|City||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Broadcast area||Providence metropolitan area|
|Slogan||"The 80's and More"|
|Frequency||101.5 MHz (Channel 268)|
(also on HD Radio)
|First air date||May 30, 1955|
|HAAT||91 meters (299 ft)|
|Former callsigns||WTMH (1955–1958)|
|Owner||iHeartMedia, Inc. |
(Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WHJJ, WHJY, WSNE-FM|
WWBB (101.5 FM, "B101") is a radio station in Providence, Rhode Island. The station plays classic hits from the 1970s, and 1980s. WWBB's offices and studios are located on Oxford Street in Providence, Rhode Island, United States, on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Roland Building near Interstate 95. WWBB's transmitting antenna is located on the roof of One Financial Plaza, also in Providence. WWBB transmits a directional signal to reduce interference to Boston-based sister station 101.7/WBWL. The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc..
WWBB’s morning show is hosted by Kristin Lessard and Dan Sperrazza, Marc Coppola mid days, Bill George in the afternoon, and Marty Thompson evenings.
Notable former WWBB on-air staff includes Tom Campbell, Mark Ambrose, Ray Anthony, Jed Barton, Big John Bina, Robby Bridges, Daria Bruno, Kenny Cool, Melissa Culross, Austin Davis, Bob Kay, Amy Hagan, Tiffany Hill, Michele Hughes, Larry "Ice Cold" Kruger, Roger Letendre, Rick Lyle, Bobby Michaels, Rebecca Morse-Whitten, Rockin' Rob Mullin, Mike O'Reilly, Cruisin' Bruce Palmer, Paul Perry, Keri Rodrigues, Jeff Ryan, Randy Saxx, Dr. Don Spencer, Tom St. John, Norm Thibeault, and Steve Valentine.
WWBB's history dates back to May 30, 1955 when it began broadcasting in Providence as WTMH. These call letters reflected the initials of its owner, T. Mitchell Hastings. In 1958, Hastings reorganized his General Broadcasting Corporation as Concert Network, Inc., and changed the call letters to WXCN. As a Concert Network affiliate, it broadcast classical music, as part of a chain, including stations in New York City, Boston, and Hartford, all including CN in their call letters.
The station was sold in 1963, and after another change in ownership the following year, it became WCRQ. By the late 1960s, the station changed owners again, becoming WLKW-FM, a sister station of AM 990 WLKW. For two decades as WLKW-FM, it aired a Beautiful Music format, often the top FM station in Providence. In 1987, the station was sold. Two years later, the easy listening format was dropped and WLKW-FM became the WWBB. The station switched to Oldies at Noon on December 26, 1989, playing a mix of hits from the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1990s, some hits from the 1970s were added, and fewer 50s songs were heard.
As the 21st century dawned, WWBB adjusted its playlist. Music from the 1950s was phased out. More music from the 1970s began to appear, and in March 2003, the slogan changed from "Good Times And Great Oldies" to "Big Hits Of The 60s And 70s". It was around this time, that former program director Bill Hess re-positioned the station as "Big Hits, B101." Since 2005, hits from the 1980s were added to the playlist, with fewer 60s songs included. Over the years, the number of songs in rotation has shrunk from approximately 1,500 to 650. In 2013, WWBB's slogan was changed to "Southern New England's '70s and '80s Hits." In 2018, The slogan was once again changed to "The ‘80s and More," focusing on '80s music with a moderate amount of '70s hits and very few (if any) songs from the 1960s.
Signal reduction and coverage change
On August 6, 2014, Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) filed a "contingent application" with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission covering adjacent stations 101.7 WBWL in Lynn, Massachusetts and 101.9 WCIB in Falmouth, Massachusetts to improve WBWL's coverage in the Boston area. Boston is a much larger radio market than Providence, so boosting WBWL's signal would improve its advertising and revenue potential, despite the reduced coverage for WWBB and WCIB. The application called for downgrading WWBB's signal from a "Class B" (50,000-watt equivalent) to a "Class A" (6,000-watt equivalent) and using a directional signal away from Boston. The application also called for the relocation of WWBB antenna to the roof of a building in downtown Providence, a further step in reducing its coverage outside Providence and its suburbs. The application was granted October 6, 2014. WWBB completed the facility change in January 2015, and changed to the new facility on February 2, 2015. Upon this recent signal reduction, HD digital service continued but programming on WWBB-HD2 was discontinued and WWBB instead only simulcasts its main analog feed into HD digital via WWBB-HD.
- "ggn information systems - Call Letters". 2002-11-18.
- "WNCN Ownership & Management".
- Billboard Jun 30, 1958, p. 6