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Slogan New York's Original Alternative Station
Frequency 105.3 MHz (via WPTY-HD3)
First air date September 2005 (streaming)
November 2016 (HD Radio)
Format Alternative
Webcast Listen Live
Listen Live (via TuneIn)
Website wlir.fm

WLIR (WLIR.FM) is an internet and over the air radio station (105.3 WPTY-HD3 Calverton-Roanoke, NY) that plays the new music/modern rock that was originally heard on WLIR/WDRE (92.7 FM, 98.5 FM, and 107.1 FM) in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s along with the alternative rock of the 2000s to the present. The spirit of the original WLIR is maintained with the music mix and the personalities, such as Larry The Duck, Chris Sharpe, Drew Kenyon, Andre & Rob Rush. Bob Wilson long time WLIR employee and historian created the WLIR.FM website and programs the music playlist.[1]

WLIR on FM radio[edit]

WLIR was best known as an influential radio station that launched the careers of many music acts and disk jockeys from the 1970s through the 1990s. In 1970, it changed to a progressive rock format before switching to a new music/modern rock format in 1982. The station originally broadcast from studios at the Garden City Hotel, Garden City, New York, then 175 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, New York, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Westbury, New York, and finally, 1103 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, New York, with its transmitter located on the North Shore Towers in Floral Park, New York.

92.7 FM beginnings (1959–1970)[edit]

WLIR was founded in 1959 by John R. Rieger. It was licensed to Garden City, New York on the frequency 92.7 FM and played a mix of Broadway tunes and classical music from a basement studio in the Garden City Hotel.[2][3]

The progressive era (1970–1982)[edit]

The WLIR logo from 1979.

In the spring of 1970, announcers Richard Neer and Mike Harrison convinced Rieger to change to a progressive rock format,[3] with Harrison as Program Director. This meant playing obscure artists, playing many cuts off an album (not just the hit singles), and having disc jockeys speak in a slow, mellow tone. The new format debuted on July 1, 1970. The station also began its long-running series of live concert broadcasts from the nearby UltraSonic Recording Studios and later from local clubs such as My Father's Place and The Ritz. Artists featured on the series included Bruce Springsteen, The Allman Brothers Band, Dr. John, Jackson Browne, The Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Hall and Oates and many other notable performers of the era. In addition to the live concert series WLIR promoted local bands such as The Good Rats.

Neer and Harrison departed for progressive-rock WNEW-FM in 1971. The air staff in the early 70's included Program Director Ken Kohl, George Taylor Morris, Jim Cameron, Joel Moss, Malcolm Davis (later a longtime star of Boston Radio as "Austin from Boston" on WODS-FM), Charlie Ahl (WPLJ, WHN and WCBS-FM NYC as Chris Charles), Dave ("The Wrench") Friedman and Public Affairs producer Heather Schoen.

As the 1970s went on, most rock stations drifted into a more commercial album oriented rock direction, but WLIR bucked this trend. As punk and new wave rock started to become popular at the end of the 1970s, most rock stations in the United States ignored these genres. WLIR, again, bucked the trend by playing artists from these genres.

Dare to be different (1982–1991)[edit]

In 1982, it was decided that in order for the station to move into the future, a format change was needed.[4] Program director Denis McNamara recommended to the station's owner that he choose one of two formats, either progressive adult contemporary or New Music.[4] Although adult contemporary seemed commercially appealing, New Music was chosen because it was more in step with the "dare to be different" campaign being used to promote the new format and it was more "fun".[4] On August 2, the format switch occurred. The station featured new wave (McNamara "hated" that term because he felt it was a trendy phrase that might be out of style in a year[4]), synthpop, post-punk, early alternative rock acts as well as novelty records. The personalities of the disc jockeys became much more upbeat.

The station became known worldwide for introducing new artists and playing singles months (if not years) before other stations. For example, as shown in the 2017 documentary Dare to Be Different - WLIR: The Voice of a Generation (see below), WLIR played the Frankie Goes to Hollywood single "Relax" just six days after its U.K. release, six months before the record company released it in the United States.[5] The station arranged with a record store in London to get same day air delivery (years before this was the norm), Heathrow to JFK, for new records; WLIR music director Rosie Pisani would drive the 12 miles (19 km) to nearby JFK on Thursday afternoons to pick up the records. They also teamed with Dutch East India Trading, an independent record import company in the neighboring village of Rockville Centre, New York, to bring in test pressings before the finished records were mass produced. WLIR became the first radio commercial station in the country to play U2,[6] The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, Duran Duran, Madonna, George Michael, and Men at Work. One method of doing so was the "Screamer of the Week," a feature in which listeners would call in and vote for their favorite new song of the week. New Order, Depeche Mode, Ultravox, Yaz and Blancmange were early staples of the new music format.[7] According to McNamara, the "entire music industry was looking upon 'LIR and that 'LIR marketplace of New York and Long Island as one of the hippest music areas of the world. People used to refer to it as the gateway to America if you were an upcoming artist."[7]

