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|City of license||Framingham, Massachusetts|
|Broadcast area||Greater Boston|
|Slogan||Boston's Classic Hits|
|Frequency||105.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||May 1960 (as WKOX-FM)|
HD2: Classic Rock "The Bone"
|HAAT||224 meters (735 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||Former call sign of WBZ-FM from 1968–1991, original (1996) format was modeled after it|
|Former callsigns||WKOX-FM (1960–1971)
(Greater Boston Radio, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WBOS, WBQT, WKLB-FM, WMJX|
HD2: Listen Live
WROR-FM is a radio station licensed to Framingham, Massachusetts. It broadcasts on 105.7 MHz and serves the Boston market. The station offers a classic hits format, with a timespan of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Its signal reaches as far north as some parts of southern New Hampshire and as far south as Providence, Rhode Island.
WROR's roots go back to WKOX-FM, the FM sister station of WKOX, then on 1190 AM (now WXKS on 1200). WKOX-FM aired classical music for Boston's MetroWest suburbs until January 1969, when it began broadcasting a Top 40/Rock format as "FM-105" and later on as "Stereo-105". WKOX-FM was the Boston area's first full-time live FM Top 40 station. In July 1969, WKOX-FM converted to stereo broadcasting. DJs on WKOX-FM included Bill Thomas, Brother Bill Heizer, F.M. Douglas, (Program Director) Dick Stevens, John Leisher, Al Fraser, J. William Charles, Ken McKay and Jim Conlee.
WKOX AM and FM were acquired by Fairbanks Communications in July 1971. After the sale, WKOX-FM became WVBF, "The Electronic Mama", as a top 40/rock station, initially retaining some of the WKOX-FM DJs. The call letters officially stood for Virginia Brown Fairbanks, the wife of station owner Richard M. Fairbanks (who himself had a station named after himself, WRMF in West Palm Beach, Florida). WVBF also began to target the Greater Boston area. Some of the DJs that were added to WVBF during their early months included Bud Ballou, "Big John" Gillis, Bill Freeman (BLF Bash) and Charlie Kendall.
During Fairbanks ownership in the 1970s, WVBF evolved from being a high energy Top 40/AOR hybrid station in 1971/1972, to becoming a full blown top 40 station by 1975, and eventually evolved into more of a hot adult contemporary format (by today's standards 'adult contemporary') over the years. WVBF also had many different nicknames over the years, including "F-105" and "Boston 105". In the early 1990s, WVBF was the radio home of Delilah before she moved to Seattle and became syndicated across the country.
However, in 1993, citing the growing popularity of country music, WVBF became WCLB, for "The Country Club". The format change was made in an effort to throw off Greater Media from launching a country format on smooth jazz station 96.9 WCDJ, which had just been acquired from Emmis Communications. Nevertheness, Greater Media went ahead with their plans, launching 96.9 as WBCS and leaving the city with two country stations. Confusion with other FM stations and a TV station led to a call sign change to WKLB in 1995.
In 1995, WKLB was to be sold to Evergreen Media, and was widely expected to become a talk radio station. However, a series of subsequent trades in 1997 placed WKLB under the ownership of Greater Media, owner of WBCS.
On September 5, 1996, the intellectual property of WKLB merged with WBCS, with the newly merged country station utilizing the 96.9 frequency of WBCS and the WKLB call letters, with a combination of personalities from both stations. Some 105.7 personalities remained there for the new format. On August 22, 1997, WKLB-FM relocated to the weaker 99.5 frequency, but returned to full-market coverage in 2006 with the station's move to the 102.5 frequency.
The move enabled 105.7 to pick up a new format, and the station became a 1970s-based oldies station using the WROR call letters that were used on 98.5 FM under ownership by RKO General Inc. and later American Radio Systems Corp. for years, but flipped to a different format with the WBMX call letters in 1991. (For years, 98.5 WROR had been an oldies oriented adult-contemporary station.) When 105.7 picked up the call letters, they had been in storage on co-owned 1150 AM (now WWDJ). The station played 1970s pop and rock oldies, disco, some 1960s oldies, 1980s soft rock and top-40 crossovers, and some classic rock. The legendary WROR call letters were familiar to many listeners, and the station originally attempted to re-assemble the WROR identity, including hiring several personalities from the defunct WROR. Leading broadcasters who were involved with WROR in the 1970s and early 1980s included program director Gary Berkowitz and air personalities such as Joe Martelle, Phil Redo (former market manager of Greater Media/Boston) Larry Justice and Frank Kingston Smith, as well as current WROR General Manager Tom Baker. By 1999, the format had been modified to a classic rock format, similar to co-owned WMGK in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 2006, WROR gradually moved back to more of a pop-based classic hits format. While the format emphasises pop adult rock hits, the station also mixes in some R&B, disco, and harder rock songs. The station continues to emphasize the 1970s and 1980s, but also plays some well-known 1960s hits. In 2012, following longtime rival WODS' change from classic hits to top 40, WROR became the only classic hits station in Boston. On September 2, 2012, the The Lost 45s program hosted by Barry Scott returned to WROR (it had previously aired the show for several months in 2001); the program aired on WODS before its format change.
