|Broadcast area||Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley)|
|Branding||101.1 More FM|
|Slogan||More Music! Less Talk!
Philadelphia's Christmas Station (Nov. to Dec.)
|Frequency||101.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
101.1 HD-2 for All '80s music (Regular format during Holidays starting in November 2015)
|First air date||May 13, 1963 (as WDVR)|
|Format||Adult Contemporary (Christmas music Nov-Dec)|
|Former callsigns||WBEB-FM (1993-1995)
(Jerry Lee Radio, LLC)
|Webcast||Listen Live (Web player), MP3, AAC|
WBEB (101.1 FM, "More FM") is a radio station broadcasting an Adult Contemporary format. Licensed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it serves the Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley) metropolitan area. It first began broadcasting in 1963 under the call sign WDVR. The station is currently owned by Jerry Lee. It has been a top-ranking station in the Philadelphia Arbitron ratings since the early 1990s, and is the only independently owned station in the Philadelphia radio market. Its transmitter is located in the Roxborough section of the city, and studios are in Bala Cynwyd. The station claims that since Arbitron began electronic meter measurement in January 2007, More FM has an unbroken string of being the most listened to Philadelphia radio station every single month.
History of 101.1
Previously called WDVR (Delaware Valley Radio) and WEAZ, the station pioneered the Beautiful Music format beginning in 1963.
Original staff included Rich Franklin and Dave Shayer, both broadcast veterans, and were two of the original air staff hired by WDVR/WEAZ/WBEB 101.1 FM when it first went on the air May 13, 1963. Both, later, were Music Directors at 101.1 FM, and are still active in broadcasting today. Also part of the first air staff were Lou Klawansky (air name: Lee Kramer), Frank Goshy (air name: Frank Edwards), and Joaquin Bowman, working with Jerry Lee, Marlin Taylor, Phil Stout (later Programmer of SRP), Dave Kurtz, Alan Campbell and others. 101.1 FM was, and is, one of the most successful independent FM stations in the country.
The station was known for playing Beautiful Music featuring pop tunes reworked in the form of instrumentals. It played two vocalists per hour, as the instrumentals would be based on the works of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond and The Carpenters. By the 1980s, the station increased the amount of music with vocalists to four per hour as it also added more artists suited to an adult contemporary format. Also in 1980, WDVR changed its call letters to WEAZ, and began using the slogan EAZY 101 with Patrick O'Neal (later Robert Urich) as its TV commercial spokesperson. By 1984, EAZY 101 became the #1 rated station in Philadelphia.
In 1988, the station dropped Beautiful Music for a soft adult contemporary format. This format change came after research tests showed that people who grew up after the advent of rock and roll did not like instrumental music. With the format change, the station was satellite-delivered, but by the next year, some of the air staff returned. By 1990, the station's name was shortened to "EZ 101". The station would shift to a mainstream adult contemporary format in 1993, and its call letters would eventually change to WBEB, B101. A bee was used in the station's advertising.
On December 10, 2013, WBEB announced the station would be rebranding as "More FM at 101.1". The DJs and format would stay the same. The name change took place on December 26. With the name change, the station dropped its "Saturday Night 80's" program. When WBEB began playing Christmas music in 2014, the name was shortened to "101.1 More FM."
WBEB's signal reaches north into New Jersey, especially along Interstate 287 south of Morristown, and in northwestern New Jersey. In those areas WBEB interferes with WCBS-FM, a classic hits station in New York City, which also broadcasts on 101.1. Both stations are full, non-directional Class B operations that are severely short-spaced under a grandfathered FCC rule. WBEB also suffers some co-channel interference with Washington, D.C.'s WWDC-FM southwest of Philadelphia. A similar situation occurs with another Philadelphia-area station, WRNB (100.3 FM) being severely short-spaced to WHTZ (also in New York) and WBIG-FM in Washington.
Philadelphia's Christmas Station
In 2002, competing Adult Contemporary station WSNI (Sunny 104.5) began programming an all-Christmas music format as early as the first weekend in November. In previous years, B101 had gone all-Christmas for 36 hours from noon Christmas Eve to midnight on December 25th. The extended all-Christmas format proved very successful for Sunny 104.5, which prompted B101 to do the same in 2003. Thus for several years Philadelphia had two stations playing all-Christmas music in November and December.
Sunny 104.5 changed formats in August 2006 and that station's all-Christmas programming was also cancelled. That year, B101 went all-Christmas November 18.
Ratings have consistently shown that Philadelphians are huge fans of the all-Christmas format. In 2007, B101 announced that it would conduct an electronic survey on the station's website. The results would be used to make up the holiday playlist and to decide when the station would flip to all-Christmas. B101 made the switch at 3:00 p.m. on November 21, 2007. Starting that year, Christmas music was sprinkled in with the regular format for several days after Christmas. With the all-Christmas format all to itself, B101 enjoyed a 17-share in the 6+ Arbitron ratings.
