1996 in radio
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In television: 1993 1994 1995 -1996- 1997 1998 1999
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The year 1996 in radio involved some significant events.
- President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which greatly increased the number of stations one could own per market, into law.
- Geneseo, Illinois radio stations WGEN (1500 AM) and WGEN-FM (104.9) are sold to Connoisseur Communications, owner of KJOC, KQCS, WXLP and KBOB with studios in Davenport, Iowa. The FM signal is simply a repeater of KJOC's signal, which has an all-sports format, while the AM signal repeats KBOB (at the time, located at 99.7 FM with a country format) as Connoisseur was considering future plans for the two stations.
- February 5–9 – WYNY ends its country format at 6 AM and began to simulcast its sister stations outside New York, WRCX in Chicago on February 5, KKBT in Los Angeles on February 6, WLUP-FM in Chicago on February 7, KIOI in San Francisco on February 8, and WXKS-FM in Medford-Boston on February 9.
- March 8 – KZZP in Phoenix flips back to Top 40/CHR
- March 25 - KCIN/Seattle flips from country to Rhythmic AC, branded as "Kiss 106", after a week of simulcasting sister stations and a stunt loop of various sound effects
- June 20 - Westinghouse/CBS Radio announced its merger with Infinity Broadcasting. The $3.9 billion deal would be the biggest deal in radio history until Clear Channel's acquisition of AMFM in October 1999.
- July 29 – WWWE in Cleveland, Ohio (long nicknamed "3WE") reverts to their original WTAM call letters, now branded as "WTAM 1100."
- August 15 – Adult Complementary-formatted KHHT/Denver (now KQKS) flips to Top 40 as "K-HITS 107.5"
- October – Radio4all.net is founded.
- October 30 – KPTY debuts as Arizona's Party Station after stunting with various genres of music
- November 18 – Radio Disney begins broadcasting.
- WBOB and KQQL, both in Minneapolis, Minnesota are sold to Chancellor Communications.
- The United Auto Workers invest in United Broadcasting Network, which later became I.E. America Radio Network. UAW's president at the time, Stephen Yokich, saw UBN as a way to promote the union's ideals and counter conservative radio talk show hosts.
- KILT in Houston, Texas flips to sports.
- River City FM is sold to The Radio Network.
- February 10 – Just 11 years after it signed off at 92.3, WKTU returns to the New York City airwaves on 103.5.
- November 14 – The Buzz 105.1 debuts after stunting its Showtunes Broadway music.
- Doug Banks begins national syndication of morning radio show
- Los Angeles radio listeners picked up two new stations, Rhythmic Adult Contemporary KIBB ("B100.3") and Dance-intensive KACD/KBCD ("Groove Radio 103.1"). Both would last only 2 years.
- KHTS-FM ("Channel 93.3")/San Diego debuts with a Dance Top 40 format on Labor Day. They would evolve to Mainstream Top 40 in August 1998.
- Phantom FM begins broadcasting as a pirate station.
New radio shows
- April – Alan Parker, Road Warrior (BBC Radio 1)
- July – Comedy Quiz (BBC Radio 4)
- March 25 – John Snagge, British newsreader and commentator (born 1904)
- August 7 – Bill Hanrahan, American radio and television announcer (born 1918)
- October 28 – Morey Amsterdam, veteran American television and radio actor and comedian (born 1908)
- December 11 – Willie Rushton, English comedian, actor, radio and television personality and cartoonist (born 1937)