1998 in radio

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The year 1998 in radio involved some significant events.


  • January 2 – A gunman shoots Antario Teodoro Filho, Brazilian politician and radio presenter, during a broadcast.[1]
  • January 21 – WNSR/New York relaunches as "Big 105", WBIX. The station evolves to Hot AC by the late spring.
  • February – After switching formats from "Pure Rock" to Spanish music format on 105.5FM in Long Beach three years earlier, KNAC is resurrected as the internet-based radio station knac.com.
  • February - WNEW-FM/New York City evolves from classic rock to mainstream rock.
  • March – Davenport, Iowa stations WLLR-FM (101.3 FM, a country station) and KUUL (103.7 FM, an oldies station) swap dial positions.
  • March 9 – Washington, D.C. stations WTEM 570-AM and WWRC 980-AM swap dial positions. Two weeks prior, WWRC, a former NBC Radio owned-and-operated station, switched to a business news format, and the 980-AM facility was upgraded to a 50,000 watt day/5,000 watt night signal.
  • March 28 — "American Top 40" returns to the airwaves, once again with Casey Kasem as the host. The show is actually the renamed "Casey's Top 40", which Kasem had hosted since its premiere in 1989. Kasem will remain with the program until December 2003.
  • May 15 - AC-formatted WISP/Tampa flips to Rhythmic CHR as "WiLD 98.7", WLLD.
  • May 27 - American Radio Systems' merger with Infinity Broadcasting officially closes.[2]
  • May 29 - SFX's merger with Capstar officially closes.[3]
  • May 31 — Nick Digilio broadcast his first program as part of The Nick D. & Garry Lee Show on WGN Radio. Nick had been reviewing movies with WGN Radio legend Roy Leonard since 1985.
  • June 25 - Modern AC-formatted WALC/St. Louis flips to active rock as "Extreme Radio 104.1" WXTM.
  • August 13 — Jacor Communications completes a $620 million merger with the 17-station Nationwide Communications chain, all of which are spun off from the insurance company of the same name. The TV stations are sold to Young Broadcasting.
  • September 4 – KGLQ/Phoenix dropped its classic hits format and began stunting with a ticking clock. At 3PM that day, "Mix 96.9" debuts with a Hot AC format.
  • September 24 - Smooth jazz-formatted KMJZ/Minneapolis-St. Paul flips to Modern AC as "104.1 The Point."
  • October 8 — Clear Channel Communications announces a $2.8 billion merger with Jacor Communications; the deal is approved the following May.
  • October 12 – Groove 103.1 KBCD and KACD sign off and become a simulcast of KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.
  • October — WMMS in Cleveland engages in "The Death of the Buzzard", a month-long event celebrating the station's legendary past, with a plethora of vintage airchecks, interviews and sounders. Rumors had the station retiring the WMMS call letters, rock format and Buzzard mascot in favor of the KISS-FM Top 40 format. This turns out in the end to be merely a stunt; only the airstaff is replaced, but the call letters, format and mascot remained.
  • November 2 - After a goodbye weekend, WRCX/Chicago drops its 7-year old rock format for urban oldies, branded as "The Beat." New call letters WUBT were implemented on December 21.
  • December 4 - After nearly 11 months with Hot AC, WBIX/New York flips to Rhythmic Oldies as "Jammin' 105", WTJM.
  • December 27 - 1560 WQEW New York City (after announcing this on December 4) drops their Adult Standards format of just over 6 years and also shuts down the intellectual unit of WQEW to carry Radio Disney full-time.

No dates[edit]

  • A judge rules that nude images of Dr. Laura Schlessinger could continue to be posted on a website. Radio personality Bill Ballance had sold them to a company and claimed that they were the product of a 1970s affair between himself and Schlessinger, while Schlessinger was married. Schlessinger admitted the affair but claimed she was legally separated and had filed for divorce from her first husband at the time of their affair.


  • January 10 — "Retro Country USA", a two-hour weekly program featuring country music hits of the past. The core group of songs comes from the 1980s, with 1970s and early 1990s songs also included. The show was conceived and created by radio programmer Dale O'Brian, who at the time was programming WWZZ-FM in Washington, DC. The show was originally hosted by radio personality Ken Cooper. In 2012, Cooper retired and was replaced by "Big" Steve Kelly. The show is syndicated both nationally and internationally by Superadio in Boston, Ma.
  • February 17 — WMIB-Marco Island, Florida begins broadcasting on the expanded band frequency of 1660 kHz.


  • August 31 — Westwood One's news facility in Arlington closed, which housed staffers for NBC Radio and Mutual. CBS Radio staff were now directly responsible for the production of "Mutual" and "NBC"-branded newscasts from CBS' New York facilities.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/onstage.htm
  2. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1998/RR-1998-06-12.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1998/RR-1998-06-05.pdf
  4. ^ Cox, Jim (2008). This Day in Network Radio: A Daily Calendar of Births, Debuts, Cancellations and Other Events in Broadcasting History. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-3848-8.
  5. ^ "Tony Marvin, 86, Announcer For Radio". New York Times. October 16, 1998. Retrieved 12 September 2014.