The NY Radio Archive

WNEW-FM 102.7 (Pg 2)

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WNEW-FM 102.7: 1978

PROMOTION: 1978 Calendar

1978 (published Fall 1977)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM printed a calendar each year, which were sold to listeners with the proceeds going to charity. This is the complete 1978 calendar. (Click each image for larger versions)


"Happy New Year from everyone at WNEW-FM"
Tom Morrera, Dave Herman, Dennis Elsas, Alison Steele, Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa,
Richard Neer, Robin Sagon, Pat Dawson, Al Bernstein and Pete Fornatale.

Dennis Elsas: "He brings people together evening after evening"

Alison Steele: "The Nightbird since the beginning."



Pete Fornatale "A midday man for all seasons"

Richard Neer "In the wee small hours he marches to a different drummer"


Dave Herman "He wakes us with a musical smile"


Vin Scelsa "Night or day he never plays a turkey"

Scott Muni "He makes everyday a musical Christmas"

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale celebrating Elvis Presley [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 8, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

About five months after Elvis Presley died (on August 16, 1977), Pete dedicated a show to Elvis and his music. This show features interviews and tracks Elvis from his early years on Sun Records through his big hits on RCA Records.

mp3Pt.1(32:05) mp3Pt.2(29:02)

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Monday, January 23, 1978 (22:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A segment of Dave's show from early 1978 featuring an "Old, New, Borrowed and Blue" set from Susan Tullipano, significant other of contributor Ken Tullipano.


AIRCHECK: Dave Herman

February, 1978 (04:23)

Dave Herman in his morning slot. While he plays music that would be expected on a progressive rock station, note the track he plays (at 2:56) of a very classic whom you would never hear on a Classic Rock station today and IMO, one of the things that made progressive rock stations, when they still had freedom and imagination and respected their audience, special.

Dave Herman

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Monday, February 6, 1978 (19:23)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's Pete Fornatale in his weekday 10am to 2pm shift on a day that gave New York City a giant snowstorm. A nice set of easy-going music suitable for the morning.

Pete Fornatale

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, February 12, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Vin Scelsa with an interesting mix of dynamic music.

mp3Pt1 (26:57) mp3Pt2 (19:37)

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, February 12, 1978 (8:55)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a bit of Richard Neer, who followed Vin Scelsa on this day.

Richard Neer

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped-stereo]

Tuesday, February 14, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman does his thing on Valentine's Day, 1978. Note the opening track. Think it would be played on any rock station today? This aircheck also features Robin Sagon.

mp3Pt1 (29:08) mp3Pt2 (24:34)

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa's 3rd Annual Easter Show w/ Steve Goodman [slightly scoped-stereo]

Sunday, March 26, 1978 (57:55)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Vin's guest for this pre-recorded live-in-the-studio show was Steve Goodman and David Amram, who spend most of the show performing songs. This was a wonderful way to spend Easter.

Part 2 includes a spot for the Allan Freed movie biography, "American Hot Wax".

mp3Pt1 (26:13) mp3Pt2 (31:42)

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas with Mel Brooks [scoped-stereo]

Monday, March 27, 1978 (68:06)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dennis interviews the great Mel Brooks. Mel talks about the making of Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety as well as his days writing for Sid Ceaser and performing "The 2000 Year Old Man" with Carl Reiner. He also voices a spot for the Bottom Line (at the beginning of part two) that's quite funny.

This interview takes up 90 minutes of airtime. That would never happen today on commercial radio because PDs would feel that it was "breaking format" and that there'd be tune-out. They would rather play the same burnt-out track for the ten-thousandth time than do something a bit different and IMO, that's why radio is suffering today. It would also never happen because VIPs don't want to devote more than 10-15 minutes to an interview and all they want to do is plug their latest effort. So this is another example of both radio and the guest having great respect for the audience.

mp3Pt1 (22:24) mp3Pt2 (22:01) mp3Pt3 (23:41)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's "Best of Movie Rock" [scoped-stereo]

Monday, April 3, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

April 3, 1978 was Oscar night so Pete dedicated the show to rock music in movies. This included early Alan Freed movies, "Blackboard Jungle", the Elvis films, the Beatles movies and the Merseybeat copycats and the eventual evolution of rock songs being used as themes for all kinds of movies. Those included songs by the Beach Boys, John Sebastian and others.

mp3Pt1 (25:20) mp3Pt2 (21.57)

PROMOTION: "Beatles A to Z"

April 24, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM promotes Dennis Elsas' nightly show which will play Beatles A to Z for a week as well as a simulcast of the audio for Ringo Starr's NBC special of April 26, 1978.

Larger image

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale Welcomes Summer [scoped-stereo](44:28)

Sunday, June 18, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale plays great songs of Summer

mp3Pt1(22:34) mp3Pt2(21:44)

IMAGE: Alison Steele

Radio Guide - July, 1978

Radio Guide was a great improvement over FM Guide, but it didn't last very long. The full article is posted on on General Radio History page.


PROMOTION: Bruce Springsteen concert

Tuesday, September 19, 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM promotes a live broadcast of a Bruce Springsteen concert from the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey.

Larger image

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM at the Bruce Springsteen Concert - Capitol Theatre [scoped-stereo]

Tuesday, September 19, 1978

Contributed by Dan McCue

WNEW-FM frequently featured live broadcasts of concerts, sometimes only broadcasting live from backstage and sometimes broadcasting the entire live concert. As per the above poster, in September of 1978, they broadcast an entire Bruce Springsteen concert from the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey.

WNEW-FM's tight association with Springsteen goes back to Bruce's big appearance at the Bottom Line in August of 1975.

While this recording took place at a Bruce concert and it is at the Capitol in Passaic, we don't know with 100% certainty that it was the September 19, 1978 concert, but we believe it is. This features Richard Neer and Pat Dawson along with promoter John Scher. They play an interview that Vin Scelsa conducted with Bruce and the E-Street Band that was recorded a few days before at Bruce's concert at the Palladium Theatre.

This Capitol concert was broadcast over a network of progressive rock stations of which WNEW-FM was the lead station.

Bruce Concert

AIRCHECK: Alison steele [scoped-stereo]

Wednesday, December 6, 1978 (30:21)

Contributed by David DiSanzo

Here's a nice Alison Steele aircheck that begins with the end of the Dennis Elsas show and includes news with Andy Fisher.

Alison Steele

PROMOTION: "Welcome Top-40 Graduates"

WNEW's 1979 Calendar: late 1978

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This photo from WNEW-FM's 1979 calendar reinforces the image of WNEW-FM as a rock station for adults. It's therefore welcoming all those who "graduated" from listening to top-40 stations, especially AM stations.

WNEW-FM produced and sold these calendars each year with the proceeds going to charity. It was a great promotion that garnered station and air personality loyality while also doing some good.

Larger image

L-R: unknown, Dennis Elsas, Alison Steele, Richard Neer, Scott Muni, Dave Herman, Pete Fornatale, Vin Scelsa

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1979

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas w/ Scott Muni

Monday, April 30, 1979

link: Dennis Elsas w/Scott Muni (off-site)

This was the last night broadcasting from the WNEW-FM studios at 565 Fifth Avenue before the move to 655 Third Avenue.

Once again, WNEW-FM demonstrated respect for the intelligence of its listeners by having a low-key, intelligent, reflective conversation describing memories about the studio without formatics or spots every 60 seconds.

