The nation’s first all-sports radio station is about to celebrate 25 years, and FishbowlNY is joining in the accolades.
Beginning today, we start a special, week-long series commemorating WFAN’s silver milestone July 1.
There are interviews with two charter members of the station, the first person on the air, and the signature voice a quarter-century later.
But we begin with a look back through the eyes of operations manager Mark Chernoff, who joined WFAN in 1993.
WHN owned the frequency at 1050 when Emmis suits, led by Jeff Smulyan, decided country music had run its course.
Smulyan, sales manager Joel Hollander, and others flipped the battle-tested country format in 1987 to sports. It was a mixed blessing, as WFAN was an untouched canvas on the radio easel.
“Its earliest incarnation was very different from what the ‘FAN eventually became,” Chernoff says.
Specifically, the programs were national in flavor, with many short-form features interspered within the shows. Original programming also consisted of 4 sports updates per hour, as opposed to today’s “20-20″ version. The Mets and WFAN have been perfect together since the station’s inception.