May You Always... (January 28) New York Radio Guide extends its condolences to the family, friends and radio colleagues of Harry Harrison, who passed away on January 28th at the age of 89. A true "New York Radio Great", Harry enjoyed a 50-year career in radio, beginning in Chicago and Peoria, and then at WMCA (570 AM) as a "Good Guy" from 1959 to 1968. Generations of New Yorkers woke up to the "Morning Mayor" on WABC (770 AM) from 1968 to 1979 and WCBS-FM (101.1) from 1980 to 2003. Harry was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November, 2019.
End of an Era: (June 1) Ending a 50-year run as a rock or pop music station, WPLJ (95.5 FM) signed off at 7 pm on May 31, 2019. First known as WABC-FM, the WPLJ call letters were adopted in February, 1971 and through the decades the station has played album-oriented rock (through 1983), and a rock-leaning Top 40 or Hot AC format. Station owner Cumulus Media sold the station in February to Educational Media Foundation (EMF), a non-commercial broadcaster that runs its Christian Contemporary 'K-Love' format on 500 stations nationwide. The WPLJ call letters remain in place for now.
Radio Newsbriefs: WBGO (88.3 FM) has introduced a new weekly jazz program, "Jazz Night in America". Hosted by bassist Christian McBride, the show will feature live performances from across the nation, along with background material. "Jazz Night in America" is a collaboration between WBGO, NPR, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and airs Sundays at 6 PM, repeated Wednesdays at 6:30 PM. WWRL (1600 AM) has adopted a Spanish-language format as of January 1st, ending ten years of talk radio. The station is featuring Regional Mexican music.