This is another example of something you would never hear on a commercial rock station today, because of the fear of breaking format and the supposed resulting listener tune-out, even though it actually also served as a self-congratulatory promotion for the station. So the question becomes: Was this kind of programming wrong or have today's audiences become less intelligent, less patient and more hyperactive?

Some might say that such a conversation is "inside radio" and never should have been discussed on the air. But the move discussion was simply an excuse to brand the station as the rock station with the longest history and most credibility. Note that Elsas and Muni don't talk about all the great music they've played - they talk about all the artists who chose to visit the station. In addition, it humanized the air personalities by indicating that they were driven by the same kind of mixed emotions about the move as a listener might face when having to move their home, thereby creating an emotional link between the listeners and the jocks (and the station). This is why WNEW-FM had such high listener loyalty and resulting high advertising revenues even though it didn't always have market-leading ratings.

One might listen and think, "big deal, so they spoke about moving the studios for 15 minutes," but it wasn't that this one interview was so terrific--it was that this interview reflected the attitude of the station and the respect it had for the listeners (at least at this time.)

I believe that this is exactly the kind of thing stations should be doing today to provide differentiation and to compete with MP3 players and other alternative media.

Thanks to Dennis Elsas for making us aware of this interview.

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer

December, 1979

Neer later wrote the book "FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio"

Richard Neer

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1980

PHOTO: WNEW-FM DJs circa 1980


Clockwise from 12:00: Pete Fornatale, Dennis Elsas, Richard Neer, Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa, Tom Morrera and Dave Herman in the WNEW-FM record library.

Staff pic

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni with Peter Wolf [scoped - stereo]

Thursday, May 1, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM favorite Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band sitting in with Scott Muni and playing the role of disc jockey.

Note that this was about a half year before WNEW-FM started instituting some controls over the playlist and we hear a very dynamic set of music: some rock, some blues, some oldies, some pop, and some doo wop along with some talk about the artists, radio and Alan Freed.

mp3Pt1(29:46) mp3Pt2(30:00)

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni [scoped - stereo]

circa Saturday, May 3, 1980

Contributed by Steve Ronzino

Scott Muni sounding in a good mood on this broadcast segment from the first week of May, 1980. We can't tell the exact date, but we know from the news item about hostages in the Iranian embassy in London that it's from that week.

Note Scott's remarks about the amount of mail he received when he asked the audience if they could listen to WNEW-FM in the office. Also note the promotion for the bikeathon. WNEW-FM was community oriented as well as having incredible loyalty from its audience.


AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 11, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

An almost complete "Here Comes Summer" show from Vin Scelsa. Part 2 features news with Mona Rivera.

mp3Pt1(24:50) mp3Pt2(21:24) mp3Pt3(11:04) mp3Pt4(25:10) mp3Pt5(18:13)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale with Chevy Chase

Early September, 1980

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Four years after leaving Saturday Night Live after only one season, Chevy Chase recorded a satirical record album and appeared on Pete's show. This aircheck is from sometime between September 6th and September 12th.

Chase talks about SNL, his post-SNL career, the making of the record album and he even gets into the format change on New York's WRVR from a jazz station to a country station. Among the tracks played is Chase's response to Randy Newman's "Short People".

Chevy Chase

PRESS: Pete Fornatale's Radio Love Affair

Good Times: November 4, 1980

“...I tend to be very protective toward this format, even though I'm a realist enough to look around me and see that the atmosphere has changed so pervasively.”

An article from the Good Times entertainment newspaper about Pete Fornatale and his 16 years on New York FM radio.

Fornatale article

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's “A Christmas Carol” (22:05)

Thursday, December 25, 1980

In 1980, WNEW-FM put together some old-fashioned radio drama with a presentation of “A Christmas Carol” featuring the WNEW-FM airstaff, including Scott Muni, Andy Fisher, Pete Forntale, Dennis Elsas, Dave Herman, Tom Morrera, Vin Scelsa, Richard Neer, Jim Monahan, Dave Larkin and others. Even for Christmas, this was a gutsy move. Would anyone "break format" to do that today? Not even satellite radio would do so.

Xmas Carol

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1982



WNEW-FM created a calendar every year, with the profits going to charity. This was the cover of the 1982 calendar.


(Click for a larger version).

(L-R) Dan Neer, Vin Scelsa, Dave Herman, Scott Muni, Dennis Elsas, Pete Fornatale

PRESS: Scott Muni with Foreigner

Billboard: January 30, 1982

This photo was taken backstage at Madison Square Garden. This was still a time when radio was heavily involved in the concert scene and radio DJs frequently hosted concerts. Many can be heard on live concert recordings. This gave radio a cultural crediblity that it doesn't have today.


AIRCHECK: Murray the K Tribute [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, February 28, 1982 (Part 1: 24:46, Part 2: 23:51)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano


Murray the K had stints on WMCA, WINS, WOR-FM, WNBC and several other New York City radio stations, but he is best known for his tenure at WINS, his live shows at the Brooklyn Paramount and Brooklyn Fox, which he took over from Alan Freed, his self-proclaimed role as the "fifth Beatle" and for his pioneering work on the short-lived freeform WOR-FM.

Murray died on February 21, 1982 and a week later, WNEW-FM presented this tribute. Murray had never worked at WNEW-FM. Legend has it that an old dispute with William B. Williams kept him from moving to WNEW-FM when Scott Muni and Rosko moved from WOR-FM in the Fall of 1967. But every air personality at WNEW-FM was at least partially influenced by Murray the K.

This tribute is not the greatest production. It has some editing and logical flaws, but it was probably put together in a hurry. But having said that, the actualities and airchecks of Murray on this are quite wonderful and remind us what it was like when DJs were given the freedom and had the creativity to really entertain us.

Part 2 features Scott Muni, who tells us how he and Murray lived in the same NYC apartment building; Dave Herman, who owed his start in radio to Murray and who plays a long interview with Murray recorded around 1980, in which Murray talks about the legendary live progressive rock show he held at the RKO 58th Street theatre with The Who and many other groups; Pete Fornatale and Steve Leeds.

It's hard to believe that Murray left us 30 years ago this month (February, 2012) and that he would have turned 90 if he were still with us.

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AIRCHECK: FM Magazine [scoped-stereo]

March 21, 1982 (37:15)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

We believe this show, which was produced by Earl Bailey and hosted by Robin Sagon, was broadcast on Sunday mornings. It's really too bad it was buried there because it was actually a pretty interesting show, but by 1982, WNEW-FM was less willing to break format during prime hours.

Part 1 is about the baby boomers. What's interesting is that the complaints expressed almost 35 years ago are exactly the same as those expressed today: that young people can't get jobs, that the existing jobs don't pay enough and that "this generation" will have to live worse than their parents did.

Part 2 has three segments: the first is about an organization dedicated to being "anti-preppie" (today it would be "anti-hipster"), the second is about the band, The Beat, and the third is about the Chicago City Limits comedy group.

mp3 Pt1(12:57) mp3 Pt2(24:18)

AIRCHECK: FM Magazine [scoped-stereo]

May, 1982 (49:04)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's another edition of WNEW-FM's "FM Magazine".

Part 1 is entitled "The Rocky Road of Rock & Roll" and is about the state of the business and how radio treated music way back in 1982. Substitute "web streaming", "sharing", "YouTube" and "downloading" for tape copying, and it could have been broadcast yesterday. What's really interesting is that radio programming today is using the exact same techniques it used back then. The music business itself was in trouble in 1982 as there was a big slowdown in music sales. (What would come to its rescue was the 1984 introduction of the CD for which consumers spent the next 10 years replacing their LP, cassette and 8-track cartridge collections.)

