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Ooh-ya...I can hear those jingles now....EEEElectronic Mama!

WVBF, IMHO, seemed to luck out as being the FM top 40 station when AM was
ready to lose the battle of the teenagers.  

But you know...Thinking back, it's hard to believe that WRKO would/could win
a war for the teenager....when in afternoon drive they were doing 5 minute
newscasts....with 8 stopsets.  What kids would listen to that after
school...unless of course it was the only choice as it was for so many years.

There's a story about WVBF signing on.  Bob Christy, the Ops Mgr. said that
the upper-management wouldn't even show the programming department the
ratings books.  So, as he tells the story, *he* didn't even know how well
they were doing, until he went to the NAB and found people congratulating him
on WVBF's success.  

But WVBF could always screw up a good thing.  Do you remember "Soap Sunday"?
 They had a Sunday night talk show about soap-operas during the hight of the
General Hospital craze.  It was the highest rated thing on the station!
 So....what did they do?  They cancelled it.  (Reason given:  We didn't want
people to think we were a talk station...A good reason?  I don't know...It
certainbly attracted people to sample their station...and possibly left them
there for Monday Morning Drive...)

When they did well as a top 40 station....They followed the 'AC Trend' that
was happenning around the country....never realizing how hard it was to
change from a kid-oriented top 40 to an AC station.  The adult would never by
the fact that the 'silly' station is now a serious adult station.  I have
ARB's from back in 79 (in the attic) where they had a 7 share at night...
 But when they went to  an AC format....they went into the 2's and stayed
there except for an occaisional bout with luck.  

I think most of us saw that the *only* thing happening correct on that
station was the hiring and retention of Loren Owens....and the eventual
teaming up with Wally Brine. 
(Personally, I don't know how these two pros EVER put up with the nutty
management they had at VBF...) 

Loren and Wally saved that station from going bankrupt many times....and it's
the only thing that kept them afloat during their bloody country battle.
 (Having a L & W morning show was the only reason they beat WBCS...)

(During their Top 40 days they had some GREAT jocks....  Charlie Kendall,
Might Mike...and of course Bud Ballou...)

Just my thoughts....


   WVBF was some player in the market !!!  Formerly WKOX-FM until the fall of
1971, this station had probably one of the worst FM stereo signals when it
transmitted from the WKOX (1190) stick in Framingham.  Finally when Fairbanks
bought it in 1970, they moved the FM site to Needham, MA. The signal was like
night and day !!! 'VBF had a strong signal with some the most up-to-date
processing around.  IT WAS LOUD and sounded similar to the WABC echo chamber.

The jingles were fun and very bouncy.... "EEEEEEEE-lectronic MAMA !!!!!
(announcer- WVBF/Framingham...serving the Metropolitan BOSTON area !!)
W-V-B-F....STEREO..... 1-0-5 !!!!".  It eventually was shortened to
....WVBF/Framingham-BOSTON .
     One major headache for WVBF was the WKOX/1190 (now 1200) tower had a
tendency to fall after every snowstorm.  The 'VBF STL was mounted on the KOX
tower.  NO STL, NO 'VBF.  One time in 1976 when the tower fell, WBZ loaned
their "Incredible Broadcasting Machine" or simply put..a mobile van.  Since
was a renter on the WBZ-TV stick, theythey got help from the landlord for a
couple of days.  So the van was interfaced with the 'VBF transmitter and
processing.  It was weird to hear the jocks still say "Stereo 105, WVBF" when
signal was in mono.  Needless to say, all the jocks sounded and probably felt
weird underneath the 1200 foot Channel 4 tower.  I recall that it was
outside that night.  Thank God for heaters.  It was a real fun, almost to the
point of being like a WKRP station.  The jocks were very friendly on the
too.  I recall the request line was 969-9020 and 879-1057.  This was the day
LOCAL people made local decisions, not some bigwig from L.A. programming the
music. But when 'VBF started to use the "F-105" moniker...it became more
homogenized as time went on.  FM was becoming BIG and AM could only watch.
and 'RKO were fading.  'MEX gave up Top-40 in '75 and 'RKO slowly edged out
rock until '81.  'VBF was a major factor in the decline of these two
stations.  But, alas...'VBF messed up royally by switching to a mushy AC
"All of the Comforts of New England...WVBF...".  It was the Fairwest format.
simply SUCKED.  For a while though from 1984 through 1986, they put more
with an Oldies based Top-40 format as "105.7/WVBF". It was not bad.  But once
again they tinkered with the format, which was beginning to get a good
 Then the "Boston/105" days came and went with the same 3.0 rating, book to
to book.  The one good thing with 'VBF throughout the last eleven years of
life were "Loren and Wally".  These two guys are seasoned professionals.
Brine is the son of legendary Providence air-personality "Salty" Brine of
fame.  It was sad to hear the end of WVBF in February of 1993.  But
105.7 (after a painful stint as a Country Station) is playing the hits as
Personally, I like it.

- -Pete-

Peter Q. George, N1GGP                  *  "Scanning the bands since 1967 !" 
P.O. Box 1183                           *                  +
Randolph, Massachusetts 02368-1183      *                  |
USA                                     *      73         +|+    de N1GGP
PGEORGE@wellesley.edu                   *                +\|/+
XERB@bigfoot.com                        *               + \|/ +