|City of license||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Branding||"NewsRadio 1030 WBNE"|
|Slogan||"Boston's All-News Station"|
|Frequency||1030 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||September 19th, 1924|
|Callsign meaning||Boston New England|
|Sister stations(s)||WBNE-TV 4 & NECNC|
|Owner|| WMFL Corporation |
|Sister Stations||WBNE-TV 4 & NECNC|
WBNE is the callsign for an AM radio station in Boston, Massachusetts which is O&O by WMFL Radio, which itself is O&O by the WMFL Corporation.
WBNE radio, which broadcasts @ 1030 kHz, is the oldest surviving commercial radio station in New England, as it began broadcasting in 1924. WBNE currently runs an All-News format. The station is the most listened-to radio station in the Boston area & covers much of the eastern United States & Canada @ night with it's 50,000-watt signal from it's transmitter location in Hull, Massachusetts, which has been used by the station since 1935. The transmitter is a 2-tower directional array where each tower is 160 m tall.
WBNE is also well-known for "Traffic & Weather Together on the 3's", which provides a summary of traffic conditions & current conditions in the area every 10 minutes (e.g., :03, :13, :23). WBNE has also been heavily involved in charitable work, with it's annual Christmastime fund drive for Boston's Children's Hospital (which does it along with sister TV station WBNE-TV 4) being the most high-profile.
During the 1970's, WBNE was 1 of a number of clear channel AM stations that petitioned to be allowed to increase their power. WBNE would have used half a megawatt out of Provincetown, Massachusetts to reach all of New England during the day. A backlash from smaller stations led to the petition being denied & station protections limited to a 750-mile radius & the cancellation of the entire clear channel service
WBNE is the oldest surviving broadcaster in New England & was the 1st licensed "commercial" radio station in the United States. The station signed on in September of 1924 with the original format being general entertainment & information which included dramas, sports, news, talk shows, special events, some music & public affairs programming.
In 1930, WBNE built a transmitter complex in Millis, Massachusetts which allowed the station to boost power to 50,000 watts. However, WBNE didn't stay in Millis for long cause the station moved it's transmitter site to Hull, Massachusetts in 1937, a move which allowed the WMFL Company (now WMFL Corporation) to launch a shortwave station & have the transmitters & antennas for both @ the same site. WBNE moved to it's present dial location, 1030 kilocycles (kilohertz) on March 29th, 1941. On June 4th 1952, WBNE-TV ch. 4 signed on. Later that month, WBNE radio moved it's studios from the Hotel Bradford in downtown Boston to join WBNE-TV in a newly-completed building @ 1170 Soldiers Field Road in the Allston section of Boston.
In 1952, WBNE expanded it's broadcasting schedule to 24-hours-a-day programming. By then, entertainment shows were moving to TV, with the amount of music programming increased as a result. WBNE then played popular music around-the-clock starting in 1956.
By 1960, WBNE offered a full-service music format, leaning towards MOR (Middle-of-the-Road) music, but also featuring an increasing amount of rock & roll. Within a few years, WBNE was a top 40 rock & roll station & with it's combination of hit music, popular hosts, powerful signal & top-notch news coverage, WBNE was the dominant radio station in the market. However, due to increased competition in the Top 40 format, WBNE adopted a more full-service adult approach.
WBNE wasn't WMFL Corporation's only Top-40 music station cause for a while, WMFL in Miami & WOTW in Orlando were as well, although they were both top 40 stations when WMFL Corporation purchased them. In 1962, WMFL dropped rock & roll to become the nation's 1st all-news radio station. WMFL Corporation eventually took WOTW down that path as well.
By the beginning of the 1970's, WBNE evolved into an Adult Contemporary Full Service format, playing several songs an hour between 6:00-9:00 AM, 10-12 songs an hour between 9:00 AM-4:00 PM & 4-6 songs an hour between 4:00-7:00 PM. At night, WBNE programmed several local talk shows. They also programmed music during the day on weekends. WMFL Corporation offered a similar format on WPPA in Pittsburgh.
Beginning in the late 1960's, WBNE made a major push into LIVE play-by-play sports. From 1966 through the 1970's & again for a time in the early 90's, WBNE was home to radio broadcasts of New England Patriots football. In the Fall of 1969, WBNE became the radio flagship of both the Boston Bruins (NHL) & the Boston Celtics (NBA). The Bruins stayed through the 1977-78 season while the Celtics left WBNE after the team's 1980-81 NBA Championship season.
In the 1980's, WBNE began to cut back on it's music programming. WBNE continued the full service AC format until January of 1991, when it began wall-to-wall Gulf War coverage along with other news during the day. After that WBNE became strictly a news & talk station ("News/Talk 1030 WBNE"). At that point WBNE began a morning news block until 10:00 AM & also ran all-news from 4:00-7:00 PM. In 1992, WBNE dropped the midday talk shows & became an all-news station ("NewsRadio 1030 WBNE").
The Boston Bruins returned to WBNE in October of 1995
WBNE's All-News format is much like WMFL's format. WBNE provides Traffic & Weather Together from the "WBNE TrafficCenter 4 HD" Team (powered by Beat the Traffic) & the "WBNE WeatherCenter 4 HD" Team every 10 minutes on the "3's" (6 times an hour), sports updates every quarter-hour (2 times an hour, @ :15 & :45), entertainment news once an hour (@ :38) & business news 2 times an hour (@ :26 & :56). When any BREAKING NEWS warrants, WBNE will break the format to provide continuous coverage of any event