All-news radio stations

For those of us who live in or near major metropolitan areas, we generally have the option of listening to an all-news radio station, especially during our morning drive.

Since the quality of these stations naturally can vary greatly from city to city, I thought I’d ask you guys what you thought of the station in your area.

I’m not talking about stations that host a lot of talk shows, with news updates every 20 minutes or so. I’m talking about all news, all the time.

Of course, in most cities the all-news station ranks in the top 5 or so (or so I’d think). But that can also be because there’s usually only one all-news station per city; people want their news and will listen to the one station that provides it 24/7.

I live in the DC area and work downtown. The all-news station here is WTOP, which actually has two stations on the AM dial and one on FM (because the DC metro area is so widespread, the signals of one station don’t carry to all the applicable geographic areas).

I think WTOP is wretched. It’s like listening to a badly done Good Morning, Washington kind of program. It’s full of glib anchors and reporters doing a lot of fluff stories. It’s also infamous around here for endlessly hyping weather - i.e., if there’s a chance of rain, they trumpet a “severe” thunderstorm.

But I might be alone in that opinion. I grew up near Philadelphia, and I think that KYW-AM there is probably the prototypical all-news station. I think it’s absolutely wonderful - the voices you hear take a decided back seat to the news. They’re not “personalities” trying to charm me; they’re just giving me news. The station seems to be less about self-promotion and more about real reporting.

So… thoughts?

Oh, yeah, baby.

Actually, it’s a Philadelphia staple. I suspect our entire traffic network would collapse without the report every ten minutes. (And for you film buffs, you can hear such a traffic report in The Sixth Sense when the kid’s mom is in the kitchen.)

K-Y-W newsraaaaaaadio, Ten-Six-teeeeeeeeeeeeee! Two, three, four times a day! :slight_smile:

Yep, I’d have to say they’re the gold standard. Part of learning to drive in the Philadelphia area is developing the automatic reflex to reach over and flip the radio to KYW and listen for Shadow Traffic if you’re heading towards the Schuylkill Expressway or Center City around rush hour.


See, that’s cool. I like having my opinions validated, even by two other people. :slight_smile:

The DC station acts like it’s the first one ever to mate “traffic and weather” reports… And I never remember hearing KYW trumpet “Number-one Arbitron-rated…”

So maybe I’m unfairly comparing WTOP to KYW. How about the rest of the world? Do you guys listen to all-news stations? Do you like how they present themselves? Never mind if one is slanted to the left or to the right; is the station about news or about themselves?

We don’t have any all news stations in Baltimore, so we’re stuck with WTOP out of DC. When I’m in the car at night, I like to listen to WCBS out of New York. It seems that it’s more “newsy” and less fluff than WTOP. Besides, I love listening to the traffic reports - in NY, there’s always a traffic jam somewhere, no matter what time it is.

Kind of surprising that Baltimore doesn’t have an all-news station - thought WBAL would take care of that, but I guess they’re more talk-oriented (and they have the Orioles games, of course). Which station is WCBS?

WCBS is 880 on your AM dial.

However, WCBS has begun broadcasting Yankee games this year. The alternative, if you want news from the Big Apple while a Yankee game is in progress, is WINS, 1010 AM.

It’s a toss-up which of the two is better. I find myself switching back and forth as mood, traffic reports and commercials dictate.

940 News, bringing you your city (Montreal), your country and your world.

I typically listen to radio only in my car, and 940’s traffic reports every ten minutes (on the ones) comes in handy. Like all news stations, the headlines are quick but repetitive and superficial. I often flip to a regular station on the hour of half-hour if I want more detail about a story that 940 has touched on.

I used to live in Washington, and now in Chicago - the news station here is WBBM 780 (until two years ago there was another, WMAQ 670).

I think WBBM is not as good as the WTOP I knew - maybe it’s changed in the past 7 years.

Chicago news in general isn’t as good as DC - here, the top story on any newscast always seems to be that some child died in some horrible way that children shouldn’t die. They love that story around here.

You listen to the traffic on 880 on the eights, then switch over to 1010 for traffic on the ones. That way you’re covered both ways.

I’d have to say it’s changed, then. For the most powerful city in the world (perhaps), the station sure spends a lot of time on bullshit. They have a seemingly endless fascination with their on-air personalities bullshitting back and forth - hello? We’re trying to get the damn news here, you dips. Oh, and they beat the weather to death. If it might - might - rain, we get a Severe Thunderstorm Watch (ooohh!! booga booga!!!). It’s a disgrace.

I have KNX 1070 newsradio (Los Angeles) permanently set on my car radio. My only gripe is that there are several hours in the day when they break from the news format for other stuff (radio shows from 9pm-10pm, financial talk from 1pm to 2pm, etc.).

There also used to be a local all-traffic news station, which was great before you hit the freeway. But they went under. :frowning:

A few years back I used to do that, then switch to 1130 for traffic on the fives. Plus, Jersey traffic every fifteen minutes (03,18,33,48) on 101.5 FM.

[GQ mode]
Incidentally, here’s a site that lists traffic stations, although the page is three years out of date. Newslink lists news/talk radio stations throughout the US, although this list is not complete, either.
[/GQ mode]

We used to have a decent News Station (albeit with talk) in WGST-FM, then they made that into an all 80’s music station and moved the other back to AM, which sounds like shit to someone like me, who lives on the outskirts.

Couldn’t sell the ads, I suppose…