Call Letter Change: WEEI-FM Becomes “HitRadio 103” WHTT Boston | March 9, 1983
New Contributor Stuart Gitlow comments:
The original recording suffered from several issues: my reception of 103 wasn’t
great, the gain was turned up a bit too much (I was just getting used to using dbx), and the tape is 22 years old. All in all though, it’s not too bad.
Since posting, we’ve had numerous corrections and additions which merit posting here. One very interesting description was found in the Archives at the Boston Radio Interest Group.
Emailed courtesy of Paul Connors:
CBS had to sell WEEI-AM 590 in Boston to meet FCC ownership regulations (in 1983, it was still 7-7-7 in a market) so that it could make room for the purchase of Metromedia’s KRLD AM 1080 in Dallas. ‘EEI was the weakst signal (only 5k watts) in CBS group’s
portfolio while KRLD and Dallas represented more powerful signal in a bigger market.
While Metromedia petitioned FCC to keep both KRLD AM and a UHF station(ch.33) in Dallas, it also had agreed to sell KRLD to CBS convinced that FCC would reject their petition. Suprisingly, FCC bought Metromedia’s argument(KRLD was going to produce news and public service programming for the UHF station) and allowed Metromedia to keep both, KRLD and the UHF station, despite one-to-a-market rule. In turn, it spoiled KRLD sale to CBS. At that point it was too late to retain WEEI which was already going to Helen Valerio, of the Papa Ginos’ fame.
13 years later, CBS ended up with KRLD through a swap with SFX. In 1996, CBS traded its longtime oldies signal KKWR/Houston for KRLD.
…So, that’s the story of the ownership changes as per the Boston Radio Archives. We encourage our ‘listeners’ to verify any of our material from Boston there, at www.bostonradio.org.
Now, Connors goes on to add the following to this aircheck:
The date of the call letter change was 3/9/83, not 3/1. WHTT lasted until until 7/7/1986, when the calls were changed to WMRQ. The station was still owned by CBS at the time. As a matter of fact, the station was an O&O when the series of corporate cannibalisms began in the 90’s. The WEEI call letters stayed on 590 until 9/8/1994.
Thought you might like to hear what somebody who was there remembers.
I also remember how I had a cassette deck in the WHTT studio that was hooked up to record WEEI. I used to listen to and write down the Kevin O’Keefe traffic reports, and then read them as my morning show traffic updates! He was in the chopper above Boston for 32 years – 1960-1992!!