The Eastern Massachusetts Radio Timeline: the 2000s
- Jan. 18
- Three applicants along the Route 2 corridor file
applications that conflict with high-school station WAVM (91.7
Maynard)'s attempt to upgrade to protected class-A status:
UMass-Boston (for 91.7 Stow), CSN International (for 91.7 in
both Gardner and Lexington), and Living Proof, Inc. (for 91.7
- Jan. 19
- UMass-Boston files a petition to deny against the upgrade of
WAVM (91.7 Maynard).
- May 1
- CSN International's application for a new station on 91.7
near downtown Lexington is returned.
- May 31
- Maynard Public Schools and UMass-Boston agree on a
time-sharing arrangement which would resolve the conflict
between their pending applications for 91.7. Living Proof's
application in Lunenburg remains in conflict.
- May 30
- CSN International files a petition for reconsideration,
requesting that its Lexington application be reinstated.
- Aug. 8
- WAVM (91.7 Maynard) amends its application for class-A
status to specify the same facilities as UMass-Boston's
application and add share-time operation.
- Aug. 23
- UMass-Boston amends its application for 91.7 in Stow to
specify share-time operation with Maynard High School's WAVM
(also on 91.7).
- Nov. 2
- The FCC reinstates CSN International's application for a new
station on 91.7 in Lexington.
The FCC revisits the point system it adopted last April to
resolve the large number of mutually-exclusive major-change
applications for non-commercial FM stations, after receiving
numerous petitions for reconsideration. In its February 28
memorandum opinion and order, the Commission reaffirms the basic
principles of the point system and directs applicants in
mututally-exclusive groups to file supplements to each
application, documenting their qualifications under the system.
Applicants are also invited to file amendments that would remove
them from the conflict, or for all parties to agree on a
settlement, but competing applicants may not buy each other out
— settlements are limited to paying the withdrawing parties'
actual engineering and legal costs.
- May 8
- WJLT (650 Ashland) files to add 9 watts of night power.
Because the station remains officially daytime-only, it does
not matter that the proposed night signal won't actually serve
- Aug. 9
- The FCC grants WJLT (650 Ashland)'s application for night
- Mar. 14
- WJLT (650 Ashland) adds 9 watts of night power. The FCC
will grant a license to cover on May 20.
- Aug. 2
- CSN International files an amendment to its application for
a new station on 91.7 in Gardner, removing it from the group
of mutually-exclusive applications on 91.7 stretching along
Route 2 from Lunenburg to Lexington and rendering it
- Dec. 20
- WSRO (1470 Marlborough) takes new callsign WAZN, reflecting
its move to Watertown and new leased-time Asian-language
programming; WJLT (650 Ashland) takes the WSRO calls.
- May 22
- Marlin Broadcasting agrees to sell WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester)
to Westport Communications for $4.6 million. It's all within
the family, however: Westport is owned by Natick attorney Todd
Tanger, grandson of Marlin founder Alexander. The transaction
excludes Marlin's two remaining stations, in Connecticut.
- June 26
- The FCC grants CSN International's application for 91.7 in
Gardner, now that it has been amended to resolve the conflict
with four other applications for the frequency (all of which,
including one of CSN's own in Lexington, remain pending)
The FCC opens a filing window for major modifications to AM
stations from January 26 to 30, which will eventually go to
auction in 2014. Only two applications are filed for
Massachusetts facilities, both of which go unbuilt.
In late December, the FCC announces that it will shortly begin
consideration of the numerous groups of mutually-exclusive
non-commercial FM major-change applications which have been
pending since 2000. Each set of conflicting applications is
assigned a “snap-shot date”, and the applicants must update
their application supplements to reflect any changes in their
situation which would impair their points rating, but
discounting any changes after the snap-shot date that would
improve their results. Applicants have until next January 21
to file the amendments.
- Jan. 28
- Langer Broadcasting applies in the FCC's major-change window
to move WSRO (650 Ashland) to a new six-tower array in
Walpole, where it would operate with 5 kW daytime only with a
city-of-license change to Lexington. The application is
mutually exclusive with an application by Steven Wendell for a
new station on 650 in Raymond, Maine.
- Jan. 18
- CSN International files an amendment to update their points
system ranking for their application for 91.7 in
- Oct. 6
- The FCC proposes to resolve the group of four mutually
exclusive applications for 91.7 in the Route 2 corridor, by
tentatively selecting Living Proof's application for
Lunenburg, on the grounds of “fair, efficient, and equitable
distribution” — without proceeding to a hearing ranking the
applicants on the previously announced points system.
- Oct. 26
- Radio One moves WILD (1090 Boston)'s urban contemporary
format to WBOT (97.7 Brockton), which adopts new callsign
- Nov. 14
- WAVM and UMass jointly file for a petition to deny against
Living Proof's tentative selection for the 91.7 frequency,
arguing that WAVM's original 1999 application for an upgrade
to class-A status had been mischaracterized as a major change,
when it should have been treated as an immediately grantable
- Dec. 19
- Living Proof files an opposition to WAVM (91.7 Maynard) and
UMass's joint petition to deny, arguing that WAVM had
forfeited the question of its 1999 application's treatment as
a major change when it failed to object to the Commission
calling for competing applicants in December, 1999.
- Jan. 30
- WAVM (91.7 Maynard) and UMass file a joint reply to Living
Proof's opposition to their petition to deny the tentative
selection of Living Proof's 91.7 Lunenburg application to
receive a construction permit.
- Mar. 31
- KJI Broadcasting files to sell WBET (1460 Brockton) to
Business Talk Radio for $1 million. BTR's principals include
chairman Michael Pisani, of Short Hills, N.J., and president
Michael Metter, of Stamford, Conn. The FCC will approve the
sale on July 31.
- Apr. 12
- Maynard Public Schools, UMass, and Living Proof file a
settlement agreement with the FCC, agreeing with Maynard and
UMass that the original WAVM (91.7 Maynard) upgrade
application should have been treated as a minor change and
therefore not subject to competing applications, but
requesting a waiver to allow all three parties' applications
to proceed, as amended. The recharacterization would not only
result in the dismissal of CSN International's application for
91.7 in Lexington, but also CSN's subsequently granted
construction permit for WJWT (91.7 Gardner); CSN is not a
party to the settlement.
- June 23
- CSN International just beats the three-year deadline to
construct its new station in Gardner, WJWT (91.7), which will
operate at 850 watts ERP using a directional antenna at 84
meters above average terrain. The FCC will grant a license to
cover on November 7.
- Aug. 21
- Radio One agrees to sell WILD-FM (97.7 Brockton) for $30
million. Buyer Entercom takes over immediately via an LMA,
simulcasting WAAF (107.3 Worcester); WILD-FM becomes WKAF on
- Nov. 13
- Michael Metter's Business Talk Radio closes on its $1
million purchase of WBET (1460 Brockton) from Joe Gallagher's
On April 4, the FCC announces another window for new
non-commercial FM stations and major changes to existing
non-commercial FMs, to open October 12. A large number of
applications are received, most of which are mutually exclusive
(“MX”), and it will take several years to work through all of
them. Some of the MX groups will be resolved by stations
voluntarily amending their applications or reaching settlement
agreements; others will be decided by the FCC according to a
scoring system similar to what was used in the previous
non-commercial window. One such group tangles 13 such
applications in eastern Massachusetts and southern New
- Jan. 29
- The FCC dismisses Langer Broadcasting's application to move
WSRO (650 Ashland) to Lexington, with a six-tower directional
array in Walpole, for failure to file a “307(b) showing”
demonstrating that the move would comport with the equitable
geographic distribution of broadcast signals as required in
the Communications Act.
- Jul. 25
- In a letter decision, the FCC approves the settlement
agreement among Living Proof, Maynard Public Schools, and
UMass, granting construction permits for Living Proof's 91.7
in Lunenburg, the upgrade of WAVM (91.7 Maynard) to class-A
status with 500 watts ERP from a tower on the high school's
campus, and UMass's new 91.7 in Stow, which will share time
and transmitter facilities with WAVM. CSN International's
application for 91.7 in Lexington is dismissed.
- Oct. 12
- Christian Music Network, a Hopkinton-based non-profit,
applies for a new station on 88.5 in Gloucester, with 100
watts non-directional at 68 meters above average terrain, from
the WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester) tower in Cape Ann Industrial Park.
The application will be part of the 13-station “Group 363” of
- Oct. 15
- Home Improvement Ministries of Bedford applies for a new
station on 88.5 in Middleboro, with 500 watts, directional and
vertically polarized, from a cell tower off Route 28. The
application will be part of the 13-station “Group 363” of
- Oct. 18
- North Andover Community Access applies for a new station on
91.5 in North Andover, with 275 watts but from 400 Blackburn
Drive in Gloucester. The technical exhibits attached to the
application demonstrate community coverage of Rockport, rather
than North Andover.
- Oct. 18
- Boston University applies for a new station on 89.1 in
Eastham, with 10 kW horizontal, 40 kW vertical,
non-directional, from 55.4 meters above average terrain off
Route 6 in Eastham. It will be part of the 19-station “Group
516” of mutually-exclusive applications.
