November 26, 2015

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First Mediaworks

NYC’s ‘FAN: In Business 20 Years & A Day

Sports Radio 66 WFAN New York is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The never-before-tried All Sports format debuted on July 1, 1987 at what was Country-formatted WHN at 1050 AM. In 1988 The Fan moved down the dial to 660 AM at what was the Peacock Network’s WNBC, which provided the station a huge morning show hosted by the recently-retired Don Imus.

Some notable dates in WFAN’s history:

July 1, 1987: WFAN signs on at 3:00 PM at 1050 AM. Suzyn Waldman is the first voice heard on the station and also serves as WFAN’s Yankee’s beat reporter. Some of WFAN’s original hosts were Greg Gumbel, Jim Lampley, Art Shamsky, Howie Rose, and Steve Somers. Pete Franklin was hired for afternoon drive but had a heart attack just before joining the station. He did not do his first show until Fall 1987. The format change does not effect the station’s previous agreement to serve as the flagship station for New York Mets baseball – a tradition which continues to be broadcast on the station till this day.

August 1987: Mike Francesa joins WFAN as part-time host.

October 1988: WFAN’s signal moves from 1050 to 660, the former home to WNBC on the AM dial.

December 1988: Christopher Russo joins WFAN as part-time host.

September 5, 1989: The “Mike & The Mad Dog” show debuts in afternoon drive.

February 1990: WFAN presents its first annual Radiothon benefiting the Tomorrows Children’s Fund. Now in its 18th year, the Radiothon has raised more than $45 million for TCF, the CJ Foundation for SIDS and the Imus Ranch.

June 1994: WFAN broadcasts the play by play of the Rangers Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Howie Rose, Marv Albert and Sal “Redlight” Messina call the game-winning broadcast for the station.

March 1995: Less than a decade after its launch, WFAN is named the No. 1 revenue generating radio station in the country. It holds that position for the next four years.

April 2006: WFAN begins online audio streaming at www.wfan.com.

Spring 2007: The Imus/Rutgers University women’s basketball controversy leads to the firing of the legendary morning host by MSNBC, CBS Radio and WFAN.

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