New York is one of the largest cities in the United States and home to a diverse array of radio stations that are known throughout the world for their music, news, drama readings and performances, and sports broadcasts. At one time, radio was a relatively new invention, and its broadcasting over the airwaves was limited to two-way communication between military personnel and civilians. However, as the technology evolved, the public was able to receive more information over the airwaves than ever before, including dramatic performances and readings, literary readings, and live musical performances. In addition, the public could hear local news, and listen to serial shows like Green Hornet and Gunsmoke that would later move to television.
Radio has been the vehicle for a wide variety of cultural and political developments, including the surrender of the Japanese in 1945, the Hindenburg disaster, Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech, and many more major historic events. The onset of television changed the landscape for radio, as drama shows moved to the visual medium and celebrity disc jockeys became nationally famous. However, rock and roll revived AM radio’s popularity, and FM frequencies began to capitalize on the music scene by playing the newest, most popular recordings.
With new technologies available for streaming and online audio, the world of radio has become much more crowded, but New York’s best AM/FM stations continue to provide visitors and local residents with access to their favorite musicians and unlock hours of entertainment on long road trips or in the office. In addition to a large selection of popular music, radio stations often specialize in genres like world music and urban folk music.
One of the most recognizable New York City radio stations is WNYC, which focuses on independent journalism and courageous conversation. The station is listener-supported and can be streamed on your mobile device or computer. WNYC is a member of the NPR group of stations and features numerous news and talk show options. The station has a wide range of playlists and also offers special focus shows like the Grateful Dead Hour.
Another popular radio station is Z-100, which has an adult contemporary music format. It is owned by iHeartMedia and plays popular music from established artists as well as up-and-coming bands. The station also has a number of specialty music shows and recently launched a community radio channel in Brooklyn called Newtown.
The first pirate radio station in the US, the Radio Newyork International, was built on a ship off the coast of Long Island in 1969 by broadcaster Robert Weiner and radio producer John Hungerford. Although they were fined by the Federal Communications Commission for operating without a license, the pair continued to run the station until it was shut down by the FCC.
Other popular AM and FM New York City radio stations include WCBS, WFUV, and WABC. WCBS is famous for its classic blues and jazz programming, while WFUV has an eclectic lineup that includes folk music and world music. WNYC’s New York Public Radio channel offers a wide range of playlists and hosts famous on-air guests. new york radio