|City of license||Patchogue, New York|
|Broadcast area||Long Island|
|Slogan||Long Island's #1 Hit Music Station|
|Frequency||106.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1958|
|Format||Top 40 (CHR)|
|HAAT||152 meters (499 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||We're the Best on Long "Strong" Island!|
|Sister stations||WBAB & WHFM|
WBLI (106.1 FM, "106.1 'BLI") is a Top 40 (CHR) music formatted radio station which mainly serves Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. It can also be heard in the Hudson Valley, the South Shore of Connecticut, and the Jersey Shore. Its transmitter is located in Farmingville, New York, and studios are located on Sunrise Highway (NY 27) in West Babylon.
The station first went on the air in 1958 as WPAC-FM, but gained fame in the 1970s under their new call letter "The New 106 WBLI". BLI jocks from the 1970s & 1980s included Barry Neal, Randi Taylor, Bruce Michaels, Nick O'Neil, Chris Tyler, Bill Terry (was PD in the 1980s), Jeff Thomas (also the PD), Scott Taylor, Don Nelson, Rick Sommers, Keith Allen (now of B-103 Long Island), Rob McLean, Mary "J.J. Kennedy" Ann of WPLJ and WLTW/New York City, Carl Dayton, TK Townsend, Brooke Daniels, Larry Adams, Ken Rhodes-Rosato, former WBLI news director and now WABC-TV/Channel 7 news anchor, with Scott Miller and Kelly Hart. WBLI had a Saturday Night dance show called "Club 106" during the disco days, hosted by Long Island club DJ Rory J. Thompson, and a Sunday Night Oldies show known as "Only Gold" during the 1970s through the mid-1980s hosted by Bruce Michaels, Jerry St. James and then Don Nelson. Although technically a CHR/Top 40, WBLI had a more adult contemporary sound in certain dayparts and avoided such harder-rocking CHR hits, such as "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, during their initial chart runs.
Its most recent incarnation of CHR began in September 1996 when the station, under its then-owners Chancellor Broadcasting and PD Doc Medek flipped from Hot AC, an evolution that had begun in May 1996. Under Doc Medek and Al Levine as MD and night jock, the station redeveloped its CHR sound on Long Island, voiced by Billy Moore, and a new jingle package by TM Century, playing the current records, and had night show features like the "Fresh 5 at 9", and the "New Music Challenge" return. By 1997 'BLI was one of the more rhythmic mainstream CHR's on the air featuring "Classic Dance Weekends".
When Cox Radio took over 'BLI they evolved into a more mainstream CHR with less dance product (though still more than most other CHR's) and a tighter playlist voiced by Kurt Flood, Mark Driscoll, with Jennifer Vaughn, and Brian James. On March 29, 2006 Beau Weaver took over as voice of 106.1 BLI, a new jingle package debuted at this time as well- the package that is still used today.
In September 1996, 'BLI dropped the Syndicated weekend Program "Open House Party" on Saturday nights in favor of a disco show hosted by Martin "Party Marty" Mitchell. Party Marty hosted the Arbitron #1 rated B-103 Disco Party for three years prior to 'BLI. Open House Party continued on Sunday nights until November of '96. Party Marty's show would continue until 1998 when Marty left to Co-host "Mary and Marty in the Morning" on LOVE 96.1, WLVG.
WBLI, which is owned by Cox Radio and licensed to Patchogue, New York, is programmed by Jeremy "J.J." Rice who has been with the station since 1998. Rice was formerly PD of WWHT (Hot 107.9) in Syracuse while the station was owned by Cox Radio. When ClearChannel purchased WWHT in 1998, Rice moved to Long Island and has since been the program director of WBLI and CHR format director for Cox Radio. The APD is Alan "Al On The Scene" Levine, who has been with 'BLI since February 5, 1995 and has done nights, afternoon drive, mid-days, and now once again afternoon drive.
Dana and Jayson in the Morning
The morning program, formerly known as "BLI in the Morning," features Dana DiDonato, Jayson Prim, John Mingione (John Online), Shawn "Puffy The Producer" Novatt, and Ted Lindner with news and traffic.
Recurring programs on BLI in the Morning:
- The Dirt Report at 5:50, 6:50, 7:50, & 8:50 - Hollywood gossip
Dana and Jayson in the Morning often poses questions or opinions to the listeners, both on the air and online. They have many people call in each day with their opinions, and even have some 'friends' who they know well and who call a lot, like "Loyal Listener Lucille," "Lighthouse Michelle (LHM)," "Millie Milz" and more.
Steve Harper had hosted BLI in the AM for 25 years before being let go in the Summer of 2006, with Maria Garcia for about eight of them as "Steve and Maria in the Morning." Dana replaced Maria in 2005. Steve's last show was on July 19, 2006. Dana then assumed hosting duties alongside "Big Gay" Randy Spears and Drew Applebaum. Randy and Drew exited the station on December 16, 2010.