- Oct. 19
- Boston University applies for a new station on 88.5 in
Amesbury, with 75 watts from a communications tower in
Kensington, N.H. Chelsea-based Centro Familiar de Adoracion
applies for a new station on 88.7 in Amesbury, with 130 watts
from a tower in Newton, N.H. The applications will be part of
the 13-station “Group 363” of mutually-exclusive
- Oct. 19
- WGBH Educational Foundation applies for a new station on
88.7 in Eastham, with 15.5 kW, non-directional, from 112.4
meters above average terrain, on an existing communications
tower in Eastham. WGBH requests that the FCC waive a rule
requiring protection of analog TV on channel 6, which will
soon be moot with the digital switchover. The application
will be part of the 19-station “Group 516” of
- Oct. 19
- UMass-Boston applies for a new station on 91.5 in
Gloucester. The exact parameters of this application are
unknown because of subsequent amendments, but it is mutually
exclusive with another application filed for 91.5 three days
later, by Light of Life Ministries, along with other
applications for “North Andover” and for Burrillville, Rhode
Island. In keying in the application, UMass's engineer
mistypes the proposed tower's latitude, placing it 556 km
farther north, and subsequent filings show the same Blackburn
Drive tower as Light of Life's application.
- Oct. 22
- Religious group Centro de Intercesion y Adoracion
Internacional applies for a new station on 88.5 in Rockport,
with 500 watts on a building in downtown Rockport (which the
application asserts to be 148 meters below average
terrain). The group claims to be a church in Texas, but gives
a Long Beach, Calif., address in its application.
Gloucester-based charity Wellspring House also applies for a
new station on 88.5 in Rockport, with 3 kW at 97 meters above
average terrain. Talking Information Center, the
Marshfield-based radio reading service for the blind, applies
for a new station on 88.5 in Middleborough Center, with 1400
watts from the WVBF (1530 Middleborough Center) tower. All of
these applications will be part of the 13-station “Group 363”
of mutually-exclusive applications.
- Oct. 22
- Academy of the Immaculate, a religious group based in New
Bedford, applies for a new station on 88.5 in “Bayview”. It
is mutually exclusive with both of the Middleboro
applications but does not end up part of “Group 363”.
- Oct. 22
- Augusta, Maine-based Light of Life Ministries applies for a
new station on 91.5 in Rockport, with 800 watts at 56 meters
above average terrain; it's mutually exclusive with the UMass
application for 91.5 in Gloucester (and in fact they specify
the same tower).
- Oct. 22
- Sherborn's Peace Abbey applies for a new station on 91.5 in
Burrillville, R.I. The application is part of “Group 109”
with the three Cape Ann 91.5 proposals from North Andover
Community Access, UMass-Boston, and Light of Life. After
filing two amendments which remove it from the MX group, the
group eventually gives up on the application and asks for it
to be dismissed, but not until December of 2009.
- Oct. 22
- Emerson College applies for a new station on 88.7 MHz in
Barnstable, with 9 kW, non-directional, from 80 m above
average terrain on a tower in Dennis, to be a satellite of
WERS (88.9 Boston). Emerson requests that the FCC waive a
rule requiring protection of analog TV on channel 6, which
will soon be moot with the digital switchover. It will be
part of the 19-station “Group 516” of mutually-exclusive
- Nov. 8
- The FCC dismisses UMass's application for 91.5 in
Gloucester, on the grounds that the coordinates given on the
application are in Baie-St.-Paul, Quebec, and thus do not
cover Gloucester, Massachusetts.
- Nov. 16
- UMass-Boston files to amend its now-dismissed application
for 91.5 in Gloucester, correcting the error in the
- Nov. 21
- UMass's attorneys file a petition for reconsideration on the
dismissal of the UMass-Boston's application for 91.5 in
Rockport and asking for reinstatement with the typo in the
coordinates fixed per their recent amendment.
The FCC begins work processing the hundreds of applications for
new full-power, non-commercial FM stations. First, “singleton”
applications — those that are immediately grantable and do not
conflict with any other pending applications — are granted. On
March 7, the FCC releases a list of 263 “small” groups of
mutually-exclusive applications, containing four or fewer
stations, so that those applicants can work out settlements or
amend their applications to remove them from the group. Two
such groups are located in eastern Massachusetts: a set of three
applications for 90.1 (in Brockton, Easton, and Fall River), and
the applications for 91.5 on Cape Ann; they are numbered 107 and
109, respectively. A further 193 groups are identified later in
the year, including group 363 on 88.5 (stretching from
Middleboro up to Milford, N.H.), group 365 on 89.3 in northern
Worcester County, and group 516 (nineteen applications for Cape
Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket). Several of the
applications are patently defective and will be dismissed,
thinning the groups.