WLIR’s success had grown the profits of its operators, 1959 founder John R. Rieger and his partner Elton Spitzer's Phoenix Media Corp., with an increasing share of the New York market, major concert promotions and popular dance club promotions. As it turns out, the station's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license had been changed to a special temporary authority in 1972, due to a slow-moving legal battle which had gone dormant later in the 1970s. The legal battle re-escalated when the station became more valuable, with new entities (not involved in the original 1972 battle) getting involved after 1982, culminating with the FCC revoking Phoenix Media’s 15-year "temporary" license in 1987.[8] As a result of this revocation, Jarad Broadcasting successfully had wrested control of the broadcast license for frequency 92.7, taking ownership on December 18, 1987.[8] The permanent license did not include the call letters, so the new licensee operated with the call letters 'WDRE, while Phoenix Media brought their WLIR call letters to an AM radio station in Rockland County, New York. Phoenix Media also took the "Dare To Be Different" slogan with them as intellectual property, so WDRE's moniker became "New Music First". The feature "Screamer of the Week" became "Shriek of the Week," and the WDRE version of the station remained on the cutting edge of new music as they broke new bands into the next decade, like Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana and others.

Alternative rock expands: The Underground Network (1991–1996)[edit]

In 1991, the station changed its moniker again, this time to "The Cutting Edge of Rock."

The explosion in popularity of grunge and alternative rock in the early 1990s led to a period of turmoil. The synthpop-based music on which much of the station's playlist was based was now out of fashion. Alternative rock artists which used to be played almost exclusively on the station were now being played on many rock and pop music stations.[9]

In 1992, WDRE started simulcasting its programming with what was 103.9 WIBF-FM Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, which later became WDRE Jenkintown/Philadelphia. Subsequently, in the mid 1990s, Greg Morey claims to have created the first alternative rock network known as "The Underground Network."[10][11] The Underground Network consisted of the following stations:

Underground Network
Call sign in 1995 Frequency Broadcast area State Current Call sign[a]
KDRE 101.1 FM Little Rock Arkansas KDXE
KFTH 107.1 FM Memphis Tennessee KXHT
WDRE 92.7 FM Garden City/New York City New York WQBU-FM
WIBF 103.9 FM Jenkintown/Philadelphia Pennsylvania WPHI-FM
WMRW 98.5 FM Westhampton/eastern Long Island New York WBON
WRLG 94.1 FM Nashville Tennessee WFFH
WUNX 93.5 FM Mashpee/Cape Cod Massachusetts WFRQ
WUNZ 101.1 FM Mashpee/Cape Cod Massachusetts WHYA
WWCP 96.7 FM Albany New York WDCD-FM
WYKT[b] 105.5 FM Wilmington Illinois WYKT
[a] - As of April 15, 2018
[b] - Nights only[12]

Four years after WIBF became WDRE's first affiliate, The Underground Network was disbanded. In 1996, it was decided that WDRE Garden City would switch formats to adult album alternative (AAA), bring back Malibu Sue[13] (who had been fired earlier by then program director Russ Mottla), change its call letters back to WLIR and change its moniker to "The Island". That same year, WDRE Philadelphia became a local, independent modern rock station.

After the Underground Network (1996–2004)[edit]

The WLIR logo used from 1998 to sign off on 1/9/2004.

In 1997, Jeff Levine was named program director,[14] Gary Cee assistant program director, and night jock Lynda Lopez became music director. New features implemented during this era included Malibu Sue's All Request Morning, The 5:00 Rush, Flashback Lunch, LIR After Dark, Andre's 9:00 Knockout, and "In the Mix," an important alternative dance show with DJ Theo[15] and Andre. The station had a unique sound during that era with the combination of alternative from chart toppers Coldplay, Foo Fighters, No Doubt but also alternative dance from Daft Punk, Wolfsheim, Moby, Fatboy Slim and others. Gary Cee took over as program director shaking things up by bringing in British jock The English Muffin (Orli Auslander) for the afternoon drive. This popular sound helped WLIR's ratings and would continue when to the station's end in January 2004.

