For the television station, see WGBH-TV
WGBH radio studios in Boston (on Market Street, within the WGBH Guest Street studio complex)
The station, dubbed Boston Public Radio
in 2009, renamed Boston's Local NPR
, broadcasts a news-and-information
format during the daytime (including NPR News programs and PRI's The World
, which is a co-production of WGBH and PRI, and formerly the BBC World Service
), and jazz music
during the nighttime.
Prior to December 1, 2009, the station had a mixed news and entertainment format, featuring local jazz and blues programs, with the station tagline being ‘’Boston’s NPR Arts & Culture Station’’, to differentiate it from all news WBUR-FM
, also located in Boston and known at the time as "Boston's NPR News Station". Following the rebranding, much of the station’s culture related programming was dropped in favor of nationally syndicated NPR, PRI, and APM programs.
"GBH" stands for Great Blue Hill
, the site of WGBH's FM transmitter in Milton, Massachusetts
, as well as the original location of WGBH-TV's transmitter. Great Blue Hill has an elevation of 635 feet (193 m), is located within the Blue Hills Reservation, and is the highest natural point in the Boston area. (Mai Cramer, longtime host of the program Blues After Hours
, jokingly maintained that the station's call sign stands for "We Got Blues Here!")
According to Nielsen data
aggregated by Ken Mills, a Minneapolis broadcast consultant, as of June 2017 the number of WGBH's listeners has nearly doubled since 2012, increasing from 235,200 to 445,200. WGBH is the 10th-most-popular NPR news station in the United States.
The main WGBH signal operates at 100,000 watts, which is strong enough to cover the eastern half of Massachusetts
, as well as Rhode Island
, Eastern Connecticut
, much of southern New Hampshire
, and the southern tip of Maine
. Indeed, for years WGBH claimed Providence, Rhode Island
as part of its primary coverage area; the station still provides a strong city-grade signal to Rhode Island's capital.
Both WCAI and WCRB are also simulcast on HD Radio
subcarriers of WGBH itself. The WCRB simulcast on WGBH-HD2 is also relayed by translator W242AA (96.3 FM) East Cambridge
, as the Federal Communications Commission
regards it as a WGBH translator (from October 1991
until April 8, 2010,
W242AA carried WGBH's main service).
WGBH Educational Foundation received its first broadcasting license (for radio) in 1951 under the auspices of the Lowell Institute
Cooperative Broadcasting Council, a consortium of local universities and cultural institutions, whose collaboration stems from an 1836 bequest by textile manufacturer John Lowell Jr.
calling for free public lectures for the citizens of Boston.
WGBH signed on October 6, 1951
, with a live broadcast of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
. Within a decade, it had grown enough that it partnered with the Five Colleges
to set up a repeater for western Massachusetts, WFCR
. That repeater became a full-fledged station in 1962, and is now the flagship NPR outlet for western Massachusetts.
WGBH radio logo used until August 2020.
WGBH was a charter member of NPR, and was one of the stations that carried the inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered
In the summer of 2016, the station began broadcasting some of its programming from an on-air studio in the newly renovated Boston Public Library
Johnson building, fronting on Boylston Street in Back Bay
music is broadcast on weekend evenings and overnights. Until July 2, 2012, WGBH-FM also carried jazz during the evening and overnight hours on Mondays through Thursdays. However, this programming was severely cut back on July 2, 2012, to increase news and information programming during the evening and overnight hours.
Programs originating from WGBH for the local market include:
- Boston Public Radio, a daily two-hour local public affairs talk show co-hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
- Greater Boston: Radio Edition, a radio adaptation of WGBH-TV's nightly public affairs program broadcast on Saturday afternoons
- A Celtic Sojourn, a three-hour program of Celtic music broadcast on Saturday afternoons
- Arts and Ideas, a three-hour news and arts magazine broadcast on Sunday evenings
Programs originating from WGBH that are also broadcast in other markets include:
2009 format change
Until December 1, 2009, WGBH broadcast a variety of classical music
programming, mostly during the day on weekdays, weekend mornings, and Sunday afternoons. These broadcasts included (in addition to generally available recordings) recordings made by WGBH of regional chamber music
and solo recital
performances, live in-studio performances and interviews, as well as live broadcasts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
from Symphony Hall
(on Friday afternoons when the orchestra is scheduled to play), and Tanglewood
(on Sunday afternoons in the summer).
In addition, WGBH's music programming also included folk music
on Saturday afternoons and blues
on Saturday evenings.
In September 2009, the WGBH Educational Foundation announced a deal to acquire WCRB
, a local classical music station. It consolidated all classical music programming on WCRB, and changed WGBH to an all-news and information format.
A significant number of WGBH's traditional classical listeners were sacrificed in the transition, as WCRB transmits from the North Shore of Boston, and cannot be received reliably in areas to the south, including Cape Cod. In November 2009 the station announced that its long-running Saturday afternoon folk and Saturday evening blues programs would be discontinued in December, however A Celtic Sojourn
and A Prairie Home Companion
On June 20, 2012, it was announced that WGBH would cut back jazz to nine hours a week,
replacing weeknight evening and overnight jazz programming with public radio news and information programming. The cutback in jazz took place on July 2, 2012. Eric Jackson still does nine hours of jazz programming on weekends; Steve Schwartz’s Friday show was eliminated completely.
The same notice announced that in July 2012, WGBH would combine the hour-long Emily Rooney Show
and Callie Crossley Show
into a two-hour segment named Boston Public Radio
The station also started carrying the APM show Marketplace
In February 2013, Jim Braude
and Margery Eagan
(previously co-hosts of the Jim & Margery Show
talk show on WTKK
) were brought on to co-host Boston Public Radio
They brought along with them the monthly Ask the Governor
program, a series that WGBH also provides to other local stations free of charge.
WGBH and WBUR
both serve the Boston area, and there is some overlap between programming on the two stations (i.e. All Things Considered
, Morning Edition
). When WGBH announced plans to convert their daytime hours to news and information, there was speculation as to how much overlap between the two stations there would be.
The two stations also broadcast somewhat different selections from among the programs available through their national network affiliations.
- ^ Arsenault, Mark (2017-06-04). "In well-mannered public radio, an airwaves war". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
- ^ "The Boston Radio Dial: W242AA(FM)". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. June 10, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- ^ Fybush, Scott (April 26, 2010). "NJN Braces for Loss of State Support". NorthEast RadioWatch. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- ^ Goodwin, Jeremy D. (2016-07-08). "With $78M Renovation, Boston Public Library Aims For Friendlier Vibe". WBUR-FM. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
- ^ Woolhouse, Megan; Diaz, Johnny (September 23, 2009). "WGBH deal may spark a radio battle". The Boston Globe. p. B5.
- ^ "Schedule Changes on 89.7". WGBH.
- ^ Boston.com article, http://www.boston.com/culturedesk/2012/06/20/jazz-programming-wgbh-being-scaled-back-blow-jazz-fans/T78rJxzM3OicIDXyOtRIdN/story.html , posted June 20, 2012
- ^ Kennedy, Dan (June 20, 2012). "Shuffling the deck at WGBH Radio".
- ^ Kennedy, Dan (February 6, 2013). "Braude and Eagan to host WGBH Radio midday show".
- ^ Kennedy, Dan (September 21, 2009). "WGBH gets radio active".
Last edited on 3 May 2021, at 20:55
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