CBS RADIO’S SPORTS RADIO 66 WFAN, THE FIRST AND MOST LISTENED TO SPORTS RADIO STATION, CELEBRATES 25 YEARS ON THE AIR

 
Tune In To 660AM Or www.wfan.com All Summer For Special Programming, On-Air Reunions, Contests, Historical Highlights, Top Sports Moments, Celebrations And More
 
    On July 1, 1987, the radio landscape changed forever and history was made as WFAN-AM signed on-air in New York City, providing Tri-state area sports fans with the first and only outlet to hear and talk about sports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The station has been broadcasting play-by-play, opinions from hosts and listeners, interviews with the biggest sports stars and breaking news ever since Suzyn Waldman’s memorable sports update nearly 25 years ago.  
 
Since then, the station has gone on to become the gold standard in sports radio, with many stations across the country looking to duplicate the undeniable success of the nation’s biggest and most popular sports station.  The station is anchored by marquee personalities such as Mike Francesa and Boomer & Carton, whose must listen to programs consistently rank No. 1 with Men 25-54 in the top radio market.  WFAN is heard by over 1.5 million people each week, making it the most listened to sports radio station in America.
 
Said Mark Chernoff, Operations Manager of WFAN and Vice President of Sports Programming, CBS RADIO, “We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York sports.  WFAN has appreciative and engaged listeners who are the backbone of the station.  Our audience, along with our sportstalk personalities have allowed WFAN to achieve such groundbreaking success and helped the station become an institution in the Big Apple.  It is no coincidence that the station is nicknamed ‘The Fan,’ acting as a mouthpiece for die-hard sports enthusiasts.”
 
WFAN has established itself as the premiere outlet for New York sports:
 

Is the flagship home of four area professional sports franchises (New York Mets, New York Giants, New Jersey Devils and New Jersey Nets)

Provides 20/20 sports updates at the top of the hour, 20 minutes past the hour and 20 minutes before the hour, setting what is now an industry standard

Has won three prestigious Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters over the years for Major Market Station of the Year (1996), News/Talk/Sports Station of the Year (1996) and Sports Station of the Year (2010)

Mike Francesa’s afternoon show is simulcast on YES Network, while Boomer & Carton’s morning program is simulcast on MSG Network

Broadcasts in HD at both 660 AM and 92.3 FM HD-3, as well as WJFK-FM HD-3 in Washington, D.C., WLLD-FM HD-3 in Tampa and WOCL-FM HD-3 in Orlando

 
    In honor of 25 momentous years on the air, WFAN will celebrate all summer long.  Special programming and highlights will include: Subway Series ticket giveaways; live broadcasts from New York sports events and locations including Belmont Race Track, Yankees and Mets games, Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Golf Tournament, the Prudential Center for the NBA Draft and from the Brooklyn Cyclones MCU Park in Brooklyn; on-air reunions and appearances from former hosts and anchors; as well as WFAN and Francesa’s annual end of summer listener appreciation party and broadcast from Bar A in Lake Como, N.J.  In addition, Francesa will host “Breakfast With A Champion” featuring Yankees Manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday, June 26.  Tickets and additional information for this exciting event are available at www.wfan.com and http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/06/04/mike-francesa-breakfast-with-joe-....
 
Furthermore, the station is asking its loyal fans to vote on the top 25 New York sports personalities of the past 25 years, for a chance to win $500, along with a key which could start the grand prize, a brand new Kia from Global Auto Mall.  Voting is currently underway at http://newyork.cbslocal.com/wfans-top-25-personalities-in-new-york-sports/.  
 
Finally, WFAN is having listeners put their money where their mouth is and see how they fare at being a sports radio host.  In July, the station will hold auditions for its annual “Fantasy Phenom” contest at locations throughout the tri-state area, where single entrants, and this year, teams, can try out to become a host on the station.
 
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Press Contacts:

Allison Mandara
CBS RADIO
212/649-9606
allison.mandara@cbsradio.com
Jodi Salidor
WFAN
212/314-9287
jodi.salidor@cbsradio.com

WFAN Highlights, Throughout the Years:
July 1, 1987:  WFAN signs on at 3:00PM at 1050 AM as America’s first all-sports station.  Suzyn Waldman is the first voice heard on the station and also serves as WFAN’s Yankee’s beat reporter.  Some of WFAN’s original hosts were Greg Gumbel, Jim Lampley, Art Shamsky, Howie Rose, and Steve Somers.  Pete Franklin was hired for afternoon drive but had a heart attack just before joining the station.  He did not do his first show until Fall 1987.  The format change does not effect the station’s previous agreement to serve as the flagship station for New York Mets baseball – a tradition which continues to be broadcast on the station till this day.
 
August 1987:  Mike Francesa joins WFAN as part-time host.
 
