From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from WAEI (AM))
Jump to: navigation, search
WABK-FM & WBAK logo.png
City Bangor, Maine
Broadcast area Bangor area
Branding Big 104 FM
Frequency 910 kHz
First air date November 1924 (as WABI)
Format Classic Hits (WABK-FM simulcast)
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 3670
Transmitter coordinates 44°46′51″N 68°44′54″W / 44.78083°N 68.74833°W / 44.78083; -68.74833 (WABK)
Callsign meaning The ABenaKi Company, founders of the original WABK;[1] also a reference to the station's original WABI callsign
Former callsigns WABI (1924–2009)
WAEI (2009–2016)
Owner Blueberry Broadcasting
(Blueberry Broadcasting, LLC)
Sister stations WBAK, WBFB, WBFE, WKSQ, WVOM-FM
Website big104fm.com

WABK (910 AM) is a radio station licensed to Bangor, Maine, United States. The station is owned by Blueberry Broadcasting.[2] WABK broadcasts a classic hits format, simulcast with WABK-FM (104.3 FM) in Gardiner, WBAK (104.7 FM) in Belfast, and WBKA (107.7 FM) in Bar Harbor.


The station began broadcasting as WABI in November 1924,[3] operating at 1250 kHz[4] under the ownership of the Bangor Railway & Electric Company.[5] A license had been granted in May 1923.[6] It is Maine's oldest radio station (several other stations, including WMB in Auburn[5] and WPAY in Bangor,[6] were licensed prior to WABI but have since ceased operations, with WMB being deleted two months before WABI's licensing[5]). Ownership was transferred to the First Universalist Church by 1926;[7] within a year, it moved to 770 kHz,[8] and on November 11, 1928, the Federal Radio Commission moved WABI to 1200 kHz[9][10] By 1930, the station was owned by Pine Tree Broadcasting Corporation;[11] in 1932, it was again transferred to the First Universalist Society.[12] Under the First Universalist Church, WABI only broadcast on Sundays.[10] The station was owned by Community Broadcasting Service by 1935;[13] it was Bangor's CBS affiliate, replacing WLBZ, by 1939.[14] During the early 1940s, WABI again changed frequencies; the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement moved the station to 1230 kHz. in 1941,[15] and in 1942 it began broadcasting at its current frequency of 910 kHz.[16]

Originally, Community Broadcasting Service was controlled by Frederick B. Simpson;[16] however, in 1949, health problems forced him to retire and sell WABI to a partnership between former Maine governor Horace A. Hildreth and Murray Carpenter.[17] By then, the station had joined ABC,[17] swapping affiliations with WGUY.[18][19] Hildreth became the sole owner in 1953, when Carpenter sold his stake in WABI and bought WGUY;[20] that year, WABI-TV was launched. On March 15, 1961,[21] an FM sister station, WABI-FM, was put on the air at 97.1 MHz as a simulcast of much of the AM station's programming; around this time, the ABC affiliation was dropped in favor of Mutual,[22] which WABI had already carried in addition to ABC for a decade.[23] It returned to ABC in 1964.[24]

Community Broadcasting Service merged with Journal Publications in 1971 to form Diversified Communications;[25] the company's broadcasting division retained the Community Broadcasting Service name until 1982, when WABI was transferred to Diversified directly.[26] The station had a contemporary format by 1973, when WABI-FM broke away from the simulcast and became WBGW, a country music station.[27]

Diversified announced in 1993 that it would put most of its broadcasting properties, including WABI and what had become WYOU-FM, up for sale;[28] while it would retain WABI-TV following the collapse of a deal to sell it to Vision Communications,[29] the radio stations were sold to Bangor Radio Corporation.[28][30] By 1996, WABI had an adult standards format;[31] a year later, it and what had become WWBX were sold to Gopher Hill Broadcasting.[32]

Clear Channel Communications signed a local marketing agreement with Gopher Hill in early 2001;[33] a few weeks later, it bought WABI and WWBX.[34] Clear Channel switched the station to a talk radio format, complementing WVOM, in 2005;[35] during this time, programs included a simulcast of WVOM's morning show, Maine in the Morning, hosted by longtime WABI personality George Hale, as well as Dr. Joy Browne, Clark Howard, The Dr. Laura Program, and Coast to Coast AM. The standards format returned two years later.[36]

Clear Channel announced on November 16, 2006 that it would sell its Bangor stations after being bought by private equity firms,[37] resulting in a sale to Blueberry Broadcasting in 2008.[38] Blueberry again dropped the standards format on September 1, this time for sports talk provided by Boston's WEEI; the station also began to once again simulcast with 97.1, renamed WAEI-FM.[39] Though WABI carried WEEI's talk shows, most game broadcasts were not aired on the station. To reflect the new format, the WABI call letters were dropped after over 84 years on February 24, 2009 in favor of WAEI.[40]

WAEI's last logo as "Fox Sports Maine", used from February 6, 2012 to September 1, 2013

Blueberry Broadcasting ended WAEI's affiliation with WEEI on January 11, 2010,[41][42] replacing it with Fox Sports Radio programming;[42][43] Blueberry cited a breach of contract.[42] WAEI moved exclusively to the AM dial on February 6, 2012, when WAEI-FM (which had swapped dial positions with WBFB on September 1, 2011 and moved to 104.7) became classic hits station WBAK.[44] On September 1, 2013, WAEI was taken off-the-air; though Blueberry officials told the Bangor Daily News that "We have not made any final decisions regarding what’s going to happen with that radio station,"[45] in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission the company stated that it would intend to sell the station, and that if a buyer is not found the license will be surrendered.[46]

On August 28, 2014, WAEI returned to the air[47] with a simulcast of classic hits-formatted WABK from Gardiner. On May 13, 2015, WAEI went silent due to a transmitter failure.[48] On March 3, 2016 WAEI returned to the air,[49] again simulcasting WABK. WAEI changed its call letters to WABK on July 26, 2016.[40]


Before going silent in 2013, WAEI's programming was largely provided by Fox Sports Radio;[45] the station also aired Imus in the Morning,[50] and The Jim Rome Show.[42] Past programming included Downtown with Rich Kimball, a locally-produced talk show hosted by Rich Kimball[51] that moved to WEZQ and now airs on WZON, NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races, which are now carried by WBAN, and Maine Black Bears basketball and baseball games, which now air on WGUY.