On January 10, 2011, the radio station introduced the NEW BLI in the Morning, which featured Dana with new co-host Jeffrey Jameson, and the return of Shawn "Puffy the Producer" Novatt one month later, who was with BLI in a similar role from 2000–2004.
The show was syndicated to Cox sister-station "Hot 100.9" WHTI/Richmond, VA and renamed "Dana and Jeffrey in the Morning" on Monday, June 4, 2012. Syndication ended with WHTI was sold to another owner in June, 2013.
Jeffrey Jameson announced he was leaving in December, 2013. The current show with new host Jayson Prim debuted on January 6, 2014.
On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, Randy of the "BLI in the Morning" show offended a caller from the Mastic section of Long Island, NY, by insinuating that she lived in a trailer park. After in the station received complaints regarding the remarks, and after Randy's refusal to apologize, he was suspended by station management.
On Friday, February 29, 2008, radio announcers Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia of the Opie and Anthony, vocal proponents for free speech in broadcasting, called for the firing of WBLI station manager John Shea for "not standing behind his guy."
- Dana DiDonato - Mornings
- Jayson Prim - Mornings
- John Mingione (John Online) - Mornings
- Shawn Novatt (Puffy the Producer) - Mornings
- Ted Lindner (Traffic and Mornings)
- Al Levine "On the Scene" - Middays
- Syke - Afternoon Drive
- M.J. - Nights
- Zach Feldman (Zach)
- Brianna Byrd (Brianna B)
- Olivia Benson (Benson)
- Anthony from the Deli
- Flyin' Brian
- Pat Gessner (Pat) (Traffic and Talent)
- Paul Verderosa (Paulie V) (Traffic and Talent)
- Mezzy Sarah (Mezzy)
- Alina (Now working middays at WPTY Party 105 FM on Long Island)
- Crash (Now working weekends on Nash FM 94.7 as "Josh")
- Astra (now working afternoons at 92.3 AMP Radio in New York City)
- Barbra "Beautiful Stranger" (Now working at Radio 103.9 under the name Roxy Digital and La Invasora 1600)
- Chloe (now working middays at WAPE in Jacksonville, FL)
- Wendy Wild (currently weekdays on New York's 103.5 KTU)
- Bryan Martinez (now on-air at WXNY, New York as "Danny Candela")
- Tony "the Tiger" (now the Imaging Director for Cox Radio Long Island)
- Just Joe
- Dennis the Menace (now using his real name Ted Lindner to do traffic)
- Steve Harper (now doing mornings on WKJY 98.3)
- Party Marty Mitchell (now PD of WKMK, New Jersey)
- Maria Garcia
- Slam the Stuntman
- Vic Latino (now Owner of Party 105.3)
- Stick "On The Radio"
- Orphan Andrew (now doing nights at 107.9 The End in Sacramento California)
- Fisher (now PD of Cox Radio's Richmond Cluster)
- Jarrett Galeno (now APD at K-104 Poughkeepsie)
- Skyy Walker
- Ballistic Bob (now working for Metro Traffic and Weather)
- Goldapper (Former PD of Party 105, General Manager of the Brookhaven Amphitheater, General Manager of 103.9 LI News Radio)
- DJ Theo (now mixshow coordinator of Party 105.3)
- Jonathan "Jonny" Weitz (now managing Digital & Online Communications at JetBlue Airways)
- Holly Levis (now working part-time at WKJY)
- Larry Addams (Larry Wachs, host of the Regular Guys Show on Rock 100.5/Atlanta)
- Malibu Mark (aka Mark The Shark) currently mid days news anchor at Rush Radio in Raleigh
- Tim Clarke (now head of digital for Cox Radio)
- Alfredo on the Radio (now mid days on Party-FM)
- J. Martinez (now weeknights on Party-FM)
- Randy Spears
- Chris Cruise (now On-air/Production for JVC Media LLC)
- Lil' Cee (currently filling in afternoons for 92.3 NOW in New York)
- Broadway Bill Lee (now afternoons at WCBS-FM in New York)
- Scotty B (now producer and on-air at WHTZ)
- Ken Rhodes (Rosato) now WABC-TV/Channel 7 Eyewitness News anchor
- Jeff Young (now with Dial Global Radio Networks in CA)
- Shelley Rome (now on WHTZ Z100)
- Jim Cutler (as Jerry St. James on WBLI)
- Jeffrey Jameson
- Erik "Erock" Nagel, now a producer on the Opie and Anthony show on SiriusXM
- Dana and Jayson in the Morning, M-F 5:30-9
- BLI Open Mic 5 at 9(pm)
- Fybush, Scott (2008-03-03). "This Week's Bloodbath: Citadel". NorthEast Radio Watch.
- WBLI morning show co-host suspended for comment - Cox Radio Incorporated - Newsday.com
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtFukDAqq7g&feature=fvwp&NR=1 Opie & Anthony: Mastic Moments (02/29/08-03/03/10)
- WBLI official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBLI
- Radio-Locator information on WBLI
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBLI