WBLI

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WBLI
WBLI.png
CityPatchogue, New York
Broadcast areaLong Island
Branding106.1 BLI
SloganLong Island’s Number One for All the Hits
Frequency106.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air dateDecember 13, 1957
FormatTop 40 (CHR)
ERP49,000 watts
HAAT152 meters (499 ft)
ClassB
Facility ID37235
Transmitter coordinates40°50′32.00″N 73°02′25.00″W / 40.8422222°N 73.0402778°W / 40.8422222; -73.0402778Coordinates: 40°50′32.00″N 73°02′25.00″W / 40.8422222°N 73.0402778°W / 40.8422222; -73.0402778
Callsign meaningWe're the Best on Long Island!
Former callsignsWPAC-FM
OwnerCox Radio
(Cox Radio, Inc.)
Sister stationsWBAB & WHFM
WebcastListen Live
Websitewww.wbli.com

WBLI (106.1 FM, "106.1 'BLI") is a Top 40 (CHR) radio station owned by Cox Radio and licensed to Patchogue, New York. The station mainly serves Suffolk and Nassau Counties on Long Island. Its transmitter is located in Selden, New York, and studios are located on Sunrise Highway (NY 27) in West Babylon, New York.

WBLI is programmed by Jeremy "J.J." Rice who has been with the station since 1998. Rice was formerly PD of WWHT (Hot 107.9) in Syracuse while the station was owned by Cox Radio. When Clear Channel purchased WWHT in 1998, Rice moved to Long Island and has since been the program director of WBLI and CHR format director for Cox Radio. The assistant program director is Alan "Al on the Scene" Levine, who has been with 'BLI since February 5, 1995 and has done nights, afternoon drive and now middays.

History[edit]

The station went on the air on December 13, 1957 as WPAC-FM.[1] In January 1971 the station was purchased by Beck-Ross Communications, owner of WGLI in Babylon, New York and switched to a contemporary format as "The New 106 WBLI".[2] After Beck-Ross took ownership, the station initially broadcast from a trailer located behind the WPAC building in Medford, New York. Then in March 1971 they would move to new studios at 31 W. Main St in Patchogue.[3] BLI's original air-staff included George Taylor Morris, Barry Neal (mornings), Jay Mitchell (program director & middays) Stoney Brook (Jim Ryan), Brian Quinn (News), Mike Josephs (Mike Scalzi), Dusty Hudson (Tony Marzocco) and Captain Jack Bligh (Paul Zarcone).[4] Other DJs during the 1970s & 1980s included Alan "Al Nouveau" Bandiero, Davis Parke (Mike Riccio), Randi Taylor, Bruce Michaels, Nick O'Neil, Chris Tyler, Bill Terry (William T. Whitnum)(was PD in the 1980s, currently an adjunct instructor at Suffolk County Community College in Selden, NY and General manager of the college's internet radio station SCCCIR [5]), Jeff Thomas (also the PD), Scott Taylor, Don Nelson, Rick Sommers, Keith Allen (who moved over to WBZO after BLI and is currently program director at WELJ Montauk, New York[6]), Rob McLean, Mary "J.J. Kennedy" Ann of WPLJ and WLTW in New York City, Carlton Dayton, T.K. Townsend, Brooke Daniels, Larry Addams (Larry Wachs, now podcasting at House of WACHS), with Scott Miller, and Kelly Hart. WBLI had a Saturday night dance show called Club 106 during the Disco era, hosted by Long Island club DJ Rory J. Thompson. On Sunday nights BLI aired an Oldies show known as Only Gold during the 1970s through the mid-1980s hosted by Bruce Michaels and later by Jerry St. James (Jim Cutler, currently owner of Jim Cutler Voiceovers) and then Don Nelson. Although technically a CHR/Top 40, WBLI had a more adult contemporary sound in certain dayparts and avoided such harder-rocking CHR hits such as "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts during their initial chart runs.

By 1991 with CHR on the decline across the country, WBLI evolved into more of a Hot A/C radio station with Steve Harper[7] and news director Ken Rhodes (now WABC-TV's (channel 7) morning news anchor) in mornings. The station ran various feature weekends such as the "Almost made it but didn't weekend" and "The Ladies of the 80s" etc.. Musically the station was slightly hotter than New York City's WPLJ and Mix 105 WMXV.

In March 1994 Beck-Ross Communications agreed to be acquired by Liberty Broadcasting, the owners of WGBB and WBAB-FM.[8]

By February 1995, WBLI slowly began to move back to Top 40. Long time New England Top 40 DJ Al Levine "on the scene" joined WBLI. The station also began to run a music video countdown show on Friday nights called "SEGWAY" hosted by Steve Harper and simulcast on TV55. WBLI also picked up the syndicated Saturday night show Open House Party - which had previously been run on the station in the late 80s.

In July 1996 WBLI was acquired by Chancellor Broadcasting - Ken Rosato exited mornings, Kelly Nash exited afternoons and the station began adding more R & B and Dance product especially at night.

In September 1996 Ken "Doc" Medek was hired to be Program Director after serving in that role in Northeast PA at 98.5 KRZ. Under Doc Medek and Al Levine as MD and night jock, features like the "Fresh 5 at 9", and the "New Music Challenge" returned. The station redeveloped its CHR sound on Long Island. The station was now voiced by Billy Moore[9] and had a new jingle package by TM Century. By 1997 'BLI was one of the more rhythmic mainstream CHRs on the air featuring "Classic Dance Weekends". Doc Medek left the station in September 1998 to return to WKRZ.[10]

When Cox Radio took over 'BLI they evolved into a more mainstream CHR with less dance product (though still more than most other CHR's) and a tighter playlist voiced by Kurt Flood, Mark Driscoll, with Jennifer Vaughn, and Brian James. On March 29, 2006 Beau Weaver took over as voice of 106.1 BLI, and a new jingle package debuted at that time, which is still used today.

