WFAU

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WFAU
City of license Gardiner, Maine
Broadcast area Augusta, Maine
Branding 1280 WFAU
Slogan The Memories Station
Frequency 1280 kHz
First air date September 23, 1968 (1968-09-23)[1]
Format Adult standards/oldies
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 68296
Transmitter coordinates 44°14′53.00″N 69°48′51.00″W / 44.2480556°N 69.8141667°W / 44.2480556; -69.8141667 (WFAU)
Former callsigns WABK (1968–1994)
Owner Bob Bittner
(Blue Jey Broadcasting Company, Inc.)

WFAU (1280 AM) is a radio station broadcasting an adult standards/oldies music format. Licensed to Gardiner, Maine, USA, it serves the Augusta area. It first began broadcasting in 1968 under the call sign WABK. The station is owned by Blue Jey Broadcasting Company, Inc., which is controlled by Bob Bittner.

History[edit]

WFAU signed on September 23, 1968[1] as WABK, owned by Abenaki Company.[2] The station had a contemporary middle-of-the-road format by 1971;[3] within a year, this was mixed with some rock.[4] An FM sister station, WKME (104.3 FM), was added in 1974.[1][5] Two years later, WABK shifted to a talk/MOR format.[6] In 1977, the station was sold to Tryon Communications, and talk programming was dropped; additionally, WABK joined ABC Radio.[7] Programming began to be simulcast on what had become WABK-FM (which previously offered separate formats from the AM station) in 1980;[8] that station returned to its own programming by 1984.[9]

The station's call letters were changed to WQZN in 1987;[10] however, the WABK call sign returned one year later, accompanied with a switch to an adult contemporary format that was largely simulcast with WABK-FM (though the AM station incorporated some news programming).[1] In 1994,[11] the station took the WFAU call sign and adult standards format from 1340 AM, which then became WMDR.[12] WFAU had broadcast at 1340 AM since October 2, 1946.[1]

Tryon sold its Central Maine stations to Cumulus Media in 1998;[13] Cumulus, in turn, sold the stations to Clear Channel Communications in 2000.[14] Clear Channel dropped the standards format in 2001 in favor of a simulcast of Skowhegan-based sports radio station WSKW (1160 AM).[15] After the local marketing agreement between Clear Channel and WSKW owner Mountain Wireless ended in 2003,[16] the simulcast was split, with WFAU, along with WIGY (97.5 FM, now WQSK) in Madison, dropping ESPN Radio (which stayed on WSKW) in favor of Fox Sports Radio.[17] The programming of WFAU and WIGY would eventually be combined with WRKD (1450 AM, now WVOM) in Rockland to form Fox Sports Maine.

Clear Channel announced on November 16, 2006 that it would sell its Central Maine stations after being bought by private equity firms,[18] resulting in a sale to Blueberry Broadcasting in 2008.[19] Blueberry took WFAU off the air on July 1, 2013 to facilitate repairs to its antenna switching system;[20] shortly afterward, the station was purchased for $16,200 by Blue Jey Broadcasting, owned by Bob Bittner,[21] who assumed control on September 27, 2013[22] and returned the station to the air on October 16[23] with an adult standards/oldies format similar to Bittner's other stations, WJTO in Bath and WJIB in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Broadcasting/Cable Yearbook 1989 (PDF). 1989. pp. B–132–4. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1969 (PDF). 1969. p. B-77. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  3. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1972 (PDF). 1972. p. B-93. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1973 (PDF). 1973. p. B-89. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1975 (PDF). 1975. p. C-83. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  6. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 (PDF). 1977. p. C-93. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1978 (PDF). 1978. p. C-96. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1981 (PDF). 1981. p. C-104. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1985 (PDF). 1985. p. B-120. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1988 (PDF). 1988. p. B-127. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  12. ^ Fybush, Scott (1996). "Maine Radio History, 1971–1996". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  13. ^ Fybush, Scott (February 26, 1998). "Sinclair Buys and Sells". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  14. ^ Fybush, Scott (September 11, 2000). "Hearst-Argyle Gets WMUR". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  15. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 20, 2001). "Tele-Media Exits Albany". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  16. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 3, 2003). "WABC-DT Returns to Air". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  17. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 10, 2003). "Christmas Keeps Getting Earlier...". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  18. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 20, 2006). "Dark Days All Around". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  19. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 5, 2008). "The Sales Market Heats Up". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Price For Pandora's Purchase Of Rapid City FM: $600,000". All Access. June 21, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Maine AM Changes Hands". All Access. July 16, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 27, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Resumption of Operations". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. October 17, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  24. ^ Gargiulo, Rosanna (December 5, 2013). "WJTO 730 — ‘The Memories Station’". The Times Record. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]