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The FAN Turns 25

NYC sports station celebrates on July 1

There were doubters in 1987 as to whether an all-sports-all-the-time AM radio station could succeed but 25 years later New York City’s WFAN is still around.

On July 1 it will celebrate its silver jubilee with a day full of special programming. Original WFAN hosts such as Howie Rose, Ed Coleman and Ed Randall will host shows along with other hosts who have been on the WFAN air in the last 2.5 decades.

WFAN was originally an Emmis property that replaced an old line New York City station, WHN, then playing a country music format at 1050 kHz. For a year and a half, as the format was tested, modified and became successful, it stayed at 1050. Then in 1988 WFAN replaced WNBC(AM) at the 660 kHz spot on the dial, closing one era of broadcasting and beginning another. 

Involved in those early years were on-air voices like Greg Gumbel and Jim Lampley, but what really seems to have propelled WFAN was the arrival of Don Imus, Mike Francesa, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Pete Franklin. In the following years WFAN occasionally was the top billing station in the nation. Over time WFAN has also been the flagship station for most of New York City metro’s major sports teams. It is currently the home for the Mets, Giants, Devils and Nets.

Emmis sold WFAN to Infinity Broadcasting in 1992, where it was eventually absorbed into the CBS Radio stable during the Infinity acquisition.