Part 2 is a retrospective analysis of the shootings of anti-war protesters at Kent State University in May of 1970.

mp3 Pt1(27:19) mp3 Pt2(19:48)

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's Tribute to WABC [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 16, 1982 (67:31)

Contributed by Rich Barbato

“When I'm on the air, I know if the Lincoln Tunnel is crowded; I know if the guy in the tollbooth has a stomach ache; I know when Mayor Koch has a headache and I used to talk to him on the air; I know who was missing - I helped the police; I knew if a toothpaste tastes good, I'd tell know that's what radio is: live and dynamic and they just didn't understand this.” -- Bruce Morrow

On May 10, 1982, WABC(AM) ended it's 22-year run as a music station. The station started playing hit pop music primarily geared towards young people on December 7, 1960. Herb Oscar Anderson, Charlie Greer and Scott Muni were there at the beginning, along with Farrell Smith, Jack Carney, Chuck Dunaway and Bill Owen. Dan Ingram would join in July of 1961, Bruce Morrow that August, Bob Lewis in June of '62 and Ron Lundy in 1965.

Considering that WABC and WNEW-FM were owned by different organizations and that top-40 radio was supposedly the "enemy" of progressive rock radio, it was incredible that WNEW-FM paid tribute to WABC. It reflects the maturity and integrity of the station (although it was broadcast on a Sunday night when relatively few people listened.)

This aircheck comprises a scoped version of the first 80 minutes of the two-hour broadcast. It was put together by WNEW-FM's news director, Earl Bailey and features interviews with program director Rick Sklar, Bruce Morrow, Herb Oscar Anderson, Scott Muni, Bob Lewis and Dan Ingram as well as a number of great airchecks.

Note: The audio quality improves a few minutes into the aircheck

mp3Pt.1(25:06) mp3Pt.2(24:05) mp3Pt.3(18:20)

AIRCHECK: Dave Herman's First Last Morning Show [scoped - stereo]

Friday, May 21, 1982 (53:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Dave Herman started doing the morning show on WNEW-FM on May 22, 1972. That would last exactly ten years until May 21, 1982. This is that last morning show after which Dave would move to nights and later to the 10am spot. During the show, you'll hear Dave estimate that he played about 96,000 songs in those ten years. You'll also hear from Earl Bailey and Donna Fiducia.

But this insanity would not last long. Dave would return to the morning spot on November 12, 1986 and stay until 1991. And he'd even be back in that spot again after that. But that's another story.

mp3Pt.1(28:33) mp3Pt.2(25:13)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale on Dave Herman's last morning show [scoped - stereo]

Friday, May 21, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This short segment immediately followed the Dave Herman show above. Pete comments on how out of all the air personalities at WNEW-FM, he was closest to Dave because they saw each other every day.

Fornatale (03:29)

AIRCHECK: Alison Steele [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 18, 1982 (50:15)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

“I'll take you to undreamed of heights...”

Alison joined WNEW-FM on July 4th, 1966, a year and a half before the station became a rock format. When the station went rock in October of 1967, she held down an afternoon slot for a short time before becoming the "Nightbird" and taking over the overnight slot which she held until 1972. When Zacherley left for WABC-FM, Steele moved up to the 10pm-2am slot, which she held until leaving the station around 1979.

In October of 1982, to celebrate WNEW-FM's 15th anniversary, she returned to the station for one night. And in this remarkable aircheck, you can see how a superb FM DJ didn't just play a bunch of progressive rock tracks - she set a mood for the evening and literally takes the listener to "another place".

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AIRCHECK: Dave Herman [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 18, 1982 (9:59)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Turned out when Ken recorded the Alison Steele show above, he kept the tape running when it was over and picked up Dave Herman, recorded during the days when he was on at night. While not quite as engaged with the audience as he would later be as an amazing morning man, he plays a great selection of pumping rock.

Dave Herman

AIRCHECK: Jonathan Schwartz [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 21, 1982 (Part 1 27:16, Part 2 13:45)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's another 15th Anniversary aircheck of terrific audio quality courtesy of the amazing Ken Tullipano, this time of Jonathan Schwartz.

The show was broadcast on October 21, 1982, but appears to be a replay of a show originally broadcast on October 21, 1969, around the time of the station's second anniversary, but populated with 1982 spots.

That's confirmed by the fact that there's a spot for Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly", which was released in 1982. But several times during the show Schwartz announces that the date is October 21, 1969, so we think the station simply played back an old Schwartz show for the anniversary, since Schwartz was no longer at WNEW-FM at this time. He constantly repeats the date, so he must have known he was going to keep that night's show for posterity.

Contributor Ken Tullipano thinks that Schwartz was just “pretending” it was 1969. That would explain why he repeats the date so often.

During the show he reads a Joan Didion piece. (Can you imagine any rock jock reading a Joan Didion piece today?)

Among the highlights is another retelling of the "writing a letter to my girlfriend story". There's also a Crazy Eddie's spot with Dr. Jerry Carroll screaming in all his glory. Tracks include songs from Rhinoceros, The Incredible String Band, Carly Simon, Grace Slick and other stalwarts of the progressive rock era, but almost none of these tracks are those that you'd hear on a Classic Rock station today. Progressive stations of the time went deeper. But that's not to say that by 1982, they weren't striving for mass market advertisers - there's a very prominent and noisy Burger King spot.

Part 2 features “Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation” by Tom Paxton, another track that would never get played today, except perhaps on WBAI. The show ends with Schwartz's usual theme and then we hear Mike Harrison, which will continue on the next aircheck posting.

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AIRCHECK: Mike Harrison [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 21, 1982 (14:45)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Continuing the 15th anniversary celebration with Mike Harrison who did mornings in 1971 after Pete Fornatale moved to 10-2pm and before Dave Herman's tenure as Morning Man.

Mike returned to the station for a night in 1982 to help celebrate the 15th anniversary. As you'll hear from this aircheck, Mike liked to talk even more than Jonathan Schwartz did. But he does relate some interesting perspective on his time at the station and he plays some interesting, but now very obscure 1980's music. 1982 was about two years before the wide-spread commercial release of the CD format and note how he claims that no one is buying records. Sound familiar?


AIRCHECK: Rosko [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Monday, October 25, 1982 (43:33)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Rosko (Bill Mercer) left WNEW-FM in March of 1971 to move to France. He returned to the U.S. and joined the short-lived WQIV from November 1974 to August 1975 and then he eventually moved to 92.3 when it became Disco KTU.

But in October of 1982, to celebrate WNEW-FM's 15th anniversary, he returned to the station for one night. And while he opened the show with his usual, "Do you want to take a mind excursion?", it was dry -- without the bass riff that he usually used. Maybe he just forgot to bring the cart.

While he sounds a little out of practice (and he almost IDs 92.3 at least once), this aircheck still represents a lesson in one-to-one communications with the listener. The 2nd part opens with Earl Bailey "interviewing" Rosko. Some of the other WNEW-FM jocks can be heard in some promo spots.

