The first mention I found of the twenty-two minutes was from a paper
published by the Nordic Conference on Media and Communication
Research. It explains that this is the time needed to hear one full
cycle of news, before you will hear a repeat of a story. Here is an
excerpt from that paper.
It goes with the format that people probably only listen attentively
for ten to twenty minutes each. As the news jingle tells us: You give
us 22 minutes, and we'll give you the world. The duration of one full
cycle of 1010 newstime is twenty-two minutes, after that you are bound
to hear repetitions and reruns. Although the content changes slightly
from lap to lap, chances are that most listeners will turn the dial
after a relatively short time. The 1010 WINS format is not built to
create sustained listening, it's built to create frequent revisiting
whenever people need an update. This in turn is based on the memory
function that is a standard feature of car radios and most home
receivers. The 1010 WINS sports jingle admonishes people to lock it
in: Because you need to know the score, you need 1010 WINS sports;
two, three, four times a day. Lock it in! 1010 WINS. The station
presents itself as a standing reserve, always catering to your
Here is how each hour of broadcast time on 1010 WINS is broken down:
Logically, there are no extended programs in this format. There are
only different slots which succeed each other on a regular and
predictable basis, and in the 1010 WINS case; none of which never last
longer than one minute. To give an idea of content distribution, I
list the categories from the 1010 WINS brochure (figure 1) by
frequency and time allotment pr. hour.
News: 14 slots 24 minutes
Commercial Islands: 17 slots 17 minutes
Traffic & Transit: 6 slots 6 minutes
Accuweather Meterologist: 3 slots 3 minutes
Headlines: 2 slots 2 minutes
Sports: 2 slots 4 minutes
Moneywatch: 2 slots 2 minutes
Entertainment 1 slot 1 minute
Long Range Forecast: 1 slot 1 minute
TOTAL: 48 slots 60 minutes
This is a very comprehensive study, and will probably tell you more
than you ever wanted to know about 1010 WINS and their format.
Editing the Present:Time in the all news format
For the Nordic Conference on Media and Communication Research.
Reykjavík, August 10th to August 13th, 2001.
The concept of a full cycle of news in twenty-two minutes was
corroborated by a site that I located that recounts the history of KQV
Radio in Pittsburgh, a station that, like WINS, changed format in the
70s from rock to all news. The following is an excerpt from the
KQV's ratings performance is consistent: it doesn't draw a large
audience but it gets a loyal core of affluent, upscale listeners. The
format tends to attract a 50-plus audience, but Dickey said there is a
growing number of younger listeners who flip in and out for business
news. That kind of sampling is why all-news stations operate on a
clock that recycles stories and is reflected by the "22 minutes"
Focus - August 8, 1999
KQV just keeps on groovin': Local station's 80 years on the air are a
microcosm of radio history, By John Mehno
I next went to Google Groups, which contains 20 years of Usenet
postings on almost any topic under the sun, to see if others were
wondering about the extra two minutes. It seems that you are not
alone, arnie4bean, in your quest to grasp the significance of
twenty-two minutes. Take a look at this post, and its cosmic search
Why is WINS so beloved? Well, for one thing schoolkids learned that
on blizzardy and hurricaney days that's what you'd glue your ears to
to find out whether classes were cancelled at your school. And it
still has that weird but comforting theme music featuring some
marimba-type instrument playing a lot of low E-flats and then some
brass-type instruments playing some Ds above that. What genius
composed that? "You
give us twenty-two minutes. We give you the World." What does that
From: Richard Fontana (email@example.com)
Subject: Re: french words in british english
Date: 2002-01-24 23:06:01 PST
I then came across a plausible explanation fromnot a radio or
broadcasting group, but an urban transit group.
Generally speaking, 22 minutes is the tolerance point for most
people. (i.e. the Group W all news stations (KFWB in LA and WINS in
NY) use "You give us 22 minutes, we give you the world" because the
average commute, in LA and NY (at least when the slogan was developed
25 years ago) was 22 minutes.)
From: SoCalTip (firstname.lastname@example.org_(Hank_Fung)
Subject: Re: Commute Times
Searching further, I ran into the commute theory again:
On the other hand, the average commute for those living in the
nation's top twenty metro areas is increasing... because of better
transportation systems. According to Group W Radio Stations (now CBS),
the average commute is exactly 22 minute. (Ever wondered why Group W
news stations [one of which is WINS] say "Give us 22 minutes, we'll
give you the world"?)
From: Robert Coté (email@example.com)
Subject: Re: Average commute distances (was: Re: Effect of Ending
Newsgroups: misc.transport.urban-transit, misc.transport.road,
dc.driving, rec.bicycles.soc, alt.planning.urban,
So it would appear that the twenty-two minute cycle evolved from the
average commute time, and has become the accepted time slot into which
all of the relevant news is made to fit.
As you might imagine, the slogan has proven to be immensely popular. I
found infinite variations on the give us twenty-two minutes, well
. format. The best, however, was a church trying to boost
their Sunday attendance. Their flavor of the catch phrase was:
"Give us twenty-two minutes and we'll give you the Lord." Their
Sunday service, called "Express Worship," consisted of a brief
scripture reading, after which the audience was asked to write down
their own thoughts. A hymn closed the service.
The Offense of the Cross: Can We Make the Gospel Seeker Friendly?
By Dr. David J. Vaughan
And lastly, I came across this little bit of trivia.
WINS became a Top-40 outlet in the mid-1950s, led by DJ legends
Murray "the K" Kaufman and Alan Freed. Freed, who came to WINS from
Cleveland in 1954, is credited wit h inventing the term "rock 'n'
WINS continued to be an AM music radio station until April 19, 1965,
when the format was changed, and the station became the first
24-hour-a-day, all-news radio station in the country.
NYRTV - New York City/Philadelphia Radio & TV
I have held off posting this answer for several hours, because I also
sent an email to WINS, and put the question to them, hoping for
additional corroboration. I have not yet received a reply from them,
but, should they respond, I will post any additional information.
Should you require clarification on any of the above, please do not
hesitate to ask.
"give us 22 minutes" history WINS
"give us 22 minutes"
"give us 22 minutes" "why "
"give us twenty two minutes"
Clarification of Answer by
13 Sep 2002 05:59 PDT
Hi again arnie4bean,
While waiting for a reply from 1010 WINS, I couldnt resist doing a
little more searching (the researchers curse!). I went to the public
library databases, specifically Electric Library, and found an article
from Newsday dated April 19, 1995 entitled, The World in 22 Minutes:
WINS/1010 Marks 30 Years of All-News Radio, by Terry Kelleher, Staff
The following excerpt from an interview with Steve Swenson, program
director, reveals the truth:
Wouldn't you like to know why the station divides every hour into
thirds, yet repeatedly promises listeners, "You give us twenty-two
minutes, we'll give you the world"? Is there some sort of time warp
"The real reason is the ad agency that came up with the slogan [in
1972] felt it had to be an odd number for people to remember," Swenson
says, using "odd" to mean peculiar" rather than "not divisible by
two." "They played around with `eighteen' and `nineteen,' and they
decided `twenty-two' sounded the best."
So, what the answer boils down to, is simply that twenty-two sounds
better than twenty. It really has nothing to do with math, maybe a
little to do with commute times and attention spans, but, as we
probably should have known, everything to do with hype.
If you should care to read the entire article, I accessed it through
the Electric Library Database, which should be available through your
public library. If your library has online access available at home
using your library card number, they will probably have a website with
directions on accessing their available databases.
I have really enjoyed chasing down this elusive bit of information,
arnie4bean. Thanks for directing your question to me. Should I receive
a reply from the radio station, I will post it for you.