The Eastern Massachusetts Radio Timeline: the 1990s
- July 1
- WLVG sold at auction to Bob Bittner.
- Sept. 3
- WEEI flips to all-sports.
- W249AX becomes W242AA, translating WGBH-FM.
- Feb. 12
- WVBF flips from gold AC to country as WCLB.
- Aug. 4
- WWEA flips to beautiful music, becomes WJIB.
- WCDJ sold to Greater Media and flips to country as
- WCGY is sold to American Radio Systems; WMFP is sold to
- Aug. 29
- WHDH expires; the WEEI call sign and programming moves to
850. The following month, the old WEEI would become
- Sept. 27
- WCGY interim format begins.
- Sept. 28
- Silent WCVX (58 Vineyard Haven) is sold to Boston University
- Sept. 30
- WCGY flips to seventies oldies.
- WVEI (1440 Worcester) drops WEEI simulcast and becomes
- WBMA (890 Dedham) is on the air testing.
- WSSH (1510 Boston) is purchased by religious broadcaster
Communicom. WCGY becomes WEGQ, “Eagle 93.7”.
- Nov. 3
- WBIV (1060 Natick) goes dark; WBMA is operating
full-time from the old 1060 array in Ashland.
- Nov. 30
- WCVX returns to the air as WZBU // WABU.
- WSSH becomes WNRB; WBMA flips to all-sports.
- W32AY started on channel 32.
- June 1
- WBMA picks up Prime Sports Radio affiliation and becomes
- June 22
- WCLB(FM) becomes WKLB-FM.
- June 25
- WPLM-FM flips to smooth jazz.
- July 10
- WFXT sale for $105M to News Corp. finally closes.
- July 14
- Simon Geller, eccentric former owner of WVCA-FM (104.9
Gloucester, now WBOQ), dies at age 75, at a hospital in
Rockville, Maryland. Geller had operated the station, the
“Voice of Cape Ann” from studios in his home from 1964 until
he sold the license for $1 million in 1988.
- July 17
- Pyramid Communications sells out to Evergreen Media.
- Aug. 1
- CBS agrees to be purchased by Westinghouse Electric,
bringing WBZ and WODS under common ownership. Westinghouse
will drop the “Group W” moniker and rename itself
CBS Corporation after spinning off its remaining non-media
- WNHT (21 Concord, N.H.) returns to the air as WNBU //
- Westinghouse purchase of CBS closes.
- Dec. 13
- WSSH-FM becomes Smooth Jazz WOAZ.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 ushers in a new era of media
consolidation, eliminating most national limits on station
ownership and allowing one owner to control as many as eight
radio stations in a market (depending on the definitions of
“control” and ”market”, both of which
would remain in flux for some time). Limits on
newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership remain in place, but are
under challenge. The FCC will eventually permit common
ownership of multiple television stations in the largest markets
Also as part of the Telecommunications Act, Congress imposes a
one-year deadline for silent stations to return to the air, or
else the license expires irrevocably, and a three-year deadline
to build out construction permits. Previously both had been
left up to the FCC's discretion, with stay-silent authorizations
renewable every 6 months and construction permits every 18.
This causes a burst of activity to get long-pending permits
constructed, and the FCC allows long-term silent stations to
request “major modifications” without waiting for an application
window, in order to beat the deadline.
- Evergreen purchase of Pyramid closes.
- Feb. 8
- Peterborough Broadcasting files to sell silent WRPT (1050
Peterborough, N.H.) to Alexander Langer of Cudjoe Key,
- Mar. 4
- Granum is sold to Infinity for $410M, including WBOS,
- Mar. 6
- WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester) receives a construction permit to
increase power to increase power from 1.53 kW to 3.2 kW by
installing a directional antenna.
- May 31
- Langer Broadcasting closes on its purchase of WRPT (1050
- July 18
- Southfield Communications files to sell WBOQ (104.9
Gloucester) to Marlin Broadcasting for $3.2 million — but the
station will stay in the family, as Southfield's general
partner Doug Tanger is the brother of Marlin's principal owner
Woody Tanger and son on Marlin chairman Alex Tanger.
- Oct. 1
- Ownership of WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester) passes from Southfield
Communications (Douglas Tanger) to Marlin Broadcasting (Howard
“Woody” Tanger); Woody pays his brother $3.2 million for
“W-Bach”; the men's father, Alexander Tanger, is Marlin's
- Oct. 17
- Children's radio network KidStar comes to Boston, via WROR
- Oct. 25
- Enterprise Publishing Company, the publisher of the
Brockton Enterprise, files to assign WBET (1460
Brockton) and WCAV (97.7 Brockton) to WBET, LLC, as part of
the newspaper's $25 million sale to a new ownership group; the
FCC's cross-ownership rule will require the stations to be
separated from the newspaper with the change in
- Nov. 1
- Alexander Langer files to move long-silent daytimer WRPT
(1050 Peterborough, N.H.) to the WKOX site on Mt. Wayte
Ave. in Framingham, with new frequency 650 kHz and 250 W ND-D
(using the tower that WKOX does not use during the day),
changing city of license to Ashland. The station will count
as a “first local service” to Ashland, while Peterborough will
still retain a “local” station, WNHQ (92.1).
- Feb. 4
- The FCC grants Langer Broadcasting's application to move
WRPT (1050 Peterborough, N.H.) to 650 kHz in Ashland, as a
- Feb. 18
- Langer Broadcasting files for a license to cover on WRPT
(650 Ashland) after completing the station's move from
Peterborough, N.H. — beating the one-year deadline for silent
stations to return to the air after passage of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. The FCC grants the new
license on May 16.
- June 26
- WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester) completes its upgrade to 3.2 kW ERP,
directional, although it takes the FCC until April 4, 2000, to
finally grant the license to cover.
- Oct. 9
- WBET, LLC files to sell WBET (1460 Brockton) and WCAV (97.7
Brockton) to Joseph Gallagher's KJI Broadcasting, for $1.5
million. The FCC will approve the sale on November 25.
- June 2
- KJI Broadcasting (Joe Gallagher) closes on its purcahse of
WBET (1460 Brockton) and WCAV (97.7 Brockton) from WBET,
- Oct. 29
- WCVB-DT signs on, first digital TV station in New
- May 28
- KJI Broadcasting files to sell WCAV (97.7 Brockton) to
Washington-based Radio One, which specializes in formats
targeting African Americans, for $10 million.
- May 30
- WCAV (97.7 Brockton) moves to its new transmitter site in
- July 26
- Class-D WAVM (91.7 Maynard) applies to upgrade from an
unprotected, 10-watt class D to a protected, 150-watt class
A. On its application, WAVM incorrectly indicates that this
is a “major change” under the FCC rules, resulting in the FCC
inviting competing applications on December 17.
- Oct. 5
- WJLT (1060 Natick) flips to a secular talk format, taking
new calls WMEX; WRPT (650 Ashland) takes the WJLT calls and,
for a time, the “J-Light” Christian format that had been on
- Oct. 8
- Radio One closes on its purchase of WCAV (97.7
- Oct. 21
- WCAV (97.7 Brockton) files for new callsign WBOT.
- Dec. 6
- WBOT (97.7 Brockton) relaunches under new Radio One
ownership as “Wild 9-7-7” with an urban hits format.
- Dec. 17
- In a public notice, the FCC invites applications that would
be mutually exclusive with the “major change” to WAVM (91.7
Maynard), setting a deadline of next January 18.