Share This Post

Long Island / New York

WLIR Loses Its License

92.7 WLIR Garden City Larry The Duck Malibu Sue Bob Wilson New York Long Island 92.7 WDRE DRE Underground Network Garden City Long Island New York

Previous Format: Modern Rock WLIR
New Format: Modern Rock WDRE
Date & Time Of Change: December 18, 1987
More Info: Wikipedia, WLIR.FM, New York Times

Share This Post


  1. did this station actually loose their license or was that just a stunt to change calls and reimage?

    • The original owners of WLIR did indeed lose their license. The new owners launched a new station with the same format and the WDRE call letters, which stood for WLIR’s slogan of “Dare To Be Different”. I forget the actual details, but the battle for 92.7 went back to 1972.

      Eventually, WDRE became “The Underground Network” with affiliates in Albany, Philadelphia, Memphis, Little Rock, and Cape Cod among others. In 1996, the WDRE calls were moved to the Philadelphia affiliate which by that time had localized its format and 92.7 returned to the WLIR calls.

      Elton Spitzer, the operator of WLIR was attempting to purchase a few other signals on Long Island to replace WLIR but they never panned out.

      Here’s a New York Times article on the situation that I’m going to add to the More Info section: //

      • I was one of the people who put the original “underground” WLIR on the air in 1970. ‘LIR’s problems went back to the days of original owner John Rieger, who was alleged to have played fast and loose with FCC regs, at one point “renting out” the station to the owner of a local electronics store. In his defense John probably had no idea it wasn’t kosher to transfer operation of a station without an FCC okay…probably thought since he wasn’t actually SELLING the station it was cool.

        IIRC, he also ran into tax problems for (allegedly!) failing to declare station trade deals as income. The FCC didn’t like that much, either.

        Ah, the days of “mom and pop” radio.

  2. sad day in radio. closely followed by wfnx goodbye in boston. listener since 1978 from CT lots of coat hangers and wire to do this.

  3. I was there and didn’t know he was trying to buy other station in the market!

    If I did I would of made a deal to get him one.
    John was very old school broadcaster he was playing classical as I’ve been told and he transferred the use of the station to a record store- I’ll be he had no clue what he was doing was wrong.
    It could of been made legal with an agreement and a request of the FCC.

    Tried to prove to the commission he’s in charge now and it’s all by the book and always will be…

    The FCC inspector was a real shit ass !
    I can tell stories of how sick that guy was!

    What was done was clearly a violation but a monetary fine would of sufficed.
    It was a whole new management working with John to make it right.

    There was a whole lot of love, hard work and dedication and expertise Elton put into LIR…
    It was truly not a fair shake delt by the commission..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>