format from Adult Top 40 or Hot AC to a more aggressively current-based Top 40 format.

Bob Pittman announces the beginning of the “NEW” WNBC – Lee Masters starts the commercial-free hour of music. (28:44)

Bob Pittman @ The “NEW” WNBC (28:45)

Listenership did not go up, but actually went down. By 1979, Pittman would leave WNBC (he would soon become the founder of MTV). John Lund was hired back as program director and Don Imus returned to the morning show. Under program director John Lund, WNBC’s playlist was tweaked back to an Adult top 40 format, and ratings increased by 50% to surpass WABC by the summer of 1980. (Wiki)

Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of PugetSound.Media, former broadcaster at KAMT/Tacoma, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KJUN/Puyallup, KASY/Auburn, KTAC AM/Tacoma, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. - Jason Remington Airchecks

4 thoughts on “Now Hear This! The All-New WNBC New York, September 1, 1977

  1. I understand that Imus was fired the first time because of his drug problem and not showing up for work. They went through three morning shows before they brought the I man back. I think cousin Brucie quit in 77. I have been reading Billboard on goggle books right now as of this posting, I am on March, 78. But Brink had a hard time getting out of his contract with NBC after he was let go. But he did return to a station he worked at before (WOR_FM, later WXLO and then they changed call letters again and went AC).

    1. No jingles. Pittman wanted to move far away from the old WNBC. The listeners showed their disdain for this new format, and the jocks. Boring radio, most definitely.

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