|Broadcast area||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Repeater(s)||W247CB (97.3, Pittsfield)|
|First air date||November 27, 1946|
|Format||News Talk Information|
|Power||5,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
|Former callsigns||WBET (1946-2006)
|Owner||Edward Perry, Jr.
(Marshfield Broadcasting Co., Inc.)
WATD (1460 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a News Talk Information format. The station is licensed to Brockton, Massachusetts and is owned by Edward Perry, Jr. through licensee Marshfield Broadcasting Co., Inc., the parent company of WATD-FM in Marshfield, Massachusetts.
WATD signed on as WBET on November 27, 1946. The station was owned by The Brockton Publishing Company, with studios on 60 Main Street in Brockton, inside the headquarters of The Enterprise newspaper. The original frequency was 990kc., daytime only, but by 1952 would move to its current 1460kc frequency due to the owners of WBET buying the two other Brockton stations, WBKA/1450 and WBKA-FM/107.1. WBET then turned in the licenses for 990 and 107.1 and moved WBET to 1460. WBKA had been owned by Joseph Curran. The 1951 Broadcasting Yearbook does not list either WBKA or WBKA-FM but the 1953 Broadcasting Yearbook lists WBET as having a construction permit for 1460 with 1,000 watts and the following year is listed as being on 1460.
1948 saw the addition of FM simulcast service with WBET-FM/97.7 (Channel 249). When WBET would sign off at sundown, WBET-FM provided service through the nighttime hours. In 1976, WBET-FM ended its simulcasts of the AM station and began broadcasting a Top 40 format. A year later, its call letters were changed to WCAV. In 1982, the station switched to a country music format and remained with it until 1999 when Radio One purchased the station and moved its studios out of Brockton. Today, that station is operated from Boston by Entercom as WKAF and broadcasts urban adult contemporary.
WBET featured local news, talk, sports and a variety of different programs and was promoted as "Full Service Radio for Metro South."
Sale to Business TalkRadio Network, as WBZB/WXBR
The station was purchased in 2006 by the Business Talk Radio Network based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Syndicated programming from the network was added to the station's lineup. The station was assigned the WBZB call letters on November 24, 2006, three days ahead of the 60th anniversary of its first sign-on. On December 12, 2006, the station changed its call sign to WXBR. The station was put up for sale in 2011. On May 2, 2012, WXBR staff was evicted from its studios for failure by its owner to pay rent. During this time, the station aired only those programs syndicated by the Business Talk Radio Network.
Sale to Azure Media
On May 18, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission approved the sale of WXBR to Azure Media, LLC., a Haitian American-owned radio group based in Miami Gardens, Florida. The station's local programming returned to the air that day with its rent paid.
On August 3, 2012, Azure Media officially took control of WXBR and signed the station off at 7 P.M. the same day. Former station personalities Dawn Carr and Dennis DeNapoli were on hand at its 60 Main Street studios to announce that the station would be off the air as its studios were relocated and thank all of its current personalities and staff at the time. This was followed by a vintage programming promo voiced by Jack Ainslie from its days as WBET and the playing of "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)" by The Four Seasons. DeNapoli read the final station identification before the station went silent.
Azure Media constructed new studios on 250 Belmont Street in Brockton with new studio equipment and replaced the station's transmitter. Also, a new logo and website was designed. The new owners intended to return most of WXBR's original programming and hosts under the previous ownership and invite local businesses and community members to start new programs on the station. The station was originally scheduled to return to the air on September 12, 2012. However, problems with the installation of the new transmitter delayed that return. It was later revealed that copper plates needed to transmit were allegedly stolen from its transmitter site in West Bridgewater among other unexpected issues. Those issues were successfully resolved and almost six months to the day after the station signed off, WXBR returned to the air on February 2, 2013 at 6:50 P.M. with a 30-minute test broadcast consisting of a mix of classic rock and country music played from its new studios. More test broadcasts of music were periodically conducted in the days that followed. The station officially returned to the air on March 5, 2013.
Azure attempted to restore WXBR's original format of local news, talk, sports and variety programming with a mix of longtime personalities, new faces and syndicated offerings. They also encouraged community members to purchase time on the station to develop new programs under a time-brokered format. However, according to reports, the station had been unsuccessful with these efforts and was losing revenue under this format. On July 7, 2014, Azure Media announced that it would be ending WXBR's in-house broadcasts and change the station's format to ethnic Haitian Creole. The station's last day of airing local news and talk programs was July 11, 2014. The station was branded as Radio Azure 1460, adopted the slogan La Radio Haitienne de Boston (Boston's Haitian Radio Station), and had its studios relocated to Randolph, Massachusetts.
Sale to Marshfield Broadcasting Company
On April 29, 2015, the Marshfield Broadcasting Company and owner Ed Perry entered into an agreement to purchase WXBR from Azure Media. The station was taken silent shortly thereafter and the sale was closed on July 17, 2015 at a purchase price of $165,000. The new owner planned to bring the station's studios back to Brockton, restore its original full service format and change its call letters to WATD, in relation to WATD-FM in Marshfield. The station changed its call sign to WATD on April 28, 2016.
