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|City of license||Cumberland, Maryland|
|Broadcast area||Cumberland, Maryland
|Branding||105.7 The River|
|Translator(s)||105.7 W289BR (Cumberland)|
|First air date||December 13, 1928|
|Power||1,000 watts (day and night)|
NBC News Radio
Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network
(WTBO-WKGO Corporation, LLC)
|Sister stations||WFRB, WFRB-FM, WKGO|
WTBO's studios are located above I-68 in Cumberland, right next to the neon "W-T-B-O" call letters.
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (April 2014)|
Cumberland's was authorized to conduct its first broadcast under the WTBO call letters by the Federal Radio Commission in October 1928. The following March, Cumberland Broadcasting Company was formed by the Cumberland Electric Company and became WTBO's licensee. The Associated Broadcasting Corporation acquired the station that November. In early 1930, WTBO was moved from its original site on Virginia Avenue to the Commercial Bank Building, on the southwest corner of Frederick and Liberty streets.
In September 1932, WTBO was leased by the Interstate Broadcasting System, Inc. The Associated Broadcasting Corporation, Licensee, again assumed control of the independent station from the former lessee on January 31, 1933. In 1934, controlling interest in the Associated Broadcasting Corporation was acquired by Herbet Lee Blye, who then became Station Manager of WTBO. In late 1935, Mr. Blye sold WTBO to Roger W. Clipp and Frank V. Becker. When Frank V. Becker died in 1942, Mrs. Aurelia S. Becker took his place. On January 1, 1944, WTBO changed frequency and became a full-time 250 watt station; concurrently joining the National Broadcasting Company network.
In 1946, WTBO's ownership was reorganized. Becoming a co-owner and partner was Charles Z. Heskett with Aurelia S. Becker remaining managing partner. The station's licensee name was then changed to the Cumberland Broadcasting Corporation. Mrs. Becker became both President and General Manager of the NBC station in 1947. The Maryland Radio Corporation acquired WTBO from the Becker and Heskett interests in early 1951. Charles E. Smith, owner, then became President and General Manager of the station.
In late September 1954, the station was again sold. WTBO was purchased by the Tennessee Valley Broadcasting Corporation. A. William German then became both President and General Manager of WTBO after the sale was consummated. In 1955, the licensee name of the station was changed to the Cumberland Valley Broadcasting Corporation. On April 26, 1956, the station was authorized to change studio and transmitting locations to 350 Byrd Avenue (the present site). In early 1961, the FCC authorized WTBO to increase daytime power to 1,000 watts with night power of 250 watts to continue as before. Power was raised in 1962.
In late 1977, WTBO and its frequency modulation (FM) affiliate WKGO at 106.1, were acquired from David P. Welborne's Welborne Broadcasting Inc., by Wooster Republican Printing Company, owned by Dix Communications. The WTBO-WKGO Corporation was formed by the new owners to be the WTBO licensee. The officers were: Raymond E. Dix, President; E.B. Evans, Vice President and General Manager; Albert E. Dix, Vice President; E.S. Dix, Treasurer; R. Victor Dix, Assistant Secretary; Timothy V. Dix, Secretary. At that time WTBO, Maryland's fifth oldest continuously licensed broadcast station, operated on 1450 kilohertz with a day power of 1,000 watts (night power of 250 watts) and served the three-state area from 350 Byrd Avenue, Cumberland, Maryland. The format was Adult Contemporary. The staff consisted of 18 full and part-time people. Roy H. Knotts - Assistant Manager, Beda M. Riley -Office Manager .
Roy Knotts retired as General Manager in March 1984. Mrs. Beda M. Riley, Assistant Manager became General Manager. WTBO installed equipment to broadcast in AM Stereo. The format on WTBO became Adult Standards. WTBO continued to broadcast Baltimore Orioles Baseball, University of Maryland Football and Basketball and high school football. Shortly after 1987, WTBO was granted permission to broadcast at full power, 1000 watts, 24 hours a day. Chazz Offutt returned to radio on WTBO with the Chazz Offutt Morning Road Show in December. General Manager Beda M. Riley retired. Richard Cornwell was named general manager and Tim Martin assistant manager. December 13, 2003 was the station's 75th anniversary, marked by a year-long celebration. Commemorative promotional announcements for each year of broadcasting were aired along with celebrity anniversary greetings.
On December 26, 2006, Chazz Offutt collapsed and died at the age of 66 during his daily morning show on WTBO-AM/WFRB-AM.
In mid-July 2008, WTBO picked up FOX Sports Radio in the evenings and continued to air local programming and Adult Standards in the mornings. WTBO would also pick up the affiliation of FOX News Radio. During this same time sister WFRB-AM dropped the simulcast of WTBO and began a talk format. On April 25, 2011, WTBO returned to the "Adult Standards" format 24 hours a day. WTBO still offers Orioles Baseball, Steelers Football and Penguins Hockey. Local and national news air at the top of each hour. On April 1, 2012, Fox News Radio was dropped in favor of the newly launched NBC News Radio (formerly CNN Radio).
On April 6, 2015 WTBO (after a few days of stunting with various versions of "Proud Mary") changed their format to adult contemporary, branded as "105.7 The River".
- 105.7 The River Online
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WTBO
- Radio-Locator Information on WTBO
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WTBO
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W289BR
- Radio-Locator information on W289BR