|Format||Alternative Rock (80's-Today)|
First air date
WLIR was a radio station that played a new new music/modern rock format on the frequencies 92.7 FM, 98.5 FM, and 107.1 FM from the 1980s into the 2000s. Bob Wilson, longtime WLIR employee and historian, created the website WDARE (Dare FM), which maintains the spirit of the original WLIR. He also programs the music playlist. The website broadcasts a mix of alternative rock from the past and present day, along with former WLIR/WDRE personalities, such as Larry The Duck, Chris Sharpe, Drew Kenyon, Andre, and Rob Rush.
WLIR on FM radio
WLIR was best known as an influential radio station that launched the careers of many music acts and disc 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 in Garden City, New York, then 175 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, New York, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Westbury, New York, and finally, 1103 Stewart Avenue, East Garden City, New York, with its transmitter located at the North Shore Towers in Floral Park, New York.
92.7 FM beginnings (1959–1970)
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 show tunes, jazz and light classical music from a basement studio in the Garden City Hotel.
The progressive era (1970–1982)
In spring 1970, announcers Richard Neer and Mike Harrison convinced Rieger to change to a progressive rock radio format, with Harrison as program director. This meant playing obscure artists, playing album cuts instead of just hit singles, and having disc jockeys speak in a casual, conversational 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 & 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 '70s included program director Ken Kohl, George Taylor Morris, Jim Cameron, Joel Moss, Malcolm Davis (later a longtime Boston radio host as "Austin from Boston" on WODS), Charlie Ahl (WPLJ, WHN and WCBS-FM NYC as Chris Charles), Dave ("The Wrench") Friedman, Ray White, Earle Bailey, production director Ben Manilla, and public-affairs producer Heather Schoen.
As the 1970s went on, many rock stations drifted toward more commercial album-oriented rock formats. WLIR would buck this trend by playing the increasingly popular punk rock and new wave music genres that were being ignored by other rock stations in the United States.
"Dare to Be Different" (1982–1991)
In 1982, it was decided that in order for the station to move into the future, a format change was needed. Program director Denis McNamara recommended to the station's owner that he choose one of two formats, either progressive adult contemporary music or new music. 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". Denis and his staff were also playing pieces of new music from England and the NYC CBGB movement starting in the late 1970s, with Denis closely following publications like NME, always wanting to stay ahead of what was trending with new music across the globe. It was a perfect solution to what was needed in New York, since none of the other stations were going to "touch that stuff"  On August 2, the format switch occurred, and 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), synth-pop, post-punk, early alternative rock acts and novelty songs. The personalities of the disc jockeys became much more upbeat.
The station became known for playing new artists, and occasionally playing singles 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. The station arranged with a record store in London to get same-day air delivery of new records (years before this was the norm) from Heathrow Airport; WLIR music director Rosie Pisani would drive the 12 miles (19 km) to nearby JFK on Thursday afternoons to pick up the records. WLIR 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's listeners could dial in to vote for the "Screamer of the Week", the top new song of the week. New Order, Depeche Mode, Ultravox, Yazoo and Blancmange were early staples of the new music format. 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."
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. The station's FCC license had been changed to a special temporary authority in 1972 as the result of slow-moving legal battle that had gone dormant later in the 1970s. The legal battle 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. As a result of this revocation, Jarad Broadcasting wrested control of the broadcast license for frequency 92.7, taking ownership on December 18, 1987. The permanent license did not include the call letters, so the new licensee operated with the call letters WDRE, while Phoenix Media brought the WLIR call letters to an AM radio station in Rockland County, New York. Phoenix Media also took the "Dare To Be Different" slogan as intellectual property, so WDRE's moniker became "New Music First". The "Screamer of the Week" feature became "Shriek of the Week", but WDRE remained committed to new music as they introduced new bands into the next decade, such as Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana.
Alternative rock expands: The Underground Network (1991–1996)
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 that formerly were played almost exclusively on the station were now being heard on many rock and pop music stations.
