Senior Editor and Researcher
Besides being informative and interesting, talk radio can be a great alternative to music, providing a better sense of companionship, especially on your morning or afternoon commute.
If you live in New York City and you’re looking for a good talk radio station to tune in to, this guide has got you covered!
In today’s article, we’ll introduce you to the top 10 talk radio stations in New York City.
Available: Online or at 93.9 MHz or 820 kHz
WNYC is a series of public radio stations owned by New York Public Radio, including AM and FM radio stations carrying the same call sign.
The non-commercial radio station is licensed to New York City and adopts a news/talk format, including local and national radio shows.
The FM radio station’s transmitter is located at the Empire State Building, serving the entire New York City Metropolitan area.
As one of the most popular radio stations in New York City, the station has over 1 million weekly listeners.
WNYC started broadcasting in 1943. The station began as an AM radio but later introduced an FM radio at the 93.9 MHz frequency.
However, it still competes fiercely with some of America’s longest-standing and well-established radio stations.
The station has a large team of broadcasting professionals and journalists, allowing it to air over 100 hours of programming per week.
These include a variety of shows like On the Media with Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, The Brian Lehrer Show, and All of It with Alison Stewart.
The station also airs syndicated shows like All Things Considered and Morning Edition.
The station doesn’t have a particular scope and shows tackle different topics, including politics, economics, culture, social, etc.
2. Bloomberg Radio – WBBR
Available: Online or at 1130 kHz
Bloomberg Radio, also known by its call sign Bloomberg Eleven Three O, is an AM radio station that serves the entire New York Metropolitan area.
It’s also one of the oldest stations in New York, as it started broadcasting in 1922, so it has over 100+ years of experience and authenticity under its belt!
A wide range of FM and AM radio stations simulcasts the station. However, the WBBR call sign is considered the flagship station of the Bloomberg L.P. radio service.
Bloomberg Radio is one of the best choices for those interested in economics and financial news, as the station is known for hosting local interviews with world-famous analysts, corporate executives, and economic experts.
In addition to financial talk shows, the station also airs general and stock market news, making it a staple for investors.
Besides the AM and FM frequencies, you can also listen to the station online via Audacity and iHeartRadio, making Bloomberg Radio one of the most easily accessible radio stations.
3. Talkradio 77 WABC
Available: Online or at 770 kHz
Talkradio 77 WABC is a commercial radio station licensed to New York City and its studios in Midtown Manhattan.
The station mainly serves the New York Metropolitan Area, although its transmitter is in New Jersey.
The station, established as WJZ in Newark in 1921, has been owned by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media since 2019.
However, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) originally owned it for most of its history and was even the network’s flagship radio station.
WABC adopted a Top 40 music format from 1960 to 1982, but since then, it has switched back to the talk format, specifically a conservative one.
Over the years, the station broadcasted a range of programming, including local and national talk shows.
On weekdays, the station airs local conservative talk shows hosted by John Catsimatidis, Rudy Giuliani, Sid Rosenberg, and Bo Snerdley.
You can also listen to various syndicated talk shows hosted by Brian Kilmeade, Mark Levin, Bill O’Reilly, and Greg Kelly.
Besides talk shows, the station started broadcasting various music programs, including weekly shows that play oldies, jazz, and rock.
4. WCBS AM
Available: Online or at 880 kHz AM
As the name suggests, this radio station is directly affiliated with CBS News Radio, as it’s considered the network’s flagship station.
However, WCBS AM is owned and operated by Audacity, and its studios are located within the Audacity facility in Lower Manhattan.
While the station mainly serves the New York metropolitan area, you can tune in to its clear signal throughout much of the Eastern USA and even parts of Canada.
The station started broadcasting in 1924 but was mainly associated with horse races and yacht events. The channel saw multiple format changes in the following years until it settled on its news format.
Besides airing news, the station has several talk shows discussing different topics, including politics and sports.
5. WLIW FM
Available: Online or at 88.3 MHz
WLIW FM is a radio station owned by WNET Group and has several sister radio stations and channels, including a TV channel carrying the same name.
The radio station was originally licensed to Southampton, New York, but its signal serves much of eastern Long Island and coastal Connecticut.
The station started broadcasting as a Long Island University student activity club in 1980.
The station had a National Public Radio style programming back then but later switched to a jazz format.
Peconic Public Broadcasting acquired the station in 2010 but sold it to WNET Group in 2020.
After the acquisition, the station changed its format to include public radio programming and talk shows.
6. WFAN AM
Available: Online or at 660 kHz
Sports Radio WFAN 66 AM, aka The Fan, is a commercial AM radio station licensed to New York.
However, the station’s signal is accessible and clear throughout the East Coast.
WFAN stands out among talk radio stations because it was one of the first stations to adopt an all-sports talk radio station in 1987.
Although many stations tried to replicate the unique format of WFAN, it remains the most popular sports talk station in America to this day!
Audacity owns and operates the station so that you can enjoy its stream online or through the Audacity app.
However, copyright restrictions limit the station’s streaming to the United States.
Besides the original AM radio, you can tune in to WFAN FM, a simulcast sister channel at 101.9 MHz.
Available: Online or at 98.7 MHz
WEPN-FM, also known by its branding ESPN New York, is a commercial radio station owned by Emmis Communications and operated by Good Karma Brands.
The station is licensed to New York and has a transmitter in the Empire State Building.
The station’s first on-air broadcast was in 1941 as W71NY.
However, the station shifted formats and call signs several times until it reached its current style.
This station is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an alternative to WFAN, as it also adopts an all-sports talk radio style.
WEPN-FM offers a combination of local and nationally syndicated programming throughout the day, including content from Michael Kay, Don La Greca, Rick DiPietro, Chris Carlin, and Dave Rothenberg.
8. WINS AM
WINS is a commercial radio station that adopts a news/talk format.
However, it’s ideal for those who are looking for talk radio with extra focus on daily news rather than discussing general and social topics.
The station serves the New York metropolitan area, although you can tune in to the station and hear it clearly throughout much of Eastern North America.
Like WCBS AM, the station is owned and operated by Audacity Inc. However, the two stations are not considered sister stations.
WINS was first on-air in 1924 and maintained its current format throughout its history, making it one of the longest-running news/talk stations.
9. WZRC 1480 AM
New York City is home to the largest Chinese-American communities among all US cities, and WZRC 1480 AM is a radio station that caters to this population.
The station adopts a news/talk format in Cantonese. Multicultural Broadcasting owns the station, which is licensed to New York City.
WZRC has been on-air since 1925 but has been popular for its foreign language programming since the 1940s.
Before Cantonese, the station also introduced a Spanish-language talk/news format, but it maintained its current language since 2002.
10. The X-Files Network
Available: Online only
Last but not least, if you want a radio station that breaks away from the mainstream talk/news format, you might want to check this one out!
The X-Files Network is an online radio station that adopts a unique talk format about true crime, paranormal activities, hauntings, aliens, and other unexplained phenomena.
The station hosts interesting interviews and podcasts from various hosts that share their unique stories and conspiracy theories!
Choosing the Best Talk Radio Station in New York City
The Empire State is home to some of the most extensive variety of radio stations out there, especially when it comes to the talk/news format.
The best thing about that variety is it gives you the freedom of choice, as you can pick stations that focus on particular scopes, such as Bloomberg Radio (economics), or you can go for stations that offer a wider range of programming options, like WNYC or WCBS.