WLAM

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WLAM
City Lewiston, Maine
Broadcast area Lewiston-Auburn area
Branding The Memories Station
Frequency 1470 kHz
First air date September 4, 1947
Format Oldies
Power 5,000 watts unlimited
Class B
Facility ID 64434
Transmitter coordinates 44°3′47″N 70°15′0″W / 44.06306°N 70.25000°W / 44.06306; -70.25000 (WLAM)
Callsign meaning Lewiston Auburn Maine
Former callsigns WLAM (1947–1990)
WKZN (1990–1993)
WZOU (1993–2001)
Owner Robert Bittner
(Blue Jey Broadcasting Co.)
Sister stations WLVP

WLAM (1470 AM) is a radio station broadcasting an oldies format. Licensed to Lewiston, Maine, United States, the station serves the Lewiston-Auburn area. Established in 1947, the station is owned by Robert Bittner through licensee Blue Jey Broadcasting Co., and simulcasts with WLVP (870 AM).

History[edit]

WLAM first went on the air September 4, 1947.[1] The station initially aired various programs, including ABC Radio programming, music, and local sports coverage.[2] An FM sister station on 100.1, WWAV (now WTHT on 99.9) was launched in 1977. The station became WKZN on December 26, 1990,[3] swapping call letters with its sister station in Gorham on 870;[4] the two stations eventually began simulcasting a standards format.[5] On July 19, 1993, WKZN changed its call sign to WZOU.[3]

Wireless Talking Machine Company sold WZOU, WLAM, and WLAM-FM (106.7 FM, which had launched in 1996 as an FM simulcast of the stations;[5] it is now WXTP), along with 99.9 (by then WMWX) and WTHT (107.5 FM; now WFNK) to Harron Communications, then-owner of WMTW-TV, in 1999.[6] On May 21, 2001, Harron restored the WLAM call letters to the station;[3] two weeks prior to this, 870 and 106.7 were converted to news/talk as WMTW.[7] While WLAM initially retained the standards format, on November 26, the station was switched to a simulcast of WMTW;[8] shortly afterwards, talk programming was removed from the stations in favor of an all-news format, mainly from the Associated Press's All-News Radio service.[9]

After Harron sold its Maine radio stations to Nassau Broadcasting Partners in 2004, Newsradio WMTW was discontinued. Nassau also introduced three separate formats to the stations,[10] with WLAM reverting to standards.[11] This incarnation of the format would prove short-lived; in late 2005, the station switched to ESPN Radio.[12]

One of WLAM's personalities during its standards incarnations was Bud Sawyer, a longtime staple of Portland-area radio stations such as WPOR, who was the station's morning host from 1998[13] until the 2001 switch to news/talk,[8] and again during the mid-2000s restoration of the standards format.[12]

WLAM had planned to drop ESPN Radio in favor of programming from Boston's WEEI in January 2008,[14] but the deal between Nassau and Entercom ended up collapsing.[15] The ESPN Radio format would remain until February 2, 2009, when WLAM and WLVP switched to the current oldies format.[16] In conjunction with the change, the stations began simulcasting WCSH's morning and early evening newscasts, a move made to continue the newscasts' availability via radio even after the station's own 87.7 MHz audio is discontinued following the shutdown of analog television signals.[16][17]

Initially locally programmed, in early 2010 WLAM and WLVP became affiliates of The True Oldies Channel.[18] Additionally, on August 2, the station added The Jeff Santos Show from WWZN in Boston;[19] this in effect took WLAM's morning drive programming back to a news/talk format, as Santos' program immediately follows the simulcast of WCSH's morning newscast. The stations' format was modified once more on August 6, 2011, when sports talk was re-added to the schedule 7 days a week via locally produced shows and high school football and basketball from the Maine Sports Network (which previously provided some weekend programming to WJJB-FM).[20]

WLAM, along with 16 other Nassau stations in northern New England, was purchased at bankruptcy auction by WBIN Media Company, a company controlled by Bill Binnie, on May 22, 2012. Binnie already owns WBIN-TV in Derry, New Hampshire.[21][22] The deal was completed on November 30, 2012.[23] On December 9, 2015, Binnie agreed to sell WLAM and WLVP to Blue Jey Broadcasting Company, controlled by Bob Bittner, for $135,000.[24] The sale to Blue Jey Broadcasting was consummated on February 17, 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Broadcasting/Cable Yearbook 1989 (PDF). 1989. p. B-133. Retrieved May 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ Sargent, Dave (March 25, 2008). "L-A's radio days recalled". Lewiston Sun Journal. Retrieved January 27, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "WLAM Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  4. ^ Fybush, Scott (1996). "Maine Radio History, 1971–1996". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Fybush, Scott (June 18, 1996). "Portland Consolidates". New England RadioWatch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  6. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 19, 1999). "TV Duopoly Arrives in N.Y.". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  7. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 7, 2001). "Farewell, Old CHUM". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Fybush, Scott (November 11, 2001). "Cumulus Buys Aurora". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  9. ^ Fybush, Scott (December 31, 2001). "2001: The Year in Review". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 12, 2004). "Nassau Shakeup in Maine". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  11. ^ Fybush, Scott (2004). "2004: The Year in Review". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Newton Poised to Approve New Towers". NorthEast Radio Watch. November 14, 2005. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  13. ^ Fybush, Scott (June 4, 1998). "Tornado Topples WIVT". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  14. ^ Whitehouse, Randy (October 23, 2007). "Boston's WEEI coming to Maine". Lewiston Sun Journal. Retrieved October 27, 2007. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Entercom-Nassau Deal Falls Through". Radio Ink. January 4, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2008. 
  16. ^ a b Routhier, Ray (January 27, 2009). "Portland to get new oldies station". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  17. ^ O'Brien, Maureen (January 26, 2009). "WCSH Strikes Deal To Simulcast Newscasts On Radio". WCSH6.com. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  18. ^ Fybush, Scott (March 8, 2010). "It's Go Time for "Rush Radio 1200"". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Jeff Santos Show expands again!". Revolution Boston. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  20. ^ Whitehouse, Randy (August 6, 2011). "Local duo making sports talk splash". Sun Journal. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Carlisle Capital Corp. Wins Bidding For Rest Of Nassau Stations". All Access. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  22. ^ "WBIN Media acquires 17 N.E. radio stations". New Hampshire Union Leader. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  23. ^ Kitch, Michael (December 1, 2012). "Binnie closes on purchase of WLNH". Laconia Daily Sun. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  24. ^ "APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]