In 1992, WDRE started simulcasting its programming with what was 103.9 WIBF-FM Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, which later became WDRE Jenkintown/Philadelphia. In 1995, WDRE created the first alternative rock network, known as the "Underground Network" and consisting of the following stations:
|Call sign in 1995||Frequency||Broadcast area||State||Current[a] call sign|
|KDRE||101.1 FM||Little Rock||Arkansas||KDXE|
|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||WMHH|
|WDRE[c]||92.7 FM||Garden City/New York City||New York||WQBU-FM|
|WMRW||98.5 FM||Westhampton/eastern Long Island||New York||WBON|
Four years after WIBF became WDRE's first affiliate, the Underground Network was disbanded. In 1996, WDRE switched to an adult album alternative (AAA) format, brought back Malibu Sue (who had been fired earlier by then-program director Russ Mottla), reverted its call letters back to WLIR and changed its moniker to "The Island". That same year, WDRE Philadelphia became a local, independent modern-rock station.
After the Underground Network (1996–2004)
In 1997, Jeff Levine was named program director, 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 alternative dance show with DJ Theo and Andre. The station had a different sound during that era, formed by a combination of alternative chart-toppers like Coldplay, Foo Fighters and No Doubt with alternative dance from Daft Punk, Wolfsheim, Moby, Fatboy Slim and others. Gary Cee took over as program director and brought in British DJ The English Muffin (Orli Auslander) for the afternoon drive and Drew Kenyon joined Maria Chambers on the Morning Show. This sound helped WLIR's ratings and would continue until the station's end in January 2004.
Move to 107.1 FM and brief NeoBreeze (2004–2008)
On January 9, 2004, Univision bought the 92.7 frequency and other assets for $60 million and began simulcasting the Spanish radio format of WCAA Newark, New Jersey on 92.7 under the call letters WZAA. WLIR signed off at noon with a special dance version of "Forever Young" by Alphaville. Andre Ferro would be the last DJ 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". As 107.1 FM is located about 50 miles east of the original WLIR in Garden City, 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 of format was 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 was an attempt to take on satellite radio and MP3 players, which had been cutting into listeners of traditional radio. In an effort to keep WLIR and its alternative music alive, longtime employee and historian Bob Wilson developed the website WLIR.FM and began an internet broadcast of 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 at the station from 2006 to 2007. During that time, WLIR had a safe, almost hot adult contemporary sound, similar to that of WPLJ, and carried broadcasts of New York Islanders hockey games.
On December 26, 2006, BusinessTalkRadio.net president and CEO Michael Metter announced the purchase of three Long Island radio stations: alternative WLIR-FM (107.1 FM), classic rock WBON (98.5 FM), and Top 40/rhythmic WDRE (105.3 FM). 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, and the total price for all three stations would have been $5 million, but the sale was never completed, and WBZB returned to the WBON call letters.
In September 2007, WLIR began broadcasting from a new antenna at a location five miles to the west of the original. 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)
On January 3, 2008, partly 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. 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).
Jarad sells 107.1 FM (2011)
On February 9, 2011, Jarad Broadcasting of Hampton Bays entered into an asset purchase agreement with Holding Out Hope Church (WLIX Radio) to sell the station for $650,000. On February 17, 2011, Holding Out Hope Church assigned the agreement to Livingstone Broadcasting, Inc. On May 25, 2011 the sale of WLIR-FM to Livingstone was completed. On August 1, 2011, WLIR-FM began broadcasting Christian programming as part of the WLIX Hope radio network.
WDARE (Dare FM)
WLIR.FM began streaming online in 2005. It captured the style of the original WLIR, including the alternative music, air personalities, sounders, jingles, shrieks and screamers, along with the new music of the present day. In 2016, WLIR.FM began simulcasting on WPTY-HD3. The simulcast ended in 2020.
WLIR-FM, which hadn't broadcast alternative music since 2008, was sold to WABC radio, and began to simulcast most of the programming from WABC. WABC objected to the site's use of the name WLIR.FM, which used the same call sign of WLIR-FM. In November 2020, WLIR.FM changed its name to WDARE (Dare FM), and continued to broadcast the same alternative music and WLIR personalities that it had done for the last 15 years.
