|Branding||AM 1420 WBEC|
|Translator(s)||W230CP (93.9 MHz, Pittsfield)|
|First air date||March 1947|
|Format||News Talk Information|
|Callsign meaning||Berkshire Eagle Company (original owner)|
|Affiliations||ABC News Radio|
Fox News Radio
Fox Sports Radio
|Owner||Townsquare Media |
(Townsquare Media Pittsfield License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBEC-FM, WNAW, WUPE, WUPE-FM, WSBS|
WBEC (1420 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a News Talk Information format. Established in 1947, the station is licensed to serve Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States. The station is owned by Townsquare Media and features programming from ABC News Radio and Premiere Networks, including Premiere's talk network and Fox Sports Radio.
When it originally went on the air in 1947, WBEC was owned by The Berkshire Eagle Company, which is reflected in the station’s call letters. In the 1960s, WBEC’s AM and FM stations were sold to Richard S. Jackson, who held on to them until the early 1980s, when he sold them to Bob Howard Communications. Howard, according to iBerkshires.com, was a former NBC TV President, “who kept the stations until they were sold in bankruptcy,” to Joe Gallagher Associates. Gallagher later sold WBEC to Telemedia Corporation, whose parent company was sold to Vox Media in August 1999.
WBEC has a rich history of broadcasting in Berkshire County, which has included, at various times, top 40 music, local news, sports, and original programs such as Sound Off 1420, a morning talk show that was popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. Early adopters of the Marti Electronics Remote Pickup Unit (RPU), WBEC had the ability to offer live local sports and remote broadcasts during special events.
Well-known on-air personalities who have been on WBEC's airwaves include Bob Cudmore, Bill Watson, Rick Bletaire, and Larry Kratka.
On March 5, 2012, WBEC announced it would no longer carry The Rush Limbaugh Show in response to Limbaugh's derogatory remarks about law student Sandra Fluke. General manager Peter Barry told local NPR member station WFCR that he and his staff had been troubled by Limbaugh's rhetoric for many years, but his attacks on Fluke were the last straw. WBEC is believed to be the second of Limbaugh's affiliates to cancel his show; KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii had dropped Limbaugh a few hours earlier. WBEC replaced Limbaugh with The Mike Huckabee Show upon that show's launch on April 9 of the same year. The station began to run The Howie Carr Show on January 5, 2015.
In August 2013, Gamma Broadcasting reached a deal to sell its Berkshire County radio stations, including WBEC, to Reed Miami Holdings; the sale was canceled on December 30, 2013. In October 2016, Gamma agreed to sell its stations to Galaxy Communications; that sale also fell through, and in 2017 the stations were acquired by Townsquare Media.
|City of license||Facility
|Class||Transmitter coordinates||FCC info|
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-212. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
- "WBEC Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Pittsfield's WBEC Radio sold to Vox Media". Retrieved 2017-12-13.
- "Media Confidential". mediaconfidential.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
- Pittsfield Mass. Radio Station Drops Rush Limbaugh After Contraception Controversy. WFCR, 2012-03-05.
- "Western Massachusetts Cluster Sold". All Access. August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Venta, Lance (January 14, 2014). "Pittsfield Cluster Sale Withdrawn". RadioInsight. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- Venta, Lance (October 17, 2016). "Galaxy Communications Acquires Pittsfield Cluster". RadioInsight. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (July 18, 2017). "Townsquare Media Acquires Six In Massachusetts". RadioInsight. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WBEC
- Radio-Locator Information on WBEC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WBEC
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