In August 2008, a new Adult Contemporary station (WNUW/Now 97.5) launched in Philadelphia with sights set squarely on B101. To draw attention to itself and to take B101 down a peg, Now 97.5 flipped to all-Christmas at 5:00 p.m. on October 31. B101 began sprinkling in Christmas tunes during the weekend of November 8--an obvious reaction since WBEB had never done such a thing before. On November 13, B101 flipped to all-Christmas—the earliest iy had ever made the switch. Shortly thereafter, 1340 WHAT-AM also went all-Christmas. On November 26, 98.1 WOGL made the surprise move of abandoning its oldies format for the first time ever to flip to all-Christmas—an effort to prevent too many listeners from defecting to B101's Christmas music. Considering Wilmington's 99.5 WJBR is close by, Philadelphians found themselves with five all-Christmas stations in 2008. B101's holiday ratings were the highest, which isn't surprising as it is regularly the most listened to station, regardless of the season. WNUW has since flipped to an all-sports format.
At 3:00 p.m. on November 19, 2009, B101 flipped to all-Christmas and, having the market to itself once again, achieved a huge share in the holiday book.
At 3:00 p.m on November 18, 2010, B101 switched to all-Christmas, starting with a medley of Christmas greetings from various songs and movies before playing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. Also in 2010, B101 introduced an updated holiday jingle package.
At 6:07 a.m. on November 17, 2011, B101 switched to all-Christmas once again starting with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".
At 7:40 a.m. on November 19, 2012, B101, calling itself "Philadelphia's Official Christmas Station" once again started the all-Christmas format with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." It also added some new "imaging," such as liners saying "Find your holiday spirit here" and "Thanks for spending the holidays with us." B101 aired Christmas music from that point until December 26, 2012 at 3:00 AM, when it went back to its normal format with "[[Take On Me]]". The last song played minutes before that was "Last Christmas".
On November 21, 2013 at 3:00 p.m., B101 switched to all-Christmas once again. B101 had a new intro to the Christmas music that year and as usual, Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" was the first Christmas song played. B101 switched names to More FM at 101.1 on December 26, right after Andy Williams' song, but kept the same format and DJs.
On November 20, 2014 at 3:15 p.m., More FM switched to all-Christmas. It did a quick countdown, and Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" started the festivities as usual. Mariah Carey's iconic "All I Want for Christmas is You" followed. On December 26 at 3:00 a.m., More FM stopped the Christmas Music. The last Christmas song played was Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." "Locked Out Of Heaven" by Bruno Mars was the first song played in the regular format.
On November 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m., More FM switched to all-Christmas. After a new introduction sequence featuring Madonna's "Holiday," Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" officially kicked off the 2015 Christmas music season. Also starting in 2015 with the introduction of a new Internet stream, it ran their regular format on its HD2 Signal and both the Christmas music and regular music formats were available online and through mobile via Tunein. The last Christmas song, Anne Murray's Winter Wonderland was played at 3:00 AM of December 26 before All About That Bass was first song to play as regular format. However, from December 26 2015, through January 4, 2016, WBEB had nonstop Christmas music on its HD2 channel as well as streaming it online and mobile. And also the weekend of December 26-27, WBEB "sprinkled" in Christmas music on the main signal.
Relaunching as "Fresh"
On September 18, 2007, at 12:00 pm, WBEB conducted a special poll, which was broadcast both on-air and online via the website. The poll was 700 songs long and the station would play a 5 to 7 second clip of a song. Liners would encourage listeners to go to the station's website. Once there, users would then click if they wanted to hear the song often, sometimes, or not at all.
At 2 pm, the station was relaunched as "Fresh," becoming the second outlet to add this concept following the launch of WWFS, Fresh 102.7, in New York City by CBS Radio in January 2007. However, WBEB's ads used the same "animated office figures" as WLTW in New York used in its TV commercials.
The station has won many radio industry awards including recent National Association of Broadcasters Marconi awards:
- 2014 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2013 Major Market Station of the Year
- 2012 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2011 Major Market Station of the Year
- 2009 Major Market Station of the Year
- 2009 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2007 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2006 Legendary Station of the Year
- 2005 Adult Contemporary Station of the Year
- 2004 Major Market Station of the Year
On Sunday, March 15, 2009, WBEB stopped providing a live Internet stream. The statement from WBEB read as follows:
- Dear B101 Listener,
- Sorry, B101 is not streaming our radio signal on the Internet at this time.
- A new SoundExchange music licensing agreement has jeopardized your ability to listen to all kinds of music on the internet. Excessive music royalty rates, which have nearly doubled in the last three years and continue to increase to unprecedented levels, no longer make streaming a viable option.
- Please tune to B101 on your radio dial at 101.1 FM. If you’re having trouble getting our signal to come in clearly, try moving around the power cord, as on most radios, it also acts as the antenna. In the event you’re looking for a quality, dependable radio for your office or home, click here for one we recommend.
On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, after 6 years of not having internet streaming, WBEB brought back internet streaming and can now be heard online again. Also, the station streams on mobile via TuneIn where both channels can be heard.
WBEB is the only station in the area to features "song tags," in which, at the completion of each song, a pre-recorded voice-over states the song's name and artist. The voice is female and sounds computerized. Pre-recorded song tags allow listeners to know the identity of songs and artists without the disc jockey having to list this information.
- "101.1 More FM Philadelphia More Music, Less Talk. WBEB-FM". morefmphilly.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.