Loren and Wally
The station is most well known for its morning team, Loren Owens and Wally Brine, co-starring Tom Doyle (voices, parody songs, general comic relief), Lauren Beckham Falcone (news), and Hank Morse (traffic), and produced by Brian "Lung Boy" Bell. The program has aired on the station since 1981 (when it was still WVBF). The show has several segments:
Men from Maine
Men from Maine is a one to two-minute comedy segment, opening with soap opera organ music and Loren stating something varying along the lines of, "Welcome to another thrilling episode of the exciting adventures of Men from Maine. As today's action packed drama begins-". Airing typically at 6:17 AM and 7:17 AM, episodes typically revolve around the two main characters Lem (played by Tom) and Ephus (played by Wally), and other residents of Bangor, Maine, such as Ephus' wife Effie and son Ephus Junior, Doc Cider (after Dock Sider shoes) and Pastor Fazool (after pasta e fagioli). The same characters have been used in songs about Maine on the segment "Tom's Townie Tunes" (see below). The humor of the segment is at its root generic "redneck humor", but set in very rural, backwoods Maine as opposed to the American South. Episode themes can run all the way from industrial accidents handled in incompetent ways (many residents, including Lem and Ephus work in the local sawmill), to bestiality. In all cases, the humor comes from the stupidity of the characters, and their obliviousness to it.
At least one listener has found the show offensive, as heard on the first Men from Maine CD (sold during the holiday season to raise money for charity). Offended by the humor poking fun at her home state, a woman called the station, threatening to continue protesting the show until it is taken off the air. But as of September 2011, the segment is still played on the Loren and Wally show and some can be found as a "Loren & Wally Podcast of the Day" on iTunes, and 2 episodes are posted on YouTube.
Tom's Townie Tunes
Tom's Townie Tunes is a segment created by morning crew member Tom Doyle that spoofs classic rock hits, using humorous lyrics to poke fun at towns in Massachusetts (and an additional few songs about the surrounding region, such as Maine). Often the songs are about high crime rates, poverty, and the general misery of residents in low class areas, while other songs satirize Harvard graduates and Kerry Healey's failed run for Governor of Massachusetts (sung to the tune of "867-5309 (Jenny)" by Tommy Tutone). The first ever Townie Tune was about Provincetown, Massachusetts (sung to the tune of Funkytown). Doyle's sports-related songs have occasionally gained airplay on other stations during championship seasons. During the holiday season, Tom often sings parodies of classic Christmas songs.
Other Townie Tunes include:
From 2007 through 2011, WROR-FM broadcast an all-Christmas music format during the holiday season. Also, from 7-8 p.m. on weekdays, kids could call Santa Claus and talk to him about what the kids want for Christmas by phone. Kids could also email Santa Claus. The all-Christmas music format was competitive, with WROR and rival WODS often starting the Christmas music within hours. In 2011, for example, WODS started playing Christmas music on November 10, and WROR changed within an hour. Holiday music could start as early as November 6 (as was the case in 2008) and as late as November 18 (in 2010), and usually ends around December 26. After WODS changed its format in 2012, Greater Media elected to move the all-Christmas format to WMJX as of December 5, 2012 (that station had previously offered such programming in 2005); however, WROR continues to incorporate Christmas music into its normal format during the holiday season, and the station's Santa Claus program still aired during the 2012 holiday season.
- "The Boston Radio Dial: WROR-FM". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Simon, Clea (July 26, 2001). "Loren and Wally: 20 years on air". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- "WROR flips to oldies music". Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- Heslam, Jessica (November 7, 2008). "Oh, joy! Radio stations take Christmas carol plunge early". Boston Herald. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- "Radio Stations Kick Off Holiday Season". CBS Boston. November 18, 2010. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WROR
- Radio-Locator information on WROR
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WROR