Comedy Radio Comes To 1260 AM

Being in the shadows of the New York radio market didn't bode well for Westport's little AM station. Ratings could always be better and the station explored for ways to improve its standing.

The Lamarca Group's programming division, The Radio Group of New York, unveiled its new attempt of a new radio programming concept: Comedy Radio. Bob Smith, Radio Group's executive producer for the format, billed it as the salvation for AM radio. The group stated that they spent more than 18 months researching and developing the format concept.

Several staffers credit John LaBarca with the station's move to comedy radio, making WMMM the first affiliate for the group's syndicated programming. The Radio Group's comedy radio format debuted on WMMM in June of 1986.

The new format featured comics from the likes of the Three Stooges to George Carlin. The best known routines of these performers were showcased with more than 300 hours of programming being made available to affiliates. While this format managed to propel the station to more than a 3 share, this lead didn't last long. With a limited amount of updated programming the laughs became stale fast.

In an effort to limit the tune-out, music was introduced and played along with the comedy programming. The station would eventually abandon the comedy format concept entirely and return to music programming.