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City of license Middletown, New York
Broadcast area Newburgh-Middletown
Slogan 1340 Radio Disney
Frequency 1340 kHz
Format Children's Radio
Power 1,000 watts
Class C
Facility ID 3137
Transmitter coordinates 41°27′25.00″N 74°26′24.00″W / 41.45694°N 74.44°W / 41.45694; -74.44Coordinates: 41°27′25.00″N 74°26′24.00″W / 41.45694°N 74.44°W / 41.45694; -74.44
Affiliations Radio Disney
AP Radio
Owner Cumulus Media

WALL (1340 AM, "Radio Disney") is a radio station licensed to Middletown, New York that serves Orange County, New York. WALL is owned by Cumulus Media and broadcasts at 1340 kHz with 1 kilowatt daytime and nighttime, both nondirectional. It is one of the few Radio Disney stations not owned by the Walt Disney Company.

WALL simulcasts the Radio Disney programming of sister station 1390 WEOK in Poughkeepsie, a simulcast where WALL actually gets top billing based on numerical order. The simulcast with WEOK has been in place since 1999 and has lasted through three format changes.

History (to 1999)

WALL signed on in 1942, the first radio station in the western part of Orange County. Part of a parade of low-powered local stations that signed on in the period leading to and after the 1941 NARBA treaty and realignment, WALL originally sought the WMID calls (for MIDdletown). However, an FCC mixup led to another station at 1340 MHz in Atlantic City, New Jersey to get the WMID calls whereas the Middletown station got the WALL calls that were intended for Atlantic City (named after that city's sea WALL). Other stories insist that the call letters were indeed correct, and WALL was named for the Town of Wallkill, which neighbors the city while WMID was named for nearby Middle Township, NJ where the station owner resided.

Identity crisis aside, WALL signed on with a full-service popular music format with a heavy amount of local news, and with only newspapers as competition were very successful. The station was owned by the Community Broadcasting Corporation whose partners were Roger Clipp, an executive with Triangle Publications (WFIL Philadelphia) and another Pennsylvanian, John Morgan Davis who was a politician, ultimately serving as Lieutenant Governor of PA.

In 1950 they hired Jim Patt from WNBH in New Bedford, MA, as GM. He ran the station until 1972. On-air personalities included Bill Swanwick ("Breakfast With Beaming Billy"), Jerry Wax ("The Wax Works"), Joe Ryan (who seemed to stay with the station forever) and Big Jim Pappas. The success of the local news operation goes to Al Larsen. Sales Manager during this period was Johnny Zaimes.

The station was ultimately sold to R. Peter Straus who owned WMCA in New York City ("home of the Good Guys"). Straus had plans to become NYS senator and bought WALL as well as stations in Utica and Geneva so his editorials could be heard. Along came Bobby Kennedy and Straus's plans fell apart and he ultimately sold the stations. Patt stayed to run WALL for Straus, putting WALL-FM on the air, but when Straus sold he decided it was time to retire to Ft Myers, FL, where he teamed up with Roger Clipp again to put a station on the air in that market.

By the 1960s, WALL would evolve to a Middle of the Road format and in 1965 would add FM service at 92.7 MHz (today's WRRV). It was with the FM launch that WALL evolved into a Top 40. In the period between 1967 and 1977, under program directors, Larry Berger, Dave Charity, Art Livesay, and Jim Frey, WALL was virtually unbeatable in every ratings survey despite new local sign-ons and serious competition from New York signals including WABC and WNBC.

In 1974, staffers at WALL recorded a satirical tape known as "NINE!" that purported to be an industry marketing pitch. The tape, which takes place at fictional radio station AM 900 WVWA/Pound Ridge, New York, documents the progression of the top 40 station from an awkward station with odd sound effects, rambling disc jockeys, much wasted dead air space, and wildly inaccurate weather forecasts to a finely tuned, professional sounding station with various gimmicks, catch phrases and promotions popular among radio stations and consulting firms as the time. However, the station determines it must go one step further and strip out all spoken word content, leaving only a rapid-fire, barely intelligible station identification once an hour and the word "NINE!" exclaimed between each song. Radio industry insiders of today consider the tape to be both ironically humorous and inadvertently prophetic for foretelling the adoption of elements such as rapid-fire station identification, emphasized station branding, increased automation and less emphasis on local disc jockeys. (Fybush)

At about 8:00PM on Sunday evening, December 21, 1975, WALL suffered a devastating fire which gutted its North Street studios, killing several residents in a third floor apartment, and forcing the station to move to an abandoned block long Armory building on Middletown's Highland Avenue. WALL was off the air less than 30 minutes as a result of the fire. Using remote broadcast equipment that was stored at the WALL transmitter site on Monhagen Avenue, the station quickly began broadcasting from the transmitter building using records borrowed from employees. The old Armory building had already been purchased by then owner, Orange Communications, with the intent of moving the radio station there within a year. Instead, the move happened overnight while flames and smoke still arose from the North Street studios. WALL signed on from the Armory building at 6am the morning after the fire, using remote equipment borrowed from sister station WHVW, Hyde Park, NY. This was due in part to rapid action in moving WALL's telephone and broadcast lines by the local telephone company and the overnight installation of new teletypes by the Associated Press. Temporary studios were quickly constructed in a basement gym. Permanent studios were eventually constructed as originally planned on the second floor of the Armory, with offices on the first floor.

