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WBAE (AM) logo.png
City of license Portland, Maine
Broadcast area Southern Maine
Branding 1490 The Bay
Frequency 1490 kHz
First air date 1946
Format Soft adult contemporary / Adult standards
Power 1,000 watts
Class C
Facility ID 49983
Transmitter coordinates 43°39′48″N 70°16′17″W / 43.66333°N 70.27139°W / 43.66333; -70.27139
Callsign meaning BAE = sounds like "Bay" (branding)
Former callsigns WPOR (until 1999)
Affiliations Dial Global
Owner Saga Communications
Website am1490thebay.com [1]
Former logo of the radio station

WBAE is a radio station that serves the city of Portland, Maine and its suburbs with an Adult Standards format, including the softer hits of the 1960s to today. It transmits 1000 watts of power, 24 hours a day. WBAE is owned by Saga Communications.

Until 1999, WBAE had the WPOR call sign. It first went on the air in March 1946 and was for much of its history associated with country music. When co-owned station 101.9 WPOR-FM debuted in October 1967, the two stations were the primary source of country music in the Portland radio market. The AM and FM stations were mostly simulcast, although for a time 1490 WPOR aired a satellite-delivered syndicated country music format while WPOR-FM featured local announcers and locally-programmed country music. WPOR-FM continues as a country station but in 1999, WPOR-AM switched its call letters to WBAE.

The original format for WBAE was adult standards, initially provided by the Music of Your Life network, and later Dial Global's Adult Standards (America's Best Music) service. WBAE was later simulcast with 1400 WVAE Biddeford, Maine to give listeners in York County, Maine a better signal. WBAE and WVAE had an affiliation with ABC News Radio, and were the local outlets for Paul Harvey, Portland Pirates and the Portland Sea Dogs. (The Sea Dogs have moved to WPEI 95.9 and WPPI 95.5; Paul Harvey died in 2009, and the Pirates have since moved to 1300 WLOB).

The stations adopted a hot talk format, dropping Adult Standards on March 4, 2009. Hot talk had been heard on co-owned 970 WZAN before that station shifted to a political talk format. Hot talk later was replaced with an advice-oriented talk format on January 18, 2010.[1]

The advice-talk programming included the syndicated morning show Bob and Tom from Indianapolis, syndicated family finance shows from Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey, psychological advice from The Dr. Laura Program and Dr. Joy Browne, as well as Loveline, NASCAR racing from the Motor Racing Network, and NFL football from Westwood One.

On September 15, 2009, it was announced that WBAE and WVAE would begin to broadcast the Boston Bruins. On January 16, 2012, it was announced that WBAE and WVAE would begin to broadcast the New York Yankees.[2]

In February 2013, 1400 WVAE split from its simulcast with 1490 WBAE. The 1400 signal began a simulcast with news/talk-formatted WGAN 560 AM Portland, Maine, to help WGAN better cover York County. It now has the call letters WGIN to echo its originating station.[3][4]

After 4 years under the Talk format, WBAE flipped back to an Adult Standards format, under its original branding as 1490 The Bay on October 21, 2013, utilizing programming from Westwood One’s Adult Standards network, "America's Best Music." Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard moved to WZAN. Dr. Joy Browne is heard on 1270 WTSN in nearby Dover, New Hampshire. Artists now heard include The Beatles, The Carpenters, Frank Sinatra and Dionne Warwick.


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