  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1969 (PDF). 1969. p. B-77. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ "WABK Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  3. ^ "Bangor History: 1900s". Bangor Public Library. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  4. ^ "U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1923". History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Mishkind, Barry (October 15, 2008). "The Oldest Stations in the United States by State". The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "A Chronology of AM Radio Broadcasting 1900-1960". 
  7. ^ "U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1926". History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  8. ^ "U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1927". History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  9. ^ Butler, F. C., ed. (October 1928). Radex (PDF). Cleveland, Ohio: The Radex Press: 41 https://web.archive.org/web/20120309113256/http://www.davidgleason.com/Archive%20Radex/Radex%2024%20October%201928.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b "No Reduction of WCSH Power". Lewiston Evening Journal. September 12, 1928. Retrieved October 2, 2010. 
  11. ^ "U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1930". History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ Butler, Fred Clayton, ed. (May 1932). Radex (PDF). Cleveland, Ohio: The Radex Press: 72 https://web.archive.org/web/20120309113329/http://www.davidgleason.com/Archive%20Radex/Radex%2059%20May%201932%20Old.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Butler, Fred Clayton, ed. (September 1935). Radex (PDF). Cleveland, Ohio: The Radex Press: 102 https://web.archive.org/web/20120309113432/http://www.davidgleason.com/Archive%20Radex/Radex%2091%20September%201935.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Taylor, Page, ed. (October 1939). Radex (PDF). Teaneck, New Jersey: The Radex Publishing Company: 72 http://www.davidgleason.com/Archive%20Radex/Radex%20132%20October%201939%20All.pdf. Retrieved June 1, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ La Rocque, Ray, ed. (January 1942). Radex (PDF). Teaneck, New Jersey: The Radex Publishing Company: 59 https://web.archive.org/web/20120309113542/http://www.davidgleason.com/Archive%20Radex/Radex%20148%20January%201942.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ a b Broadcasting Yearbook 1943 (PDF). 1943. p. 100. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Hildreth Partner In Radio Station WABI". Sun Journal. Lewiston, Maine. September 15, 1949. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  18. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1949 (PDF). 1949. p. 142. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  19. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 (PDF). 1950. p. 162. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  20. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook-Marketbook 1954 (PDF). 1954. p. 163. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  21. ^ Broadcasting/Cable Yearbook 1989 (PDF). 1989. p. B-133. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  22. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1963 (PDF). 1963. p. B-81. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  23. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook-Marketbook 1952 (PDF). 1952. p. 155. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  24. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1965 (PDF). 1965. p. B-68. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Publication Firm, TV Unit Merge". Bangor Daily News. January 21, 1971. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Application Search Details (1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  27. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1974 (PDF). 1974. p. B-93. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  28. ^ a b Kekacs, Andrew (December 15, 1993). "Upheaval in Bangor Radio, TV". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Hildreth heirs to keep WABI-TV". Bangor Daily News. May 28, 1994. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Application Search Details". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  31. ^ Fybush, Scott (October 9, 1996). "Meet the New 'FNX...". New England RadioWatch. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  32. ^ Fybush, Scott (July 10, 1997). "On and Off the Air". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  33. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 4, 2001). "Take Me Out to the Ban Game". New England RadioWatch. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  34. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 16, 2001). "Clear Channel Buys Two in Maine". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved August 20, 2008. 
  35. ^ "Big Box Radio static" (letter to the editor). Bangor Daily News. October 19, 2005. Retrieved June 3, 2010. [dead link]
  36. ^ Neff, Andrew (December 19, 2007). "Hale wins regional award; studio named in his honor". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved June 3, 2010. [dead link]
  37. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 20, 2006). "Dark Days All Around". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  38. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 5, 2008). "The Sales Market Heats Up". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved August 20, 2008. 
  39. ^ "WEEI Sports Radio Network Expands to Portland, Bangor & Keene" (PDF) (Press release). Entercom Communications. August 20, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2008. 
  40. ^ a b "Call Sign History (WABK)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  41. ^ Heslam, Jessica (January 14, 2010). "Lawrence pastor 'proud' of Conan O'Brien". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2010. “Unfortunately, our affiliate in Bangor chose to end its contract with us (Tuesday),” said WEEI program director Jason Wolfe. 
  42. ^ a b c d Neff, Andrew (January 16, 2010). "Bangor stations drop WEEI". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Bangor Affiliates Drop WEEI Programming". All Access. January 14, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  44. ^ "Bangor, Maine's WAEI-FM flips sports for adult hits; AM maintains Fox Sports". Radio-Info.com. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  45. ^ a b McCrea, Nick (September 20, 2013). "Bangor AM sports radio station taken off air; company official says its future undecided". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 10, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Resumption of Operations". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. August 28, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  48. ^ "Notification of Suspension of Operations". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 15, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  49. ^ "Resumption of Operations". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. March 1, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  50. ^ "Sports Round up". Radio-Info.com. February 1, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  51. ^ Mahoney, Larry (August 26, 2011). "New radio sports talk show in Bangor features Rich Kimball". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]