It is expected that at first, the station will be a full-time simulcast of WATD-FM, but that eventually, there will be some Brockton/south suburban-specific programming on WATD (AM), such as local talk shows and Brockton-area high-school sports events.
One of the earliest personalities at WBET was Arthur "Doc" Jones. He was brought over from the former WBKA in 1952 and hosted the morning drive time slot (6-9AM) from that point through the mid-to-late 1970s. After Jones, William "Bill" Hess took over the time slot and hosted until 1983. He is currently the program director at WMAL-FM in Washington, D.C.. Charlie Bergeron hosted the morning show for 21 years (1983-2004). He was also WBET's program director, general manager and play-by-play announcer for high school sports during his time at the station. In 2004, frequent fill-in host Steve Mason became the successor to Bergeron, who is currently a freelance broadcaster and weekend sports anchor at WBZ in Boston.
In January 2009, WXBR made changes to its traditional morning drive format, which featured two people; Mason and news director Kevin Tocci. Management cited tough economic times and decided go with a single personality. Tocci was asked to continue with live news updates, and also to fill the role of host. Mason was let go after 16 years at the station and is currently a personality on WPLM-FM in Plymouth. The show was renamed The Metro South Morning News with Kevin Tocci. Tocci also hosted a sports talk show on the station with Mark Littlefield on Saturday afternoons called KITB Sports Talk (KITB standing for "Krashing into the Bigfield").
After Azure Media took over ownership of the station and took it off the air in August 2012, Tocci departed and joined WATD-FM as a news correspondent and talk show host. When the station returned to the air in March 2013, Peter Czymbor and Mike Paiva took over as hosts and the show was known as the Metro South Morning Show or PM in the AM until the switch to ethnic Haitian in July 2014.
Jim Larkin was one of the longest-tenured personalities at WBET/WXBR. He hosted Sounds of the Emerald Isle, an Irish music and comedy show, Sunday afternoons from 1982-2012. When Azure Media took over ownership of the station and took it off the air in August 2012, Larkin moved his show to WVBF in Middleborough Center.
Bill Alex hosted Newsline, a popular Brockton-area morning talk show/news program weekdays from 9-11AM during the 1990s. Bill also reported news events during the day at WBET. The following is a Bill Alex newsclip. (credit to former WBET/WXBR hosts Jim Larkin and Dale Morris). Ron Van Dam, who was brought over from cross-town WMSX, became the successor to Alex's program in 2001 and hosted until the change in formats in July 2014. Van Dam now podcasts his show online at http://metrosouthodcasting.com.
- Todesca, Janina (March 28, 2011). "Radio station WXBR broadcasts from solitary downtown Brockton spot". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "WATD Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Potter, Erik (January 13, 2012). "WXBR could be sold by April". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Potter, Erik (May 9, 2012). "WXBR locked out of downtown Brockton studio". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Potter, Erik (May 25, 2012). "WXBR sale approved by Federal Communications Commission". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Sweeney, Emily (May 18, 2012). "Rent paid, Brockton's WXBR-AM 1460 to return to air". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Graeber, Justin (August 4, 2012). "Brockton's WXBR taken off the air". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Carr, Dawn. "AM 1460 WXBR Sign-off, August 3, 2012". YouTube. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Sweeney, Emily (May 27, 2012). "New owner of WXBR-AM says radio station will continue to focus on Brockton". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- Bloom, Alex (August 21, 2012). "New WXBR owners want local focus when radio station reopens Sept. 12". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Bloom, Alex (October 12, 2012). "New WXBR owners working through technical difficulties". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved October 12, 2012.
- Sweeney, Emily (February 3, 2013). "Radio station to return to air". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Gualdron, Carla (February 6, 2013). "Strong signals that Brockton radio station will return soon". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Sweeney, Emily (July 24, 2014). "Brockton radio station format changes". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Papadopoulos, Maria (July 8, 2014). "Brockton radio station adopts a global sound". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Markman, Joseph (July 12, 2014). "Local voices going silent on Brockton's historic WXBR radio". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Markman, Joseph (July 5, 2015). "More changes ahead for WXBR in Brockton". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "New Local Voice Coming To Brockton, MA". Radio Ink. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "Time Brokerage Deal Converts To Sale At KUPA/Honolulu". All Access Media Group. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Markman, Joseph (May 5, 2014). "WATD bringing local radio back to Brockton". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Raymond, Jack. "Shoe City". Jack Raymond Radio. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Charlie Bergeron Interview". YouTube. PMintheAMBoston. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Steve Mason Interview". YouTube. PMintheAMBoston. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- Allegrini, Elaine (December 30, 2008). "Familiar voice gone from airwaves in Brockton". The Enterprise (Brockton). Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- 1992 Broadcasting Yearbook, p. A-163
- WATD data
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WATD
- Radio-Locator Information on WATD
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WATD
- Translator data