Move to 107.1 FM and brief NeoBreeze (2004–2008)[edit]

The WLIR "The Box" logo used during 2004 when the station changed its frequency.

On January 9, 2004, Univision bought the 92.7 frequency and other assets for $60 million[16] and began simulcasting the Spanish radio format of WCAA Newark, New Jersey on 92.7 under the call letters WZAA. WLIR then signed off at noon with "Forever Young" by Alphaville.[17] Andre Ferro would be the last jock heard on the 92.7 airwaves, followed by a message from ownership. The WLIR call letters moved to the 107.1 frequency on Eastern Long Island, which had been simulcasting WLIR for several years. The new WLIR adopted an active/modern rock format and new image as "THE BOX".[18] Since 107.1 FM is located about 50 miles east of the original WLIR at 92.7 FM, many of the station's fans in New York City, southwestern Connecticut, southern Westchester County, New York, northeastern New Jersey, and even the western parts of Long Island itself could not easily receive the station. Many of these areas were closer geographically to other stations occupying 107.1 FM (WXPK in central Westchester County and WWZY in Long Branch, New Jersey) which hindered reception.

On September 12, 2005, WLIR changed formats to a block-sponsored smooth jazz/chill music format known as "FM Channel 107: NeoBreeze." This same block-sponsored type formatting was also instituted at two other stations owned by The Morey Organization, WLIR's owner. As a result of this change, all of the on-air staff was fired. This truly marked the end of WLIR's unique over the air "new music" format after almost three decades. In addition, with the new format, the station would run commercial-free during the day, with the actual airtime during this period paid for by advertisers. According to the station's owners, this move was made as an attempt to take on satellite radio and MP3 players, which had been cutting into listeners of traditional radio.[19][20] In an effort to keep WLIR and its alternative music alive, longtime WLIR employee and historian Bob Wilson developed the WLIR.FM website and began an internet broadcast of WLIR music called "Next Wave".

On December 20, 2005, after three months of low ratings, the NeoBreeze format was dropped, and the WLIR alternative format returned.

Jeff Levine was there from 2006 to 2007. During that time, LIR had a safe, almost hot adult contemporary sound, similar to WPLJ, and carried Islanders Hockey.

On December 26, 2006, BusinessTalkRadio.net President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Metter announced the purchase of three Long Island radio stations: Alternative WLIR-FM (107.1 FM), Classic Rocker WBON (98.5 FM), and Top 40/Rhythmic WDRE (105.3 FM).[21] WBON was renamed WBZB and flipped to a business talk format on January 2, 2007. The sales of WLIR-FM and WBZB were approved on February 27, 2007. The selling price for WLIR-FM and WBZB was $1.75 million for each station.[22] The total selling price for all three stations would have been $5 million, however the sale was never completed, and WBZB returned to the WBON calls.[23]

In September 2007, WLIR began broadcasting from a new antenna at a location 5 miles to the west of the original.[24] On October 11, 2007, WLIR-FM began simulcasting on a translator in Manorville, W245BA (96.9 FM), expanding its coverage area into western Suffolk County and a portion of eastern Nassau County. On November 18, 2007, this simulcast of WLIR-FM ended with the new simulcast of 98.5 WBON, "La Fiesta", taking over the 96.9 frequency.

ESPN simulcast (2008–2011)[edit]

The WLIR 107.1/ESPN Logo used from January 2008 thru July 2011

On January 3, 2008 in part because of the reach of the new antenna WLIR-FM began simulcasting programming from sister station WDRE (Party 105), fueling speculation that a change in format to ESPN was imminent.[25] On January 21, 2008, WLIR-FM became an ESPN Radio affiliate via a local marketing agreement with New York City radio station WEPN (1050 AM).[26]

Jarad sells 107.1 FM (2011)[edit]

On February 9, 2011, Jarad Broadcasting of Hampton Bays entered into an asset purchase agreement with Holding Out Hope Church d/b/a WLIX Radio to sell the station for $650,000. On February 17, 2011, Holding Out Hope Church assigned the agreement to Livingstone Broadcasting, Inc.[27] On May 25, 2011 the sale of WLIR-FM to Livingstone Broadcasting Inc was completed. On August 1, 2011, WLIR-FM began broadcasting Christian programming as part of the WLIX Hope radio network.

