The Boston Radio Dial: WERS(FM)

Who, What, Where

Community: Boston
Frequency: 88.9
Class: B1
Ownership: Emerson College
Studio: Ansin Building
180 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02111-1014
Transmitter: One Financial Center
Dewey Square
Boston, MA 02111-2621
Phones:
Studio +1 617 824 8890
Faculty Advisor +1 617 824 8462
Format: AAA/Variety
Web site: wers.org

Technical Parameters

WERS transmits from the top of One Financial Center, an office building near Boston's South Station. WERS uses 4000 watts (36 dBW) ERP from an antenna 611 feet above average terrain. WERS transmits in stereo, and relays the Talking Information Center reading service from Marshfield on a 67-kHz subcarrier.

Station History

WERS first took to the air in October 1949, transmitting with 10 watts on 88.1 MHz from the top of an Emerson College building in Boston's Back Bay. Founder Charles Dudley (an Emerson professor) had greater plans, so in 1950 WERS moved to 88.9 in order to be allowed to increase power to 330 Watts. WERS continued to increase power, and by the early 1970s was running 18 kW from an antenna 55 feet above average terrain, atop an Emerson building on Beacon Street. This relatively low antenna grew increasingly problematic as more skyscrapers were built nearby, and in 1974, WERS moved to Boston's second-tallest building, the Prudential Center, with 900 watts at 730 feet AAT. As rents increased on the Pru, WERS moved to its current location atop One Financial Center in June of 1990.

WERS has always presented a diverse mix of music, while serving as a training ground for broadcasting students at Emerson. In recent years, WERS has become well-known for its Live Music Weeks, fundraisers in which dozens of live performances are broadcast from the WERS studios.

Thanks to a 1998 gift from WHDH-TV owner Ed Ansin, WERS was able to move into newly-renovated studios at 180 Tremont St. on Boston Common—the same building as once held the studios of WEEI when it was owned by the Edison company.

On September 27, 2006, WERS unveiled a new schedule that dropped many of its block-programmed staples, including the “Gyroscope” world music show, the midday “Jazz Oasis” and the dance music “Revolutions” show. Instead, its daytime hours were filled with a AAA-ish format called “Music for the Independent Mind”, with block-programmed reggae and hip-hop later in the evening.

Historical information provided by Donna Halper.

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This station profile was written by the editors of The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. We have no relationship with the station; please send any comments or questions about their programming directly to the station. Network connectivity courtesy of MIT CSAIL.

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