MOR, stands for Middle-Of-The-Road. At one time it was one of the dominant formats. It was an adult format that played nonrock mass appeal pop standards. Most MOR stations were on AM and considered the full service stations in their markets. For example, WDEL was once the dominant full service station in Northern Delaware. It was the station that adults tuned to for popular music and information. As radio has changed and as the generation that listened to MOR has aged, the format has been recreated in the form of Nostalgia/ Vintage stations. WJBR AM (1290) and WPEN AM (950) are examples.

Nostalgia is the creation of Al Ham. Ham created a satellite delivered Big Band format called "Music of Your Life" in the late 1970s. The format was picked up primarily by AM stations interested in maintaining their audiences.


MOR/Nostalgia/Vintage's primary target is 35 - 64. The actual audience is probably 65+. Format is suffering from the dominance of FM and the aging of the audience.


Music is nonrock standards and big band. Artists include: Patti Page, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Andy Williams, The Andrews Sisters, The Lennon Sisters, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, etc.


Announcers are allowed to have a personality and presence. Often they are the old familiars, friends.


Still important, this format reaches a well informed generation. However, many of the stations using satellite delivery only provide headlines during drive times.


Jingles are a regular part of the format.


Competition comes from Adult Contemporary and News/Talk.

Contest and Promotions

Listeners tune in for the companionship and the feeling of being up to date with what is happening in their communities. Cash calls, tickets to events, etc.


These stations will continue to fade as their audience ages.

Some Block/Variety/Diversity stations fit into the MOR category. Those stations are usually small stations serving local audiences. An example is WSNJ AM and WSNJ FM in New Jersey. You can hear the FM on 107.7 here in Newark.


Keith, M. C. (1987). Radio programming: Consultancy and formatics. Focal Press: Boston.

Chapter Resource Links

  • WPEN AM (950)
  • WQEW AM (1560)