The Big JAB
|City||see table in article|
|Broadcast area||Southern Maine|
|Branding||96.3 The Big JAB
|Frequency||WRED: 1440 (kHz)
WJJB: 96.3 (MHz)
|First air date||WRED: November 8, 1959
WJJB: November 15, 1975
|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
Yahoo! Sports Radio (updates)
CBS Sports Radio (Jim Rome)
Boston Celtics Radio Network
Red Sox Radio Network
|Owner||Atlantic Coast Radio|
|Sister stations||WLOB, WPEI, WPPI|
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.
The 1440 frequency first went on the air November 8, 1959 as WJAB, a (daytime-only) top 40 music station, giving major competition to cross-town 1310 WLOB. WJAB immediately became the top rated station in Portland, a position it held until 1965, when a resurgent WLOB, after having obtained night power, retook the top spot. WJAB launched a similarly-formatted FM sister station, WJBQ-FM (106.3) in 1974; the WJBQ callsign was eventually implemented on the AM station as well. WJBQ-FM relocated to 97.9 in 1980, in a frequency swap with 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 hard rock and heavy metal via the Z Rock network (as WLPZ). In the mid-1990s, the station settled on its current sports format; initially retaining the WLPZ call sign, it became WJAE in 1997 in an attempt to restore the WJAB identity to the station despite that callsign's assignment to another station. (Then-owners Bob Fuller and J. J. Jeffrey had previously worked at WJAB during the 1960s; Jeffrey retained WJAE by way of Atlantic Coast Radio upon the sale of Fuller-Jeffrey's FM stations to Citadel Broadcasting in 1999.)
The 96.3 frequency debuted in 1975 as WRUM-FM 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 regional coverage. In 1987, WWMR-FM was sold to Carter Broadcasting, and the station adopted a religious format. Carter eventually consolidated the operations of WWMR with that of sister station WLOB, and in 1997 the callsign was changed to WLOB-FM. 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 area. 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 a simulcast of The Big JAB.
From 1999 to 2008, The Big JAB's programming was also heard on 900 AM (WJJB, licensed to Brunswick). On April 25, 2008, that frequency (which became WWBK on March 18, 2008; the WJJB calls subsequently moved to WJAE) was sold to Bob Bittner (owner of WJIB and WJTO) for $27,000. Additionally, from 2000 to September 1, 2008, The Big JAB's FM frequency was on 95.5; initially, the station continued to broadcast under its previous WCLZ call letters); on that date, it began airing programming from Boston's WEEI in a simulcast with WPEI under the call letters WGEI.
|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)
|WJJB-FM||96.3 MHz||Gray, Maine||40,000 watts||C1||430 meters||9180||WLOB-FM (1997-2008)
- The Morning JAB with David "Shoe" Schumacher and Joe Palmieri
- The PM JAB with Javier Gorriti and Russ Thompson
- The Saturday Morning Jab with Mike Antonellis (Jeff Mannix hosting from April-September)
- Boston Red Sox baseball, from the Red Sox Radio Network
- Dan Patrick
- Jim Rome
- Fox Sports Radio (with Yahoo Sports carried for sports updates during local programming)
- Maine Red Claws basketball
- Maine State Championship football
- WLOB 1310AM, Licensed to Portland, Maine, currently a talk radio format.
- WPEI 95.9 FM, Licensed to Saco, Maine, part of the WEEI Radio Network
- WPPI 95.5 FM, Licensed to Topsham, Maine, part of the WEEI Radio Network
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