ABC Radio

ABC Radio

Infobox Network
slogan = "America Listens To ABC"
network_name = ABC Radio
country = USA
network_type = Radio network
available = National, through regional affiliates
owner = Citadel Broadcasting
key_people =
launch_date = 1921 (WJZ operated an early network using Western Union lines.)
past_names = NBC Blue Network (1927-1945)
website = []

ABC Radio Networks, known as ABC Radio for short, is an American radio network. The network syndicates some of the most famous personalities in American radio, like Sean Hannity and Don Imus. It is a unit of Citadel Broadcasting, licensing the ABC brand from The Walt Disney Company, the network's former owner.


[] logo used on 22 ABC O&O stations' websites before merger with Citadel Broadcasting.|right|thumb] ABC has its origins in an early network set up by WJZ in New York which provided programs to other stations over Western Union lines. WJZ (originally owned by Westinghouse) and its network were absorbed into the National Broadcasting Company in 1927; WJZ's network was known as the Blue Network while WNBC's was known as the "Red Network." The two NBC networks were both owned by the Radio Corporation of America, but were forced to separate when the Federal Communications Commission declared them a monopoly in 1940. Both networks were "branded" on the air as "NBC, the National Broadcasting Company" but internally and to advertisers they were referred to as the "Red" and "Blue" networks. Preparing for the divestiture, the operation which became ABC began being branded on-air as "The Blue Network." It was renamed to the "American Broadcasting Company, Inc." in 1945 (after the company purchased the rights to the name from Storer Broadcasting.

From 1933 to 1968, ABC/Blue Network carried Don McNeill's Breakfast Club, one of the first and longest-running morning radio programs in the country, hosted by Don McNeill.

John F. Kennedy assassination bulletin

ABC Radio broadcast the first nationwide report of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was shot in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas at 18:30 UTC on November 221963 and ABC Radio's Don Gardiner anchored the network's initial bulletin at 18:36:50 UTC, minutes before any other radio or television network did the same. From ABC Radio News headquarters in New York, Gardiner told listeners at 13:36:50 EST (UTC-5):

"We interrupt this program to bring you a special bulletin from ABC Radio. Here is a special bulletin from Dallas, Texas. Three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade today in downtown Dallas, Texas. This is ABC Radio. To repeat, in Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade today. The president now making a two-day speaking tour of Texas. We're going to stand by for more details on the incident in Dallas. Stay tuned to your ABC station for further details. Now we return you to your regular program." [ [ ABC Radio JFK Assassination Report] ]

plit into four networks

ABC fed hourly radio newscasts to affiliates at :55 past the hour until January 1,1968, when the singular ABC radio network "split" into four separate and distinct programming services. The "American Contemporary Network," on major-market music stations such as WABC New York, aired news at :55. "American Information Network" news ran at the top of the hour. ABC's "FM" network carried news geared toward younger listeners at :15 past, while the "American Entertainment Network" had news at the bottom of the hour.

Before the "split," ABC obtained a waiver of the FCC's "Chain Broadcasting" rule, which forced the sale of NBC's Blue network and enabled ABC's creation in 1943. Though each of the four new "networks" were carried on the same 5 kHz telco line, the move allowed ABC to have as many as four affiliates in one city – a major competitive advantage and a dramatic turning point in the history of network radio. However, the FCC insisted that there be no overlap of any ABC network broadcast in a single market, and the network required affiliates to get approval before any delayed broadcast of network programming. Two additional news networks, "Rock" and "Direction," which carried news at :45 past the hour, were added on January 4, 1982.

Today, only Information and Entertainment remain as separate newscast services, with their programming delivered via satellite. The "Information" network newscasts clear on major-market stations like WABC New York, KABC Los Angeles, WLS Chicago, WBAP Ft. Worth/Dallas, KGO San Francisco, WMAL Washington, and WJR Detroit (all of which are owned by ABC). "Entertainment" network news airs mainly on small and medium-market stations. These ABC News Radio newscasts originate from the news division's bureaus in New York, Washington and Los Angeles and air exactly at the top of the hour. They are no longer identified on air by their brand name.

ABC Radio acquired Watermark Inc., best known as the syndicator of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem and American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley, in 1982. Kasem left ABC in 1988, reclaiming the "American Top 40" name from ABC in 1998, and selling the AT40 brand to AMFM Radio Networks (later absorbed intro Premiere Radio Networks). Kingsley left ABC in 2005 and 'ACC' continues to air as part of the ABC stable with Kix Brooks as host since 2006. Dick Bartley joined the network in 1991 with the AT40 spinoff "American Gold" and his live Saturday night oldies show.

ABC launched a foray into talk radio with "ABC Talk Radio" (similar to rival NBC's Talknet) in the 1980s. Among its most notable hosts were Tom Snyder and Barry Farber. However, the rising popularity of conservative political talk radio, fueled by "The Rush Limbaugh Show", led to the network's demise. After Snyder's retirement in 1992, ABC ostensibly filled the slot with Leslie Marshall, at the time the youngest syndicated host ever, but most major affiliates instead picked up Limbaugh. The network was shut down shortly thereafter.

