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98.5 WBMX / Boston

WBMX Boston, “The New Sound of Mix 98-5” | May 1, 1999

WBMX "Mix 98-5" Boston - Pre Frequency Swap


Here’s a rather generic ‘check of WBMX Boston as it kicked off the final Summer of the 1990s. Plenty of sweepers and creative imaging reflecting Mix 98-5’s contests and music here. While scoped, you can really get a feel for the wide variety of music that the station was playing at the time.

I was never terribly impressed by most of the ‘Mix’-branded HotAC formats of the time, but there was a very tight competition between WBMX and suburban (Worcester) 104.5 WXLO in the format which started in 1984 when 104.5 first aqcuired the WXLO call letters and launched their HotAC format from the Worcester Center Galleria (98.5 was then WROR), right up to present, and because of that, both stations have benefitted greatly from the necessary high level of creativity and format innovation in the fight to gain listeners. That is evidenced in this aircheck from what was probably the high point in both stations’ history, the late 1990s.

You can compare this with one of WXLO 104.5 from a year earlier and see just how close both stations were formatically – WBMX was always the ‘Big Brother’ of the two. Much like two other stations in the Boston market with a similar format war – WAAF 107.3 Worcester and the old 104.1 WBCN Boston, but that’s another story which we’ve yet to write about.

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  1. This was a great sounding Modern AC in the late 90s and early 2000s. Mike Mullaney did a great job programming lighter/poppier alt-rock, which sounded incredibly fresh compared to the Whitney Houston schmaltz on Mix a few years before and the grunge the rock stations were playing. As of late the station has sounded too yappy with a load of female-oriented gossip and bubblegum EDM which I suspect has sent male listeners over to Radio 92.9 (WBOS). Recurrents still pull from this Modern AC era, which I appreciate.

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