WLIR today[edit]

The original "World Famous" WLIR alternative music, air personalities, sounders, jingles, shrieks and screamers as well as today's new music can still be found at WLIR.FM.

In addition, on November 23, 2016, WLIR resumed broadcasting over the air and can be heard on 105.3 WPTY-FM HD-3 in Suffolk County, New York.

WLIR/WDRE legacy[edit]

After 5 years of production, documentary entitled Dare to Be Different - WLIR: The Voice of a Generation by Ellen Goldfarb debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2017. It details WLIR's history, program director Denis McNamara and team’s August 1982 format change, the influence the station had, and its battles with the FCC. The station's staff, musical firsts and fans are documented.[5][28] After the premiere A Flock of Seagulls, The English Beat's Dave Wakeling, and The Alarm played live sets.[29][30]

People and personalities[edit]

Many WLIR personalities have had continued success and notoriety both on and off the air. Some of these include:

  • Abel Sanchez — On-air at Pulse 87 New York and weekends on Alternative WNYL (ALT 92.3) New York
  • Alex "Alley Cat" Anthony
  • Amy "AJ Mistress of Modern Rock" Paige — On-air at The BIG 98, Nashville, TN
  • Andre "The Dredog" Ferro — Former Co-Program Director and Music Director, now hosting "The Flashback Lunch with Andre" on WLIR.FM and Traffic Reporter for 880 WCBS
  • Armin Laszlo — Overnight jock in the late 1970s, science teacher at Anning S. Prall Intermediate School 27 located in Staten Island, New York
  • Barry (Ravioli) Carollo — Died December 26, 2014 in Sedona, AZ[31]
  • Basic Bob ("The Van Man") — WLIR Vinyl Van driver in the early 1980s
  • Beaver Kowalski — Former DeBella Travesty sports reporter
  • Ben Manilla — President of Ben Manilla Productions and instructor at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he also runs the audio department.
  • Bernardo Moronta — Former weekend and overnight on-air talent, now Owner/Program Director at AmazingLiteMusic.com and Traffic Manager at BronxNet Television.
  • Berner (on the beach) — Dennis Boerner, independent entertainment professional at Den of Thieves, Hollywood, CA
  • Bill Holly — "All Request Morning Show" and Modern Rock Dance Party producer
  • Bob ("The Mighty") Waugh — On-air and program director at WRNR-FM, Annapolis, MD
  • Bob Kranes — Senior Director Marketing at The Decca Label Group/Universal Music Group
  • Bob Marrone — Producer of Jazz Stew podcasts
  • Bob Wilson — WLIR historian, WLIR.FM internet radio programmer and owner of Next Wave Media
  • Brian Cosgrove — Music Director and on-air at WPPB, Southampton, NY
  • Carol Silva — "Mini Close-Up"/news, now on-air morning anchor at News 12 Long Island
  • Caroline Corley — Died November 25, 2013[32]
  • Catherine ("The Cat") McClenahan — Actor, singer, host and writer in the Los Angeles area
  • Charlie Ahl — On-air at WCBS-FM, WHN and WPLJ NY, WOMC-FM Detroit (as Charlie Curtis) and host of the syndicated "Weekly Country Music Countdown"
  • Chris "The Greek" Panaghi — President of Amathus Music / DJG Productions
  • Chris (Simmons) Scimone — On-air at 103.1 Max FM, Bay Shore, NY
  • Christine Connallon — Former Production Director, now Partner and Promotions Specialist Mindshare and Professional Concert Photographer/Photo Journalist in the New York area
  • Cooper Lawrence — On-air mornings at WBLI, Patchogue, NY
  • Couzin Ed — Was on during Underground Network, manager of "The Irish Pol" bar in Philadelphia, PA
  • Dale Reeves — President of REVOmedia Productions
  • Dan Binder — Senior Research Consultant at Sparknet Research & Consulting and President at db Media Services
  • Dan "CORKY" Posner — Senior Project Engineer at Underwriters Laboratories
  • Dan Zako — Former General Manager, Regional Sales Manager at Pandora
  • Danny Toy — Self-employed Voiceover Actor / Broadcast Announcer
  • Daredrew
  • Darrin Smith — Vice President, Music Programming at SiriusXM Radio, on-air and Program Director at SiriusXM Radio "1st Wave"
  • Dave "DC" Caggiano — "DC's All Night Diner" died September 8, 2009
  • Dave Plotkin — Former Production Director, Production Director at CBS Radio/WINS-AM, New York and WLIR.FM
  • Delphine Blue — Pilates Teacher at Uptown Pilates, Programmer & DJ at eastvillageradio.com and DJ & Producer at WBAI-FM, NY
  • Denis McNamara — Now consultant at NYM, Inc. Inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2010. In the process of writing his autobiography.[4]
  • Dennis Daniel
