The Big JAB

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WRED/WJJB-FM
WJJB-FM logo
Broadcast area Southern Maine
Branding 96.3 The Big JAB
SportsRadio WJAB
Frequency WRED: 1440 (kHz)
WJJB: 96.3 (MHz)
First air date WRED: November 6, 1959
WJJB: 1975
Format Sports radio
Power see table in article
ERP see table in article
HAAT see table in article
Class see table in article
Facility ID see table in article
Transmitter coordinates see table in article
Callsign meaning WRED: The color RED (call letters previously assigned to WPEI when it aired a rhythmic top 40 format)
WJJB: similar to WJAB
Former callsigns see table in article
Affiliations Fox Sports Radio, Yahoo! Sports Radio, Boston Celtics Radio Network, Red Sox Radio Network
Owner Atlantic Coast Radio
Sister stations WLOB, WPEI, WPPI
Website thebigjab.com

The Big JAB is a network of sports radio stations in southern Maine, owned by Atlantic Coast Radio. It is on 1440 AM (WRED, licensed to Westbrook) and 96.3 FM (WJJB-FM, licensed to Gray). It is located on 779 Warren Avenue in Portland, Maine.

History[edit]

1440 History[edit]

The 1440 frequency first went on the air November 8, 1959 as WJAB, a (daytime-only) top 40 music station, giving major competition to cross-town WLOB. WJAB immediately became the top rated station in Portland, a position it held until 1965, when a resurgent WLOB, after having obtained night power, retook the top spot.[1] WJAB launched a similarly-formatted FM sister station, WJBQ-FM (106.3) in 1974;[1] the WJBQ callsign was eventually implemented on the AM station as well.[2] WJBQ-FM relocated to 97.9 in 1980, in a frequency swap with WDCS (a predecessor to WBACH; 106.3 is now occupied by WHXR); in the intervening years, the AM station would attempt several formats, including all-news (as WMER), a simulcast of what had become WWGT-FM (as WWGT), and hard rock and heavy metal via the Z Rock network (as WLPZ).[2] In the mid-1990s, the station settled on its current sports format; initially retaining the WLPZ callsign,[2] it became WJAE in 1997 in an attempt to restore the WJAB identity to the station despite that callsign's assignment to another station.[3][4] (Then-owners Bob Fuller and J. J. Jeffrey had previously worked at WJAB during the 1960s;[1] Jeffrey retained WJAE by way of Atlantic Coast Radio upon the sale of Fuller-Jeffrey's FM stations to Citadel Broadcasting in 1999.[5])

In 2010 The Big Jab established the "Frank Fixaris Memorial Caller Hall of Fame." The first inductee was "Angry Al", inducted in January 2011. Inductees are determined by a combination of listener voting and input from an unidentified panel. Voting for the second inductee commenced in November 2012 with an induction ceremony planned for January 2013.

96.3 History[edit]

The 96.3 frequency debuted in 1975 as WRUM-FM from its former city of license, Rumford. In 1981, the call letters were changed to WWMR, and by 1983 the format was a high-energy top 40/AOR hybrid with live DJs and the branding "96 WMR"; additionally, the station's power was boosted significantly, giving it regional coverage. In 1987, WWMR-FM was sold to Carter Broadcasting,[6] and the station adopted a religious format.[2] Carter eventually consolidated the operations of WWMR with that of sister station WLOB, and in 1997 the callsign was changed to WLOB-FM.[7] After WLOB and WLOB-FM were sold to Atlantic Coast Radio in 2000, the religious programming was discontinued in favor of a news-talk format. In 2006, WLOB-FM relocated its transmitter from western Maine to South Paris to provide a clearer signal to the Portland area. Following the transmitter move, in 2008 WLOB-FM changed its city of license from Rumford to Gray. On August 25, 2008, WLOB-FM converted from the WLOB simulcast to a simulcast of The Big JAB.

From 1999[8] to 2008, The Big JAB's programming was also heard on 900 AM (WJJB, licensed to Brunswick). On April 25, 2008, that frequency (which became WWBK on March 18, 2008; the WJJB calls subsequently moved to WJAE[9]) was sold to Bob Bittner (owner of WJIB and WJTO) for $27,000.[10] Additionally, from 2000[11] to September 1, 2008, The Big JAB's FM frequency was on 95.5; initially, the station continued to broadcast under its previous WCLZ call letters[12]); on that date, it began airing programming from Boston's WEEI in a simulcast with WPEI[13] under the call letters WGEI.[14]

Stations[edit]

Callsign Frequency City of license Power/ERP Class HAAT Facility ID Former Callsigns Transmitter Coordinates
WRED 1440 kHz Westbrook, Maine 5,000 watts B 3140 WJJB (2008)
WJAE (1997-2008)
WLPZ (1990-1997)
WWGT (1986-1990)
WMER (1980-1986)
WJBQ (1974-1980)
WJAB (1959-1974)
43°40′50.0″N 70°22′47.0″W / 43.680556°N 70.379722°W / 43.680556; -70.379722
WJJB-FM 96.3 MHz Gray, Maine 40,000 watts C1 430 meters 9180 WLOB-FM (1997-2008)
WWMR-FM (1983-1997)
WWMR (1981-1983)
WRUM-FM (1975-1981)
44°15′3.0″N 70°25′16.0″W / 44.250833°N 70.421111°W / 44.250833; -70.421111

Programming[edit]

Former hosts/shows[edit]

Co-owned stations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gilley, Chad (October 27, 2003). "In the Late 1960s WLOB Ruled Portland's Air". GilleyMedia. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Fybush, Scott. "Maine Radio History, 1971–1996". Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ Fybush, Scott (February 28, 1997). "The Big Get Bigger". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ Fybush, Scott (March 5, 1997). "Praise, Pirates, and More". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ Fybush, Scott (June 4, 1999). "The End of CBL Is Near". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Application Search Details". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 26, 1997). "WILD -- Still Waiting". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  8. ^ Fybush, Scott (February 6, 1999). "WKOX, WLLH Sold". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved August 28, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Call Sign History (WRED)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 28, 2008). "Philly Loses "Big Ron"". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved August 28, 2008. 
  11. ^ Fybush, Scott (October 2, 2000). "Spinning the Dial in Connecticut". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 11, 2008. 
  12. ^ Fybush, Scott (September 3, 2001). "Labor Day Update". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 11, 2008. 
  13. ^ Routhier, Ray (August 19, 2008). "WEEI to air in Maine Sept. 1". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved August 19, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Call Sign History (WLOB-FM)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 13, 2008. 

External links[edit]