New England Sampler #1 – News Radio 590 WEEI Boston | 1980
Station: 590 WEEI Boston
Station Slogan: “NewsRadio 59”
Featured Air Personality: Various
Post Date: 11.26.2017
Contributor: Big Apple Airchecks
Airchexx Entry: 1,257
Good Afternoon, I’m Len Morris. It’s 3:58. Robert Ames is next…
It’s not often we find an intact recording of an all news station over 30 years old. More surprising for young sports enthusiasts who listen to the WEEI Sports Network, these days the calls are on 103.7 south of Boston.
The history of WEEI is rather unique. Originally signed on the air in 1924, the call letters meaning Edison Electric Illuminating. CBS (the network) purchased WEEI in 1936. After many decades of network programming, the station became Boston’s first talk station… in the 1960s, but in 1974 a new format was started. From Wikipedia.org
in 1974, this format was scrapped in favor of CBS’s standard all-news format, which continued after Helen Broadcasting bought WEEI in 1983. (Its FM sister station remained—and continues to be—owned by CBS.)
By 1991, the Boston Celtics had become the owners of the station, and had interspersed sports programming into WEEI’s schedule, before the remaining news programs were finally cancelled on Labor Day of that year, taking the station all-sports. The station also took over operations of WVEI in Worcester to simulcast its programming in central Massachusetts.
In 1994, American Radio Systems purchased the WEEI intellectual property, but FCC regulations prohibited them from actually taking over 590 AM. As such, the station was spun off and became WBNW, while ARS merged the old WHDH radio into WRKO and installed WEEI’s programming on the 850 frequency. (WVEI was given up and became WWTM, but was later purchased by WEEI and has returned to WVEI.)
So, perhaps this explains what happened to WEEI, how it came about on 850 AM (the old WHDH) and on the FM dial, and how it became the premier sports network in New England, home to the Boston Red Sox and plenty of sports talk.
Now, lets listen to the News from 1980…