The Boston Radio Dial: WILD(AM)

Who, What, Where

Community: Boston
Frequency: 1090 kHz
Class: D
Ownership: Radio One of Boston Licenses, LLC
(Radio One, Inc. [Nasdaq: ROIA]/Catherine L. Hughes and Alfred C. Liggins III)
Studio: 500 Victory Road, 2nd floor
Quincy, MA 02171-3139
Transmitter: 99 Revere Beach Parkway
Medford, MA 02155-5124
Phones: +1 617 472 9447
Format: Talk
Web site:

Technical Parameters

WILD operates at 4,800 watts daytime, 1,900 watts critical hours, from one of WXKS (1430 Everett)'s two towers at 99 Revere Beach Parkway in Medford, near the Wellington MBTA yard.

Station History

The first Boston station on 1090 was built in May of 1946 by the Templetone Company, a Connecticut radio manufacturer; the format at that time was classical music, and the callsign was WBMS (“World's Best Music Station”). The 1-kW transmitter was located at the same location as the current one, and studios were in a variety of locations in downtown Boston.

In 1947, WBMS added an FM service on 104.1 MHz, with its antenna on top of the AM stick. In 1948, Templetone sold WBMS to the Friendly Group, and the FM service itself was soon discontinued. In 1950, the station switched to a popular music format, and most of the classical staff left. In April, 1951, WBMS changed its callsign to WHEE, but just over a year later, the calls were changed back to WBMS.

On September 5, 1957, WBMS was sold to Bartell and became WILD. In 1966, Leonard Walk purchased the station; and in March of 1973 it was sold to Sheridan.

Under Sheridan, WILD turned its focus to Boston's black community, and in August 1980, local black entrepreneur Kendall Nash bought the station. Until his death in the late '90s, Nash operated WILD as Boston's premier urban station, a title maintained by his widow Bernardine.

In 1999, national urban broadcaster Radio One entered the Boston market with the purchase of Brockton's WCAV, renamed WBOT. The next year, Bernardine Nash agreed to LMA her station to Radio One, which moved WBOT's operations in with WILD's Roxbury studios.

In the fall of 2000, Radio One purchased WILD from Mrs. Nash for $5 million. Under Radio One, WILD moved from its longtime home in Roxbury to new studios in Quincy and went through a series of format changes. In October 2005, WILD(AM) flipped from classic R&B to black gospel, sending the classic R&B format and Tom Joyner morning show to its FM sister, now renamed WILD-FM. The “Praise 1090” gospel format lasted only until January 30, 2006, when Radio One launched a national urban talk network that included WILD(AM) as a charter affiliate. Jimmy Myers was hired as a local morning host in February 2006, anchoring a lineup that included Al Sharpton and the “Two Live Stews” sports talk show.

In August 2006, Radio One's sale of WILD-FM put much of the WILD(AM) staff out of work as well, as the AM signal flipped from talk back to automated black gospel, then returned to Radio One's talk network (with no local hosts) in December as the AM station went up for sale.

2006 also saw a move of the WILD transmitter from its original site on Corporation Way in Medford (which was being taken for a new development) to a diplex on one tower of the WXKS(AM) site adjacent to the Wellington MBTA station, half a mile to the south. With the increased efficiency of the new tower, WILD's power changed from 5 kW days, 1 kW critical hours to 4.8 kW days, 1.9 kW critical hours.

Some dates provided by Donna Halper.

See Also

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This station profile was written by the editors of The Archives @ 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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