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AIRCHECK: Zacherley [scoped - stereo]

15th Anniversary: Thursday, October 28, 1982 (49:28)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The incredible John Zacherley left WNEW-FM in mid-1971 to join WPLJ for a much bigger paycheck, but shortly after he got there, WPLJ went to a much tighter format and he lost the freedom to play what he wanted. Nevertheless, he stayed almost ten years, leaving in 1980. In 1982, he returned to WNEW-FM to help celebrate its 15th anniversay and to celebrate Halloween, which was always a special day for the "cool ghoul".

This aircheck, representing two hours of air time, appears to be from Thursday, October 28th, starting at about 8pm, when Meg Griffin was supposed to be on. At the end of the aircheck you can hear Pete Larkin sitting in for Dave Herman, who was under the weather.

Since this was an anniversary celebration, Zach plays a lot of music from WNEW-FM's early days, including the usual suspects: Dylan, Santana, Traffic, John Mayall, etc. But there's also more esoteric material, like Sea Train, which evolved from the Blues Project. And out of all the songs in the Beatles catalog, he starts the set with the one that probably got the least airplay of all and it sounds great.

There's a funny moment when Zach gives the call letters as WPLJ. He also recalls that when he first joined WNEW-FM, there were virtually no spots (but his original air shift began at 6am, when that time was meaningless for FM, since there was no FM in cars and he later switched to 2am in the days when there still wasn't very many listeners.) And speaking of funny, there's even a Crazy Eddie spot near the end.

The audio quality of this aircheck is superb - we hope that comes across in the stream. Goes to show you how much better radio sounded when there was less processing. And even though you can hear the surface noise of the LPs, it's kind of soothing (as I've mentioned before). We thank Ken Tullipano for this wonderful and rare aircheck. The only thing that would have made it better is if we didn't have to scope it.

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VIDEO: WNEW-FM 1982 (13:37 + 11:56)

circa 1982

Posted by radprog on YouTube

I came across this on YouTube which appears to be a cinema verite documentary about WNEW-FM. I'm not sure of the original source, but at least some of it seems to be also included in the documentary "Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio" (see the media page), although even though this footage seems to be labeled "Airplay", the production credits seem different than the Airplay documentary from Travisty Productions.

This includes some great footage of Dan Neer, Pete Fornatale, Scott Muni, Dennis Elsas and others.

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa's Kazoo Band [scoped-stereo]

circa December, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This aircheck contains several excerpts of Vin Scelsa with "Rockin' Robin" and "Bayonne Butch" on the Kazoo, along with some music segments. The first segment starts with a McDonald's commercial. Bet Vin didn't like that much.

Kazoo (15:43)

AIRCHECK: 1st Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, Dec. 26, 1982

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete had always said that things began to change for the worse at WNEW-FM after John Lennon's death in 1980. As the station got bigger and the revenue became more important, it became more formatted and commercialized. It played little blues or folk music. In late 1982, Pete decided to move to weekends where he had more freedom. He began a folk music oriented show on Sunday mornings and called it Mixed Bag, after the first Richie Havens album.

Thanks to Ken Tullipano, we have the very first edition of Mixed Bag. Pete presents the rationale for the show and plays a great body of music, especially appropriate for Sunday mornings.

Part 1 features a great mix of music. About 5:30 into Part 2, Pete conducts an interview with Don McLean, who also performs. This continues in Part 3.

mp3 Pt1(30:25) mp3 Pt2(33:20) mp3 Pt3(17:25)

AIRCHECK: FM Magazine [scoped-stereo]

circa 1982-1983 (49:04)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Not much is remembered about this show. We suspect it was broadcast on Sunday mornings as part of "public service". These particular editions were hosted by newscaster Robin Sagon. It was a strange mix of political interviews combined with relevant music, interviews with rock stars and public service warnings.

Part 1 features interviews with G. Gordon Liddy, who was the chief operative in the Nixon White House responsible for the Watergate break-in, and Timothy Leary, the Harvard based psychologist who was a strong proponent of the use of psychedelic drugs. This "odd couple" was touring together on the college lecture circuit.

Part 2 features an interview with Nick Lowe, who was promoting his "Nick the Knife" LP release. It also includes features about how not to get ripped off at a gas station and how to avoid being a victim of crime in NYC, which if one believes this report, was plagued with violent crime in the 1980s.

mp3 Pt1(21:47) mp3 Pt2(27:17)

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1983


circa 1983-1984

A promotion for the station featuring the 1983-1984 DJ lineup.

Rock Lives

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag #2 w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 2, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The 2nd edition of Mixed Bag, this week featuring Richie Havens, performing live in the studio

mp3Pt1 (11:57) mp3Pt2 (24:31) mp3Pt3 (19:39) mp3Pt4 (18:53)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag #3 w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 9, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The 3rd edition of Mixed Bag, this week featuring Roger McGuinn and Stacey Kahn with a review of a Tom Rush performance.

mp3Pt1 (24:41) mp3Pt2 (11:46) mp3Pt3 (22:10)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag #5 w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 23, 1983 (18:33)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A segment of the January 23, 1983 edition of Mixed Bag.


AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 30, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Mixed Bag from Superbowl Sunday, 1983 featuring Graham Nash.

mp3Pt1(19:10) mp3Pt2(24:42) mp3Pt3(9:32)

AIRCHECK: News [scoped-stereo]

Sunday, January 30, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a 12 noon news segment that followed Pete's show on Superbowl Sunday in 1983.

News (9:02)

AIRCHECK: Saturday Morning Sixties w/ Bob Lewis [scoped-stereo]

Saturday, February 19, 1983 (99:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Bob Lewis ("Bob-a-Loo") was a top-40 jock on WABC-AM from 1962 to 1965. In the very early days of rock on FM, he hosted a show on WABC-FM called "Some Trust In Chariots" on Saturday evenings from approximately October '67 until sometime in 1969. He appeared from time to time on WNEW-FM from 1970. Bob was expert at weaving together complex montages of music.
In early 1983, he hosted "Saturday Morning Sixties" on WNEW-FM, but he only did three shows, this being the second of those three.
Catch Bob's writing and creativity in his bit about Big Sur in part 3. While one could argue that his New York audience couldn't relate to this, it was this distinctive approach to radio that was the best part of progressive rock stations.

mp3Pt1 (27:28) mp3Pt2 (28:13) mp3Pt3 (28:05) mp3Pt4 (15:59)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

Saturday, February 19, 1983 (09:55)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale sat in for Pete Larkin on this Saturday right after the above Bob Lewis show. This is just the introductory short segment of that show.


AIRCHECK: Saturday Morning Sixties w/ Bob Lewis [scoped-stereo]

February 26, 1983 (85:53)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Bob Lewis ("Bob-a-Loo") was a top-40 jock on WABC-AM from 1962 to 1965. In the very early days of rock on FM, he hosted a show on WABC-FM called "Some Trust In Chariots" on Saturday evenings from approximately October '67 until sometime in 1969. He appeared from time to time on WNEW-FM from 1970. Bob was expert at weaving together complex montages of music.
In early 1983, he hosted "Saturday Morning Sixties" on WNEW-FM, but he only did three shows, this being the last of those three. It's unclear why he gave it up other than his statement during the show that there were pressures on him preventing him from doing the show. This is a complete (but scoped) aircheck of his entire show from that day. In later years, Pete Fornatale would host the show.
Catch the psychedelic montage in Part 4 at about 13:25. Bob Lewis left us in 1987.
Note: Radio restorian Rob Frankel has advised us that this aircheck seems like a composite of the first and third of these shows. Everything thru Joan Baez's version of "Forever Young" appears to be from the first show, which was broadcast on February 12, 1983.

mp3Pt1 (22:18) mp3Pt2 (13:40) mp3Pt3 (30:10) mp3Pt4 (19:45)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo]

April 17, 1983 (18:39)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a typical easy-going Sunday morning Mixed Bag effort.

