WLOB Portland Celebrates 50th

Doug Drown revdoug1@verizon.net
Sat Feb 3 21:57:39 EST 2007

I happened to tune in to WLOB-FM in Portland at noon today (simulcasting
WLOB-AM) and serendipitously discovered that WLOB was celebrating its 50th
anniversary with a very nicely done special broadcast.  The program included
a tape of the first few minutes of WLOB's first broadcast on February 3,
1957.  It included a letter from the then-governor, Edmund Muskie, and a
surprisingly long recorded greeting from Senator Margaret Chase Smith, who
evidenced no small knowledge of the broadcasting industry, especially in
Maine.  There were also interviews with Melvin Stone, the original station
manager, and Howie Leonard, who was there at the beginning and is now a
part-time newscaster at WOKQ in Dover/Portsmouth.

WLOB was started as a mostly-music alternative to the two dominant network
stations then in Portland, WGAN (CBS) and WCSH (NBC).  In the '60s it became
a very popular Top 40 station (one of few with that format that was a CBS
affiliate in the mid- to late '60s), then later went with religious
programming under Carter Broadcasting ownership, and is now a popular
conservative talk station.  The FM blankets virtually all of central and
southern Maine.

I didn't get to hear the whole broadcast, as I was on my way to a funeral.
I'll find out Monday if CDs are going to be available.

P.S.:  Happy anniversary as well to WGY, which will be 85 tomorrow.  Sadly,
there's nothing in the website that makes mention of it.

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