- WROL is also an acronym, meaning without rule of law.
|Broadcast area||Greater Boston|
|Branding||AM 950 WROL|
|Slogan||The Spirit of Boston|
|First air date||January 29, 1927
(current license dates to October 8, 1950 )
|Format||Religion, talk, Irish music|
|Power||5,000 watts daytime
90 watts nighttime
|Callsign meaning||Similar to former WORL calls (which were taken by an Orlando station)|
|Former callsigns||WBSO (1927–1935)
WORL (1935–1949; 1950–1966)
|Former frequencies||1240 kHz (1927)
780 kHz (1927–1929)
920 kHz (1929–1941)
|Affiliations||Salem Radio Network|
(Salem Media Group, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBIX, WEZE, WWDJ|
WROL is a radio station in the Boston, Massachusetts radio market. The station is owned by Salem Communications, and is located on 950 kHz on the AM dial. Most of WROL's programming is religious including local ministers as well as national radio hosts such as Dr. Charles Stanley, Jay Sekulow and Eric Metaxas. Former WBZ-TV news anchor-turned-minister Liz Walker also has a program on the station. WROL also airs several Irish music blocks on weekends, including the Irish Hit Parade on Saturdays and A Feast of Irish Music on Sundays.
WROL operates with 5000 watts by day but must reduce power to 90 watts at night to protect other stations on 950 kHz. WROL uses a non-directional transmitter located off Route 107 in the Rumney Marsh Reservation in Saugus, Massachusetts. WROL is one of three religious formatted radio stations in the Boston media market owned by Salem Communications. 590 WEZE also airs religious programming and 1150 WWDJ carries religious shows in Spanish.
WROL's history dates back to 1927 and WBSO, owned by Babson College. The station moved to Boston in 1935 after a sale and became WORL. During the late 1930s, WORL was the first station in Boston to adopt a popular-music format ("The 920 Club", named after the station's former frequency; the title remained even after the move to 950 on March 29, 1941) with disc jockeys spinning the tunes. Although only a daytimer then, WORL built up a following as an entertaining alternative to the daytime programming elsewhere on the Boston radio dial.
The owners, Harold A. Lafount and two others (operating for the interests of Arde Bulova) became embroiled in a long-running dispute with the FCC for having filed false reports regarding ownership and financial structure, and in 1947 their license renewal was rejected. After an appeals process that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, the rejection was upheld. The station, which had stayed on the air via temporary licenses, went off the air on May 30, 1949.
Pilgrim Broadcasting purchased the license and returned the station to the air in October 1950. Later sales led to the station becoming WRYT, with WORL being taken by a station near Orlando, Florida. Carter Broadcasting took over in 1977, and after failing to be able to return the WORL call letters to Boston, settled on WROL. Carter immediately established a religious network with WROL as its flagship, with relays throughout New England. While mostly religious, WROL featured two popular programs during the 1970s and 1980s, a weekday cooking show with longtime Boston radio/TV personality Gus Saunders, and a Saturday block of Irish music featuring John Latchford, and later Paul Sullivan and Matt O'Donnell (among others) which became quite popular among the region's large Irish-American population. In recent years, WROL has expanded Irish music to Sunday afternoons as well.
History of call letters
The call letters WROL were previously assigned to an AM station in Knoxville, Tennessee.
- Halper, Donna; Wollman, Garrett. "The Eastern Massachusetts Radio Timeline: The First Fifteen Years". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- Halper, Donna; Wollman, Garrett. "The Eastern Massachusetts Radio Timeline: the 1950s". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- "The Boston Radio Dial: WROL(AM)". The Archives at BostonRadio.org. 2005-03-27. Retrieved January 22, 2006.
- "FCC Dissension Marks Decision Against WORL". The Billboard. May 3, 1947. p. 12.
- "Court Backs Gag of Hub Radio Station". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Associated Press. May 17, 1949. p. 4.
- "Court Decish Shakes FCC: WORL Court Okay Raises Power Doubts". The Billboard. December 4, 1948. p. 6.
- Dinneen, Joseph (June 1, 1949), "Station WORL Goes Off Air After 21 Years: 32 Jobless", The Boston Globe, p. 11
- "Two Radio Stations and One TV Affil Up Rates". The Billboard. March 29, 1952. p. 4.
- "WROL Rebroadcasts" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 1, 1935. Retrieved 19 October 2014.