Rocky Robbing on WJBQ Scarborough (Portland) Maine | January 1979

97.9 FM Portland, WJBQ, Harry Nelson, Brian Phoenix, Steve Bleecker

Aircheck courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks - Thanks!Here’s an FM station that sounded lots like an AM station in the respect that the format could have been heard on AM and nobody would have known the difference. Now, I woulda thought this aircheck would just fly right along, but it’s what I would term rather bland. There’s not one jingle. Not much in the way of excitement. The format is executed fine, there’s just something missing here.

Actually, this sounds very much like WRKO. Same hits, same basic approach that RKO was using toward the end of their top 40 days. What this isn’t, is the powerhouse “98 JBQ” screamer I remember hearing on tropo skip from the 80s.

Perhaps one of our listeners can fill in the blanks. What did WJBQ evolve FROM? This is nice, but in your webmaster’s opinion, not much better than anything else heard across New England. Seems to me that Harry Nelson programmed WJBQ at one point… this probably was not during that time.

Comments, anyone?

WJBQ Scarborough - circa 1982


  1. Jeff Lehmann

    WJBQ was on 106.3 at this point. According to wikipedia, they swapped positions with a classical station on 97.9 in 1980. 97.9 is a far superior signal.

    • JR Masters

      Correct. As I recall, when they swapped over to 97.9 Brian Phoenix was the new PD. The station had a new jingle package to reflect the new frequency. I remember the format being executed in a much more uptempo and high energy format, like what 68TKO was doing when Harry N. was there in the mid 70’s.

  2. Wayne Thorne

    This has to be from 1977 or 78, Jim West left the station in early 78.JBQ was an AM only in 1973 when it changed from WJAB, then the #2 station in Portland. In 1974 WJBQ 106.3 was put on the air, From Scarborough, Maine
    The 97.9 frequency was originally put on as WLOB FM in 1969, it failed to gain and was sold off in 1971 with WLOB AM. In 1980 JBQ switched freqs with what was them WDCS, a “beautiful music” station. this left JBQ with a much more powerful signal making it Maine’s first big FM.It dominated our airways as the number 2 station in Portland from 1976-1985, try as they may they never could beat WPOR,our country station. In 1983 the station was purchased by Turner ( not the TBS Turner).Making it sister stations with another big FM WIGY. It all ended with the switch to WWGT in 1986. After another swith to WCSO in 1992, the station was switched back to the heritage calls WJBQ in 1996 and is now once again a powerhouse in Southern Maine.
    By the way, you Boston folks may recognize the voice in the couple promos on this check. It is none other than Wally Brine of Lauren and Wally fame, he was our morning guy from 1976-1980, when he left for what was then WBVF.

  3. Wayne Thorne

    By the wat this is Rocky O,reilly

  4. Hi there,

    I am looking for any information on a Top 500 July 4th countdown from 1973. I don’t know which radio station presented this event but the #1 song was “Colour My World” by Chicago. The complete countdown was published and sent to record stores much like the weekly Top 30/40 countdowns. Thanks for any help!



  5. cool tracs… would enjoy hearing more ‘unscoped’ work from around the country.. thnx/jS the KMPC710 ‘wannabe guy’ :))

  6. Richard Wagoner

    It’s missing any real sense of excitement, probably on purpose to set it up as more “adult” than an AM station. Sounds like an overnight show, though. Just lacking…

  7. will

    This was an era in Portland radio where CHR stations were being programmed more like AOR stations, with album cuts interspersed with the hits. WIGY in Bath/Brunswick, WJBQ’s chief rival, promoted itself as “The Album Station,” and was a factor in the Portland ratings for a number of years.

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