In 1979, WALL and sister WKGL (the former WALL-FM) were purchased by a consortium headed by media mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman and legendary New York air personality Bruce Morrow ("Cousin Brucie"). Headquartering their group in Middletown at the Armory, by now re-christened Broadcast Plaza, major changes took place with WALL flipping first to a top 40/adult contemporary hybrid format, and later to Adult Standards; WKGL, meanwhile, would go to an oldies format. The drastic change was not a long-term success and in 1985 WALL began to regroup by flipping to a higher energy oldies format. With this change came the acquisition of sports programming such as New York Mets baseball, New York Giants football, and various local sports and other community events. Additionally, WALL rehired some of the air talent from its Top 40 heyday, including Joe Ryan.One of the best promotions in Hudson Valley radio is WALL Radio's "45th Anniversary Reunion Broadcast". This storied promotion occurred on the weekend of August 2–3, 1987 when the station celebrated its "45th" Anniversary...the station looked back to its past and reunited air personalities that weekend including Bruce Morrow, Howard Hoffman, Dave Charity, Dick Wells, Randy West, Gene Pelc, Al Faust, Art Livesay, Alex Miller, Jim Frey, Mark West, Ray Arthur, Jimmy Howes, Gene Brownold, Jon LeMieux, Jim Pappas and Al Larson.

The community mindedness of WALL would be short lived as in 1988 Orange & Rockland Utilities purchased WALL and WKGL from Bell Broadcasting whom had purchased the station from Sillerman-Morrow. With the sale came a mass purge of staff with WALL flipping to a satellite News/Talk format in all but mornings. There would be no 50th Anniversary celebration: Joe Ryan died, as did news man Al Larson.

In 1994, Orange & Rockland would sell WALL and WKOJ (ex-WKGL) to the Poughkeepsie-based Crystal Radio Group with the sale closing in early 1995. Though this meant initial changes on the FM side, WALL's ratings-depleted talk format would continue undisturbed. This would last for most of the rest of the 1990s. The memory of old Top-40 AM Radio died when WALL died. WKOJ would only last a short time in call letters, then the call were changed to WRRV and that what it is called today 2009.

WEOK simulcast history

(for a detailed history on these formats, see the article on WEOK)

While WALL was left alone and did moderately well given its signal and status in the market, Crystal Radio had problems with WEOK given the aging demographics of that station's longtime adult standards format. Looking at an opportunity to fortify their holdings, in August 1999 Crystal decided to join WEOK with WALL and renovate WALL's talk format into a station that would target all of the Hudson Valley. On September 6, 1999, WEOK dumped pop standards and joined with WALL to simulcast talk, a format known as NewsTalk 13.

Up against the highly rated WABC from New York City, and sharing much of its programming, plus having programming that was considered to be too "Poughkeepsie-centric" by Middletown listeners, the NewsTalk 13 simulcast struggled to find an audience. In August 2000, the ESPN Radio programming that the station aired nights and weekends became the full-time format of the station. Soon, Aurora Communications would purchase the assets of the Crystal Radio Group. Both NewsTalk 13 and the ESPN Radio simulcast featured a large amount of sports rights including Yankees baseball, Giants and Jets football, and Marist College basketball.

Aurora's ownership of the station would prove to be short lived as in October 2001 they would be purchased by Cumulus Media, a deal that would close the next March. In September 2002, WALL and WEOK would flip to a Spanish language Hot AC format as El Ritmo ("The Rhythm"), the first Spanish-language station in the Hudson Valley.

Poor ratings and poor revenues led Cumulus to flip the stations in March 2005 to Radio Disney, ironically a format which the stations nearly had flipped to three years earlier.

External links

Simple English

A picture of a stone wall protecting a city.

A wall is a vertical dividing surface. It divides space in buildings into rooms or protects buildings. It is usually made of stone or brick. Walls have 2 main purposes: to support the top part of buildings, and to divide space, giving protection from invasion and weather.

Before artillery was invented, many cities in Europe had protective walls. Since they are not suitable for defense any more, the walls have been destroyed.

The term "the Wall" usually referred to the Berlin Wall, built during the Cold War, which fell in 1989.

See also: fire wall, Wall painting, wallpaper, Great Wall of China and Western Wall in Jerusalem.

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