Screwed by the Network: American Top 40's production company, Watermark, was purchased by ABC Radio in 1982. Much of the reason AT40 went off the air in 1995 was because it was getting beaten in the ratings by Casey's Top 40 and The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. But both of those shows existed because of questionable moves by ABC regarding American Top 40. When ABC insisted that AT40 affiliates start airing other ABC shows and commercials, many of them dropped the show. One of the stations, KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, had their morning DJ Rick Dees start his own countdown show, which soon went into syndication and was quickly picked up by other former AT40 stations. Then when Casey Kasem's contract came up for renewal in 1988, ABC (who reportedly was eager to bring in a younger host) turned down his salary proposal, so Kasem left to start another show.