  • Don K. Reed - long-time evening DJ on WCBS-FM and host of its legendary "Doo-Wop Shop".
  • Donna Donna — On air at WBAB, appeared in the 1988 concert film Depeche Mode 101 and a 2011 rockumentary about The Replacements, "Color Me Obsessed"[33]
  • DJ Theo — Live broadcasts & In The Mix 1997-2004, former MD of WXXP, now radio/mixshow personality on WPTY Calverton NY and celebrity DJ/Producer[15]
  • Doug Frye
  • Drew Kenyon — Morning show 1999–2000, owner of Drew Kenyon Productions
  • Drew Martin — Account Executive WDRE, on-air currently at WEHM
  • Earle Bailey — On-air at Sirius XM Radio Deep Tracks
  • Ed Zeidner — News Director
  • Elliot Jacobi
  • Elton Spitzer — Took over WLIR in 1973, died April 17, 2016[34]
  • Eric Bloom — "The Bozo Patrol"
  • Eric "Fly Guy" Davis — Formerly 107.1 "The Box" program director, Chief Operating Officer at National Media Services, Inc.
  • Evan "Funk" Davies — Director Business & Operations, VH1 Digital at VH1 and on air at WFMU, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Faithful Marianne
  • Famous Bob
  • Flo & Eddie — "By The Fireside"
  • Frank Bruno — Production Director, Fox News Talk at Fox News Radio
  • Gary Cee — Former Program Director, now Director of Operations and on-air at WNNJ, Newton, New Jersey and Rock 93.3, Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Gene Pardo — Morning show announcer
  • George Taylor Morris — Died in 2009[35]
  • Hank Fredricks — News
  • Harlan Friedman — Owner of The Harlan Group, Sports Correspondent at Live It Up! and consultant at Factory 77, Inc.
  • Heather Schoen — Former Public Affairs Director 1971-1974, President at Schoen and Company
  • Hillary Blazer — Owner of Hillary Blazer Voiceovers and Freelance Voice Talent at Don Buchwald & Associates
  • Howie Greene ("The Greene Team")
  • Hugh Foley — Dr. Hugh Foley, Professor at Rogers State University, OK
  • Jed Morey — President at Morey Creative Studios
  • Jeff Berlin — WLIR imaging voice, owner of Jeff Berlin Creative
  • Jeff Carlson Beck - Died June 4, 2018[36]
  • Jeff Faus — Production staff
  • Jeff Jensen — Traffic reporter at 1010 WINS and News 12 Traffic & Weather
  • Jeff Levine — Former program director, now President at South Florida Chamber Maps
  • Jerry Rubino — Formerly hosted "Left of Center," at Weehawken, NJ based The Syndicate marketing and consulting agency
  • Jim Cameron — Evenings and operations manager 1972–1975, Program Director of Darien CT government TV station Darien TV79 and President at Cameron Communications Inc. [1]
  • Jim McGuinn — Program Director at KCMP-FM "The Current", Minneapolis, MN
  • Jimmy Howes — Weekend on-air personality 1989, program director at WGHT-AM, Pompton Lakes, NJ
  • Jodi Vale — On-air at WKJY-FM, Long Island
  • Joe Bonadonna — Program Director at WHAM-AM & WAIO-FM, Rochester, NY
  • Joe Taggart — Morning show (1996–1999), Long Island-based stand up comic
  • Joel Moss — Former program director in the 1970s progressive era before Denis McNamara; Joined heritage rocker WEBN-FM, Cincinnati in 1984 where he is still Creative Services Director (12/16/11)
  • Joey Salvia — Now technical director/creative director for "The Mike Huckabee Show"
  • John "Johnny McFly" Caracciolo — Owner of JVC Media LLC
  • John ("Don't call me Johnny") DeBella — Morning driver at WMGK, Philadelphia
  • John Moschitta — Operations Manager and Program Director at WDVE and WXDX in Pittsburgh, PA
  • John R. Rieger — Former owner, died of natural causes in August 2005[2]
  • Jon Daniels — On-air at WKJY-FM, Hempstead, NY
  • Jonathan Lobdell — Director of Marketing at Metropolitan Talent Presents
  • Jonathan Clarke Grevatt — On-air at WAXQ-FM, NY
  • Kathi "Domonique" Lee — On-air at WBAB, Babylon, NY
  • Ken Kohl — Program Director (1972-1975), Director Radio Operations DIRECTV Entertainment at DIRECTV
  • Kerin McCue — Formerly news, News Anchor & Reporter at WOR-AM, NY and on-air at WXPK-FM "The Peak", Briarcliff Manor, NY
  • Kim Berk — On-air at WLS-FM Chicago
  • Larry "The Duck" Dunn — Strategic Sales Leader at Sirius XM Radio Inc and on-air at SiriusXM Radio "1st Wave"
  • Larry Kleinman
  • Laurie Gail — Vice President Radio & Label Relations for Play MPE
  • Lazlow — "The Technofile" and "Underground Hard Drive"
  • Lenny "Peter Puberty" Diana — Brand Manager for WLZX-FM and WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Linda Joseph
  • Lisa Ritchie — Morning show co-host and News Director (1989-1993), weekday evening News Anchor for 770 WABC, New York
  • "Long Tall" Andy Geller — National voice over artist, AndyGeller.com
  • Lorraine Rapp — Co-host/co-producer of Take Care at WRVO Public Media
  • (John) Loscalzo — Died April 1, 2015[37]
  • Lynda Lopez — On-air news anchor at WCBS, NY
  • Malibu Sue — On-air at WHLI and News 12 Traffic & Weather
  • Maria Chambers — Instructor at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Traffic Reporter at Total Traffic and Supervisor at WKWZ Syosset High School
  • Margaret Locicero — Promotions director (1973-1979), President of Blame It On Us Marketing & Promotion
  • Mark "The Shark" Drucker — Died February 23, 2005
  • Matt Cord — Now morning driver co-host driver at WBEN-FM, Philadelphia
  • Matt Wolfe — Production Manager at ABC Radio
  • Max "The Mighty Maximizer" Leinwand — Director of Programming at MediaPlace
  • Meg Griffin — On-air at Sirius Radio "The Loft" and "Classic Rewind"
  • Michael "Eppy" Epstein — Punky reggae party and owner of "My Father's Place"
  • Michael Ross — Former part-timer and on air at WPLJ-FM, WSHE-FM, WZTA-FM and WBGG-FM, died January 1, 2000
  • Michael Tapes — Tuesday Night Concert Series producer, owner of Michael Tapes Design, Melbourne, FL
  • Mike "Kidman" DeFosses — Underground Network Morning Show, realtor in Glastonbury, CT
  • Mike Jones — "The man with a face for radio"
  • Michael R. Glaser — WLIR Hempstead Assistant Chief Engineer, NBC-TV New York, Barnstable Broadcasting, Long Island Radio Group Engineering Manager / Chief Engineer. Now RF Supervisor for Cumulus Media, New York City, 770 WABC, 95.5 WPLJ, WNSH, WNBM, WELJ.
  • Mina Greene ("The Greene Team") — Weekend news anchor at WBZ-AM, Boston
  • Mindy Barstein — Owner WXUR-FM AND WRNS-AM in Utica /Rome, NY
  • Morgan "Morgasm" Thomas — Looking for her next broadcasting challenge
  • Mrs. Gyrtlebaumer "Mr. Hand" (Eric Wasserman)
  • Nancy "The Lady in Red" Abramson — VP, Affiliate Sales & Content at Compass Media Networks
  • Orli (The English Muffin) - Now, artist, illustrator and writer[38]
  • Otis Finn (Jim Finnemore)
  • Pam Merly
  • Pat McCormilla
  • Paul Cavalconte — Host, The Vinyl Experience PRN Progressive Radio Network and on-air at WFUV, New York and WQXR-FM, Newark, NJ
  • Paul W. Robinson — PD, Mid-days, Founder & CEO Emerald City Radio Partners
  • Pete "Captain Traffic" Tauriello — Traffic reporter at 1010 WINS
  • Peter Schacknow — Formerly news, senior producer at CNBC
  • Ray White — On-air at Classical KDFC, San Francisco
  • Richard Neer — Announcer at WFAN AM & FM[3]
  • Rob Rush — On-air at WWSK ("94.3 The Shark"), Smithtown, NY and production/voiceovers at Connoisseur Media Long Island
  • Ron "RJ" Morey — CEO of the Morey Organization
  • Russ Mottla — Former program director, announcer at Encisage Radio Group, San Marcos, CA
  • Scott "DJ Bird" Peacock ("sitting in") — Owner/editor of Hockeybird.com
  • Sean "The Brain" Ross — VP of Music and Programming at Edison Research and Top 40 Update columnist at Billboard
  • Sharon "at the Shore" Sperber — Executive Producer/Owner of Eat|See|Hear, Los Angeles & President/Co-Owner of Trailhead Marketing
  • Shelley Miller — Former music director, on-air at KTCZ-FM, Minneapolis, MN
  • Sid Zimet — Audio by Zimet, Workshop Recording Studio, died March 4, 1988
  • "Smokin" Joe Belsito
  • Spicey McHugh — Traffic reporter
  • Stacey Cahn — News Anchor/Reporter, "Mini Close-ups", Time in a Bottle Video Productions
  • Steve "The Pistol" Jones — VP ABC News Radio
  • Steve Kass (Kastenbaum) — New York-based correspondent for CNN Radio
  • Steve Morrison — On-air at WMMR-FM, Philadelphia, PA
  • Steve North — "Mini Close-Up"/News Director, Broadcast Writer, CBS This Morning at CBS News
  • Steve Reggie — Formerly news, traffic reporter at Metro Traffic
  • Steven Starr — Volunteer/news volunteer (1974–75), CEO of CitizenGlobal.com
  • Susan Gail Browning — WDRE/WLIR Morning Show Host...now doing Evenings at WHUD/Hudson Valley
  • Ted Taylor — New media and artistic director at House of Rock Entertainment
  • The Unknown DJ
  • "Tokyo" Rose Pisani — Former music director, SVP Marketing for WE TV & Wedding Central
  • Tom Calderone — President of VH1
  • Tommy "DJ Tarnax" Nappi — On-air at WKTU-FM, Lake Success, NY and VP/Promotion for Warner Bros. Records
  • Trulia Child ("Platter D'Jour")
  • Vin Scelsa — Retired in 2015[39]
  • Willobee (Carlan) — Now Program Director/Operations Manager & Afternoon Host at KVNV - NV89 in Reno NV[40]
  • Zim Barstein — Former General Manager, Sales Manager at Arnold Aerial Advertising in Manhattan

Memorable moments and shows[edit]

WLIR had many memorable and unique shows. Some of these include:

  • Party in the Park — August 21, 1979
  • Party in the Park II — August 23, 1980
  • Tuesday Night Concert Series
  • "Off The Boat" Sunday night import show
  • "Party Out Of Bounds" Weekends (named after the B-52's song of the same name)
  • "Midnight Snack" with Ben Manilla
  • "The News Blimp"
  • Segue contests
  • WLIR "Heavy Hitters" softball team (featuring Billy Joel)
  • "Donna Donna's Spotlight Dance Dance" at Malibu Beach Club
  • "All Request Morning Show" with Malibu Sue and producer Bill Holly
  • "The Bozo Patrol" with Ben Manilla and Eric Bloom (Blue Oyster Cult)
  • "The History of Modern Rock"
  • "Airline Club" and "DaREline"
  • "WLIR-kives"
  • Audio by Zimet
  • "WLIR Non-Conformal Ball" - April 1985
  • "Left of Center"
  • "DRE After Dark"
  • "LIR After Dark"
  • "LIR After Hours"
  • "Saturday Night Modern Rock Dance Party at Malibu"
  • "Friday Night 80's Dance Party at Malibu"

Clubs and venues[edit]

WLIR music and bands were featured at many Long Island venues. Some of these include:

