|City of license||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Broadcast area||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Branding||Big Hits B101|
|Slogan||"Southern New England's 70s & 80s Hits"
"B101, Be 1 With the Music"
|Callsign meaning||"We Want Baby Boomers"|
WWBB (101.5 FM, "B101") is a radio station in Providence, Rhode Island. The station mainly plays classic hits and oldies from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The station is also carried as background music on several Public-access television cable TV stations in southeastern Massachusetts. 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 adjacent to Interstate 95. WWBB's transmitting antenna is located on the former WNAC-TV analog tower, located on Pine Street in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. WWBB transmits a directional signal to reduce interference to Boston-based sister station WBWL. The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc..
Notable current WWBB on-air staff includes TC (Tom Campbell) & Friends on mornings, while the remainder of the staff is voicetracked from outside the market. This is very common for most iHeartMedia owned radio stations.
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 hit the air at Noon on December 26, 1989 with an Oldies format, which was very popular across the nation at that time. However, its 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. At some point later in the 1960s, the station changed owners again, and became WLKW-FM, a sister station of WLKW/990. As WLKW, it aired a Beautiful Music format. In 1987, the station was sold, and two years later, WLKW-FM became the current WWBB.
As the 21st century dawned, B101 started to see changes in its playlist. Music from the 1950s was phased out until, around 2003, it was almost gone completely. 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", a moniker which still exists today. Since 2005, music from the 1980s began to be aired. Over the years, the number of songs in rotation has shrunk from approximately 1,500 down 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;" however, it is widely accepted that this was just a cost-cutting move. Clear Channel Communications (now known as iHeartMedia), the owner of over a thousand radio stations including B101, is notorious for dismissing highly paid air talent in an attempt to save money.
Prior to Bina and Palmer's dismissal, Roger Letendre, Dr. Don Spencer, and Randy Saxx were other full timers who were shown the door in 2000. Scott Murphy was let go a year or so later, again believed to be a cost-cutting measure, but he opted to remain part-time. He is now the longest tenured DJ at the station.
Signal reduction and coverage change
On August 6, 2014, Clear Channel filed a contingent application with WWBB, WBWL and WCIB in an effort to eliminate the directional pattern of WBWL in nearby Boston. The application, if approved, will call for the reduction of WWBB's FM signal from a "Class B" (50,000 watt equivalent) to a "Class A" (6,000 watt equivalent) directional signal. The application also calls for the WWBB antenna to be relocated to the WHJJ towers in East Providence.
WBEB listener confusion
In the last 10 years,[when?] many B101 DJs have gotten calls on the listener lines from people trying to reach WBEB in Philadelphia, also positioned as "B101" (but located at 101.1 FM). The confusion lies in the fact that the "b101.com" website is owned by WWBB and Clear Channel, not WBEB. WBEB listeners sometimes log on to "b101.com", assume they are on the correct website, find the phone number, and end up calling WWBB. Both stations also used a bumblebee logo, which could add to the confusion (WWBB dropped the bumblebee from its logo a few years back[when?]). Jerry Lee, the owner of WBEB, has made offers to Clear Channel for the "b101.com" domain name. All offers have been rejected. Thus, WBEB uses "b101radio.com". Coincidentally, WBEB's current morning show co-host, Tiffany Hill, was also once the morning co-host at WWBB.
- "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