ABC again began building a talk network, this time with an emphasis on political talk, in 2001. Among the first hosts heard on the new ABC talk network were Sam Donaldson of ABC News television, Sean Hannity of WABC, Larry Elder of KABC, and John Batchelor of WABC. Donaldson left his show after a short time. Mark Levin was added in 2005 and eventually replaced Elder in 2007, and Mark Davis had a brief syndication run on the network in 2005. Hannity has been the most successful, displacing Laura Schlessinger as the most popular host in the time slot within a few years.

ale to Citadel

In 2005, ABC began to explore the sale of its radio division. The two leading competitors for the purchase of the network, which included twenty-two of ABC Radio's top stations, as well as ABC's talk and music networks, were Bala Cynwyd-based Entercom Communications and Forstmann Little & Company's Citadel Broadcasting unit. Citadel was chosen as the top bidder and the deal to purchase the stations and the network was struck in February 2006."Citadel to Buy Most of Disney Radio Assets," "The Wall Street Journal", February 62006.] The deal did not include Radio Disney, ESPN Radio (or its spanish counterpart ESPN Deportes Radio), or the five ESPN Radio stations currently owned by Disney. However, Citadel owns several ESPN stations in small to mid-size markets including WYOS in Binghamton, New York, and KESP in Modesto, California. Disney's ABC News unit will also still produce ABC News Radio programming for distribution by Citadel." [ ABC Radio to Merge with Citadel Broadcasting] ." Official press release. February 62006.] Despite the change in ownership, ABC Radio still lists "ESPN Radio" & "ESPN Deportes" as part of the ABC Radio family, although Radio Disney is no longer considered so. [ List of radio services] from]

The acquisition of ABC Radio by Citadel Broadcasting was officially completed on June 122007." [ Disney and Citadel Announce Completion of ABC Radio Merger"] Official Press Release. June 122007]

Shortly after the ABC/Citadel merger, the "FM" network was reactivated. It now provides an hourly two-minute newscast, similar in format to when the network formerly operated. Those newscasts end with the "ABC News" branding. [ [ :: Abc Fm News :: ] ]

The former ABC stations have sustained severe financial problems, and on March 1, 2008, hundreds of personalities were dismissed. As the end result, some of the stations turned to 24-hour satellite formats.


The following programs can be heard on ABC Radio Networks.


*The Sean Hannity Show "(will leave ABC for Premiere Radio Networks on 2008-12-28)"
*The Mark Levin Show
*Imus in the Morning
*Paul Harvey's News and Comment and the Rest of the Story
*Moneytalk with Bob Brinker
*The Ric Edelman Show
*The Accidental Housewife with Julie Edelman
*America's Most Wanted (short form feature)
*Focus on the Family daily commentary (short form feature)
*Radio Perez with Perez Hilton (short form feature)


*Dick Bartley's American Gold and Rock & Roll's Greatest Hits
*Flashback and the Flashback Pop Quiz
*Kidd Kraddick in the Morning
*American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks
*Fame Games Radio

Multicultural (Urban and Hispanic)

*The Tom Joyner Show
*The Michael Baisden Show
*The Ride with Doug and DeDe, hosted by Doug Banks and DeDe McGuire
*Big Boy's Neighborhood and Big Boy's Hip Hop Spot
*Conexión Thalía
*Tu Vida es Mi Vida con Maria Marín
*Celebrating the Healthy Life with María Celeste Arrarás (short form feature)
*Daddy Yankee On Fuego hosted by Daddy Yankee

Network properties

atellite formats

In 1989, ABC Radio Network acquired The Satellite Music Network. To this day, the division, known as "ABC Music Radio," provides 10 satellite-driven formats to affiliate stations, mostly in small & mid-size markets and on major market HD Radio subchannels, however they can also be used on some major market stations as alternate or permanent programming. They could operate their stations virtually unmanned with nothing more than a computer and a satellite hookup offering major market talent that some radio stations could never afford. The "clock" included options for a 2-, 3-, or 5-minute newscasts at the top of the hour, followed by other holes for local spots. While the programming was live, DJ's had to avoid references to the weather or anything else that would not be appropriate in many time zones. An 800-line was eventually added, allowing the live DJ's to take phoned in requests. ABC Radio's 24-hour-music formats include:

Becoming environmentally friendly

On April 16, 2008; Citadel Broadcasting (the now parent company of ABC Radio) has become the first organization-wide radio company to join the Environmental Protection Agency's "Green Power Partnership Program" and committs $1 Million (USD) in Educational Green PSAs. As of April 2008, ABC/Citadel's KGO-AM in San Francisco, California has switched to solar power during the daytime hours. [ [ "ABC Radio's Green Power"] from [] April 16, 2008]


External links

* [ ABC Radio Networks - Official Site]
* [ Radio Stations formerly owned by Disney/ABC]

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