WBEB
WBEB B101.1 logo.png
Broadcast areaGreater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley)
Frequency101.1 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingB101.1
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatAdult contemporary
Subchannels
Ownership
Owner
KYW, WIP-FM, WOGL, WPHI-FM, WPHT, WTDY-FM
History
First air date
May 13, 1963 (1963-05-13) (as WDVR)
Former call signs
WDVR (1963–81)
WEAZ (1981–89)
WEAZ-FM (1989–93)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID71382
ClassB
ERP14,000 watts
HAAT287 meters (942 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
40°02′19.4″N 75°14′12.6″W / 40.038722°N 75.236833°W / 40.038722; -75.236833
Links
Public license information
WebcastListen live (via Audacy)
Listen live (via Audacy) (HD2)
Listen live (via Audacy) (HD3)
Websitewww.audacy.com/b101philly

WBEB (101.1 FM) is a commercial radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Owned by Audacy, Inc., the station broadcasts an adult contemporary format, switching to Christmas music for part of November and December. The broadcast tower used by the station is in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia at (40°2′19.7″N 75°14′12.8″W / 40.038806°N 75.236889°W / 40.038806; -75.236889),[1] The radio studios are co-located within Audacy's corporate headquarters in Center City, Philadelphia.

In addition to a standard analog transmission, WBEB broadcasts over two HD Radio channels, and is available online via Audacy.

Prior to 2018, WBEB was co-founded and owned by broadcaster Jerry Lee, and was recognized as one of the last independently owned and operated major market FM stations remaining in the United States.[2] WBEB has been a top-ranking station in the Philadelphia Nielsen Audio ratings since the early 1990s; this dominance has been further demonstrated during the holiday season, where WBEB has historically seen the largest ratings gains among U.S. radio stations that switch to Christmas music.[3][4]

History

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On May 13, 1963, the station first signed on using the call sign WDVR, which stood for Delaware Valley Radio.[5] The station was launched with David Kurtz as owner, Jerry Lee as sales manager, and Marlin Taylor as station manager and program director. Taylor developed a custom programming format that called for instrumental versions of popular songs and would come to be known as beautiful music.[6] It was one of several Philadelphia stations airing a beautiful music format, including WPBS (98.9 FM) and WWSH (106.1 FM). In 1981, it switched call signs to WEAZ, which stood for easy listening.[7] It began using the slogan EAZY 101 with actor Patrick O'Neal and later with actor Robert Urich as its TV commercial spokesperson.[8] By 1984, EAZY 101 had become the number one rated station in Philadelphia.[9]

The station was known for playing pop tunes reworked in the form of instrumentals. At first, it played two vocalists per hour, although over time, more vocals were added. The instrumental music was based on the works of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, The Carpenters as well as songs from movies and Broadway. By the 1980s, the station increased the number of vocals to four per hour, either from the middle of the road format or from the soft adult contemporary format.

In 1988, the station completed a transition from instrumental-based easy listening to an all-vocal soft adult contemporary format. This format change came after research showed listeners who grew up after the advent of rock and roll did not like instrumental music. With the format change, the station used a satellite-delivered music service, but by the next year, some of the air staff returned. By 1990, the station's name was shortened to "EZ 101". The station would shift to a mainstream adult contemporary format in 1993, and its call sign and branding would change to WBEB, B101.1, on April 25 of that year. 7 years later, they would shorten their name to B101.

In December 2013, WBEB announced the station would rebrand as More FM beginning December 26, with no change in format. The station argued that the B101 name was dated and did not reflect its current on-air content.[10]

On July 19, 2018, Entercom announced that it would acquire WBEB for $57.5 million. To comply with DOJ revenue limits, Entercom divested WXTU back to its previous owner Beasley Broadcast Group. WBEB was, at that time, one of the last major-market radio stations to be independently owned.[2][11] The sale closed September 28, 2018. With the sale's closure, former GM Blaise Howard returned to the station, this time as general sales manager.[12][13]

On November 8, 2018, WBEB returned to its previous "B" branding as B101.1.[14]

Signal note

WBEB is short-spaced to three other Class B stations:

WCBS-FM/New York (a sister station) and WWDC/Washington, D.C. also operate on 101.1 MHz. The distance between WBEB's transmitter and WCBS-FM's transmitter is 82 miles, while the distance between WBEB's transmitter and WWDC's transmitter is 121 miles, as determined by FCC rules.[15] The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on the same channel according to current FCC rules is 150 miles.[16]

In addition, WBEB is short-spaced to WROZ/Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as they operate on first adjacent channels (101.1 and 101.3) and the distance between the stations' transmitters is 73 miles as determined by FCC rules.[15] The minimum distance between two Class B stations operating on first adjacent channels according to current FCC rules is 105 miles.[16]

References

  1. ^ "FM Query Results for WBEB". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  2. ^ a b "Entercom Acquires 101.1 More-FM Philadelphia; Divests WXTU Back To Beasley". RadioInsight. 2018-07-19. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  3. ^ "Christmas Remains King In Holiday 2017 Ratings". Insideradio.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  4. ^ "WBEB Flips To Christmas Music". Radio Ink. 2017-11-16. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-181
  6. ^ "Marlin Taylor gets beautiful ratings with 'beautiful music'" (PDF). Television/Radio Age. September 7, 1970. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  7. ^ "Call Sign History [WBEB]". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  8. ^ Logan, Joe (September 19, 1988). "How stations will cover Amnesty concert". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  9. ^ Duncan Jr., James H. (1984). "American Radio Fall 1984" (PDF). World Radio History. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  10. ^ "B101 to change name to MoreFM in January". Philly.com. December 12, 2013. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  11. ^ "101.1 More FM, the 'crown jewel of Philadelphia radio', sold". Philly.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  12. ^ "Blaise Howard Named GSM At WBEB (101.1 More FM)/Philadelphia". All Access. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  13. ^ "Alabama FM Translator Changes Hands, Entercom Closes On WXTU/Philadelphia Sale And WBEB Acquisition". All Access. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  14. ^ "B101 Returns To Philadelphia". RadioInsight. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  15. ^ a b "Reference points and distance computations. 47 CFR § 73.208". Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  16. ^ a b "Minimum distance separation between stations. 47 CFR § 73.207(b)(1)" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-07-17.