Broadcast History - July 2

Broadcast History - July 2

Postby jon » Fri Jul 01, 2022 9:15 pm

It was a quiet day in broadcast history today in Western Canada, so we look to New York City:

In 1916, Barry Gray was born; he would become "The Father of Talk Radio". Born Bernard Yaroslaw, he was a DJ at WMCA New York City in 1945 when he got bored and held the telephone receiver up to the microphone. The caller was popular band leader Woody Herman, and the spontaneous live interview was instantly popular with both listeners and WMCA management. He began doing listener call-ins soon after. Rival WOR stole Barry for their all-night show later that same year.


In late 1948, he moved to Miami radio, but returned to WMCA in 1950, and stayed for 39 more years! During the "Good Guy" years, even teenagers listened to his 11 p.m. - 1 a.m. talk show, despite the fact that Barry concentrated on New York culture. His show represented the only non-Top 40 music programming on the station. In 1970, WMCA switched to all-talk, and Barry left in 1989 when WMCA dropped the format. WOR was happy to have him return and his show enjoyed national syndication. He didn't change, but the world did, so his show was branded politically conservative by the time he passed away on December 21, 1996. He was 80 years of age.

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