The Big JAB

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WRED/WJJB-FM
WJJB-FM logo
City see table in article
Broadcast area Southern Maine
Branding 96.3 The Big JAB
SportsRadio WJAB
Frequency WRED: 1440 (kHz)
WJJB: 96.3 (MHz)
Translator(s) W223BH: 92.5 (MHz)
(pending FCC approval)
First air date WRED: November 8, 1959
WJJB: November 15, 1975[1]
Format Sports
Power see table in article
ERP see table in article
HAAT see table in article
Class see table in article
Facility ID see table in article
Transmitter coordinates see table in article
Callsign meaning WRED: The color RED (call letters previously assigned to WPEI when it aired a rhythmic top 40 format)
WJJB: similar to WJAB
Former callsigns see table in article
Affiliations Fox Sports Radio
SB Nation Radio (updates)
CBS Sports Radio (Jim Rome)
Premiere Networks (Dan Patrick)
Boston Celtics Radio Network
Red Sox Radio Network
Owner Atlantic Coast Radio
Sister stations WLOB, WPEI, WPPI
Website thebigjab.com

The Big JAB is a network of sports radio stations in southern Maine, owned by Atlantic Coast Radio. It is heard on 1440 AM (WRED, licensed to Westbrook) and 96.3 FM (WJJB-FM, licensed to Gray). The stations air local sports talk hosts Monday through Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons. Middays feature nationally syndicated sports programs from Dan Patrick and Jim Rome. Fox Sports Radio provides programming nights and weekends. In July 2017 Atlantic Coast Radio purchased a 250-watt translator at 92.5 MHz from Augusta, ME-based Light of Life Ministries to further augment its Portland-area FM signal.[2]

Studios and offices are located on 779 Warren Avenue in Portland, Maine. The AM transmitter is off Juniper Lane in Westbrook.[3] The FM transmitter is near King Hill Road in South Paris, Maine.[4]

History[edit]

1440 History[edit]

The 1440 frequency first went on the air November 8, 1959 as WJAB.[5] At first it was a daytime only station playing top 40 music, giving major competition to cross-town Top 40 leader 1310 WLOB. WJAB quickly became the top rated Top 40 station in Portland, a position it held until 1965, when a resurgent WLOB, after having obtained night power, retook the top spot.[6] In 1974, WJAB launched a similarly-formatted FM simulcast on 106.3 WJBQ-FM, to allow listeners with FM radios to hear the station around the clock.[6] The WJBQ call sign was eventually added to the AM station as well.[7] In 1980, WJBQ-FM relocated to 97.9 in a frequency swap with classical music station WDCS, a predecessor to WBACH. (106.3 is now occupied by WHXR.)

In the intervening years, the AM station would attempt several formats, including all-news (as WMER), a simulcast of what had become WWGT-FM (as WWGT), and an affiliation with the hard rock/heavy metal Z Rock Network (as WLPZ).[7] In the mid-1990s, the station settled on its current sports format; initially retaining the WLPZ call letters.[7] It became WJAE in 1997 in an attempt to restore the WJAB identity to the station. (The station could not reclaim the original call sign because it was now being used by a station in Alabama.)[8][9] (-owners Bob Fuller and J. J. Jeffrey had previously worked at WJAB during the 1960s.[6] Jeffrey retained WJAE by way of Atlantic Coast Radio upon the sale of Fuller-Jeffrey's FM stations to Citadel Broadcasting in 1999.[10]