Syke & MJ In The Morning[edit]

On September 17, 2018, afternoon hosts Syke & MJ replaced "The Cooper Lawrence Show".[11]

The Cooper Lawrence Show[edit]

On July 11, 2016 Cooper Lawrence formerly of WPLJ and Anthony Michaels who had previously co-hosted on the syndicated Cooper Lawrence Show, took over mornings 5:30 - 9am on the station.[12] The show had its last broadcast on September 14, 2018.

Dana and Jayson in the Morning[edit]

On June 30, 2016 the station announced on its Facebook page that Dana and Jayson in the Morning had ended its run.[13]

The morning program, which had begun as "BLI in the Morning," featured Dana DiDonato, Jayson Prim, John Mingione (John Online), Shawn "Puffy The Producer" Novatt, and Ted Lindner with news and traffic.

Recurring segments on BLI in the Morning:

  • The Dirt Report at 5:50, 6:50, 7:50, & 8:50 - Hollywood gossip

Dana and Jayson in the Morning often posed questions or opinions to the listeners, both on the air and online. They had many people call in each day with their opinions, and even had some 'friends' who they know well and who called a lot, like "Loyal Listener Lucille," "Lighthouse Michelle (LHM)," "Millie Milz" and more.

Steve Harper (now doing mornings on K98.3 Long Island) had hosted BLI in the AM for 25 years before being let go in the Summer of 2006, with Maria Garcia (Now freelance anchor and reporter on 770 WABC, WCBS Newsradio 880 and WOR New York City and freelance contributor for ABC News Radio) for about eight of them as "Steve and Maria in the Morning". Maria left in 2005[14]. Dana DiDonato (now mornings at FM94.9 in San Diego CA) joined Steve in January 2006[15]. Steve's last show was on July 19, 2006[16]. Dana then assumed hosting duties alongside Randy "Big Gay Randy" Spears (now retired from radio) and Drew (Drew Appelbaum, now Community Director at Yelp Long Island NY). Randy and Drew exited the station on December 16, 2010[17].

On January 10, 2011, the radio station introduced "The New BLI in the Morning", which featured Dana with new co-host Jeffrey Jameson (currently mornings on Fresh 102.7 in New York City)[18], and the return of Shawn "Puffy The Producer" Novatt (now at 90.3 WHPC Garden City, New York) one month later, who was with BLI in a similar role from 2000–2004.

The show was syndicated to Cox sister-station "Hot 100.9" WHTI/Richmond, VA and renamed "Dana and Jeffrey in the Morning" on Monday, June 4, 2012. Syndication ended with WHTI was sold to another owner in June, 2013.

Jeffrey Jameson announced he was leaving in December, 2013 and Jayson Prim (now mornings at FM94.9 in San Diego CA) debuted on January 6, 2014[19].

Controversy[edit]

On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, Randy of the "BLI in the Morning" show offended a caller from Mastic, Long Island, by insinuating that she lived in a trailer park.[20] After the station received complaints regarding the remarks, and after Randy's refusal to apologize, he was suspended by station management.[21]

Programs[edit]

  • "Syke & MJ In The Morning" - Morning Drive
  • "Al Levine on the Scene" - Middays

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WPAC FM Outlet Debuts Tomorrow" (PDF). The Advance. Patchogue New York. 1957-12-12. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  2. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (23 January 1971). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 28–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (20 March 1971). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 27–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  4. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (6 February 1971). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 50–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ Ferrette, Candice (November 15, 2017). "Suffolk County Community College launches internet radio station". Newsday. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Student Entrepreneur Makes Waves on the Air
  7. ^ "Steve Harper Exits WBLI After 25 Years". All Access Music Group. July 19, 2006.
  8. ^ Williams, Stephen (March 23, 1994). "N.y. Company Plans To Buy Whcn Owner". Hartford Courant. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Billy Moore WBLI Shout/Crank it up!". billymoore.com.
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (September 18, 1998). "WERS Makes the Big Move". NorthEast Radio Watch.
  11. ^ "WBLI Moves Syke & MJ To Mornings". Radio Insight. September 14, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Cooper Lawrence Show Will Take Over Mornings At WBLI/Long Island". All Access. July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "Dana & Jayson Exit Wakeups On WBLI/Long Island". All Access. June 30, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "WBLI morning co-host tunes out". Long Island Business News. November 18, 2005. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "10 Questions with ... Dana DiDonato". All Access Music Group. July 26, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  16. ^ "Steve Harper Exits WBLI After 25 Years". All Access Music Group. July 19, 2006. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  17. ^ Amorim, Kevin (January 8, 2011). "WBLI morning team split up". Newsday. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  18. ^ Amorim, Kevin (January 8, 2011). "WBLI morning team split up". Newsday. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "Jeffrey Exiting, Jayson Incoming As Morning Co-Host At WBLI". All Access Music Group. December 17, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  20. ^ Fybush, Scott (2008-03-03). "This Week's Bloodbath: Citadel". NorthEast Radio Watch.
  21. ^ WBLI morning show co-host suspended for comment - Cox Radio Incorporated - Newsday.com

External links[edit]