Mixed Bag

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale [scoped-stereo](57:50)

May 8, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

More of Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag. Part 2 features an interview and live performances by Roger McGuinn.

mp3Pt1(20:42) mp3Pt2(37:08)

PRESS: A Radio Time Machine

Newsday: May 6, 1983

“I feel it's closer to the kind of radio I used to do.”

Another article about Pete Fornatale's weekend Mixed Bag radio show.

Fornatale article

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale and guests Flo & Eddie [scoped-stereo](58:23)

June 12, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale with guests Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan). They were founding members of The Turtles who also played with Frank Zappa and appeared as backup singers on many great recordings. They appear as Flo & Eddie to this day.

mp3Pt1(22:40) mp3Pt2(35:33)

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer [scoped-stereo]

June 24, 1983 (58:35)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A Richard Neer Friday show. Note that this was full service radio with news, traffic and weather. Earl Bailey does a very funny bit around some Washington-based organization that claims that the U.S. Government is paying welfare money to illegal space aliens to keep them quiet.
Part 2 features the landing of the space shuttle (with Sally Ride aboard) and some really funny (in retrospect) complaints about the tolls and transit fares. And to top it all off, there's a bit of Pete Fornatale at the very end.

mp3Pt1(28:10) mp3Pt2(30:25)

AIRCHECK: Mixed Bag w/ Pete Fornatale “Portraits of America in Song” [scoped-stereo](71:58)

July 3, 1983

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale's July 4th special from 1983, featuring songs about America as well as some great montages from various sources.

mp3Pt1(16:33) mp3Pt2(30:34) mp3Pt3(24:51)

REVIEW: Mixed Bag

Variety: November 30, 1983

“It is good to know there is at least one d.j. in N.Y. radio...who treats radio as something other than a bland jukebox to air the latest hits.”

A Variety review of Pete Fornatale's "Mixed Bag" radio show on WNEW-FM.

Mixed Bag

AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag Christmas Show [scoped - stereo]

December 18, 1983 (56:13)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's Pete Fornatale doing his Xmas thing back in 1983. The first part of the show features musician John Fahey playing acoustic instrumentals live. The third section includes some live Christmas carols.

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WNEW-FM 102.7: 1984

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag w/ guest Roger McGuinn
[scoped - stereo]

Sunday, March 18, 1984 (58:51)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale doing an Earth Day show with guest Roger McGuinn.

mp3Pt1(22:50) mp3Pt2(36:01)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag w/ guest Kenny Rankin
[scoped - stereo]

Sunday, April 15, 1984 (29:07)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale interviewing the great songwriter and interpreter, Kenny Rankin.

Pete w/Rankin

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, October 14, 1984 (26:07)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale celebrating both Columbus Day and the natives who were already here when Columbus arrived.


AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, October 21, 1984 (26:03)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A segment of Pete's show from this day in which includes sets dedicated to those people having significant birthdays, to radio and to live performances from Tom Paxton.


AIRCHECK: Scott Muni Live at the Hard Rock Cafe - 17th Anniversary [scoped - stereo]

Friday, October 26, 1984 (63:48)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Scott Muni celebrates the 17th anniversary of WNEW-FM four days early. Guests include Peter Wolf, Joan Jett (on the phone), Mark McKuen, Charlie Kendall, Richard Belzer and Carol Miller.

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AIRCHECK: Saturday Morning 60's w/ Pete Fornatale - 17th Anniversary [scoped - stereo]

Saturday, October 27, 1984 (58:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete celebrates WNEW-FM's 17th anniversary a few days before the event.

mp3Pt1(22:29) mp3Pt2(11:20) mp3Pt3(20:48) mp3Pt4(9:09)

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas [scoped - stereo]

Saturday, October 27, 1984 (19:09)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A bit of Dennis's show that followed Pete's. The beginning of the show features the station's "Are You Ready for the Weekend" promo


AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, November 4, 1984 (54:44)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This show includes sets dedicated to Election Day, live recordings from Joni Mitchell and an interview with the Washington Squares, who play live in the studio.

mp3Pt1(23:50) mp3Pt2(30:54)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, November 25, 1984 (17:56)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This is a segment of Pete's interview with Jorma Kaukonen, of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame.

Pete & Jorma

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag w/Tom Rush [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, December 23, 1984 (53:23)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Part 1 of this show celebrates the Christmas holiday and Part 2 features an interview and live in the studio performances by Tom Rush.

mp3Pt1 (26:39) mp3Pt2 (26:44)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag "Classics" [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, December 30, 1984 (83:16)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This is a great year-end show that features classic songs as suggested by Pete's listeners.

mp3Pt1 (20:44) mp3Pt2 (16:14) mp3Pt3 (32:23) mp3Pt4 (13:55)

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1985

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag "Classics" [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, January 6, 1985 (88:37)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete starts the year with another episode of Mixed Bag Classics featuring the "second cut".

mp3Pt1 (25:52) mp3Pt2 (19:09) mp3Pt3 (24:06) mp3Pt4 (19:30)

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, January 6, 1985

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Here's a bit of the Dennis Elsas show that followed the Fornatale show above.

Elsas (13:29)

AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, January 27, 1985 (69:12)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag radio show, this time featuring folk-singer Tom Paxton.

mp3Pt1(28:25) mp3Pt2(40:47)

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's 2 millionth Song [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, April 7, 1985

Contributed by David Weinstein

WNEW-FM did a promotion to celebrate the playing of their 2-millionth song. Whether they really knew it was the 2-millionth song or not is anyone's guess. Personally, I think they estimated it. The celebration takes place outside of Tower Records, presumably the one on Broadway by NYU with a live crowd and with most of the DJs in attendance. Sounds like a fairly large crowd. After playing the 2-millionth song, they play a montage of songs they've played over the years.

2-millionth song (24:49)

AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 26, 1985 (93:57)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Another easy-going early-morning show from Pete Fornatale. Part 3 comprises an interview and live performance with Country Joe McDonald.

mp3Pt1(35:00) mp3Pt2(31:43) mp3Pt3(27:14)

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's Ticket to Ride [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 26, 1985 (11:17)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

A few minutes of Scott Muni's syndicated "Ticket to Ride" show.


AIRCHECK: Pete Forntale's Mixed Bag [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, August 11, 1985

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete Fornatale interviews Dan Fogelberg, including a live performance.

Fornatale (28:30)

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's Ticket to Ride [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, August 11, 1985

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Another few minutes of Scott Muni's syndicated "Ticket to Ride" show.

Muni (11:17)

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM's “A Christmas Carol” [mono]

December, 1985

Contributed by Richard Krumm

This is the 1985 version of WNEW-FM's “A Christmas Carol”, the classic Dickens story and a throwback to old-time drama on radio. Introduced by Pete Fornatale and also featuring Scott Muni as Scrooge, the cast includes Tom Crouch, Dennis Elsas, Dave Herman, Carol Miller, Lisa Glassberg, Dan Neer, Mark McEwen, Richard Neer, Ken Dashow, Marty Martinez and Maxanne Sartori.

Note that we also have the 1980 version above. Click here

XmasCarol (21:45)

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1986

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale with Joni Mitchell [scoped - stereo]

January 12, 1986 (1:42:49)

Contributed by Simon Montgomery

This might be the most comprehensive interview ever conducted with Joni Mitchell as Pete interviews Joni about her entire career, accompanied by her music including one live-in-the-studio song at the end.

mp3Pt1(34:08) mp3Pt2(29:27) mp3Pt3(32:28) mp3Pt4(6:46)

PRESS: Metromedia Sells WNEW-FM

New York Times: March 25, 1986

“It is believed to be the largest sale ever of a radio station group...”

This sale constituted nine of Metromedia's 11 radio stations. The investor group was led by Carl C. Brazell Jr, the then current president of Metromedia Radio. The investors would hold the stations for just three years before selling them again, to Westinghouse Broadcasting.

Each time the stations sold, they sold for a higher price, thereby increasing the debt the stations held. Because of the high debt, stations had to appeal to the widest common denominator in order to be profitable, which is what helped destroy quality radio programming.

Metromedia sells WNEW-FM

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Saturday Morning Sixties [scoped - stereo]

Dec 13, 1986 (86:31)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Pete's 25th anniversary of the Beach Boys special, featuring interviews with Al Jardine, Dennis Wilson and Brian Wilson.

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WNEW-FM 102.7: 1987

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas Pays Tribute to Bob Lewis [scoped - stereo]

circa February 7, 1987

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Bob Lewis was a staple of New York radio having appeared on WMGM, WINS, WABC, WABC-FM, WNEW-FM and WCBS-FM. As such, he's mentioned on many different pages of this site.

Bob was born April 3, 1937 putting him at the center of early top-40 radio. We all remember "Bob-a-Loo". When FM radio split from AM radio simulcasting in 1966, Bob saw the potential of working in a freer creative environment and started doing the only weekday live show on WABC-FM in April of 1967. Formats were changing quickly, but by October of 1967, he was doing a one-hour show on Saturday nights called, "Some Trust In Chariots" with music producer Tom Wilson doing a show before him and Chuck Leonard and Dan Ingram each doing one hour shows following him. From mid-1968 to early 1969, he did a weekday show called "Radio Free New York".

By September of 1970, he was doing 5-9pm weekdays on CBS-FM when the station had an AOR format. And later in 1970, he was doing weekends on WNEW-FM. He was also a voice-over artist and appeared on many radio commercials.

Bob Lewis died on January 23, 1987 at the young age of 49.

Bob Lewis (12:41)

WNEW-FM 20th Anniversary Celebration

Variety - October 28, 1987

Variety published a special issue in 1987 celebrating the 20th anniversary of WNEW-FM and PD Scott Muni.

WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th
WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th WNEW 20th

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni Live at the Hard Rock Cafe [scoped - stereo]

20th Anniversary: October 30, 1987
(Pt1-22:51, Pt2-19:42, Pt3-9:42, Pt4-21:48, Pt5-15:19, Pt6-12:02, Pt7-16:54, Pt8-22:40, pt9-23:46)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WNEW-FM held reglar events at the Hard Rock Cafe on 57th Street, especially anniversary celebrations. It gave the staff another chance to meet fans and as an excuse to have lots of artists stop by.

Part One of this show includes Iggy Pop, John Zacherley and Richard Marx. Zach had left WNEW-FM in 1971 for WABC-FM and stayed there (as it became WPLJ) until 1980. You can hear in Scott's comments that he wanted Zach to come back to WNEW-FM, but Zach apparently didn't want the full-time work. Zacherley would have been 69 when this show was broadcast and he still sounds incredibly great.

Part Two of this show includes Richard Marx, Joe Cocker (by telephone), Bill Graham and the voice of John Cleese.

Part Three features Pete Fornatale and Richie Havens.

Part Four features Alison Steele, Dennis Elsas, Ron Delsner, David Lee Roth and Cyndi Lauper.

Part Five features Jon Bon Jovi, Carol Miller and David Lee Roth.

Part Six features David Lee Roth.

Part Seven features David Lee Roth, Jimmy Page, NYC Mayor Ed Koch and most of the WNEW-FM jocks in the background.

Part Nine features Dave Herman and Pete Fornatale continuing their discussion on the history of the station along with Dennis Elsas, Scott Muni and Carol Miller, who also discuss the Beatles and Scott's early days when he was told by everyone that he was wasting his time because "rock wouldn't last".

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mp3Pt6 mp3Pt7 mp3Pt8 mp3Pt9

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM 20th Anniversary Documentary (Scoped)

WNEW-FM - October 30, 1987

WNEW-FM created a 4-hour radio documentary to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 1987. This is a scoped version of that documentary.

What's interesting about the documentary is that it reminds us that WNEW-FM was far more than what today constitutes a classic rock station. It had dominant and distinctive air personalities and along with the music were live concerts, special events such as beach parties, news, coverage of wars, civil rights and drug abuse issues; benefits for charities and interviews with the giants as well as newcomers to the rock scene, including John Lennon as disc jockey. In addition, it cultivated strong talent and frequently hired people out of college radio or from smaller local stations. There's nothing like it today.

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mp3Pt5 mp3Pt6 mp3Pt7 mp3Pt8

AIRCHECK: Dennis Elsas [scoped - stereo]

October 31, 1987

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This is a segment of Dennis' show from the 20th anniversary of WNEW-FM, Saturday, October 31, 1987 followed by a "Weekend Warrior" bit.

Although WNEW-FM always celebrated the anniversary on October 31, the actual anniversary of the first Rosko show was October 30th.


AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM Montage [scoped - stereo]

various dates

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

These are various bits from WNEW-FM including an Earl Baily Summer montage, Pat St. John's theme, a Star Trek/WNEW-FM promo and Curt Chaplin's last show.


AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's "Ticket to Ride" with Bob Gruen [scoped - stereo]

November, 1987 (32:50)

Contributed by Dan McCue


This is a complete (but scoped and without commercials) edition of Scott Muni's syndicated "Ticket to Ride" show about the Beatles. It played on WNEW-FM on Sundays. This edition features an interview with photographer Bob Gruen, who became personal friends with John and Yoko and frequently photographed them. Gruen took the famous photo of Lennon in his New York City shirt.

Ticket to Ride

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's Twentieth Anniversary [scoped-stereo]

December 18, 1987 (129:00)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Thanks to collector Ken Tullipano, we have a complete aircheck of Scott Muni's show of December 18th, 1987, his 20th anniversary at WNEW-FM. Although the station started playing rock on October 30th, 1967, Muni didn't join until December.

Part 1 of this aircheck also features Dave Herman and part 2 features Jonathan Schwartz. Muni didn't usually do a lot of talking on his shows, but he did for the anniversary and of course, Schwartz can't stop talking.

Part 3 continues with Scott and Dave Herman . There's lots of great radio stories in this segment. And there's an old Scottso jingle at about 7:10. And following that, a stripper sent over by Columbia Records does her thing with Scott (who also gets undressed). Maybe this is where Howard Stern got his inspiration from. Dennis Elsas and Jim Monahan join at about 13:30.

Part 4 includes Dennis Elsas, Jim Monahan and Pete Fornatale as well as very high quality versions of Muni's 1950s and 1960s WMCA and WABC jingles and show intros (at 5:39). Muni talks about Alan Freed and we also hear Muni broadcasting from WNEW-FM's transmitter during the New York City blackout.

Part 5 continues with the fun with some old airchecks and a recording of Elton John doing a spot for the Pink Pussycat Boutique.

Part 6 concludes with Muni, Dennis Elsas and Pete Fornatale.

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WNEW-FM 102.7: 1988

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni with Paul Simon [stereo]

November 29, 1988

Contributed by Dan McCue

This is a pre-recorded interview that Scott Muni conducted with Paul Simon when Simon co-hosted Muni's show. It's an unedited raw interview without the music tracks that would be added later and is probably far more detailed than what eventually made it to air.

Muni always attracted great guests, but was not known as a great interviewer. However, in this interview, in which Simon co-hosted the show, Muni gets a lot out of the normally reclusive Simon and gives him plenty of space to express what he wanted to say.

They spend much time discussing both Simon's musical roots as well as the roots of rock and roll music.

Part 3 is a conversation that took place between Simon and Muni after the interview was finished and was not intended for air. This is an incredible exclusive and we thank WNEW-FM historian Dan McCue for providing it.

mp3Pt1(49:03) mp3Pt2(35:25) mp3Pt3(11:56)

AIRCHECK: Saturday Morning Sixties w/Pete Fornatale
and guest Brian Wilson [scoped - stereo]

December 24, 1988

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

On Christmas Eve, 1988, Pete replayed his extensive and detailed interview with Brian Wilson that he first aired the previous summer. This is the type of programming that you never hear on the radio today, not even on talk radio or public radio stations because they'll never do anything longer than 20-something minutes.

One unique highlight of this interview is when Pete takes Brian into the WNEW-AM live studio, sits him at the piano and has Brian present an incredible tutorial in songwriting and production. Wow.

mp3Pt.1(28:24) mp3Pt.2(32:35) mp3Pt.3(17:41)

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's Christmas Backtrack [scoped - stereo]

December, 1988

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

We don't know too much about this show. We suspect this was a syndicated show created by Pete Fornatale that WNEW-FM happened to play in New York. This is the Christmas edition with songs, move soundtrack bits and old radio spots. As usual, we had to scope the songs, but you'll still get the idea.


WNEW-FM 102.7: 1989

PRESS: Westinghouse Buys 10 Stations from Metropolitan Radio

New York Times: April 21, 1989

“That would make the purchase the largest radio deal ever...”

This consolidation of radio ownership would be the beginning of the end of quality radio, due to debt service.

Westinghouse buys WNEW-FM

AIRCHECK: Pete Fornatale's 20th Anniversary [scoped - stereo]

July 22, 1989 (9:11)

Contributed by Don Balogh

Pete Fornatale joined WNEW-FM on July 26, 1969, just six days after the moon landing and three weeks before the Woodstock festival. He started his radio career on college radio station WFUV, the college radio station of Fordham University, in 1964. In April of 1964, he hosted a show called "Friday Musicale" which soon evolved into "New Friday Musicale", then "Friday in New York" and then to "Swing Easy" before becoming "Campus Caravan" in late November of 1964.

Although always stylistically different, Pete was heavily influenced by Rosko who became his mentor and was partially responsible for Pete joining WNEW-FM.

This short aircheck is of Dennis Elsas taking over Pete's show so he could interview Pete on his 20th anniversary at WNEW-FM. We also hear from Rosko and Richie Havens. This aircheck is from a few days before the actual anniversary.


PRESS: Pete Fornatale leaves WNEW-FM for WXRK

New York Post: September 18, 1989

“Should I stay or should I go?”

Fornatale leaves WNEW-FM for WXRK. Dave Herman would also wind up there, but both would eventually return to WNEW-FM for the "Classic Rocks & Classic Jocks" format

Fornatale leaves WNEW-FM

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1991

AIRCHECK: Richard Neer's Morning Show [scoped - stereo]

circa late 1991 (21:38)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

This is a bit of Richard Neer's morning show from sometime in late 1991 or early 1992.


WNEW-FM 102.7: 1992

AIRCHECK: Scott Muni's 25th Anniversary [scoped - stereo]

December 18, 1992 (155:42)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

WOW! Thanks to Ken Tullipano's incredible archive, we have the entire four hour (of airtime) special celebrating Scott Muni's 25th anniversary at WNEW-FM from 1992, accompanied by Dennis Elsas.

Part 1 features much discussion about Scott's history on the air in New York, including many of the jingles and themes he used when he worked in top-40 radio at WMCA and WABC-AM. (30:45)

Part 2 features more history as well as the beginnings of a discussion about Cat Olsen, the attempted bank robber who called into the station and got Scott to come down to the bank. (20:55)

Part 3 continues the story. (13:18)

Part 4 features excerpts from Elton John's visit to the station and the New York power failure of July 1977 when Scott broadcast from the transmitter site. It also includes reminisces about Cat Stevens and Janis Joplin. (34:58)

Part 5 (18:52) and Part 6 (18:59) finds Scott talking about Jimmy Page, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Harry Chapin.

Part 7 concludes with The Who and the Jefferson Airplane. (17:55)

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WNEW-FM 102.7: 1995

AIRCHECK: Flashback promo

contributed and produced by Rob Frankel

circa 1995

Flashback was a pre-produced show that played on Saturday mornings from 5-9am. Being a late sleeper, I probably never heard the show.

Rob Frankel, who originally produced this promo, tells us, "Flashback is a syndicated weekly 4 hour classic rock show, hosted by Bill St. James. Next month we'll celebrate our 24th year of production. The show mixes classic rock with clips of TV shows, movies, newscasts, comedy and even vintage rock'n'roll radio in thematic segments. When we were on WNEW, we produced a special local version hosted by Pete Fornatale (and by Ken Dashow, when Pete was at K-ROCK)."

This promo features Dashow.


MEDIA: WNEW-FM Changes Formats to Alt-Rock

NY Times - August 1, 1995

In a desperation move, WNEW-FM switches to an AAA format in order to play more new music. Theoretically a good idea consistent with the roots of the station, but the audience doesn't accept it and it will turn out to be a failure.

Steele diesPg1 Steele diesPg2

MEDIA: Alison Steele Dies

NY Times - September 27, 1995

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

The NY Times Obit for the great Alison Steele. Of course, the Times gets at least one fact wrong: when WNEW-FM started the rock format, both Steele and Nell Bassett were originally asked to stay and part of the initial lineup.

Steele dies
Larger image

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1997

PROMOTION: Classic Rock

circa January 1997

In a last desperate move after the failure of the alternative rock format, WNEW-FM returned to a "Classic Rock and Classic Jocks" format on January 2, 1997. But it would start phasing out music after November of 1998.

Rock Lives

AIRCHECK: Alison Steele: Back to 1972 [scoped - stereo]

May 22, 1997 (32:56)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Five months before the 30th anniversary, WNEW-FM decided to look back 25 years before, to 1972. Alison Steele "left" this tape to play at the beginning of Vin Scelsa's show. At the beginning of the aircheck, we hear the end of Carol Miller's shift and a discussion between Vin and Carol before Vin starts this tape.

Alison doesn't just go back to 1972 -- she goes back to 1967 and talks about the very early days of the station and how she became "The Nightbird". And when you hear her theme, her poem and the incredibly smooth transition to and out of The Moody Blues track, you hear the power of what incredibly creative radio once was.

Alison Steele

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa: Back to 1972 [scoped - stereo]

May 22, 1997 (42:27)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

Vin Scelsa picks up from the end of the Alison Steele aircheck, continuing to "pretend" that it was 1972 on the day that Dave Herman joined the station.

