|Broadcast area||Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley)|
|Branding||Today's 101.1 More FM|
|Slogan||A Better Variety with Fewer Commercials
Philadelphia's Christmas Station (November–December)
|Frequency||101.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||May 13, 1963 (as WDVR)|
|Format||Analog/HD1: Adult Contemporary
Christmas music (November–December)
HD2: All '80s music
|HAAT||287 meters (942 ft)|
|Transmitter coordinates||Coordinates: (NAD27)|
|Former callsigns||WBEB-FM (1993-1995)
(Jerry Lee Radio, LLC)
|Webcast||Listen Live (Web player), MP3, AAC|
WBEB (101.1 FM, "Today's 101.1 More FM") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Owned by businessman Jerry Lee, the station broadcasts an Adult Contemporary format, switching to all-Christmas music between mid-November and December 25 of each year. The broadcast tower is in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia at ( ), Studios at 225 East City Avenue in Bala Cynwyd.
WBEB has been a top-ranking station in the Philadelphia Arbitron ratings (now Nielsen Media Research) since the early 1990s, and is the only independently owned commercial FM station in the Philadelphia media market.
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WDVR and WEAZ
On May 13, 1963, the station first signed on using the call sign WDVR, which stood for Delaware Valley Radio. It was one of several Philadelphia stations airing a beautiful music format, including 98.9 WPBS (now WUSL) and 106.1 WWSH (now WISX). In 1981, it switched call signs to WEAZ, which stood for easy listening. It began using the slogan EAZY 101 with actor Patrick O'Neal and later with actor Robert Urich as its TV commercial spokesperson. By 1984, EAZY 101 had become the #1 rated station in Philadelphia.
Original staff included Rich Franklin and Dave Shayer, both broadcast veterans, and were two of the original air staff hired by WDVR when it first went on the air in 1963. Both, later, were Music Directors at 101.1 FM. 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.
The station was known for playing pop tunes reworked in the form of instrumentals. At first, it played two vocalists per hour, although over time, more vocals were added. The instrumental music was based on the works of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, The Carpenters as well as songs from movies and Broadway. The station also ran a variety of listener contests including one where it read a name chosen at random from the Philadelphia area phone book over the air offering a prize of $1,000 if the listener called the station within 5 minutes of the announcement. By the 1980s, the station increased the number of vocals to four per hour, either from the middle of the road format or from the soft adult contemporary format.
Move to Soft AC
In 1988, the station completed a transition from instrumental-based easy listening to an all-vocal soft adult contemporary format. This format change came after research showed listeners who grew up after the advent of rock and roll did not like instrumental music. With the format change, the station used a satellite-delivered music service, 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 sign and branding would change to WBEB, B101, on April 25 of that year. A bee was used in the station's advertising, to stand for the B in the call sign.
Relaunching as "More FM"
On December 10, 2013, WBEB announced the station would be rebranding as "More FM at 101.1". The disc jockeys and format would stay the same. The name change took place on December 26, after the Christmas music format concluded. With the branding change, the station dropped its "Saturday Night '80s" program. When WBEB began playing Christmas music in 2014, the name was shortened to "101.1 More FM." In response to WZMP changing formats from Top 40 to AC, in January 2017, the station was rebranded as "Today's 101.1 More FM".
Philadelphia's Christmas Station
In 2002, competing Adult Contemporary station WSNI Sunny 104.5 (now WRFF) began programming an all-Christmas music format as early as the first weekend in November. For most of its history, including its beautiful music years, 101.1 had gone all-Christmas for 36 hours from noon Christmas Eve to midnight on December 25. The extended all-Christmas format proved very successful for Sunny 104.5, which prompted B101 to do the same in 2003, giving Philadelphia 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" (currently WPEN) launched in Philadelphia with its sights set squarely on B101. To draw attention to itself, 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 played Christmas music so early before. On November 13, B101 flipped to all-Christmas—the earliest it had ever made the switch. Shortly thereafter, 1340 WHAT 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, also 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.
WBEB 3,654 BYTES REMOVED, 1 DAY AGO m →Philadelphia's Christmas Station In August 2008, a new Adult Contemporary station WNUW "Now 97.5" (currently WPEN) launched in Philadelphia with its sights set squarely on B101. To draw attention to itself, 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 played Christmas music so early before. On November 13, B101 flipped to all-Christmas—the earliest it had ever made the switch. Shortly thereafter, 1340 WHAT 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, also 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.
At 3:00 p.m. on November 19, 2009 B101 flipped to all-Christmas and, having market to itself once again, achieved a huge share in the holiday book17-21.
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 updated holiday jingles.
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 D.J.s.
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 on 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.
On November 17, 2016 at 2:05 p.m., More FM switched to all-Christmas. Just prior to the switch, "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors was played, and familiar Christmas sounds, songs, and jingles were dubbed over the song. After a lengthy introduction to the Christmas music, including snippets of many Christmas favorites including a Christmas ID which has the same music as KOST in Los Angeles, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams once again officially kicked off the 2016 Christmas music season. On Monday, December 26 At 3:00am, More FM switched back to their regular format. The last Christmas song was Andy Williams-It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year; Omi's Cheerleader was the first song played as the regular format. The Christmas music was moved to their HD2 channel and they "sprinkled" Christmas music in on their main signal.
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 streaming audio and can now be heard online again.
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.
The station has won many radio industry awards including recent National Association of Broadcasters Marconi awards:
- 2016 Major Market Station of the Year
- 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
WBEB is short-spaced to three other Class B stations:
WCBS-FM "101.1 CBS FM" (licensed to serve New York City) and WWDC "DC101" (licensed to serve Washington, D.C.) also operate on 101.1 MHz. WBEB and WCBS-FM are 82 miles apart. WBEB and WWDC are 120 miles apart. The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on the same channel according to current FCC rules is 150 miles.
WROZ "Fun 101.3" (licensed to serve Lancaster, Pennsylvania) operates on 101.3 MHz, adjacent to WBEB. WROZ and WBEB are 73 miles apart. The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on adjacent channels according to current FCC rules is 105 miles.
- "Call Sign History [WBEB]". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "FM Query Results for WBEB". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2017-04-27..
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-181
- WEAZ Relaunches as B101
- http://articles.philly.com/2013-12-11/entertainment/45082899_1_name-change-sister-station-wmgk[dead link]
- "How Far is it Between Roxborough, Philadelphia, Pa, United States and Midtown, New York, Ny, United States". freemaptools.com. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "How Far is it Between Roxborough, Philadelphia, Pa, United States and Silver Spring, Md, United States". freemaptools.com. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "Minimum distance separation between stations. 47 CFR 73.207 (1)" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "How Far is it Between Roxborough, Philadelphia, Pa, United States and Hellam, Hallam, Pa, United States". freemaptools.com. Retrieved 2017-04-27.