Coordinates: 43°55′30″N 70°29′28″W / 43.925°N 70.491°W / 43.925; -70.491

WBLM
WBLM logo.png
Broadcast areaMost of Maine and New Hampshire
Frequency102.9 MHz
Branding102.9 WBLM
Programming
FormatClassic rock
AffiliationsPatriots Rock Radio Network
Ownership
Owner
WCYY, WHOM, WJBQ, WPKQ
History
First air date
1973 (107.5)
1989 (102.9) see History below
Former call signs
WLOB-FM (?–1966)
WGAN-FM (1967–1987)
WTHT (1987–1989)
Call sign meaning
We Are The BLiMp!
Technical information
Facility ID22878
ClassC0
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT435 meters (1,427 ft)
Links
WebcastListen Live
Websitewblm.com

WBLM 102.9 FM is a Classic Rock radio station licensed to Portland, Maine. The station has a studio in One City Center, along with co-owned Townsquare Media stations WJBQ, WCYY, WHOM and WPKQ. The station also serves as the Portland market affiliate for the New England Patriots Radio Network. WBLM is one of only a few FM Stations in New England licensed to operate at 100,000 watts, meaning that the station can be received from almost anywhere within a 90-mile radius of its transmitter. WBLM broadcasts from a tower near Route 121 in Raymond that is the second tallest man-made structure in Maine (second only to the tower for WMTW TV 8).

In the movie City Slickers, Billy Crystal's character claimed to have been a sales executive for the fictional station "WBLM Radio".

History

WBLM signed on the air on March 1, 1973, on 107.5 MHz. By day, it played beautiful music (also known as easy listening, mostly instrumental versions of Broadway, Hollywood, and popular hits) with free-form progressive rock airing from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The station was licensed to Lewiston, Maine and its antenna was located in Litchfield, Maine, also the site of the original studio, which was a double-wide mobile home. Later that year, WBLM became a full-time progressive rocker. The first rock song the station played on the air was "The Story in Your Eyes" by the Moody Blues. Given that the transmitter site was some 40 miles (64 km) away from Portland, the station's signal was somewhat spotty in Portland and beyond. In 1979, it modified its format to mainstream album-oriented rock, after being challenged in the ratings by what at the time was a new 3,000-watt album rock station, 100.9 WLOB-FM, known as "FM 101" and currently WYNZ. Air personality John Clark from FM-101 defected to WBLM in late 1981. On December 6, 1989, it switched frequencies with 102.9 WTHT. 102.9 was previously beautiful music station WGAN-FM from its sign-on in February 1967 until 1987. Prior to 1966, 102.9 was WLOB-FM, but not related to today's AM 1310 WLOB. WGAN-FM flipped from beautiful music to CHR in 1985. The 107.5 frequency is now WFNK, ironically a direct competitor to WBLM with a classic rock/classic hits format. The two stations are often at the top of the Portland ratings list.

WBLM has a colorful connection to rock acts Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. WBLM's nickname is "The Rock and Roll Blimp". The station's on-the-air catchphrase is: "It's The Blimp Frank, it's The Blimp!"; both refer to the Captain Beefheart track off the album Trout Mask Replica "The Blimp", which is where the catchphrase comes from (the catchphrase is a portion of the beginning of that song). It's The Blimp "Frank" is in reference to Frank Zappa as the portion of the song used for the catchphrase is a recording of a phone call made from Beefheart's recording session back to their record label owner Frank Zappa about their new song titled "The Blimp". The "Cosmic Muffin" astrological forecast, which was a daily report on WBLM for years also used as its theme song "Muffin Man" by Frank Zappa, specifically the vocal portion proclaiming "The man thought he was a man but he was a muffin."

On August 30, 2013, a deal was announced in which Townsquare Media would acquire 53 stations from Cumulus Media, including WBLM, for $238 million. The deal is part of Cumulus' acquisition of Dial Global; Townsquare and Dial Global are both controlled by Oaktree Capital Management.[1][2] The sale to Townsquare was completed on November 14, 2013.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Official: Cumulus Buys Dial Global, Spins Some Stations To Townsquare; Peak Stations Sold To Townsquare, Fresno Spun To Cumulus". All Access. August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  2. ^ "Cumulus Makes Dial Global And Townsquare Deals Official". RadioInsight. August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  3. ^ "Cumulus-Townsquare-Peak Deal Closes". All Access. November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.