|City of license||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Broadcast area||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Slogan||"Southern New England's 70s & 80s Hits"
"B101, Be 1 With the Music"
|First air date||May 30, 1955|
|HAAT||91 meters (299 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||We Want Baby Boomers|
|Former callsigns||WTMH (1955–1958)
(Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WHJJ, WHJY, WSNE-FM|
|Webcast||Listen Live (via iHeartRadio)|
WWBB (101.5 FM, "B101") is a radio station in Providence, Rhode Island. The station plays classic hits from the 1970s, and 1980s, with an occasional hit from the late 1960s. B101's offices and studios are located on 75 Oxford Street in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Roland Building near Interstate 95. WWBB's transmitting antenna is located on the roof of One Financial Plaza, also in Providence. WWBB transmits a directional signal to reduce interference to Boston-based sister station 101.7 WBWL. The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc..
WWBB morning show is hosted by TC (Tom Campbell) & Kristin, while most of the remaining shifts are voice-tracked using DJs from outside the market.
Notable former WWBB on-air staff includes Mark Ambrose, Ray Anthony, Jed Barton, Big John Bina, Robby Bridges, Daria Bruno, Kenny Cool, Melissa Culross, Austin Davis, Bob Kay, Amy Hagan, Tiffany Hill, Michele Hughes, Larry "Ice Cold" Kruger, Roger Letendre, Rick Lyle, Bobby Michaels, Rebecca Morse-Whitten, Rockin' Rob Mullin, Mike O'Reilly, Cruisin' Bruce Palmer, Paul Perry, Keri Rodrigues, Jeff Ryan, Randy Saxx, Dr. Don Spencer, Tom St. John, Norm Thibeault, and Steve Valentine.
WWBB's history dates back to May 30, 1955 when it began broadcasting in Providence as WTMH. These call letters reflected the initials of its owner, T. Mitchell Hastings. In 1958, Hastings reorganized his General Broadcasting Corporation as Concert Network, Inc., and changed the call letters to WXCN. As a Concert Network affiliate, it broadcast classical music. The station was sold in 1963, and after another change in ownership the following year, it became WCRQ. By the late 1960s, the station changed owners again, and became WLKW-FM, a sister station of AM 990 WLKW. For two decades as WLKW-FM, it aired a Beautiful Music format, popular in many Providence offices and workplaces. In 1987, the station was sold, and two years later, the easy listening format was dropped and WLKW-FM became the current WWBB. The station switched to Oldies at Noon on December 26, 1989, playing a mix of hits from the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1990s, some hits from the 1970s were added.
As the 21st century dawned, B101 started to see changes in its playlist. Music from the 1950s was phased out. More music from the 1970s began to appear, and the slogan changed from "Good Times And Great Oldies" to "Big Hits Of The 60s And 70s". It was around this time, that former program director Bill Hess repositioned the station as "Big Hits, B101." Since 2005, music from the 1980s were added to the playlist. Over the years, the number of songs in rotation has shrunk from approximately 1,500 to 650. In 2013, B-101's slogan was changed to "Southern New England's '70s and '80s hits."
In October 2004, two on-air veterans, Cruisin' Bruce Palmer and Big John Bina, were told that after 25 years of combined tenure their services were no longer needed. Station management said that they wanted to "go in another direction." Prior to Bina and Palmer's dismissal, Roger Letendre, Dr. Don Spencer, and Randy Saxx were other full timers who were released in 2000. Scott Murphy was let go a year or so later. Most of these hosts have been replaced by DJs already employed on other iHeart radio stations, who voice-track their shows from other cities, as opposed to hosting live from studios in Providence.
Signal reduction and coverage change
On August 6, 2014, Clear Channel (now iHeart Media) filed a "contingent application" with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission covering adjacent stations 101.5 WWBB, 101.7 WBWL and 101.9 WCIB in Falmouth, Massachusetts to improve WBWL's coverage in the Boston area. Boston is a much larger market than Providence, so boosting WBWL's signal would improve its advertising and revenue potential, despite the reduced coverage for WWBB and WCIB. The application called for downgrading WWBB's signal from a "Class B" (50,000 watt equivalent) to a "Class A" (6,000 watt equivalent) and using a directional signal away from Boston. The application also called for the relocation of WWBB antenna to the roof of a building in downtown Providence, a further step in reducing its coverage outside Providence and its suburbs. The application was granted October 6, 2014. So today, it is difficult to hear WWBB more than 25 miles outside Providence, while WBWL has an improved signal. WWBB completed the facility change in January 2015, and signed on with it on February 2, 2015
- "ggn information systems - Call Letters". 2002-11-18.
- "WNCN Ownership & Management".
- Billboard Jun 30, 1958, p. 6
- B101 WWBB official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WWBB
- Radio-Locator information on WWBB
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WWBB