Broadcast areaProvidence metropolitan area
Frequency790 kHz
Branding790 The Score
FormatSports betting
First air date
June 2, 1922 (as WEAN)[1]
Former call signs
  • WEAN (1922–1986)
  • WWAZ (1986–1989)
  • WLKW (1989–1997)
  • WSKO (1997–2008)
Call sign meaning
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
Facility ID64840
Power5,000 watts
Public license information
WebcastListen live

WPRV (790 AM, "The Score") is a commercial radio station in Providence, Rhode Island. The station is owned by Cumulus Media, and airs a sports radio format, largely focused on sports betting. The studios are on Wampanoag Trail in East Providence. Established in 1922 as WEAN, the station is the oldest surviving radio station in Rhode Island.

WPRV’s power is 5,000 watts, non-directional by day, but to protect other stations on 790 AM from interference, at night it uses a directional antenna with a two-tower array. The transmitter is off King Phillip Road in East Providence, near the Seekonk River.[3]


Most of WPRV's programming is syndicated from the CBS Sports Radio and BetQL networks. It also features a local afternoon program hosted by Kevin McNamara.[4][5]

The station serves as the Providence affiliate for the New York Yankees Radio Network and the Boston Celtics Radio Network. It also carries Brown University football and men's basketball.


Early years

WEAN, owned by The Shepard Stores, began broadcasting on June 2, 1922, in conjunction with the two day "Block-Aid" fund-raising street festival.[6]

On December 1, 1921, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in charge of radio at the time, adopted a regulation formally establishing a broadcasting station category, which set aside the wavelength of 360 meters (833 kHz) for entertainment broadcasts, and 485 meters (619 kHz) for farm market and weather reports.[7] The Shepard Company Department Store in Providence was selling radio receivers and sought to have a station for its customers to listen to.

On June 2, 1922, the Shepard Company application was granted. The new station was issued the call sign WEAN, and a telegram was sent authorizing immediate operation.[6] However, the station's license was not issued until the 5th.[8][9] The call letters were randomly assigned from a sequential roster of available call signs, and the station initially transmitted on the shared 360-meter "entertainment" wavelength. On June 2 and 3, Providence held a "Block-Aid" fund-raising street festival, benefiting the Rhode Island Hospital.[10] The "radio editor" of the Providence News arranged for the new station to broadcast musical selections in support of this event.[11]

WEAN was the second licensed Rhode Island broadcasting station, and is the oldest surviving one.[12] Throughout the 1920s, the U.S. government struggled to maintain an equitable assignment policy. During this period WEAN was reassigned to multiple transmitting frequencies, until on November 11, 1928, as a result of a major national reallocation implemented under the Federal Radio Commission's General Order 40, it moved to 550 kHz.[13] However, this was changed the next year to 780 kHz.[14]

A 1924 fire at the Shepard store destroyed the transmitter, and in 1928 the station moved to the Biltmore Hotel.[15] WEAN's studios were later in the Crown Hotel in Providence.[16]

Yankee Network

Starting in 1927, WEAN received programming from Boston sister station WNAC, the forerunner to WBIX (1260 AM) and WRKO (680 AM). This formed the cornerstone of the Yankee Network, a regional radio service feeding newscasts and other programs throughout the region.[15] In the 1940s and 1950s, WEAN was a network affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System, carrying its dramas, comedies, variety shows, news and sports.

On March 29, 1941, under the provisions of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA), stations on 780 kHz, including WEAN, moved to 790 kHz, which has been the station's assignment ever since.[17] The Shepard family announced the sale of the Yankee Network, including WEAN, to General Tire & Rubber in December 1942.[18] The transaction was approved the following month.[19] In August 1954, General Teleradio announced it would sell WEAN to the Providence Journal-Bulletin newspaper, which already owned WPJB (1420 AM) and WPJB-FM (105.1);[20] upon assuming control on October 9, the Journal-Bulletin shut down WPJB (AM), with WEAN inheriting its ABC affiliation (while retaining the Mutual and Yankee Network affiliations) and WPJB-FM continuing in operation as WEAN's "fine music" sister station.[21] By the 1960s, WEAN was a full service, middle-of-the-road outlet, with popular music, news and sports. It transitioned to adult contemporary music by the 1970s.


From 1975 to 1977, WEAN was an affiliate of NBC's short-lived "News And Information Service", or "NIS", a 24-hour all-news radio network and branded "All News 79 WEAN". When NIS folded in 1977, WEAN continued as an all-news station with its own staff of anchors and reporters. Affiliation switched to CBS, and while the station carried a considerable amount of CBS news content, most news originated locally, with a local staff that numbered as high as 22 members (not all full-time, but all working for the news department.)

WEAN continued as an all-news station ("Newsradio 79 WEAN"), morphing in the early 1980s into all-news much of the day, but with local talk in certain dayparts and syndicated late-night talk. It continued as such, branded "Newstalk 79 WEAN" until shortly after the Journal-Bulletin sold it on April 1, 1985.