After five years of production, the 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. After the premiere, A Flock of Seagulls, the Beat's Dave Wakeling and the Alarm played live sets.
People and personalities
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
- Andre "The Dredog" Ferro — Former co-program director and music director, now hosting "The Flashback Lunch with Andre" on Dare FM, traffic Reporter for 880 WCBS and Traffic Analyist at Port Authority AOC
- Armin Laszlo — Overnight jock in the late 1970s, science teacher at Anning S. Prall Intermediate School 27 located in Staten Island, New York
- Arthur Scott "DJ Bird" Peacock ("sitting in") — Owner/editor of Hockeybird.com and host of The Birdcage on Dare FM
- Barry (Ravioli) Carollo — Died December 26, 2014 in Sedona, AZ
- 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 Director of Programming at BronxNet Television.
- Berner (on the beach) — Dennis Boerner, Television production accountant/bookkeeper at Reback Lee
- 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 of marketing at the Decca Label Group/Universal Music Group
- Bob Marrone — Producer of Jazz Stew podcasts
- Bob Wilson — WLIR historian, Dare FM internet radio programmer and owner of Next Wave Media
- Brian Cosgrove — Music director and on-air at WLIW-FM, Southampton, NY
- Carol Silva — "Mini Close-Up"/news, now retired from News 12 Long Island
- Caroline Corley — Died November 25, 2013
- 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 —
- Christine Connallon — Former production director, now partner and promotions specialist at Mindshare and professional concert photographer/photojournalist in the New York area
- Cooper Lawrence — Broadcasting professional
- Connor (late nights 10p-2a, 1999-2000) Now a morning co-host and Program Director of KWWW-FM Wenatchee, Washington
- Couzin Ed — on air during the Underground Network era
- Dale Reeves — President of REVOmedia Productions
- Dan Binder — Director Online Research at P1 Media Group - For the Love of Radio, Owner at DB Media
- Dan "CORKY" Posner — Technical program manager for machinery, robotics, functional safety and cyber security at TÜV Rheinland North America
- Dan Zako — Former general manager, regional sales manager at Pandora
- Danny Toy — Now head of field operations at Revel Transit
- Darrin Smith — Vice president, music programming at Sirius XM, on-air and program director at SiriusXM "1st Wave"
- Dave "DC" Caggiano — "DC's All Night Diner" died September 8, 2009
- Dave Plotkin — Former production director, production/creative services director at Entercom/WINS, New York and Dare FM
- Delphine Blue — Now on air at WFUV
- 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.
- Dennis Daniel
- DJ Theo — Live broadcasts & In The Mix 1997-2004, former MD of WXXP, now DJ/producer
- Don K. Reed — Longtime evening DJ and host of "Doo-Wop Shop" on WCBS-FM
- 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"
- Doug Frye - Morning co-host with Mina Greene on WFRQ Mashpee, MA
- Drew Alexander — Former intern, producer, on-air personality
- Drew Kenyon — Morning show 1999–2000, owner of Drew Kenyon Productions and host of Modern Rock Mix Tape on Dare FM
- Drew Martin — Account executive at WDRE
- 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
- Eric Bloom — "The Bozo Patrol"
- Eric "Fly Guy" Davis — Formerly 107.1 "The Box" program director, President/CEO/Owner at National Media Services, Inc.
- Evan "Funk" Davies — now Senior Product Manager at ASCAP 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 general manager and morning host on Pocono 96.7 WABT
- Gene Pardo — Morning show announcer
- George Taylor Morris — Died in 2009
- 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
- Jeff Faus — Production staff
- Jeff Jensen — Traffic reporter at 1010 WINS and News 12 Traffic & Weather
- Jeff Levine — Former program director; died August 17, 2020
- 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.
