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Posts Tagged ‘Pete Salant’

Can Country Music Make a Comeback on New York Radio?

Artists like Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift (left), and Carrie Underwood have made country music stronger than ever. The Country explosion is part of today’s reality TV. Blake Shelton is a judge on NBC’s The Voice, and the multi-platinum selling Keith Urban just signed on for season 12 of American Idol. Country music is one of the most popular radio formats with more than 2,000 stations playing that music across the “country.” It accounts for approximately 20 percent of all commercial music formats nationwide. Despite its popularity, the genre hasn’t cracked the New York market for years.

Each time an FM station flips format or purchases a New York City dial position, the new opportunity for Country is overlooked.

In our examination of the lack of Country in the nation’s top market, FishbowlNY gets the thoughts of former New York City Country DJs, a veteran radio programmer, and a current program director at a Country station on the outskirts of Manhattan.

First, some background.

New York, which has been in the radio biz for more than 90 years, has had just a smattering of full-time Country stations. WHN made the flip in 1973. Prior to that, only WJRZ in neighboring Hackensack, New Jersey, and Mineola-based WTHE, gave listeners the Nashville twang.

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Al Brady Law, Acclaimed Radio Programmer, Personality, Dies

Today’s breed of radio listeners is likely unaware of Al Brady Law. But Law had three stints in New York radio from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Law died Monday of a brain tumor in a New Hampshire nursing home. Reports put his age at 67.

His work was varied, from air personality to programmer. His start in New York took place as WOR-FM evening jock in 1969.

A year later, even though he bolted for Miami, Law was heard filling in on WWDJ, primarily on nights.

After some work in Denver, Law was back at WWDJ on a full-time basis. This time, he was like a player/manager in baseball. Law was named the station’s program director, along with his air work.

Now that management was agreeing with him, Law wanted more.

Following the short gig at ‘WDJ, Law appeared at WXLO where he was hired solely as the “99X” program director.

However, Law’s dual hats would return in a big way at WNBC Radio. In 1974, he was named a joint assistant program director and air personality. Later that year, Law took over as program director but only briefly before resuming his APD/weekend air work. He remained at the NBC flagship until 1976.

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Merlin Media Sets Friday for Takeover of 101.9

While the format is still to be determined, various reports say fledgling Merlin Media will remove Rock station WRXP 101.9 from the air on Friday. Reports say Thursday is the final day for the ‘RXP air staff.

On June 21, Randy Michaels assumed control of three Emmis radio stations, including ‘RXP.

Since then, Michaels brought in radio veteran Walter Sabo as COO, likely to run the day-to-day operations of the new 101.9.

Last week, FishbowlNY learned that Pete Salant was tapped to reunite with Sabo in an unspecified programming role. Salant ran Adult Contemporary WYNY in the early 1980s with Sabo as his boss.

Since buying the station, rumors have persisted that the new 101.9 would flip format. The most likely candidate for 101.9 is News/Talk, or some variation.

However, Merlin Media, in attempt to keep people guessing, recently registered www.1019wyny.com through Go Daddy.

Merlin Media Hires Veteran Radio Programmer Pete Salant

Merlin Media is taking another step toward the future.

Accomplished radio programmer Pete Salant has joined Merlin Media in an unspecified programming role, sources with knowledge of the information tell FishbowlNY. 

Salant made a name for himself as the program director and operations manager of WYNY from 1980 to 1983.  

Salant reteams with his former NBC boss–then-FM radio division executive VP Walter Sabo, now the Merlin Media chief operating officer.  While at 30 Rock, Salant led the team that pioneered the Adult Contemporary music format at WYNY, which climbed from number 22 to number one in Adults during Salant’s first six months. The station remained the highest rated music station among all FM and AM stations in New York City during his tenure.

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