This is an interesting show because Scelsa reveals lots about the reasons for the call letter change at WABC-FM to WPLJ and the later change in format.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Museum of Television & Radio (Scoped)

WNEW-FM - circa October 30, 1997

WNEW-FM celebrated it's 30th anniversary by broadcasting from the Museum of Television & Radio in NYC (now the Paley Center for Media). These are scoped excerpts from that event. The 30th anniversary documentary is posted below.

mp3Dave Herman mp3Pete Fornatale mp3Pete con't mp3Fornatale w/Richie Havens
mp3Havens con't mp3Muni w/Jonathan Schwartz mp3Scott Muni mp3Muni w/Stevie Nicks
mp3DeNuzio mp3Pat St. John mp3Dennis Elsas w/John Zacherley mp3Elsas-Zach con't

AIRCHECK: WNEW-FM 30th Anniversary Documentary (Scoped)

WNEW-FM - circa October 30, 1997

As it had done for previous decade anniversaries, WNEW-FM created a 4-hour radio documentary to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 1997. This is a scoped version of that documentary.

It reminds us again that while over the years, WNEW-FM became more formatted, regimented and commercially oriented as it sought ratings, it remained pretty much a full-service radio station and also continued to play a large role in the industry and in the community. From sponsoring concerts in Central Park, beach parties and fireworks on the Hudson to activities to benefit charities, the station was always active. But this anniversary was its swan song...WNEW-FM became an adult talk station just two years later.

A few segments are missing, probably due to tape turns. We apologize for those omissions.

mp3Pt1 mp3Pt2 mp3Pt3 mp3Pt4
mp3Pt5 mp3Pt6 mp3Pt7 mp3Pt8

WNEW-FM 102.7: 1998

WNEW-FM Ends the Classic Rock & Classic Jocks Format

New York Times: September 6, 1998

WNEW-FM ends the classic rock format. They would mix music and talk for another year with only Carol Miller remaining from the old team along with Opie & Anthony from 3-7pm for another year, when they would go all talk.


WNEW-FM fires Scott Muni

NY Times: November 15, 1998

“Scott comes from an era when deejays mattered -- and Scott mattered more than any of them in New York because he put the team together at WNEW”

The NY Times' initial take on the firing of Scott Muni


A Radio Legend Searches For a New Gig

NY Times: November 27, 1998

“We see it all the time, the guy who puts in 40 years. . . ”

The NY Times' follow-up take on the firing of Scott Muni, conducted while he was cleaning out his office. Interesting that Scott thought about possibly finding a sports announcing gig. He wound up doing a daily one-hour show at WAXQ.


WNEW-FM fires Scott Muni and Dave Herman

Billboard: November 28, 1998

Two of the greatest air personalities to ever appear on New York radio are let go from WNEW-FM. Muni had been on WNEW-FM for over 31 years.


WNEW-FM 102.7: 1999

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" with Peter Wolf [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, January 24, 1999 (137:24)

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

“I was a Bronx was a great place to grow up..well for guys it was a lot learned the fine arts of spitting, smoking cigarettes and eating sunflower seeds.”

This is a great aircheck of Vin with Peter Wolf, best known for his many years with the J. Geils band, but also a great solo act, songwriter, DJ and music historian. Vin and Peter talk about growing up in the Bronx, Peter's years in Boston, being a DJ, his friendship with Van Morrison, listening to Dylan in 1962 on WBAI, Bill Graham, the Boston Tea Party music venue, the J. Geils band and they play a whole lot of great R&B and other music.

mp3Pt.1 (34:12) mp3Pt.2 (30:44) mp3Pt.3 (31:13) mp3Pt.4 (41:15)

AIRCHECK: Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" [scoped - stereo]

Sunday, May 9, 1999

Contributed by Ken Tullipano

“There continues to be rumors, even news reports of rumors about a proposed format change at this station...I have heard nothing officially from anybody”

Vinnie obviously began to sense that it was almost over for WNEW-FM as a music station. But he still did his thing and this particular edition of "Idiot's Delight" proves once again that radio could entertain and inform with the highest degree of artistry. Salmon Rushdie was supposed to be a guest this night. Due to security concerns, he cancelled his appearance but Vin still dedicated much of the show to Rushdie spending part of the night reading from Rushdie's newest novel. Would any music DJ on any station, either commercial or non-commercial, do that today? Obviously not.

While Scelsa had the freedom he had largely because his show played on Sunday nights, was considered a specialty show and wasn't rated, so management probably didn't care all that much what he did, it's still amazing that it happened at all.

Why is it today that no commercial radio show demonstrates any signs of intellect? It's probably because to do so causes tune out, but one has to ask what happened to the audience for this kind of radio? With more students attending college than ever before and more books available than ever before, how have we become so anti-intellectual?

mp3Pt.1 (60:17) mp3Pt.2 (47:48)

WNEW-FM Goes All-Talk

New York Times: September 14, 1999

After over 30 years as a rock music station, WNEW-FM goes all-talk, a move that would lead to great afternoon ratings for awhile, but in the end would prove disasterous after a sophmoric stunt by Opie & Anthony. That stunt would end the hot talk format in 2003 and lead into a series of quick format changes, none of which would be successful. After being the most influential (even though not the top rated) music station in New York City and possibly the country for more than 30 years, 102.7 (which recently regained back its original call letters), is of absolutely no consequence in 2016.


WNEW-FM moves to Talk Format

Billboard: October 2, 1999

Billboard's take on the end of rock WNEW-FM.


WNEW-FM 102.7: 2000

Rosko Dies

NY Daily News & NY Times - August, 2000

WOR-FM, WNEW-FM, WQIV, WKTU air personality Bill "Rosko" Mercer passed away after a battle with cancer on August 1, 2000.

Rosko Rosko

WNEW-FM 102.7: 2004

Scott Muni Dies

NY Times - September, 2004

Scott Muni, veteran of New York radio stations WMCA, WABC(AM), WOR-FM, WNEW-FM and WAXQ(FM) passed away on September 30, 2004 after suffering a stroke some months earlier.

Muni dies

WNEW-FM 102.7 Schedules

These schedules are sourced from newspapers, FM Guide (which was usually a few months behind changes), Radio Guide, Richard Neer's book on FM radio, personal recollections of myself and DJs and various postings on the web, especially those of Vince Santarelli. Corrections welcomed. In some cases, the same dates are posted twice due to conflicting information from different sources.

Click for larger images

1966 - Fall 1970

This one shows the beginnings of the station beginning with the "all-girls" format and Rosko joining the station on October 30, 1967 after qutting WOR-FM a few months before.


Jan 1970 - Feb 1981

This is the schedule through the approximate end of the free-form period. While WNEW-FM was well programmed past this period, at least some of the air personalities feel that the station had reached its zenith around the time of John Lennon's death in December of 1980.


1982 - 1986

We begin to see a lot more jock turnover during this period as the station goes through a number of ownership and management changes.


1987 - 1994

Relative stability during most of this period and a number of former WPLJ jocks including Pat St. John, Tony Pigg and Carol Miller join the station.


1995 - 2007

The final half decade of "Classic Rock & Classic Jocks" when Pete Fornatale and Dave Herman rejoined the station, the beginnings of the talk format as Opie & Anthony join in late 1998 ending with a bunch of unsuccessful CHR music formats.


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