October 1988: WFAN’s signal moves from 1050 to 660, the former home to WNBC on the AM dial.  The switch was made to coincide with a Mets/Dodgers playoff game which was eventually rained out. At the same time, it was announced the new morning host on Sports Radio 66 would be Don Imus whose program was currently being broadcast in morning drive at WNBC.  The FAN also acquires broadcast rights to the N.Y. Knicks and N.Y. Rangers with the switch.
 
December 1988: Christopher Russo joins WFAN as part-time host.
 
March 1989: Gary Cohen joins the station as Mets play-by-play announcer and calls games for the next 17 years before moving to the television side in 2005.  He is replaced on-air by Tom McCarthy.
 
September 5, 1989: THE MIKE AND THE MAD DOG SHOW debuts in afternoon drive.
 
February 1990: WFAN presents its first annual Radiothon benefiting the Tomorrows Children’s Fund.  Now in its 18th year, the Radiothon has raised more than $45 million for TCF, the CJ Foundation for SIDS and the Imus Ranch.
 
October 1993: Howie Rose becomes the main play-by-play announcer for the Rangers radio broadcasts on WFAN and phases out of his night-time hosting responsibilities.  Howie is currently WFAN’s lead play-by-play announcer for the station’s coverage of Mets baseball.
 
March 1993:  WFAN’s Ed Coleman moves from middays to Mets beat reporter position, a job he currently still holds.  He also serves as a back-up Mets announcer for the station.
 
August 1993: WFAN begins first of six-year agreement to serve as flagship station for NY Jets football broadcasts.
 
June 1994: WFAN broadcasts the play by play of the Rangers Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks.  Howie Rose, Marv Albert and Sal “Redlight” Messina call the game-winning broadcast for the station.
 
March 1995: Less than a decade after its launch, WFAN is named the No. 1 revenue generating radio station in the country.  It holds that position for the next four years.
 
June 1995: Joe Benigno joins WFAN as overnight host, and Steve Somers moves to middays joining co-host Russ Salzberg.
 
April 1996: Yankees Manager Joe Torre makes his first regularly scheduled appearance with Mike and the Mad Dog.  The weekly Thursday segment at 5:05PM runs throughout the entire baseball season.
 
October 1996: WFAN honored with two National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards, including Major Market Station of the Year, and News/Talk/Sports Station of the Year.
 
August 1999: Live play-by-play coverage of New York Giants football games debuts on WFAN.  The station serves as the team’s flagship till this day.
 
March 2002: THE MIKE AND THE MAD DOG SHOW launches simulcast of their popular program on the YES Network. Sweeny Murti takes over beat reporter duties for WFAN’s Yankees coverage that same year.
 
February 2004: WFAN announces multi-year agreement to broadcast New Jersey Devil hockey games live beginning with the 2004-05 season.
 
May 2004: WFAN named as flagship radio station for New Jersey Nets basketball games beginning with the 2004-05 season.  
 
October 2004:  Bob Murphy retires as WFAN’s lead Mets play-by-play announcer following the 2004 season.  Murphy was an original Mets announcer starting with the team’s inaugural season in 1962.
 
April 2006: WFAN begins online audio streaming at www.wfan.com.
 
June 2007:  The Giants renew their agreement with WFAN.

August 2007: The Nets extend their agreement with WFAN.
September 2007:  Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton debut as hosts of the WFAN Morning Show, weekdays, 6-10am.  
January 2008: WFAN earns its highest share among Men 25-54 since Fall 2000.
August 2008:  Mike Francesa becomes the solo host of the afternoon show.
October 2008: The Devils and the Mets renew their contracts to keep WFAN as the flagship station for both teams.
March 2010: WFAN is available to listeners in select radio markets via the HD band, while the station becomes one of four sportsradio stations featured on an HD “quadcast” in Washington, D.C.
August 2010: WFAN names Gregg Sussman of Manalapan, N.J. winner of the 2010 Fantasy Phenom Challenge, a contest to become a host on the station.  He beat out over 2,000 contestants and can still be heard on the station.
September 2010: Morning hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton begin simulcasting their radio program on MSG Network.
October 2010: WFAN is named “Sports Station of the Year” by the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards.
 
August 2011: John Jastremski of Staten Island, N.Y. wins a hosting gig on the station courtesy of WFAN’s second annual Fantasy Phenom Challenge.
 
November 2011: As part of CBS RADIO New York’s involvement with WhyHunger, WFAN raises a record-breaking amount of money for 2011’s WhyHunger Hungerthon.
 
February 2012: WFAN’s Audio Roadshow, a free mobile application used to bring sports radio fans closer to WFAN 660 AM New York through two-way, real time interaction debuts.

February 2012: WFAN and the Mets name Josh Lewin to the broadcast team.