Is WBZ AM-TV the only AM combo left in NE

A. Joseph Ross
Mon Nov 17 13:04:33 EST 2008

On 17 Nov 2008 Dan.Strassberg wrote:

> I think that very briefly, during Kaiser-Globe ownership (but maybe
> during Harvey Radio ownership, which would make more sense), 740 was
> WXHR (AM) and then during Kaiser-Globe ownership, it may also have
> very briefly been WJIB (AM). I'm quite confident of the WXHR (AM)
> calls even though they may have lasted for only a week or two. (Also,
> I have a track record of being wrong about such things.) IIRC, this
> was at a time when the station had a very pleasant music format and AM
> drive was done by a guy named Patrick Downey who had great pipes and a
> pleasant manner. As for WJIB (AM), I don't think that Bob Bittner has
> ever been able to prove that the current WJIB (AM) calls constitute
> the second appearance of those call letters on the station.

No, the WXHR calls were on 740 for some time, perhaps a year or two.  
They were simulcasting the FM classical music format on AM.  If they 
had done that earlier, and if they had a night signal on AM, they 
might have managed to survive as a classical station.  As it was, by 
the time they started doing the AM simulcast, WCRB had the AM 
classical music market, and WCRB, with a night signal, also had the 
advantage of being able to get the afternoon drive-time commuters all 
year round.  FM car radios were rare to nonexistent in those days.

When Kaiser-Globe took over the stations, they put both radio 
stations off the air for awhile until they were ready to start their 
new programming, WJIB from Commercial Wharf and WCAS from studios in 
Central Square.  The AM was never WJIB during that period.  I 
remember speaking with the program director or station manager who 
was setting up the stations (I was looking for a summer announcing 
job), and he said that he picked WJIB as the callsign because he 
wanted a nautical term to emphasize the station's location on the 
waterfront.  The AM programming had a different model, and the call 
letters were chosen to reflect the communities that the station was 
primarily trying to serve.  I remember an ad where some country hick 
was talking about the station call letters, saying "The government 
wouldn't give them the B for Belmont.  About time the government 
started trying to save money."

The "Wiccus Island" slogan started almost immediately, though it was 
several years before it showed up in the corporate name of the 
station's owner.

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                   617.367.0468
92 State Street, Suite 700            Fax: 617.507.7856
Boston, MA 02109-2004 

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