|City of license||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Broadcast area||Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley)|
|Branding||101.1 More FM|
|Slogan||More Music! Less Talk! (General)
Philadelphia's Christmas Station
|Frequency||101.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
101.1 HD-2 for All '80s music
|First air date||May 13, 1963 (as WDVR)|
|Format||Adult Contemporary (Christmas Music Nov-Dec)|
|Former callsigns||WBEB-FM (1993-1995)
(Jerry Lee Radio, LLC)
WBEB (101.1 FM, "More FM") is a radio station broadcasting an Adult Contemporary format. Licensed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it serves the Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley) metropolitan area. It first began broadcasting in 1963 under the call sign WDVR. The station is currently owned by Jerry Lee. It has been a top-ranking station in the Philadelphia Arbitron ratings since the early 1990s, and is the only independently owned station in the Philadelphia radio market. Its transmitter is located in the Roxborough section of the city, and studios are in Bala Cynwyd. The station claims that since Arbitron began electronic meter measurement in January 2007, More FM has an unbroken string of being the most listened to Philadelphia radio station every single month.
History of 101.1
Previously called WDVR (Delaware Valley Radio) and WEAZ, the station pioneered the Beautiful Music format beginning in 1963.
Original staff included Rich Franklin and Dave Shayer, both broadcast veterans, and were two of the original air staff hired by WDVR/WEAZ/WBEB 101.1 FM when they first went on the air May 13, 1963. Both, later, were Music Directors at 101.1 FM, and are still active in broadcasting today. Also part of the first air staff were Lou Klawansky (air name: Lee Kramer), Frank Goshy (air name: Frank Edwards), and Joaquin Bowman, working with Jerry Lee, Marlin Taylor, Phil Stout (later Programmer of SRP), Dave Kurtz, Alan Campbell and others. 101.1 FM was, and is, one of the most successful independent FM stations in the country.
The station was known for playing Beautiful Music featuring pop tunes reworked in the form of instrumentals. They played two vocalists per hour, as the instrumentals would be based on the works of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond and The Carpenters. By the 1980s, the station increased the amount of music with vocalists to four per hour as they also added more artists suited to an adult contemporary format. Also in 1980, WDVR changed its call letters to WEAZ, and began using the slogan EAZY 101 with Patrick O'Neal (later Robert Urich) as its spokesperson. By 1984, EAZY 101 became the #1 rated station in Philadelphia.
In 1988, the station dropped Beautiful Music for a soft adult contemporary format. This format change came after research tests showed that people who grew up after the advent of rock and roll did not like instrumental music. With the format change, the station was satellite-delivered, but by the next year, some of the airstaff returned. By 1990, the station's name was shortened to "EZ 101". The station would shift to a mainstream adult contemporary format in 1993, and its call letters would eventually change to WBEB, B101.
On December 10, 2013, WBEB announced they would be rebranding as "MoreFM at 101.1". The DJs and format would stay the same. The name change took place on December 26. With the name change, the station dropped their "Saturday Night 80's" program.
WBEB's signal reaches north into New Jersey, especially along Interstate 287 south of Morristown, and in northwestern New Jersey. In those areas WBEB interferes with WCBS-FM, an Oldies station in New York City, which also broadcasts on 101.1, and in some spots, WBEB's signal actually seems stronger. This is because both stations are full, non-directional Class B operations that are severely short-spaced under a grandfathered FCC rule. WBEB also suffers some co-channel interference with Washington, D.C.'s WWDC-FM southwest of Philadelphia. A similar situation occurs with WRNB (100.3 FM) being severely short-spaced to WHTZ (also in New York) and WBIG-FM in Washington.
Philadelphia's Christmas Station
In 2002, competing Adult Contemporary station WSNI (Sunny 104.5) began programming an all-Christmas music format as early as the first weekend in November. In previous years, B101 had gone all-Christmas for 36 hours—from noon Christmas Eve to midnight on December 25—but the extended all-Christmas format proved very successful for Sunny 104.5, which prompted B101 to do the same in 2003. Thus for several years Philadelphia had two stations playing all-Christmas music in November and December.
Sunny 104.5 changed formats in August 2006 and their all-Christmas programming was dumped along with it. That year, B101 went all-Christmas November 18.
Ratings have consistently shown that Philadelphians are huge fans of the all-Christmas format. For 2007, B101 announced that they'd be conducting an electronic survey on their website. The results would be used to make up the holiday playlist and to decide when the station would flip to all-Christmas. B101 made the switch at 3:00 p.m. on November 21, 2007. Starting that year, Christmas music was sprinkled in with the regular format for the next few days after Christmas. With the all-Christmas format all to themselves, B101 enjoyed a 17-share in the 6+ Arbitron ratings.
