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WSRS logo.png
City of license Worcester, Massachusetts
Broadcast area Central Massachusetts
Branding 96.1 WSRS
Slogan "Worcester's Lite Rock"
Frequency 96.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date June 17, 1940
Format Adult Contemporary
(Pride Radio on HD2)
ERP 16,500 watts
HAAT 263 meters
Class B
Facility ID 35225
Callsign meaning Worcester's Stereo Radio Station
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(Capstar TX LLC)
Webcast Listen Live

WSRS is an American commercial radio station broadcasting on 96.1 FM. The station is licensed to Worcester, Massachusetts, and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. WSRS offers an adult contemporary music format focusing on the hits of the 1980s and 1990s. The station also mixes in occasional 1970s and 1960s big hits. The station also employs a moderate amount of current product.


WSRS began operation as W1XTG in 1940 from Mount Asnebumskit in Paxton, Massachusetts, later moving to 102.7 FM, then to its current frequency of 96.1 FM [1], as WTAG-FM. By the late 1950s, the station offered a Beautiful Music format, playing mostly instrumental easy listening renditions of popular songs. It also would play an occasional vocal selection (often sung by a chorus).

With the advent of FM stereo broadcasting, the station's call letters were changed to WSRS-FM, meaning "Worcester's Stereo Radio Station". Knight Quality Stations purchased WSRS from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper in 1963. Knight later purchased WSRS sister-station WTAG (580 AM) from the Telegram & Gazette in 1987.

The station continued to offer an instrumental based easy listening format well into the 1980s. By then, though, WSRS began mixing in softer adult contemporary songs into the format. By 1982, WSRS was playing about one vocalist per quarter hour. Half were adult contemporary/baby boomer oldies artists, and half were standards artists. By 1984, the station was about half vocal and half instrumental. By 1985, WSRS evolved into more of a vocal-based easy-listening format with the instrumentals eliminated, except for hits such as "Music Box Dancer," "Chariots of Fire," "Rise" and "Summer Place."

In 1986, WSRS cut back on standards artists and evolved into more of a soft adult-contemporary format. By 1989, the station began mixing in a lot of soft songs by what were then Hot AC artists. It also added Motown 1960s hits and more uptempo songs by that time period. It still played almost no current product.

By 1994, WSRS would evolve into a mainstream adult contemporary station. In 1998, WSRS and WTAG were sold to Capstar Broadcasting. In 1999, as a result of a merger with Chancellor Media, WSRS' owner became AMFM Broadcasting. In a 2000 merger, Clear Channel Communications (now known as iHeartMedia) assumed ownership of the station.

HD Radio[edit]

In 2004, WSRS began broadcasting in HD Radio, adding in 2007 the Pride Radio dance music format on its HD2 subchannel. In 2009, Pride Radio was temporarily replaced by a classic hits type format for a couple of months, but has since returned.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°18′36″N 71°54′11″W / 42.310°N 71.903°W / 42.310; -71.903