  • My Father's Place — Village of Old Roslyn, NY
  • "Spize" — Farmingdale, NY
  • "The Angle" — Mineola, NY
  • Calderone Concert Hall — Hempstead, NY
  • "007" — Franklin Square, NY
  • Malibu Night Club — Lido Beach, NY (last night open September 12, 1996)
  • The Dublin Pub — New Hyde Park, NY
  • Paris, NY — Huntington, NY
  • Spit — Levittown, NY
  • Chevy's — Bayshore, NY
  • The Oak Beach Inn — Oak Beach, NY
  • The Oak Beach Inn West — Island Park, NY
  • The Ritz — New York City, NY
  • The 1890s Club — Baldwin, NY
  • Speaks — Island Park, NY
  • Reds — Levittown, NY
  • Ultrasonic Recording Studios — Hempstead, NY
  • Uncle Sam's — Levittown, NY
  • Legz - Valley Stream, NY
  • Luxe — Levittown, NY (final simulcast venue on Saturday nights)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bob Wilson". LinkedIn. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Ma, Kai (August 6, 2005). "Long Island". Newsday. Retrieved April 24, 2013. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c "Adelphi University Alumni Profile: Richard Neer '70". Adelphi University. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Amorim, Kevin (November 13, 2010). "WLIR, Denis McNamara ushered a wave of new music". Newsday. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Goldfarb, Ellen (director) (April 27, 2017). Dare to Be Different (Motion picture). Culver City, California, United States: Dare To Be Different, LLC. 
  6. ^ Billboard's 2014 Industry Icon: Paul McGuinness Billboard January 17, 2014
  7. ^ a b Amorim, Kevin (August 16, 2008). "That '80s show". Newsday. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Gutis, Philip (December 18, 1987). "Rock Radio Station Fades Out on L.I." The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ Hinckley, David (January 16, 1995). "FRESH ALTERNATIVE FOR 'DRE: STAFF AND FORMAT SHAKEUP". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  10. ^ Clark, Rick (February 11, 1995). "WDRE Kicks Off Underground Network". Billboard: 82. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ Hinckley, David (February 7, 1995). "WDRE DIGS UNDERGROUND FORMAT". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Vox Jox". Billboard. 107 (30): 114. July 29, 1995. 
  13. ^ Hinckley, David (May 17, 1996). "FEELING SQUEEZE, WDRE PONDERS A NEW FORMAT". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ Hinckley, David (March 1, 1997). "WLIR COULDN'T BEAT HIM, SO THEY HIRE HIM AWAY". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  15. ^ a b Harrison, Lauren (June 10, 2011). "Fan fave DJ Theo gets the party started". Newsday. Retrieved December 3, 2016. (subscription required)
  16. ^ Phan, Monty (October 1, 2003). "WLIR Frequency Rights Sold / Univision pays $60M to Morey Organization for 92.7FM". Newsday. Retrieved April 23, 2013. (subscription required)
  17. ^ Walls, Michael (February 1, 2004). "End of an Era: WLIR 92.7 "Long Island Radio" says goodbye". 2 Walls Webzine. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ Fybush, Scott (January 12, 2004). "WLIR Legend Ends at 92.7". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Morey To Re-Launch Long Island Cluster". FMQB. September 12, 2005. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  20. ^ Hinckley, David (September 28, 2005). "PARTY'S OVER FOR DANCE MUSIC BUFFS". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  21. ^ "WLIR, WBON, WDRE Sold To BusinessTalkRadio.net". Allaccess.com. December 26, 2006. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  22. ^ Fybush, Scott (January 8, 2007). "WNEW Gets "Fresh"". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  23. ^ Fybsuh, Scott (September 17, 2007). "Rock Returns to Philly's WYSP". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  24. ^ Caracciolo, John (December 22, 2008). "User Report: Jampro Helps WLIR Change Direction". Radio World. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ Fybush, Scott (January 7, 2008). "Entercom/Nassau WEEI Deal is Dead". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  26. ^ Fybush, Scott (January 21, 2008). "NY Talker's Award un-Grant-ed". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  27. ^ Seyler, Dave (February 28, 2011). "Jarad sells Hampton Bays FM". Radio Business Report. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  28. ^ "'Dare To Be Different' The WLIR Documentary". New Wave Outpost. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  30. ^ Roston, Tom (30 April 2017). "WLIR, revolutionary radio: Tribute documentary "Dare to be Different" is a Gen X time capsule". Salon. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  31. ^ "Barry Joseph Carollo". Sedona Red Rock News. January 2, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  32. ^ "WXPK's Caroline Corley Dies Suddenly". All Access Music Group. November 26, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  33. ^ Amorim, Kevin (November 20, 2012). "'Color Me Obsessed,' Replacements documentary out today". Newsday. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Elton Spitzer dead; radio executive who built WLIR-FM into New Wave powerhouse was 84". Newsday. April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  35. ^ "George Taylor Morris passes away at age 62". Orbitcast. August 2, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  36. ^ Jeff Carlson Beck tribute
  37. ^ "OBITUARY: Neighbors and readers mourn untimely loss of John Loscalzo, Brooklyn Heights Blog founder". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 6, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  38. ^ Orli Auslander
  39. ^ "Vin Scelsa, Host of Radio's 'Idiot's Delight,' to Retire". The New York Times. March 28, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Willobee Carlan". Retrieved August 20, 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Owner and format changes[edit]

Fan websites[edit]