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Conservative talk host Curtis Sliwa returns to the airwaves on WABC (770) in its move to more local programming. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Radio Talk Giant WABC Makes Bold
Move to Local
BY RICHARD FISHER, KI6SN*
One of New
York City’s top talk radio outlets is taking a measured and dramatic turn to locally-focused
hosts and issues as a counter-move to the loss of two of its big-draw
Media-owned WABC (770 AM) made the announcement in January after popular conservative
talk hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity moved down the dial to WOR (710).
delivering on our pledge to invest in localized content that will entertain,
inform and engage listeners while also providing advertisers unique
opportunities to reach their customers on a sustained basis,” John Dickey, Cumulus’s co-chief operating officer, said in a
experts speaking at the Syracuse University-sponsored Audio Summit in September
2013 in New York City pointed to local programming as a key to success for AM
radio stations in a saturated syndicated market. (IN DEPTH: See “The Power of
the Microphone” in February CQ’s digital supplement, CQ Plus <http://cq-amateur-radio.com>. –
WABC’s new lineup
looks like this:
Don Imus’ nationally
syndicated “Imus in the Morning,” which has always had a New York-New
Jersey-Connecticut sense-of-place, runs from 6 to 10 a.m.
Geraldo Rivera focuses on
New York news and issues from 10 a.m. to noon.
From noon to 3 p.m.
weekdays are Curtis Sliwa, a streetwise conservative, teamed with
progressive Ron Kuby. They are up against Limbaugh and were previously
teamed on WABC from 2000 to 2007.
conservative host Michael Savage is on from 3 to 5 p.m., going
head-to-head with WOR’s Hannity.
NY1 TV anchor Pat Kiernan
hosts a one-hour local show beginning at 5 p.m. His cohost had not been
named at press time.
“In an era
when listeners can go off in so many different directions, local is something
you can’t take away from people,” Kiernan told the New York Times.