The Boston Radio Dial: WMJX(FM)

Who, What, Where

Community: Boston
Frequency: 106.7 MHz
Class: B
Ownership: Greater Boston Radio, Inc.
(Greater Media)
Studio: 55 Wm. T. Morrissey Blvd.
Dorchester, MA 02125-3315
Main transmitter: Prudential Tower
800 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02199
Backup transmitter: ATC Newton (FM-128)
1165 Chestnut St.
Newton, MA 02464-1308
Phones:
Office +1 617 822 9600
Requests +1 617 931 1067
Format:
MainAdult Contemporary
HD2Smooth jazz
Web site: magic1067.com

Technical Parameters

WMJX transmits at 106.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 21.5 kW (analogue) from the Prudential Tower upper master antenna. This antenna, which is shared with WZLX, WBMX, and WXKS-FM, is a six-bay ERI COGWHEEL 1084-6CP, a non-directional, four-around, circularly-polarized panel antenna system; its center of radiation is 235 meters (771 feet) above average terrain (258 m above sea level).

WMJX is licensed for a 1-kW auxiliary facility from the Prudential Tower lower master antenna, which is shared with sister stations WBOS, WTKK, and WROR-FM; it is used full-time for WMJX's digital signal. The lower master an ERI COGWHEEL 1084-4CP-SP which was field-modified in 2003 to add a second input; WMJX uses the second input and the other three stations are combined into the main input.

WMJX is also licensed for a 1.9-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, WROR-FM, and WXKS-FM.

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

Station History

One of Boston's first FM stations was operated by the Westinghouse company, first as W1XK, and then W67B, at 46.7 MHz in the original FM band. W67B became WBZ-FM in 1943. When the FM band was moved to 88 MHz in 1946, WBZ-FM moved to 100.7 MHz; programming at that time was a straight simulcast of WBZ. In 1947, WBZ-FM moved to 92.9 MHz, leaving the 100.7 frequency to WCOP-FM. In 1952, Westinghouse decided it didn't really know what to do with FM, and relinquished all its FM licenses.

In 1956, Westinghouse decided to get back into FM, and WBZ-FM was reincarnated at 106.7 MHz, but not simulcasting WBZ(AM). Rather, from 5 PM to midnight, WBZ-FM ran a local, commercial classical format; the station was positioned as “Westinghouse Fine Music in Boston”. The station would break format Sundays at 7 PM for the “Stereo Hour”, where a single program would be broadcast with one channel on the AM and one on the FM. (This “dual stereo” technique was also used by WTIC in Hartford and WABC in New York.) When the Westinghouse tower in Needham was built in 1957, WBZ-FM moved from its temporary transmitter location onto the new tower. In the summer of 1959, WBZ-FM began simulcasting the AM during the hours when the FM side had previously been off the air; at 5 PM, an announcer would introduce the classical programming with “WBZ-FM now undertakes to program separately from now to midnight.”

The live FM programming ceased in January of 1960, when WBZ management bought tapes of cheap classical music to fill the independent program time on WBZ-FM. The simulcast was cut back to just the morning hours, and “Stereo Hour” remained a Sunday-night fixture. Station identification at the time was “WBZ-FM, your Westinghouse Broadcasting station in Boston, brings you this music as a public service.” Later on in the sixties, this format evolved somewhat: while the music was still pre-recorded and pre-packaged, some live announcing as added, and an actual program schedule was developed, including such programs as “Just Music” and “Just Jazz”.

Finally, at 9 AM on New Year's Eve of 1971, the simulcast was dropped completely. WBZ-FM was taken off the air for eight hours to upgrade the facilities to stereo. At 4 PM, the station moved to a rock format, as “WBZ-FM, Stereo 106.7... All Hits, all the time!”, with minimal commercial interruption. This format continued until the summer of 1981, when Westinghouse again decided that it didn't know what to do with FM, and sold the station to Greater Media for less than $4 million, at which point the call was changed to WMJX, and the transmitter site was moved from Needham to the Prudential Tower.

Fumbles and equipment problems kept WMJX off the air for most of the autumn, and what program material actually made it to air was continuous automated album rock. WMJX signed back on for good under the new owners ten years to the day after the rock format began, but this time running the trademark “Magic” adult contemporary format which Greater Media had developed at WMGK (ex-WPEN-FM) in Philadelphia.

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. On December 15, 1998, WMJX began broadcasting from the new Dorchester studios.

The FM facility that Westinghouse couldn't make into a success would, under Greater Media, become one of Boston's most consistently successful radio stations. With a long-running airstaff that included Mike Addams and Gay Vernon in morning drive, Candy O'Terry in afternoons and David Allan Boucher's “Bedtime Magic” (on the air since the debut of WMJX), “Magic” outlasted several AC competitors to become one of the market's top-billing radio stations.

In 2006, WMJX added an HD2 subchannel, programming the smooth jazz that had previously been in the market on its sister stations at 96.9 and 99.5.

Historical information provided by Peter George and Joseph Ross.

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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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