From the beginning WINS had a template format, with the distinctive teletype sound effect playing in the background.
Prior to this format change, WINS was competing, against three other stations, WMCA, WMGM, and WABC for the rock-and-roll audience, and was losing, with WMCA gaining dominance by 1963. WINS saw its ratings decline consistently until 1965.
The News format was initially considered a poor choice. Up to the WINS, all attempts at an all-news format had been failures. Much to radio industry insiders’ surprise WINS succeeded where the others had failed. In fact, WINS became the prototype all-news station.
WINS has been owned by Westinghouse Electric since 1962, and in 1995, Westinghouse also purchased CBS, including WINS’s number one rival (since 1970) WCBS, 880 AM. There was speculation that one of the stations would drop the all-news format, but in the ensuing years the two have co-existed, due primarily to differences in the ratings numbers within and outside the City. WINS has tended to have better ratings within the City, while WCBS has done better in the suburbs.
It could be said, that within New York City 1010 WINS, won!