- Jan 7
- Academy of the Immaculate files a unilateral amendment to
its application for a new station on 88.5 in “Bayview”, to
operate at 880 watts, directional, from a cell tower in South
Dartmouth; the amended application is no longer mutually
exclusive with the pending applications for 88.5 in
- Jan. 7
- Talking Information Center amends its application for 88.5
in Middleborough Center to change the proposed directional
pattern and remove it from the mutually-exclusive “Group 363”
by eliminating overlap with Wellspring House's application for
88.5 in Rockport and Academy of the Immaculate's 88.5 in
“Bayview”. TIC's application remains mutually exclusive with
Home Improvement Ministries' application for 88.5 in
- Jan. 28
- WTTT flips from conservative talk to Spanish-language
- Feb. 5
- The FCC grants an application for a new translator on
102.9 MHz in Newton, N.H., from the 2003 translator window, to
Airport Investors LP; it receives the callsign W275BH, and
will eventually be moved to Andover to serve as a translator
for WNNW (800 Lawrence). Newton is just over the state line
- May 21
- The FCC grants Academy of the Immaculate's application to
construct a new station on 88.5 in “Bayview”.
- June 10
- The FCC dismisses North Andover Community Access's
ill-advised application for 91.5 in North Andover because the
proposed transmitter site in Gloucester does not serve North
Andover. The organization does not contest the
- July 2
- CSN International, formerly known as Calvary Satellite
Network, sells most of its station portfolio to Calvary Radio
Network for $1.8 million, including WFGL (960 Fitchburg) and
WJWT (91.7 Gardner). The FCC approves the transfer on
September 29 and the sale closes October 21. The sale is
ultimately the settlement of a dispute between Calvary Chapel
of Twin Falls and the “mother church” in Santa Ana,
California. CSN keeps for itself the construction permit that
will eventually be licensed as WSMA (90.5 Scituate).
- Oct. 29
- Calvary Radio Network agrees to settle a $2 million debt
owed to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa by assigning CRN's entire
station portfolio, including WFGL (960 Fitchburg) and WJWT
(91.7 Gardner), to the church. The FCC approves the transfer
on December 24 and the sale closes December 31.
- Oct. 24
- Costa-Eagle Radio Ventures, owner of several Merrimack
Valley AM stations, agrees to acquire the construction permit
for W275BH (102.9 Newton, N.H.) from Richard Snyder's Airport
Investors, for $65,000. After the parties file an amendment
on December 10, the FCC grants the assignment on the 16th and
the sale closes two days later.
- Dec. 22
- Costa-Eagle applies to modify the construction permit for
W275BH (102.9 Newton, N.H.) to increase power to 150 watts and
change the transmitter site to the WXRV (92.5 Andover) tower
on Observatory Ave. in Haverhill, which is also the site of
Costa-Eagle's own WCEC (1490 Haverhill). The application
specifies WXRV as the translator's primary station, making it
a “fill-in” translator and thus exempt from certain rules
regarding interference to the (second-adjacent) primary
station. (Costa-Eagle had to receive the consent of WXRV's
owner, who is also the tower landlord, to do so.) There is no
change proposed to the translator's city of license.
- Dec. 30
- The FCC grants W275BH (102.9 Newton, N.H.)'s move to
92.1 MHz in Haverhill, with new callsign W221CH.
The FCC continues to process groups of mutually-exclusive
applications from the 2007 non-commercial FM window. After
allowing applicants some time to come to voluntary settlements
or remove themselves from the MX groups with technical
amendments, the Commission begins to evaluate applications
according to its established point system and announces
tentative selections in each remaining group. Group 363, with
13 applications in eastern Massachusetts and southern New
Hampshire, is decided March 30.
- Jan. 27
- Costa-Eagle Radio Ventures applies for a license to cover on
its move of the former W275BH, now W221CH, to 92.1 MHz in
- Jan. 27
- Academy of the Immaculate requests the callsign WPMW for its
construction permit on 88.5 MHz in “Bayview”.
- Jan. 30
- Costa-Eagle apples to move W221CH (92.1 “Newton, N.H.”),
to the WNNW (800 Lawrence) tower in Andover. Costa-Eagle's
application notes that second-adjacent interference this would
cause to WXRV is permissible under FCC rules because the
interference does not occur in Andover, and W221CH is
authorized as a fill-in translator for WXRV.
