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WRSI FM logo.png
City Turners Falls, Massachusetts
Broadcast area Northampton, Massachusetts
Branding 93.9 The River
Slogan "Different Is Good"
Frequency 93.9 MHz (Channel 230)
(also on HD Radio)
(also on HD Radio via WKNE-HD2)
First air date July 26, 1981 (format, on 95.3 FM)
July 1994 (license, as WPVQ)
Format Album Adult Alternative
ERP 2,500 watts
HAAT 109 meters (358 feet)
Class A
Facility ID 8775
Transmitter coordinates 42°32′01″N 72°35′34″W / 42.53361°N 72.59278°W / 42.53361; -72.59278
Former callsigns WPVQ[1]
Owner Saga Communications
(Saga Communications of New England, LLC)
Sister stations WHMP, WRSY
Website http://www.wrsi.com/

WRSI (93.9 FM, "93.9 The River") is a radio station licensed to serve Turners Falls, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Saga Communications and licensed to Saga Communications of New England, LLC. It airs an Album Adult Alternative music format.[2]


On July 11, 1977, Ed Skutnik filed an application on behalf of his Company, Green Valley Broadcasting Co., Ltd. for a construction permit to build a new FM station in Greenfield, Massachusetts. It was designated for hearing by the FCC when a competing application was filed by Poet's Seat Broadcasting, Inc. for the same vacant FM channel (95.3 MHz in Greenfield). After comparative hearings at the FCC, the FCC Administrative Law Judge decided in August 1979 that Green Valley Broadcasting Co. should be awarded the construction permit. Poet's Seat appealed the decision to a three-member FCC judicial panel. They upheld the original decision to award the construction permit to Green Valley Broadcasting Co. Poet's Seat appealed once more to the seven FCC commissioners, who voted 7-0 in Green Valley's favor. This gave Green Valley Broadcasting Co. the authority to begin construction starting in January 1981.

WRSI officially went on the air July 26, 1981 at noon with a very diverse programming line up which included music from the genres of rock, classical, jazz, new age, folk, world, country and anything new and different it could find. A concerted effort was made from the start to showcase local musicians from an area in western Massachusetts that supported its local artists through concert attendance and strong listener loyalty.

WRSI was the first stereo FM station in Franklin County, Massachusetts, and was unique among its peers in that it used next to no compression of its audio signals. This translated into less "listener fatigue"[citation needed] and longer audience participation. WRSI was also the first station in western Massachusetts beginning, in the end of 1982, to use compact discs as part of its regular programming source in order to broadcast the highest quality audio.

WRSI added a sister station in March 1987. WPOE (AM) Greenfield, MA was purchased from Poet's Seat Broadcasting Inc. The call letters were changed to WGAM (AM).

Green Valley Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (Ed Skutnik, owner) sold WRSI and WGAM to Howard Communications Corp. in October 1988.

Howard Communications went into receivership in January 1992. At that time, Ed Skutnik, former owner of WRSI and WGAM, was asked to manage the stations until a new owner was found.

In November 1992, under the ownership of Ed Skutnik, Radio Skutnik Inc. bought back WRSI and WGAM from the receivership of Howard Communication Corp. Radio Skutnik Inc. (RSI) continued the same original programming diversity which it was known for and which it started when it first signed on.

In October 1996, Radio Skutnik Inc. sold WRSI and WGAM to Watertown Radio Associates.[3]

In October 1996, Dynacom (Jeff Shapiro, owner), acting as Watertown Radio Associates of Claremont, New Hampshire, reached an agreement to purchase WRSI (95.3 FM) and WGAM (now WIZZ) from Radio Skutnik, Inc. (Ed Skutnik, owner) for a reported sale price of $650,000.[4] In August 1999, Vox Media Corp. purchased Dynacom and all of its radio assets, including WRSI, for a reported $5.5 million.[5]

In July 2000, Vox Media Corp. (Bruce G. Danziger, president) purchased WPVQ (93.9 FM) from Cardwell Broadcasting Inc., Whately (Glen W. Cardinal, president) for a reported sale price of $2.925 million.[6]

In February 2001, WRSI swapped frequencies with WPVQ so that WPVQ now broadcasts on 95.3 MHz from Greenfield, Massachusetts, and WRSI broadcasts on its current 93.9 MHz.[7] The 93.9 FM station was assigned the WRSI call letters by the Federal Communications Commission on February 1, 2001.[1]

In December 2003, Saga Communications Inc. (Edward K. Christian, president/CEO) announced that it had reached an agreement to purchase WRSI (93.9 FM) and WPVQ (95.3 FM) plus WRSY (101.5 FM) from Vox Media Corp. (Jeff Shapiro, COO).[8] The deal was brokered by Richard A. Foreman of Richard A. Foreman Associates Inc.[9] The $7 million deal closed in April 2004.[10]


Rachel Maddow, host of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and a former Air America Radio personality, worked for WRSI as host of "The Big Breakfast" after getting her start in radio at nearby WRNX.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. 
  2. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 25, 1996). "The Country Wars End". New England Radio Watch. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ Fybush, Scott (2006-08-28). "Entercom's Big Week". NorthEast Radio Watch. 
  5. ^ Fybush, Scott (1999-08-06). "Sales Galore". NorthEast Radio Watch. 
  6. ^ "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. 2000-07-31. 
  7. ^ Fybush, Scott (2001-12-31). "2001: The Year in Review". NorthEast Radio Watch. 
  8. ^ Fybush, Scott (2003-12-29). "Saga Adds in Pioneer Valley". NorthEast Radio Watch. 
  9. ^ "Changing Hands". Broadcasting & Cable. 2004-01-19. 
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (2004-04-12). "Nassau Shakeup in Maine". NorthEast Radio Watch. 
  11. ^ Lehoczky, Etelka (2004-08-31). "Left and centered: Air America radio's Rachel Maddow is out, brilliant, and ready to defend the other L word: liberal". The Advocate. 

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