Rick Sklar is recognized as the man who transformed Top-40 radio.
Sklar began his radio career in the 1950s, writing for New York
stations WNYC and WPAC. In 1954, he moved to WINS/New York. As assistant
program director, Sklar wrote slogans for the station, developed
original contests and worked alongside legendary disc jockeys Alan
Freed and Murray "The K" Kaufman.
Sklar joined Top-40 station WABC/New York in 1962 and became program
director the following year. In an effort to revive WABCs
low ratings, Sklar tightened the stations playlist from 77
records to around 24, giving airplay to the three top-selling songs
every one to two hours.
At the same time, Sklar encouraged "personality" disc
jockeys like fellow Radio Hall of Fame member "Cousin Brucie"
Morrow. By the late 1960s, WABC had become New Yorks dominant
Top-40 stationclaiming up to one quarter of the citys
listenersand a template for music stations everywhere.
Sklar became vice president of programming for ABC Radio in 1977.
He left in 1984 to form Sklar Communications, a radio consulting
Rick Sklar died on June 22, 1992.
Rick Sklar was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993.
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