The Boston Radio Dial: WSRO(AM)

Who, What, Where

Community: Ashland
Frequency: 650 kHz
Class: D
Ownership: Langer Broadcasting Group, LLC
(Alexander Langer)
Studio: 100 Mount Wayte Ave.
Framingham, MA 01702-5794
Transmitter: 100 Mount Wayte Ave.
Framingham, MA 01702-5794
Phones:
Office +1 508 820 2414
Format: Leased-time (primarily Portuguese-language)

Technical Parameters

WSRO transmits from one of the two guyed towers of WKOX in Framingham, operating with 250 watts non-directional during daytime hours; the station is licensed to operate at night with 9 watts.

Station History

There is no stranger history to a Boston AM signal than that of the Ashland-licensed 650. It begins on May 19, 1970—but not in Ashland, and not on 650.

The station that signed on in May 1970 was a daytimer on 1050 kHz in Peterborough, New Hampshire, originally known as WSCV (“We Serve the Contoocook Valley”). In the ensuing two decades, the station would be known as WMDK and finally WRPT (“Radio PeTerborough”) before going silent in 1991.

Meanwhile, a construction permit was granted for a new daytime station in Clinton, Mass., to operate on 650 kHz with the WBSO call letters. It was never built.

In 1995, Alexander Langer of Florida agreed to pay WRPT's owner, the Peterborough Broadcasting Company, to return the station's license to the FCC, clearing the way for a power upgrade at Langer's adjacent-channel station in Natick, then WBIV on 1060. A few months later, though, he reconsidered the deal and purchased the WRPT license from Peterborough.

In 1996, Langer applied to move WRPT from Peterborough to Foxboro, Massachusetts, a move of over 100 miles. In addition, WRPT would move to 650 kHz, with 250 watts directional, daytime-only, diplexed from the Norfolk, Mass. site of WDIS 1170. The application was dismissed by the FCC. A few months later, Langer returned with a new application, this time for Ashland, Mass., still on 650 but with 250 watts non-directional, daytime-only.

That application was approved, and the new WRPT 650 made its debut on February 9, 1997, with just hours to spare before the FCC's deadline to cancel licenses that had been dark more than a year. Its initial diet of programming from the Talk America 2 network was eventually supplemented by some local talk programming. In June, 1998, Langer purchased WSRO (1470 Marlborough), which had lost its transmitter site by eminent domain and was operating under special temporary authority, and began simulcasting the talk programming on both stations.

On January 24, 2000, Langer moved the talk format to the 1060 signal, newly reborn as high-powered daytimer WMEX. In its place on 650 was the leased-time Christian contemporary “J-Light” format that had been on 1060. Within a few weeks, the WJLT calls had moved from 1060 to 650 as well.

In June of 2001, Langer won FCC permission to move WSRO from Marlborough to Watertown. With a construction permit for a Boston signal in hand, Langer began shopping the station around for a buyer. Late in 2002, Arthur Liu's Multicultural Broadcasting agreed to buy WSRO for $1.8 million. When the deal was consummated, the WSRO callsign moved to 650 and 1470 became WAZN.

In the mean time, the Contemporary Christian format had ended in January of 2002, replaced by religious talk. In February 2003, WSRO returned to a mostly-satellite-delivered talk format. The talk programming, mainly from Langer's own Framingham-based National Radio Network, gradually gave way to leased-time Portuguese-language religious and secular programming, targeting the large Brazilian population in and around Framingham.

In 2004, WSRO applied to change city of license to Lexington increase power to 5 kW, daytime-only, from a six-tower array to be built in Foxboro. That application was dismissed in January, 2007.

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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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