WINS Pioneer Joel Chaseman Dead at 93


Chaseman was the general manager of 1010 WINS in 1965 when the station switched from rock and roll to all-news. Chaseman is pictured here with the last DJ on WINS Johnny Holiday from 2015.

Lee Harris shared the following obituary with Radio Ink written for the WINS website.

In an interview for the 50th anniversary of the format Chaseman explained that then parent company of 1010 WINS, Westinghouse Broadcasting, was unhappy with the station’s image because they felt it reflected badly on their other businesses and he was ordered to find a replacement. With all the obvious music formats already taken the decision was made to try a continuous news wheel based on the top 40 format.

Newscasters were hired in secret from all over the country and rehearsals began, but the initial results were not encouraging. “We had the most boring, droning, monotonous broadcast you could possibly imagine,” Chaseman said. But on the morning of April 19, 1965 Chaseman announced the new format to the world telling listeners that “now news is at your fingertips whenever you want it,” thereby marking the birth of today’s 24 hour news cycle.

This picture of Chaseman with Postmaster General James Farley was taken in 1964 (courtesy Johnny Holiday)

Chaseman admitted that initially he wasn’t optimistic that the format would succeed, but with some help from the great blackout of 1965 1010 WINS became the nation’s first successful all-news radio station spawning many imitators.

Joel Chaseman was born in Albany in 1926. He graduated from Cornell and worked on-air on TV and radio in Washington and Baltimore. He even did play by play for the then Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA. He entered management in the 1950’s at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, which was owned by Westinghouse.

After his time at 1010 WINS he went on run the radio division of Westinghouse Broadcasting and later was President of the Post Newsweek Television Stations.

Joel Chaseman died Saturday morning at his home in Maryland.



  1. The success of WINS should be a rebuttal to all the AM naysayers out there. Even without any FM translators, WINS continues to bill huge amounts of money and it gets great ratings. Granted, all-news is an expensive, labor-intensive format to run. But it is hugely successful in New York, Philadelphia (where Westinghouse’s KYW switched to that format in September, 1965), and other cities. Other pioneering all-news stations were WNUS, Chicago; KNUZ (Houston?), and XETRA (“X-tra News”) in Tijuana, Mexico. XETRA broadcast in English and beamed its signal north into California.
    WINS was not the first all-news station, however. The very first all-news station was CMCB, Radio Reloj, in Havana, Cuba. It went on the air with an all-news format in 1947 and was co-owned with CMQ (general programming) and CMBF (classical music). Radio Reloj became a part of history when it was taken over for a few hours by a pro-Castro student group in 1957 until Batista’s police shot the invaders. Radio Reloj still exists as an all-news outlet that serves as a propaganda medium for the Cuban government. It is now a national network, and, like other stations on the island, is owned by the government and airs no commercials. The format is dry by American standards, consisting of two announcers (usually a man and a woman) alternating stories over a background of 1 second time ticks.

    Congratulations to Mr. Chaseman for starting something in New York that is still successful 55 years later!


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