|City of license||Orange-Athol, Massachusetts|
|Branding||AM Radio 700|
|Slogan||The Greatest Music of All Time|
|First air date||May 13, 1956 (as WCAT at 1390)|
|Power||2,500 watts (daytime only)|
|Former callsigns||WCAT (1956–1987)
WWBZ (April 30–September 1, 2014)
|Former frequencies||1390 kHz (1956-1983)|
(County Broadcasting Company, LLC)
WFAT (700 AM) is a radio station licensed to serve Orange-Athol, Massachusetts, USA. The station is owned by County Broadcasting Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Northeast Broadcasting, itself controlled by Steve Silberberg. It broadcasts an oldies radio format, under the "AM Radio 700" branding.
WFAT signed on May 13, 1956 as WCAT, operating on 1390 AM. Original owner Miller's River Broadcasting sold the station to Tri-State Radio in 1960, who in turn sold it to Berkshire Broadcasting in 1969. By 1971, the station had a middle-of-the-road format, which it would retain into the 1980s, as the station was sold to P&S Broadcasting in 1975.
In 1983, WCAT moved to its current position on 700. The station changed its call letters to WPNS, reflecting its ownership, in 1987; after just over a year, however, the station reverted to WCAT. WCAT subsequently discontinued locally-originated programming; by 1996, the station was a talk radio station, affiliated with the Talk America network. An FM sister station on 99.9 FM (now WFNX) was launched on December 4, 1989.
In 1998, P&S sold WCAT and WCAT-FM to CAT Communications Corporation (a company controlled by Jeff Shapiro), who in turn sold the stations to Citadel Broadcasting in 2000. Citadel operated the WCAT stations as part of its Worcester group of stations, even though Arbitron considered the stations to be within the Boston market. Several months after Citadel took over, WCAT went silent while its tower was replaced, putting the station in danger of having its license canceled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for failing to broadcast for a year; when it returned in late October 2001, just before its November 1 deadline to do so, it simulcast the oldies format of WCAT-FM. By the following year, WCAT had been leased out to a Spanish language operator that implemented a religious format.
Citadel sold WCAT and its FM sister station, by then WAHL, to Northeast Broadcasting, controlled by Steve Silberberg, in 2003. Silberberg subsequently purchased WGAW (1340 AM) in nearby Gardner, and in 2004 WCAT began simulcasting its talk format. The station was renamed WJOE in 2005; it subsequently resumed separate programming, and after a stint as an oldies station, WJOE joined ESPN Radio on January 2, 2008.
WJOE was to switch to a Brazilian format on March 16, 2009; this format was to be programmed by Langer Broadcasting Group as a sister station to WSRO. However, this format change did not occur, and the station remained with ESPN Radio.
On September 2, 2009, WJOE swapped callsigns with Columbia City, Indiana station WVBB (106.3 FM), which desired the WJOE callsign to match its "Joe FM" branding. Nine days later, the callsign was changed again, this time to WTUB. The station dropped ESPN Radio in late 2011 and returned to simulcasting its FM sister station, by then WXRG, which at that time was itself rebroadcasting adult album alternative sister station WXRV from Andover. On April 30, 2014, the station became WWBZ. WWBZ and what had become WFNX dropped the WXRV simulcast in May 2014 and began stunting with a wide range of music while preparing to launch new formats for the stations on June 9, with listeners being asked to vote on which of the songs being played should be included in the new formats. At the end of the stunting, WWBZ dropped the simulcast with WFNX (which continued with a variety hits format) and introduced the oldies format. During its first day with the format, the station referred to itself as "Legends 700 WBZ" despite not being associated with Boston radio station WBZ (1030 AM), whose signal reaches the Orange-Athol area; on June 10, the branding was amended to feature the full WWBZ call sign. The station subsequently rebranded as simply "AM Radio 700" after WBZ's owner, CBS Radio, objected to the WWBZ call sign as an infringement of its trademark for WBZ, as well as a separate trademark infringement dispute with the owners of WNBP in Newburyport over the "Legends" branding. WWBZ then announced its intention to introduce a new branding and call sign; on September 1, 2014, it took its present WFAT call sign.
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- Query the FCC's AM station database for WFAT
- Radio-Locator Information on WFAT
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WFAT