WEANers and Wagon
WEANie Wagon

Oldies, sports, standards

After ownership changes, WEAN changed call signs to WWAZ, with classical music, followed by oldies, then adult standards under the call sign WLKW. (Beginning in 2008 the historic WEAN call letters were assigned to co-owned 99.7 WEAN-FM). WLKW switched formats and call signs in 1998 to sports as WSKO ("The Score"), airing local and national sports shows (including ESPN Radio programs), with most programs simulcast with WSKO-FM (which was replaced by WEAN-FM, a simulcast of WPRO). The sports format was discontinued on March 10, 2008. Hosts over the years included John "Coach" Colletto, Andy Gresh, Scott Cordischi, John Rooke, Steve Hyder, Jess Atkinson, Amy Lawrence, Scott Zolak, John Crowe, and Bryan Morry.

After dropping sports, the station took on the call sign WPRV, as well as an oldies format, largely provided by Scott Shannon's The True Oldies Channel from ABC Radio.[22]

Business news

Logo as a talk and business station from April 12, 2009, to August 8, 2022

The oldies format was discontinued on April 13, 2009. WPRV moved to a business news and talk format, including shows from Bloomberg Radio; much of the business programming would eventually be scaled back and replaced with national talk shows.

Because sister stations WPRO and WEAN-FM mostly air local talk hosts, WPRV served as the Providence outlet for many of co-owned Westwood One's syndicated conservative talk shows. WPRV was the Providence affiliate for First Light, America in the Morning, The Chris Plante Show, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Mark Levin Show, The Dan Bongino Show, The Ben Shapiro Show, The Michael Knowles Show and Red Eye Radio. Weekends featured shows on money and health, including Ric Edelman, as well as repeats of weekday programs.

Return to sports

On June 15, 2022, Cumulus announced that WPRV would change its format back to sports, again using the "790 The Score" branding;[4][5] the relaunch occurred at midnight on August 8.[4][23] The revived "Score" primarily features programming from the CBS Sports Radio and BetQL networks, along with a local afternoon program hosted by Kevin McNamara (with its second hour serving as a simulcast with his existing program on WPRO and WEAN-FM) and WPRV's existing New York Yankees, Boston Celtics, and Brown University broadcasts.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Radio Stations 40 or more years old in 1962: WEAN Providence, R. I.", Broadcasting, May 14, 1962, page 134.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for WPRV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WPRV
  4. ^ a b c d "790 The Score Redebuts In Providence". RadioInsight. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Koch, Bill (June 16, 2022). "Sports Radio station 790 The Score is returning to RI airwaves". The Providence Journal. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  6. ^ a b The Shepard Stores (WEAN advertisement), Providence Journal, June 4, 1922, Third Section, page 12.
  7. ^ "Amendments to Regulations", Radio Service Bulletin, January 3, 1922, page 10.
  8. ^ "List of Stations: Supplemental List From June 1, to June 15 Inclusive", Radio Service Bulletin, June 1, 1922, page 24. Limited Commercial license, serial #454, issued June 5, 1922.
  9. ^ "Date First Licensed", Station's FCC History Cards (FCC.gov)
  10. ^ "Block-Aid Records" (Rhode Island Historical Society)
  11. ^ "Radio Sparks", Providence News, June 2, 1922, page 21.
  12. ^ On May 29, 1922, WEAG was licensed to the Nichols-Hineline-Bassett Laboratory in Edgewood as Rhode Island's first broadcasting station (Limited Commercial license, serial #437). WEAG was deleted on November 12, 1923.
  13. ^ "Broadcasting stations, alphabetically by State and city", Radio Service Bulletin, February 28, 1929, page 22.
  14. ^ "Alterations and corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, August 31, 1929, page 10.
  15. ^ a b "1922 — Year Radio's Population Soared", Broadcasting, May 14, 1962, page 102.
  16. ^ "Directory of Broadcasting Stations of the United States: Rhode Island", Broadcasting Yearbook (1940 edition), page 150.
  17. ^ "List of Radio Broadcast Stations" (as of March 29, 1941), page 55.
  18. ^ "Yankee Sale Presages Blue Alignment" (PDF). Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising. December 21, 1942. pp. 11, 67. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  19. ^ "John Shepard 3d Continues As Yankee General Manager" (PDF). Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising. January 11, 1943. pp. 16, 41. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  20. ^ "Sales of WEAN, WTAC, KCSJ-AM-TV Put to FCC" (PDF). Broadcasting–Telecasting. August 30, 1954. p. 9. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  21. ^ "Journal Takes WEAN Oct. 9, Relinquishes WPJB There" (PDF). Broadcasting–Telecasting. October 4, 1954. p. 62. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  22. ^ "Radio Stations". Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel. Archived from the original on July 28, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  23. ^ "Cumulus to Bring Sports Betting Radio to Providence". RADIO ONLINE. June 17, 2022. Retrieved June 17, 2022.

41°50′03″N 71°21′56″W / 41.83417°N 71.36556°W / 41.83417; -71.36556