Throughout college and law school, I didn’t have a TV. Just a clock radio. I wasn’t totally without television, since I had friends. But the background noise around my dorm room was either music or an AM radio station that is a fixture in Philadelphia—KYW.
When I returned from Japan at the end of the year before last, I was surprised about what didn’t change in metro Philly. And, sure enough, one that didn’t was—KYW.
What is noticeable about Newsradio is their jingle at the top of the hour. I think I still have the mid 1980’s version memorized:
“All news, all the time. [jingle] KYW Newsradio 1060. [voice] From Independence Mall, this is KYW Newsradio Philadelphia, 1060 on your AM dial, a group W / Westinghouse broadcasting station, serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.”
That was before they went to AM stereo in 1987, and it changed somewhat, but it’s basically the same station identification since the late 1970’s. The announcer was even the same, except I learned that he passed away in 2004. I am not sure how they modify the jingle, since the man has died. That jingle and identification has to be one of the most commonly known things around the Delaware Valley (Greater Philadelphia), but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to keep using the voice of someone who passed away to be a news station ID.
The other noticeable thing about Newsradio is the constant pace at which the news stories play. They are to-the-minute intervals. I was saying yesterday about people tweeting all day long. Well, KYW was “tweeting”, more or less, since 1965. It’s been at a pace that makes the radio station feel like a group of friends, filling you in on what you need to know.
I know I’ve said this before, but I wasn’t exactly happy with Philadelphia. It seems like a kind of place that was circling the drain in 1994, when I left, and—unlike maybe Tokyo—I have no desire to go back to. (Unless it’s to the airport to go to Tokyo.) But there are some neat things going on in the city, and one of them is Newsradio.
[Update 1/15/12: Listen live through this link.]