96.3 History[edit]

The 96.3 frequency debuted in 1975 as WRUM-FM, call letters derived from its former city of license, Rumford. In 1981, the call letters were changed to WWMR, and by 1983 the format was a high-energy top 40/AOR hybrid with live DJs and the branding "96 WMR." Additionally, the station's power was boosted significantly, giving it wider coverage in Central Maine. In 1987, WWMR-FM was sold to Carter Broadcasting,[11] and the station adopted a religious format.[7] Carter eventually consolidated the operations of WWMR with that of sister station 1310 WLOB, and in 1997 the call sign was changed to WLOB-FM.[12] After WLOB and WLOB-FM were sold to Atlantic Coast Radio in 2000, the religious programming was discontinued in favor of a news-talk format. In 2006, WLOB-FM relocated its transmitter from western Maine to South Paris to provide a clearer signal to the Portland media market. Following the transmitter move, in 2008 WLOB-FM changed its city of license from Rumford to Gray. On August 25, 2008, WLOB-FM converted from the WLOB simulcast to an all-sports simulcast of The Big JAB.

From 1999[13] to 2008, the Big JAB's programming was also heard on 900 AM WJJB, licensed to Brunswick. In 2008, that frequency became WWBK and the WJJB call sign subsequently moved to 1440.[14] AM 900 was sold to Bob Bittner (owner of WJIB and WJTO) for $27,000.[15]

Additionally, from 2000[16] to 2008, The Big JAB's FM frequency was on 95.5. Initially, the station continued to broadcast under its previous WCLZ call letters.[17] On September 1, 2008, 95.5 began airing programming from Boston sports station WEEI in a simulcast with 95.9 WPEI[18] 95.5 began using the call letters WGEI.[19] 95.5 has since switched call signs to WPPI.

Stations[edit]

Callsign Frequency City of license Power/ERP Class HAAT Facility ID Former Callsigns Transmitter Coordinates
WRED 1440 kHz Westbrook, Maine 5,000 watts B 3140 WJJB (2008)
WJAE (1997-2008)
WLPZ (1990-1997)
WWGT (1986-1990)
WMER (1980-1986)
WJBQ (1974-1980)
WJAB (1959-1974)
43°40′50.0″N 70°22′47.0″W / 43.680556°N 70.379722°W / 43.680556; -70.379722 (WRED)
WJJB-FM 96.3 MHz Gray, Maine 40,000 watts C1 430 meters (1411 ft) 9180 WLOB-FM (1997-2008)
WWMR-FM (1983-1997)
WWMR (1981-1983)
WRUM-FM (1975-1981)
44°15′3.0″N 70°25′16.0″W / 44.250833°N 70.421111°W / 44.250833; -70.421111 (WJJB-FM)

Programming[edit]

Former hosts/shows[edit]

Co-owned stations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-201. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  2. ^ [http://www.insideradio.com/features/deal_digest/deal-digest---july/article_a23f0a2a-6203-11e7-9194-b7b000d8f3ea.html Deal Digest - July 6, 2017 ]Inside Radio, July 6, 2017
  3. ^ http://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/patg?id=WRED-AM&h=N
  4. ^ http://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/patg?id=WJJB-FM
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-94
  6. ^ a b c Gilley, Chad (October 27, 2003). "In the Late 1960s WLOB Ruled Portland's Air". GilleyMedia. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d Fybush, Scott. "Maine Radio History, 1971–1996". Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  8. ^ Fybush, Scott (February 28, 1997). "The Big Get Bigger". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  9. ^ Fybush, Scott (March 5, 1997). "Praise, Pirates, and More". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (June 4, 1999). "The End of CBL Is Near". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Application Search Details". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  12. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 26, 1997). "WILD -- Still Waiting". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  13. ^ Fybush, Scott (February 6, 1999). "WKOX, WLLH Sold". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved August 28, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Call Sign History (WRED)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  15. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 28, 2008). "Philly Loses "Big Ron"". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved August 28, 2008. 
  16. ^ Fybush, Scott (October 2, 2000). "Spinning the Dial in Connecticut". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 11, 2008. 
  17. ^ Fybush, Scott (September 3, 2001). "Labor Day Update". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 11, 2008. 
  18. ^ Routhier, Ray (August 19, 2008). "WEEI to air in Maine Sept. 1". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved August 19, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Call Sign History (WLOB-FM)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 13, 2008. 

External links[edit]