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99.9 WFNX Rebrands As 99.9 WFNX

99.9 WFNX Orange Athol 700 WBZ WWBZ Northeast BroadcastingUpdate 7/1: After debuting with no branding, but continuing the voting phase to choose a new name for the Variety Hits format, 99.9 WFNX Athol debuted its new name today as “99.9 WFNX“.

Meanwhile sister 700 WWBZ has changed its branding yet again to just “AM 700“. Explaining the reasoning on its website for all the changes and the reasoning behind their infringement with CBS over the WBZ name and its dispute with WNBP Newburyport over the “Legends” branding. WWBZ states that its seeking a new brand and call letters.

Update 6/10: Well, that didn’t take long. By last night the 700WBZ.com site had been taken offline and replaced by Legends700.com as WWBZ dropped all imaging presenting itself as “WBZ“.

Update 6/9: Northeast Broadcasting ended its stunting and launched two new formats today.

99.9 WFNX Athol debuted Variety Hits “99.9 FM” at 9:00am. The station is now asking listeners to to use Vote999.com to select a name for the station. The music mix on WFNX is VERY broad as the station debuted with:

Tears For Fears – Break It Down Again
Elvis Presley – I Got Stung
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
Alabama – High Cotton
David Bowie – Fame
Disturbed – Prayer
Huey Lewis & The News – Working For A Living
Foo Fighters – Big Me
Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You

700 WWBZ Orange-Athol is now Standards/Oldies “Legends 700 WBZ” with a focus on 1950’s and 1960’s music. We’re not sure how CBS’ 1030 WBZ Boston will feel about a station where it can be heard using its call letters in its branding.

Original Report 5/28: Northeast Broadcasting’s 99.9 WFNX Athol/700 WWBZ Orange-Athol, MA have ended their simulcast of sister AAA “92.5 The River” WXRV Andover/Boston.

The stations are stunting with a broad mix of music while asking listeners to vote up/down songs online that they want to hear as part of the new formats. The stations will each debut new formats on Monday, June 9.

99.9 WFNX (which claimed the call letters formerly used on 101.7 Boston) has been simulcasting WXRV since 2008. Previously it ran a locally programmed Classic Rock format as “The Eagle” WNYN.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

7 Comments

  1. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    I’m surprised.

    I thought the simulcast would have stayed in place to serve North Central Massachusetts with “The River”.

    Maybe the AM could be targeted to the immediate Athol/Orange area with some local programming (Think WATD-95.9 Marshfield and WILI-1400 Willimantic, Connecticut).

  2. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    There is one other issue here.

    WBZ-1030 dropped NBC Radio affiliation in 1956, and replaced it with a format of popular music played by personality DJ’s. With rock ‘n roll also emerging at the same time, ‘BZ had pretty much become a rock ‘n roll station within a few years.

    ‘BZ’s “glory days” as a Top-40 format was pretty much 1960-67, prior to WRKO_680 switching to Top-40 in March of 1967.

    But the music of WWBZ-700 appears to be from the same timeframe that WBZ was a Top-40 station.

    My guess is that the new format will stay, but Northeast Broadcasting will have to drop the “WBZ” part of the branding. “Legends 700” is fine enough.

  3. Profile photo of JayR


    The branding has been amended as of today.

    Legends 700 WWBZ

  4. Profile photo of radioperson


    “The branding has been amended as of today”

    Gosh, I wonder why? 🙂

  5. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    The phrase “Certain Broadcasting Station” on “AM700’s” explanation page did make me chuckle, I have to admit.

  6. Profile photo of Jon Chaisson


    Out of curiosity, is this station picking up a satellite feed, or is it programmed in studio? Having worked at that location twice (first in 1988-89 and again in 1995-96), I’m curious as to how the station has evolved. I last set foot in that place 18 years ago, and most of the hardware then was older than dirt!

  7. Profile photo of Acheron82


    Why people think these formats actually work is beyond me. To have Disturbed and Elvis Presley in the same 30 minute span is nuts. Obvious stunt and if it’s not, this company will be embarrassed.

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