Last year, Langer bought WBIV (1060) in Natick, Mass., which had been off the air since selling its transmitter site and equipment to Douglas Broadcasting for the new WBPS (890) Dedham-Boston. Shortly thereafter, he picked up WRPT (1050) in Peterborough, NH, which has been off the air for about four years. Ever since then, we've seen application after application for different ways to put the stations back on the air, including a dismissed application earlier this year to move WRPT down to Foxboro, MA (a move of over 100 miles!) with a change of frequency and power, to 650kHz.
Now Langer's trying again. An article in Tuesday's Middlesex News alerted NERW to his latest application, this time to move WRPT to Ashland, MA as a 250 watt daytimer on 650. The transmitter site being proposed is that of WKOX (1200) in nearby Framingham. The News article fills in a few of the blanks about the heretofore-unknown Langer: we learn that he's 39 years old and was born and educated in Boston...and that he won't say much of anything else about himself.
A check of the FCC records turns up several Langer applications for his other dark outlet, WBIV. He's applied for 1000 watts, daytime-only, from the original 1060 site in South Natick; for 1000 watts, daytime-only, from the site in Ashland that's now used by WBPS; and for 500 watts, daytime-only, from the WKOX site.
So what does Langer plan to run on his new stations? He tells the News that satellite formats have destroyed local broadcasting, and he wants to do local news and public service...to which we at NERW can only wish him the best of luck. As the News article notes, there's a dearth of local news in the Metro West region between Boston and Framingham. WKOX in Framingham has dropped all local news in favor of leased-time programming, WSRO in Marlborough is in bankruptcy, and WADN in Concord runs little local news.
We'll keep you posted as Langer's latest applications make it through the FCC.
We'll start in SAGADAHOC COUNTY, just down the coast from where we left off. In 1971, there were just two stations in the county, WJTO in Bath on 730 and a construction permit for WJTO-FM on 95.3, which signed on in June. The FM soon became WIGY on 105.9, which was well-known as one of Maine's top rockers for a decade, before hitting financial problems that knocked it off the air for a brief time in 1990-91. It re-emerged as WKRH, a classic rocker, and then became religious WBCI with its sale in 1995 to Blount Communications. The AM remains WJTO, under separate ownership. The 95.3 frequency was later used for WMOS at Morse High School in Bath, a 10-watter that left the air around 1990. The only other station licensed to Sagadahoc County (although all its facilities are in Cumberland County) is WXGL, 95.5 in Topsham. This station was a construction permit as WLLB, before signing on in 1993 as WPME, simulcasting country WCME in Boothbay Harbor. In 1994 it picked up the WXGL calls abandoned in Lewiston, and became an oldies outlet.
To the east, we find ANDROSCOGGIN COUNTY, whose oldest station is 1240 in Lewiston, which in 1971 was known as WCOU. Its sister FM station on 93.9 was WCOU-FM, later known as country WAYU, and then as oldies WXGL. 1240 became WXGL(AM) for a time in the late 1980s, before being sold off separately as WTME. The FM was sold as well, becoming a simulcast of Biddeford's WCYY under the WCYI call letters. Lewiston's other AM station in 1971 was WLAM on 1470, which eventually added an FM outlet in 1975. WWAV in Auburn began as a 3kw station on 100.1, later moving to 99.9 as a class B outlet. In 1988, WWAV changed calls to WKZS, becoming today's "Kiss FM." The AM, meanwhile, changed calls in 1991, becoming WKZN and sending the WLAM calls to its new sister station in Gorham. The calls changed again in 1994, as 1470's owners grabbed the WZOU calls from Boston to warehouse. Auburn's AM outlet was Pineau Broadcasting's WPNO on 1530, later WRXV, and still later WTME, a simulcast of WKTQ in South Paris. In 1990, WTME's owners bought the 1240 in Lewiston, moving the calls and format there and turning off 1530. Over at Bates College in Lewiston, little WRJR was a 10-watter on 91.5 that evolved into today's WRBC. And finally, there's the 107.5 frequency in Lewiston that signed on in 1973 as rocker WBLM, the very first station ever owned by Fuller-Jeffrey. WBLM grew and grew, until in 1989 it was able to pull off a coup: The station traded its 107.5 frequency to a Portland station, WTHT, in exchange for WTHT's 100kw signal on 102.9. WTHT arrived on 107.5 as a rocker, then experimented with oldies before becoming a country station. It's now co-owned with WZOU and WKZS.