In August 2008, a new Adult Contemporary station (WNUW/Now 97.5) launched in Philadelphia with sights set squarely on B101. To draw attention to themselves and to take B101 down a peg, Now 97.5 flipped to all-Christmas at 5:00 p.m. on October 31. B101 began sprinkling in Christmas tunes during the weekend of November 8--an obvious reaction since they'd never done such a thing before. On November 13, B101 flipped to all-Christmas—the earliest they had ever made the switch. Shortly thereafter, 1340 WHAT-AM also went all-Christmas. On November 26, 98.1 WOGL made the surprise move of abandoning its format for the first time ever to flip to all-Christmas—an effort to prevent too many listeners from defecting the B101's Christmas music. Considering Wilmington's 99.5 WJBR is close by, Philadelphians found themselves with five all-Christmas stations in 2008. B101's holiday ratings were the highest, which isn't surprising as they are regularly the most listened to station, regardless of the season. WNUW has since flipped to an all-sports format.
At 3:00 p.m. on November 19, 2009, B101 flipped to all-Christmas and, having the market to themselves once again, achieved a huge share in the holiday book.
At 3:00 p.m on November 18, 2010, B101 switched to all-Christmas, starting with a medley of Christmas greetings from various songs and movies before playing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. Also in 2010, B101 introduced an updated holiday jingle package.
At 6:07 a.m. on November 17, 2011, B101 switched to all-Christmas once again starting with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". am
At 7:40 a.m. on November 19, 2012, B101, calling themselves "Philadelphia's Official Christmas Station" once again started the all-Christmas format with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." They also added some new "imaging," such as liners saying "Find your holiday spirit here" and "Thanks for spending the holidays with us." B101 aired Christmas music from that point until December 26, 2012 at 3:00 AM, when they went back to their normal format with "Take on Me". The last song played minutes before that was "Last Christmas".
On November 21, 2013 at 3:00 p.m., B101 switched to all-Christmas once again. B101 had a new intro to the Christmas music this year and as usual, Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" was the first Christmas song played. B101 switched names to More FM at 101.1 on December 26, right after Andy Williams' song, but kept the same format and DJs.
On November 20, 2014 at 3:15 p.m., More FM switched to all-Christmas. They did a quick countdown, and Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" started the festivities as usual. Mariah Carey's iconic "All I Want for Christmas is You" followed. On December 26 at 3:00 a.m., More FM stopped the Christmas Music. The last Christmas song played was Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." "Locked Out Of Heaven" by Bruno Mars was the first song played as their regular format.
Relaunching as "Fresh"
On September 18, 2007, at 12:00pm, WBEB conducted a special poll, which was broadcast both on-air and online via their website. The poll was 700 songs long and the station would play a 5 to 7 second clip of a song. Liners would encourage listeners to go to the station's website. Once there, a user would then click if they wanted to hear the song often, sometimes, or not at all.
At 2 pm, the station was relaunched using the "Fresh" concept, becoming the second outlet to add this concept following the launch of WWFS, Fresh 102.7, in New York City by CBS Radio in January 2007 (although their ads use the same exact "cartoon office figures" as WLTW in New York).
The station has won many radio industry awards including most recently the following National Association of Broadcasters Marconi awards:
- 2014 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2013 Major Market Station of the Year
- 2012 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2011 Major Market Station of the Year
- 2009 Major Market Station of the Year
- 2009 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2007 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2006 Legendary Station of the Year
- 2005 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2004 Major Market Station of the Year
As of Sunday, March 15, 2009 WBEB stopped providing a live Internet stream. The statement from WBEB reads as follows:
- Dear B101 Listener,
- Sorry, B101 is not streaming our radio signal on the Internet at this time.
- A new SoundExchange music licensing agreement has jeopardized your ability to listen to all kinds of music on the internet. Excessive music royalty rates, which have nearly doubled in the last three years and continue to increase to unprecedented levels, no longer make streaming a viable option.
- Please tune to B101 on your radio dial at 101.1 FM. If you’re having trouble getting our signal to come in clearly, try moving around the power cord, as on most radios, it also acts as the antenna. In the event you’re looking for a quality, dependable radio for your office or home, click here for one we recommend.
With their name changing to More FM, WBEB still does not have internet streaming.
This makes WBEB one of the largest stations in the USA to not have an online stream. For more on this, see here.
WBEB is the only station in the area to feature "song tags," in which, at the completion of the song, a pre-recorded voice-over states the song's name and artist. This is because WBEB does not provide artist and song info via RDS, due to the fact that they do not have an Internet connection at their tower site.
- WBEB Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBEB
- Radio-Locator information on WBEB
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBEB