The show developed in 1979 when Stern landed his first morning shift at WCCC in Hartford, Connecticut, four years into his professional radio career. He continued to break out as a morning personality at WWWW in Detroit, Michigan in 1980, and was paired with Quivers in 1981 at WWDC in Washington, D. C. In 1982, Stern's success in Washington led to a spot at WNBC in New York City, where he hosted the city's top afternoon show until his firing in 1985. That year, the show began a 20-year run at WXRK in New York City where it aired on a total of 60 markets across the United States and Canada and gained an audience of 20 million listeners at its peak. In the New York area, the show was the highest-rated morning program consecutively between 1994 and 2001. A total of $2. 5 million in fines were issued to station licensees that carried the show by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), for what it considered indecent material. Following Stern's contract with Sirius in 2004, the show left terrestrial radio in December 2005.