The Boston Radio Dial: WRCA(AM)

Who, What, Where

Community: Waltham
Frequency: 1330 kHz
Class: B
Ownership: WAEC License L.P.
(Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. [Nasdaq: BBGI]/Trusts controlled by George G. Beasley)
Studio: 552 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4088
Transmitter: 750 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453-1496
Phones:
Office +1 617 621 1330
Format: Leased-time ethnic: Spanish and Haitian Creole

Technical Parameters

WRCA uses 5000 watts from two top-loaded towers along the Charles River in Waltham. WRCA is directional day and night, protecting WWRV 1330 in New York City. WRCA has a construction permit for 25 kW day, 17 kW night from the WUNR site on Saw Mill Brook Parkway in Newton, with a COL change to Watertown; construction of this facility is scheduled to be complete in mid-2007.

Station History

WRCA's history began on January 30, 1948, with Theodore Jones and Charles River Broadcasting, under the call letters WCRB. For its first few years, WCRB was a community station for the Waltham-West Suburban area, but it quickly found its niche as a classical music station. WCRB added FM service on 102.5 in 1954, and for the next two decades, the FM gradually eclipsed the simulcast AM in prominence.

By the 1970s, the AM had split off from the FM, with the WHET calls and a beautiful music format. Ted Jones still owned the station, and studios remained at the WCRB facility on South Street. In March 1982, Anthony Martin-Trigona's Action Communications bought 1330, and under the new calls of WDLW, moved it to studios along Rt. 128 at 473 Winter Street, Waltham. WDLW spent the rest of the 1980s as a country station.

In 1990, WDLW was sold again. The new owners moved the studios to One Kendall Square, Cambridge, changed the calls to WRCA, and introduced a new format called “Showbiz Radio”. Showbiz combined big-band music with personality hosts, comedy, and drama. It was not to last. Within a year, Showbiz was gone and WRCA began leasing time. Soon thereafter, WRCA left One Kendall Square and moved to its current home in Central Square, Cambridge at 552 Mass. Ave.

WRCA has since been sold several times, first to the Lamarca Group, then in 1993 to SMY Broadcasting, and in 1995 to Peter Arpin's ADD Broadcasting, for $1.7 million.

In June 1999, one of WRCA's two towers was demolished after an accident that injured the hand of a tower worker. The tower was being jacked up to replace an insulator when it fell unexpectedly, crushing the worker's hand underneath it. The tower was replaced later in the fall. (The Waltham site was originally a three-tower site, with the third tower being removed in the 1977 after WHAZ in Troy, N.Y., ended its share-time with New York City's WWRV, becoming a daytimer.)

In 2000, the Beasley Broadcast Group of Florida bought WRCA from ADD, paying $6 million for the station and retaining its profitable leased-time format.

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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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