- 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 — now Owner/Partner at Jodi Vale On Air
- Joe Bonadonna — Program director at WHAM-AM & WAIO-FM, Rochester, NY
- Joe Taggart — Morning show (1996–1999), Long Island-based standup 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 songwriter, independent artist and executive producer at Westwood One
- John "Johnny McFly" Caracciolo — Owner of JVC Media LLC
- John ("Don't Call Me Johnny") DeBella — Morning drive personality 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
- 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
- Kerin McCue — Formerly news - now on-air at WXPK "The Peak", Briarcliff Manor, NY and News Anchor at Fox News Radio
- Kim Berk — On-air at WLS-FM Chicago
- Larry "The Duck" Dunn — Senior Director of Marketing & Sales at Island Federal Credit Union and morning show host on Sirius XM's "1st Wave" channel
- Larry Kleinman
- Laurie Gail — Vice President, Radio & Label Relations for Play MPE and WKLB Beauty Columnist
- 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)
- "Long Tall" Andy Geller — National voiceover artist, AndyGeller.com
- Lorraine Rapp — Co-host/co-producer of Take Care at WRVO Public Media
- (John) Loscalzo — Died April 1, 2015
- Lynda Lopez — Now mid-day anchor at WCBS-AM 880
- Malibu Sue — On-air at WHLI and News 12 traffic and 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 mid-days at WMGK, Philadelphia
- Matt Wolfe — Production manager at ABC Radio
- Max "The Mighty Maximizer" Leinwand — Director of Programming at MediaPlace
- Meg Griffin — On-air at Sirius XM Radio channels "The Loft" and "Classic Rewind"
- Michael "Eppy" Epstein — Host of Punky Reggae Party show 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"
- Mike Perciaccante - Director of research, American Urban Radio Networks
- 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") — Morning co-host with Doug Frye on WFRQ-FM Mashpee and W230AW Hyannis/Cape Cod MA
- Mindy Barstein — Owner, WXUR AND WNRS 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) Auslander- Now artist, illustrator and writer
- 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 Metro Networks New York - SiriusXM Channel 133 and WKXW-FM
- Peter Schacknow — Formerly news, senior producer at CNBC
- Phil "The Unknown DJ" Seery — Died June 22, 2021.
- Ray White — Died March 7, 2021
- Richard Neer — Announcer at WFAN AM & FM
- 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, now on air and program director for KFMW-FM, Waterloo, IA
- Sean "The Brain" Ross — VP of Music and Programming at Edison Research and Top 40 Update columnist at Billboard
- 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) — now Freelance Video Journalist at NY1 News
- Steve Morrison — On-air at WMMR, 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 host, now doing evenings at WHUD/Hudson Valley
- Ted Taylor — New media and artistic director at House of Rock Entertainment
- "Tokyo" Rose Pisani — Former music director, SVP Marketing for WE TV & Wedding Central
- Tom Calderone — now president/CEO of Buffalo-Toronto Public Media
- 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
- Willobee (Carlan) — Now program director at Colorado Public Radio's OPENAIR
- Zim Barstein — Former general manager and sales manager at Arnold Aerial Advertising in Manhattan
Memorable moments and shows
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"
- 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 '80s Dance Party at Malibu"
Clubs and venues
WLIR music and bands were featured at many Long Island venues. Some of these include:
- My Father's Place — Village of Old Roslyn
- "Spize" — Farmingdale
- "The Angle" — Mineola
- Calderone Concert Hall — Hempstead
- "007" — Franklin Square
- Malibu Night Club — Lido Beach (last night open September 12, 1996)
- The Dublin Pub — New Hyde Park
- Paris, NY — Huntington
- Spit — Levittown
- Chevy's — Bay Shore
- The Oak Beach Inn — Oak Beach
- The Oak Beach Inn West — Island Park
- The Ritz — New York City
- The 1890s Club — Baldwin
- Speaks — Island Park
- Reds — Levittown
- Ultrasonic Recording Studios — Hempstead
- Uncle Sam's — Levittown
- Legz - Valley Stream
- Luxe — Levittown (final simulcast venue on Saturday nights)
- Camouflage - Bayside
- Rock Away - Rockaway Beach
- List of Internet radio stations
- WQBU-FM — the current Garden City, New York radio station at 92.7 FM
- WBON — the current Westhampton, New York radio station at 98.5 FM
- WLIR-FM — the current Hampton Bays, New York radio station at 107.1 FM
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