|City of license||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Slogan||More Music. Less Blah, Blah, Blah|
|First air date||1949 (as WNAO-FM)|
|Callsign meaning||We're Building a Better Burlington (used by another station)|
|Former callsigns||WNAO-FM (1949-1959)
WYYD (1970s-1980s)
|Owner||Curtis Media Group|
|Sister stations||WKIX-FM, WQDR-FM, WBZJ, WWPL, WFNL, WPTF, WPTK|
The station was signed on in 1949 by the Raleigh News and Observer as WNAO-FM to simulcast sister station WNAO, 850 AM. In 1959 the station became WKIX-FM, simulcasting much of sister AM WKIX's top 40 format. This move was out of necessity as WKIX-AM's 10 kW signal was powered down to a directional 5 kW at night, preventing the station from having full area coverage. In the 1970s, WKIX-FM changed format to easy listening WYYD. The station changed its letters to WYLT and became a satellite MOR station in the mid-80s, and began playing soft adult contemporary music soon after that.
In 1993, WYLT as "Y-96" tried a variation of adult album alternative, playing traditional AC during the day and alternative rock at night, including artists such as Pearl Jam, 10,000 Maniacs, Shawn Colvin, John Hiatt, The Breeders, and R.E.M.. Several area college radio stations played alternative music, but WYLT was a commercial station and had a stronger signal.
WYLT started 1994 by stunting as "W-Garth", playing only Garth Brooks. On January 5, WYLT traded call letters with WKIX; both stations were owned by Alchemy Communications. The FM station switched to country as a result of the increased popularity of WQDR-FM, but distinguished itself from its competitor with "country your grandparents just wouldn't understand." General manager Rennold Madrazo described the new sound as "very hot, high energy and uptempo, with lifestyle promotions" and targeting yuppies and other upscale listeners. The result was a decline in ratings, followed by a slight increase.
When the station switched to mainstream rock on January 28, 1998, the WBBB letters were taken from a Burlington, North Carolina radio station at 920 AM (which had originally signed on as WPCM). WBBB was called "Real Rock, 96rock" then transitioned to "The Rock Station, 96rock". They later dropped the first half of their name and became known simply as 96rock and went by the motto "Everything That Rocks."
In November, 2011, WBBB rebranded as "Radio 96.1", playing music from the 1970s-2000s. In June 2012, Radio 96.1 became the highest rated radio station amongst adults aged 25-54 in the Raleigh-Durham Arbitron market.
- "Callsign Cryptology". Archived from the original on 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
- "Call Sign History (WBBB)". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- David Menconi, "Station Opts for Format of 'Real Rock'", The News & Observer, January 29, 1998.
- David Menconi, "Making new waves -- again: Nostalgia's eye turns to the '80s," The News & Observer, December 18, 1992, p. W4.
- David Menconi, "What's Wrong With Radio - And why it's not likely to get any better," The News & Observer, July 10, 1994, p. G1.
- David Menconi, "Dialing for dollars: WYLT's format change may make cents, but it's a betrayal to the listeners," The News & Observer, January 14, 1994, p. WUP14.
- David Menconi, "WYLT Changes Format, Call Letters - Station Chucks Alternative Rock for Country Digs", The News & Observer, January 5, 1994, p. D1.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBBB
- Radio-Locator information on WBBB
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WBBB