Tag Archives: Radio Reloj


1010 WINS New York and KYW Philadelphia are celebrating fifty years as ‘All News, All The Time’.

Radio Reloj in Cuba started doing All News in 1947.  The only station doing the format longer.

WINS and KYW are remarkable success stories.

Both launched when a few station owners were experimenting with All News. Gordon McLendon being the most notable. Others would follow and many would fail. WINS and KYW have evolved to become digital brands as well.

The stations are famous for the slogan “Give Us 22 Minutes, We’ll Give You The World”.  The format clocks are virtually the same as when they started.

All News matters even as media usage changes and AM listening declines.

Last week the ‘Storm Of The Century’ threatened and then missed New York and Philly. KYW and WINS kept listeners informed with traffic, weather and live press conferences.  Boston took the brunt of the storm and sister WBZ had reporters live from all over the metro.  Business as usual for an All News station  Their cities rely on them during  breaking news and weather emergencies.

Mayors and governors told the public before the storm to keep their phones charged and use them to get emergency information. Radio was barely mentioned as a source for information. These officials apparently didn’t consider the internet, cable and cell service might be interrupted during the storm.  Yet, a battery powered radio would be a lifeline.

Houston is the only top ten radio market without an All News radio station. Houston is prone to hurricanes and serious flooding and home to a major shipping channel, chemical plants and oil refineries. A place with serious traffic problems and perfect for All News.

Radio One tried the format in Houston. But economics and poor signal made it unfeasible to continue. Radio is a business after all.  (Full disclosure, I was Program Director of KROI for part of its run. The digital audience was growing rapidly. But time ran out.)

All News grows slowly. WINS and KYW were not  overnight successes. A big story, disaster or a serious weather event is usually needed for a station to catch on. KROI had none.

But, there is a big opportunity in creating a Houston All News franchise. A great signal, deep pockets and patience  is needed for the format to succeed. Houston deserves and needs a KYW or 1010 WINS.  Hard to imagine the sixth largest radio market wouldn’t support one over time.

By the way, WCBS did a great job covering the storm too. Their 50th is less than two years away.

Another slow starter with staying power.

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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Radio programming


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The Radio Clock

At this time of year many of us turn to DXing in the evening.

This is especially true of Mets fans suffering through baseball withdrawal after our annual grueling last day of the season.  That’s the one where the team blows their playoff chances.

We’re kinda getting used to it.

Depending on where you are in the US one very interesting station might pop out of the AM band.

It is the longest running all news formatted station in the world.  Radio Reloj from Cuba.

Even if you haven’t heard the actual programming of Radio Reloj, it is possible you’ve heard them.  The station is clearly identified by a ‘clock’ sound and Morse code of RR every minute.

It is not uncommon to hear the ticking clock sound under a station on the same frequency in your local area.

Radio Reloj is very simple, two announcers reading news with the clocking ticking in the background. There is no production or commercials.

Live time checks are given every minute.

Reloj is heard on several frequencies.

I’ve caught them under WSYR in Syracuse on 570 and on that same frequency in Central Texas.

It is also heard on 790, 820, 950, 1020 and a few others.

Radio Reloj went on the air in 1947 and continued  through the revolution of the 1950s.

It is said to be the most popular station in Cuba.

So if you hear a ‘ticking’ sound your radio does not have a time bomb attached.  It’s Radio Reloj from Cuba.

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Posted by on October 2, 2008 in DX, Radio History, Radio programming


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