News: WKYC Radio to be featured on XM on Friday
This Friday afternoon from 4 pm until 9 pm, WKYC 1100 radio will come back to life through the magic of satellite radio. XM Satellite Radio will present a "Sonic Sound Salute" with old time radio jingles and chatter from the station's legendary days in the 1960s. You'll find the special show on XM Channel 6.
A Little History Lesson about WKYC Radio
In the early 1960s under Westinghouse ownership KYW, known on-air as "KY11," became a Top 40 powerhouse with DJs Jim Runyon (the "weeeellll" voice of the Chickenman series), Jim Stagg, Jay Lawrence, Jerry G., and the morning duo of Harry Martin and Specs Howard. Its main Top 40 rival in the Cleveland market was "Color Channel 14" WHK 1420.
Almost immediately after the trade was finalized between NBC & Westinghouse, Westinghouse complained to the FCC and the Justice Department about NBC's extortion.
In 1965, after a protracted legal battle, the FCC ordered the swap of stations reversed without NBC realizing any profit on the deal. NBC regained control of the Cleveland stations on June 19. Not wanting to tamper with success, NBC changed the Cleveland stations' calls were changed to WKYC-AM-FM-TV. The "KY" came from KYW, and the "C" stood for Cleveland. Since the station's nickname was "KY", the calls were munged to spell We're KY in Cleveland.
To their end, KYW AM has explained that KYW "moved" to Cleveland in 1956 and "returned" to Philadelphia in 1965. However, the three stations' facilities remained the same.
WKYC continued as a Top 40 outlet under NBC ownership with DJs such as Hal Martin, Specs Howard, Jay Lawrence, Jerry G, Jim Stagg and Jim Runyon. When Program Director Ken Draper left for Chicago's WCFL in early 1966, both Stagg and Runyon wasted no time following him. Bill Winters came in about this time. Jim LaBarbara was wooed away from a 3 day stint at WIXY to do evening prime time. Chuck Dann and KLIF's morning duo Charlie and Harrigan signed on. Jim Gallant was doing overnights.
In late 1966, popular afternoon DJ Jerry G (Jerry Ghan) also decided to follow Draper to WCFL. He was replaced by WIXY's evening man Jack Armstrong, who then decided to call himself Big Jack. LaBarbara was moved to overnight to accommodate Armstrong's installation as the evening jock.
In early 1967, the on air staff was: LaBarbara, overnight; Charlie and Harrigan, morning drive; Bob Cole, late morning; Jay Lawrence, mid afternoons; Chuck Dann, afternoon drive; and Big Jack in the prime time slot.
WKYC "Radio 11" was a large record-selling influence as far away as New York City and Miami, Florida. However, its main local competition in those days was WIXY 1260 "Super Radio". Unlike WIXY, WKYC - being an NBC owned-and-operated station in a situation not unlike WRC in Washington - was obligated to carry all NBC Radio programming such as Monitor, as well as all top-of-the-hour NBC Radio newscasts. The NBC Radio afternoon daily network news feed was also based from WKYC's studios and anchored by Virgil Dominic.
On February 1, 1968, at 3:05 p.m., following an NBC Radio newscast, the station altered its' format to a "more music"- style presentation derivative of the Drake-Chenuault Top 40 format known as "Power Radio," programmed by Hal Moore. Personalities at that time included Charlie & Harrigan (Jack Woods and Paul Menard), Chuck Dunaway, Lee 'Baby' Sims, Fred Winston, Buddy Henderson and Mark Elliott.
It remained a Top 40 station until early 1969, when WKYC went for a short time, to "Heavy 11" which focused on acid rock artists Iron Butterfly, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Janis Joplin, and the like - an oddity for a powerful AM station. In short while, WKYC eventually went back to a more adult-friendly MOR format. The FM station at 105.7-FM varied between automated easy-listening formats of the time.
By 1972 NBC exited the radio dial in Cleveland again - and permanently - by selling WKYC-AM-FM to Ohio Communications, owned by sports franchisor Nick Mileti and broadcasters Jim and Tom Embrescia. NBC ended up retaining ownership of WKYC-TV until 1989.
Information courtesy: wikipedia.com