- Jan. 30
- W221CH (92.1 Newton, N.H.) requests Special Temporary Authority
to rebroadcast WNNW (800 Lawrence) instead of authorized
primary WXRV (92.5 Andover). The FCC has established this STA
process to allow AM-to-FM translators while it works on rules
that will allow such translators under the regular procedures
for translator primary stations.
- Feb. 2
- The FCC simultaneously grants Costa-Eagle's applications for
a license to cover on W221CH (102.9 Newton, N.H.)'s move to
92.1 MHz in Haverhill, and for a construction permit to move
W221CH to Andover (with new city of license Lawrence).
- Feb. 26
- Costa-Eagle files for a license to cover its move of W221CH
(92.1 “Newton, N.H.”) to the WNNW (800 Lawrence) tower in
Andover. The license will never be granted.
- Mar. 20
- WNNW (800 Lawrence) translator W221CH (92.1 Lawrence) files
to reduce power from 250 to 200 watts under Special Temporary
Authority while it attempts to resolve interference
- Mar. 23
- The FCC dismisses Emerson College's application for a new
88.7 in Barnstable, on the grounds that it does not provide
sufficient protection to the soon-to-be-silenced analog TV
operation of WLNE (6 New Bedford) and denies Emerson's request
for a waiver. WGBH's application for very similar facilities,
which contains a similar waiver request, is not
- Mar. 26
- WFEX (92.1 Peterborough, N.H.) objects to Costa-Eagle's
license application for W221CH (92.1 Lawrence), citing
interference complaints. Costa-Eagle responds April 21.
- Mar. 30
- The FCC tentatively selects a UMass-Boston application for
88.5 in Milford, N.H., as the one application out of thirteen
in “Group 363” to be accepted for filing. The other
applicatons in this group, from Boston University, Centro
Familiar de Adoracion, Centro de Intercesion y Adoracion,
Wellspring House, Talking Information Center, Christian Music
Network, Beverly Cable and Telecommunications, Bangor Baptist
Church, ACN2, and Highland Community Broadcasting, are all to
be dismissed at the end of April. A number of the losers
will contest the FCC's choice.
- Apr. 27
- Emerson College asks the full FCC to review the denial of a
waiver of the soon-to-be-obsolete TV channel 6 interference
rule, which doomed its application for a new station on
88.7 MHz in Barnstable.
- May 4
- Wellspring House asks the FCC to withdraw its “Group 363”
application for 88.5 in Rockport.
- May 8
- Talking Information Center files a “petition for severance”
with the FCC, arguing that its and Home Improvement
Ministries' applications to serve Middleboro were only
included in “Group 363” because they conflicted with
Wellspring House's application, and with that application
withdrawn, the two Middleboro applications conflict only with
each other and can be removed from the now 12-station group,
allowing the FCC to grant TIC's application after separate
evaluation under the points system.
- May 8
- The FCC formally dismisses Talking Information Center's and
Home Improvement Ministries' applications for 88.5 in
Middleboro and all of the other non-preferred “Group 363”
- May 14
- Talking Information Center files a petition for
reconsideration of the dismissal of their “Group 363”
application, asking the FCC to take note of their petition for
severance, reinstate their application and grant it under the
- May 22
- WNNW (800 Lawrence) translator W221CH (92.1 Lawrence) files
to further reduce power to 60 watts as it continues to respond
to interference complaints.
- June 10
- Home Improvement Ministries files a petition to reconsider
the dismissal of HIM's application for 88.5 in Middleboro.
HIM and Talking Information Center jointly file for approval
of a settlement agreement between the two groups. The
settlement calls for TIC's application to be granted and for
TIC to pay HIM $4,926 for its engineering and legal
- June 12
- Christian Music Network files a petition to reinstate its
application for 88.5 in Gloucester, arguing that its
application does not conflict with the UMass-Boston
application in Milford, N.H., that was ultimately granted out
of “Group 363”.
- June 16
- The FCC denies UMass's petition to reinstate its application
for 91.5 in Gloucester and grants Light of Life's competing
application for the same frequency on Cape Ann, which was the
only remaining mutually-exclusive application. Light of Life
will request the callsign WWRN.
- July 16
- UMass files a formal application for review before the FCC,
appealing the FCC staff decision denying reinstatement of
UMass's application for 91.5 in Rockport.
- Dec. 16
- Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa agrees to sell WFGL (960
Fitchburg) and WJWT (91.7 Gardner) to Horizon Christian
Fellowship, a 500-member church in Fitchburg. Calvary will
finance the $200,000 purchase, which includes WFGL's studios
and real estate.