|Branding||Life Changing Radio|
|Owner||Blount Communications |
(Blount Masscom, Inc.)
|WARV, WDER, WVNE|
First air date
|November 24, 1946|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|WILD about Boston|
|Power||4,800 watts daytime|
1,900 watts critical hours
|Webcast||Available on website|
WILD (1090 AM) is a radio station licensed to Boston, Massachusetts. The station airs a Christian format, and is owned by Blount Communications, through licensee Blount Masscom, Inc. The station operates during daytime hours only. Its transmitter is located in Medford.
WILD first went on the air in 1946 as WBMS, with a classical-music format. Eventually, the station went to a "popular music" format, briefly adopted the call letters WHEE, then went back to being WBMS. By the end of the fifties, the call letters were changed to WILD under owner Bartell Broadcasters, who tried a personality DJ and music format.
The station's history is best known for a long-lasting urban contemporary format which began in the late 1950s (after several years in which Italian-language programming and rhythm and blues programs for the black community shared the station's schedule). WILD became the respected voice of Boston's black community for many years.
In 1958, Nelson Noble acquired the license of the station. In September 1966, WILD was sold to Dynamic Broadcasting Corporation owned by Leonard E. Walk. In 1972, the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation purchased Dynamic Broadcasting. In August 1980, locally based Nash Communications, owned and operated by Kendall Nash, bought WILD. When Nash died in 1999, his wife, Bernadine, took the helm of the station's operations.
WILD first saw competition when WZOU flipped to a Rhythmic Contemporary Hits format as WJMN ("Jam'n 94.5") in 1993. However, it was not until 1999, when African American-owned Radio One entered the market with WBOT, that WILD saw real competition for Boston's African American population.
Local ownership ends
In May 2000, Radio One took control of WILD through a local marketing agreement, which became an outright purchase later that year. After purchasing the station, Radio One slowly evolved WILD from a rather mainstream Urban Adult Contemporary format to a format that focused more on classic soul music. In addition, the syndicated Tom Joyner morning show was added to the lineup, with the former morning host ("Coach" Willie Maye) relegated to giving local updates on the show.
On October 20, 2005, Radio One moved the Urban Adult Contemporary format to the dial position of WBOT. The move replaced "Hot 97.7" for most of the day, but the former mainstream urban format remained from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. WBOT subsequently picked up the call letters of WILD-FM.
The move cleared the 1090 frequency for a new format, so when WILD signed on at sunrise on October 20, it was reborn as a new urban contemporary gospel formatted station, Praise 1090, based on the success of WPZE-FM in Atlanta and WPPZ in Philadelphia.
The "Praise 1090" format was short-lived. On January 30, 2006, the 1090 frequency changed formats again. WILD became the Boston affiliate for the company's African American-targeted news/talk network, featuring Michael Eric Dyson, Warren Ballentine, Al Sharpton and 2 Live Stews.
WILD-FM is sold
On August 21, 2006, radio industry website All Access reported that Entercom bought WILD-FM and changed the format (after a "stunt") to rock (a simulcast of WAAF), a move designed to improve WAAF's signal in the Boston and South Shore areas. WILD-FM flipped to the simulcast at 5:30 p.m. on August 22. The sale of WILD-FM meant that the Tom Joyner morning show would return to AM 1090, and WILD would revert to contemporary inspirational and gospel music, ending the news/talk format. The news/talk format subsequently returned that December. In the summer of 2008, the station flipped to a various/brokered format on weekdays and classic soul and gospel on weekends. From December 2008 to May 31, 2011, WILD was the Boston affiliate for Radio One's African American-targeted news/talk network.
China Radio International
In June 2011, the station became a full-time affiliate of China Radio International. In 2016, Radio One sold WILD to Radio Boston Broadcasting, a company 78-percent owned by Universal Broadcasting Group and 22-percent owned by AIM Broadcasting, for $888,326.16. Radio Boston Broadcasting had been operating the station through an LMA. The station was taken silent on November 4, 2019.
Life Changing Radio
Effective October 29, 2020, the station was sold to Blount Communications for $80,000, and the station returned to the air, airing a Christian format branded "Life Changing Radio" as part of a simulcast with 760 AM WVNE in Leicester, Massachusetts.
- Halper, Donna; Wollman, Garrett. "The Eastern Massachusetts Radio Timeline: the 1940s". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- Bundy, June (November 6, 1961). "Vox Jox". Billboard: 24.
- Federal Communications Commission Reports: Decisions, Reports, and Orders of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1985. p. 555.
- "3 Radio Stations Sold". The New York Times. August 22, 1972. ISSN 0362-4331.
- WILD, WBOT: A partnership with a beat, Boston Globe, May 18, 2000
- Joyner brings activism, music to WILD, Boston Globe, August 24, 2000
- Bernadine Nash's 'WILD' ride, Boston Globe, November 16, 2000
- A 'WILD' change of format, Boston Globe, October 20, 2005
- WILD to air new African-American talk radio network, Boston Globe, October 29, 2005
- Entercom to buy Boston's WILD-FM for $30 million, Boston Globe, August 22, 2006
- Fans say WILD format should not be silenced, Boston Globe, October 10, 2006
- Simon, Clea (2006-12-15). "WBZ's new morning anchor says the job is 'a homecoming'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- Diaz, Johnny. "Chinese state radio takes to local airwaves", The Boston Globe.
- "Station Sales Week Of 9/9", RadioInsight. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Jacobson, Adam. "A WILD Exit From Boston For Radio One", Radio & Television Business Report. September 9, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 16, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Application Search Details – File Number: BLSTA-20191120AAL, fcc.gov. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- "Station Sales Week Of 8/28: Silent Boston AM Sold", RadioInsight. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- "Deal Digest: iHeart Buys First AM In Washington Market", InsideRadio. September 3, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- WILD in the FCC AM station database
- WILD on Radio-Locator
- WILD in Nielsen Audio's AM station database