2001 in radio
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The year 2001 in radio involved some significant events.
- January 12: WUBT flips to Top 40, branded as "Kiss 103.5" (WKSC-FM) in Chicago.
- January 29: The 80s Channel WXXY and WWYX/Chicago (now WVIV) becomes Viva 103.1
- April 2: WJMO/Washington, D.C. ends its urban oldies format and begins stunting as Survivor Radio, based on the CBS TV series, Survivor.
- April 6: Survivor Radio stunt ends, and WJMO flips to CHR as Hot 99.5 (WIHT). "Survivor", by Destiny's Child, was the first song played on Hot 99.5.
- May 7: CHUM Radio's "The Team" syndicated sports service debuts in Canada at 3 PM. With this, it brought an end to the oldies format on 1050 CHUM/Toronto after 11 years, and 44 years as a music station.
- May 26: Essex-based pirate station 'Premier FM' begins broadcasting on 88.3FM from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK.
- May 28: KRBV (100.3) in Dallas, TX changes its branding from "Hot 100" to "Wild 100" while maintaining its Top 40 format.
- June 15: Bruce Williams leaves Westwood One to join the IDT-owned Talk America Radio Network; his departure effectively ended what was originally the NBC Talknet service.
- June 18: KFME 105.1 in Kansas City signs on with an 80's intensive hot AC format as "E-1051.fm." The license-to-cover was accepted for filing quickly, but not granted for several years because a competitor raised concerns that the station didn't cover its city of license, Garden City, MO.
- July 3: In Northeast Ohio, a complex exchange involving seven radio stations occurs between Clear Channel Communications, Salem Communications, and Radio Seaway. Although generally reported as a "frequency swap", in reality these seven radio stations mostly trade callsigns along with their respective formats and staffs – all to facilitate the transfers of ownership of four of the seven stations:
- WAKS/Lorain (104.9 FM), aired pop/contemporary hit radio (CHR) format – sold by Clear Channel to Radio Seaway; callsign changed to WCLV-FM; format changed to classical.
- WCLV/Cleveland (95.5 FM), aired classical format – sold by Radio Seaway to Salem; callsign changed to WFHM-FM; format changed to Christian contemporary.
- WHK/Cleveland (1420 AM), aired religious format – sold by Salem to Radio Seaway; callsign changed to WCLV; format changed to pop standards.
- WHK-FM/Canton (98.1 FM), aired religious format – sold by Salem to Clear Channel; callsign changed to WKDD; format changed to adult contemporary.
- WKDD/Akron (96.5 FM), aired adult contemporary format – retained by Clear Channel; callsign changed to WAKS; format changed to pop/contemporary hit radio (CHR).
- WKNR/Cleveland (1220 AM), aired sports radio – retained by Salem; callsign changed to WHK; format changed to religious.
- WRMR/Cleveland (850 AM), aired pop standards format – retained by Salem; callsign changed to WKNR; format changed to sports.
- July 27: Energy FM starts broadcasting in the Isle of Man, it is only the second radio station ever to be legally broadcast on the Island. Other illegal stations known to have operated have been Radio Caroline and Toxic 103FM.
- August 9: Saying that "the rusty pipes are being renewed... I’m so eager to return," Paul Harvey returned to the air for one day after suffering a severe case of laryngitis; he had been sidelined since May while undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Gil Gross and Sam Donaldson were the chief fill-in hosts used during this time. Harvey returned to full-time duty on August 19.
- September 2: WEVD 1050-AM in New York is leased out by owner The Forward to Disney/ABC. The locally-based talk format, including hosts Alan Colmes, Ed Koch and Bill Mazer is dropped in favor of ESPN Radio programming (and eventually becomes ESPN's flagship station, WEPN). Nine days later, the station simulcasts future sister station WABC for several weeks.
- September 10: The Sean Hannity Show enters national syndication from ABC Radio.
- September 11: Thousands of radio stations interrupt regularly scheduled programming starting at or around 8:50 a.m. EST (13.50 GMT) to cover the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, from multitudes of sources.
- September 11: In addition to the 2,754 fatalities in New York City, the September 11 attacks resulted the destruction of the transmission mast atop One World Trade Center, killing six engineers and silencing WKCR, WPAT-FM, WNYC-FM and WKTU, in addition to all nine major television stations, and the studio-transmitter link for WNYC (AM). WKTU had a backup transmitter atop the Conde Nast Building at Four Times Square that was immediately activated. Later that morning, all of New York's radio outlets (including the music outlets) preempt programming for nonstop coverage of the September 11 attacks until the end of the month. WNYC Radio's studio buildings in the Municipal Building were evacuated and relocated to NPR's Manhattan facilities, with WNYE arranging to carry WNYC-FM's programming on a full-time basis. While WNYC (AM)'s transmitter was on the whole time, programming would return later that afternoon with a backup STL dish sent to their transmitter site, which would relay an ISDN feed of WNYC sent via satellite from NPR's Washington facility. WPAT returned to the air that Thursday on the Empire State Building's transmission mast, and WKCR was reactivated from their Columbia University campus. (All of the TV stations would utilize the historic Armstrong Tower - a landmark in the history of FM broadcasting - as early as that Wednesday.)
- November: KBOB-FM (104.9 FM) in Davenport, Iowa is rebranded "Great Country 105" and adopts a classic country format.
- December 31: Cox Communications flips the format and call letters of Classical radio station WTMI/Miami, Florida to Dance Music as WPYM ("Party 93.1, South Florida's Pure Dance Channel"). The news would make headlines in the trades and in the Dance Music community. The station would last three years and three months.
- The 2 Live Stews debut on WQXI in Atlanta, Georgia
- June 25: The Laura Ingraham Show debuts on Westwood One, assuming the 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. slot previously held by Bruce Williams (see events).
- September 25: XM Satellite Radio launches as North America's first satellite radio service with new channels.
- March 12: Morton Downey, Jr., 68, controversial and influential American television talk show host of the 1980s who pioneered the "trash talk show" format
- May 12: Perry Como, 88, American crooner and radio personality
- September 4: Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, 39, American radio personality and actor
- November 5: Milton William Cooper, 58, American writer and shortwave broadcaster
- Tower Site of the Week - One World Trade Center - A Look Back Scott Fybush, fybush.com. September 12–19, 2001
- NorthEast Radio Watch - 9/11 Plus One, A Special Report Scott Fybush, fybush.com. September 10, 2002