The Boston Radio Dial: WROR-FM

Who, What, Where

Community: Framingham
Frequency: 105.7 MHz
Class: B
Ownership: Greater Boston Radio, Inc.
(Greater Media)
Studio: 55 William T. Morrissey Blvd.
Dorchester, MA 02125-3315
Main transmitter: Prudential Tower
800 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02199-8001
Backup transmitter: ATC Newton (FM-128)
1165 Chestnut St.
Newton, MA 02464-1308
Phones:
Office +1 617 822 9600
Studio +1 800 468 1057
Format:
Main Classic hits
HD2 70s rock
Web site: wror.com

Technical Parameters

WROR-FM transmits at 105.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 23 kW (analogue) from the Prudential Tower lower master antenna. The antenna, a four-bay ERI COGWHEEL 1084-4CP-SP, is a non-directional, circularly-polarized, four-around panel antenna located 224 meters (735 feet) above average terrain (247 m above sea level), on the roof of the Prudential Tower in Boston's Back Bay. It is shared with sister stations WBOS and WTKK, and an auxiliary facility for WMJX (which is in full-time use as a digital-only antenna).

WROR-FM is also licensed for a 1.75-kW backup at the American Tower Newton (“FM-128”) facility, where it shares a master antenna system with WJMN and WBZ-FM, plus backups for WBOS, WTKK, WKLB-FM, WMJX, and WXKS-FM.

WROR-FM transmits a digital signal using iBiquity Digital Corp.'s “HD Radio” system.

Station History

WROR-FM's first incarnation was as WKOX-FM Framingham, the sister station to WKOX 1190 Framingham, a small suburban daytimer. WKOX-FM signed on in May 1960, broadcasting from 4:30 pm until midnight, using 50 kW from a tower 460 feet above average terrain. By 1963, WKOX-FM was broadcasting in stereo with a symphonic music format.

WKOX and WKOX-FM were sold to Fairbanks Broadcasting in 1970, and by late 1971, WKOX-FM had metamorphosed into WVBF (named for the station owner's wife, Virginia Brown Fairbanks), the “Electronic Mama”, playing freeform rock.

The “Electronic Mama” lasted several years, eventually being replaced by a rapid succession of formats, including hit radio as “F-105”, and a variety of soft-rock formats, ending as “Boston 105” in the early 1990s. By this time, WVBF was clearly a Boston station, having moved its air studios to Boston's Prudential Tower, although maintaining a legal studio at the WKOX facility at 100 Mount Wayte Avenue, Framingham.

On February 12, 1993, the WVBF calls were heard for the last time in Boston, as 105.7 became WCLB-FM, “Boston's Country Club”, the first FM country station in Boston since the demise four years earlier of country on WBOS 92.9. Morning hosts Loren and Wally remained, but the rest of the air staff was replaced as part of the format change. Fairbanks hoped to head off Greater Media's announced plans to flip WCDJ 96.9 to country in the summer of 1993, but Greater Media decided to push ahead, setting up a three-year fight for Boston's limited country audience.

In July 1995, WCLB-FM changed calls to WKLB-FM, to alleviate ratings confusion with WCRB-FM 102.5 Boston, WCAV 97.7 Brockton, and even WCVB-TV 5 Boston.

In late 1995, Fairbanks announced the sale of WKLB-FM to Evergreen Media, which was also buying WXKS-AM/FM and WJMN from Pyramid. Just after closing on the deal in the spring of 1996, Evergreen traded WKLB-FM to Greater Media, in exchange for WEBR-FM (previously and now WGAY-FM) Washington, D.C. The trade put WKLB-FM and country rival WBCS 96.9 in the same corporate hands, leaving WKLB-FM's future as a country station in doubt.

Those doubts were soon to be proven, as WKLB-FM ceased independent programming at midnight on August 24th of that year, and entered a simulcast of WBCS. The simulcast lasted until the morning of September 5, when the WKLB-FM identity and country format were consolidated on 96.9, and 105.7 was reborn as WROR, the heritage calls that were long found at 98.5 on the dial, the present WBMX. Former WROR PD Harry Nelson, drive-time host Joe Martelle, and midday jock Jim Roberts are part of the new WROR's format, billed as “The Songs You Remember from the 60s, 70s, and 80s”.

In late 1997, Greater Media signed a long-term lease on a Dorchester office building which would become the new studios of all their Boston-area stations. In August, 1998, a crane which was erecting the new STL antenna there toppled, crashing into the adjacent WLVI studios. A month later (and without the benefit of a microwave STL) WROR-FM was the first of Greater's stations to move into the new facility.

Since 1996, WROR-FM's format has wobbled around somewhat, eventually dropping most music from the 1960s and ending up with the current classic hits format by about 2002.

A constant on 105.7 through multiple owners, formats and calls has been the Loren (Owens) and Wally (Brine) morning show, which marked its 25th anniversary in 2006. Also in 2006, WROR added an HD2 subchannel, programming “Nothin' But The 70s”.

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This station profile was written by the editors of The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. We have no relationship with the station; please send any comments or questions about their programming directly to the station. Network connectivity courtesy of MIT CSAIL.

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