WTQX Boothbay Harbor Sold

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  • Posted In: Northern New England

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    Maine’s Blueberry Broadcasting closes on its $550,000 sale of WTQX Boothbay Harbor (96.7) to Maine Public Broadcasting . The sale pulls WTQX out of a trimulcast with “Mountain of Pure Rock” sisters WTOS/105.1 in Skowhegan and WTUX/101.1 in Gouldsboro.



    WTQZ-96.7 has become an outlet for Maine Public Broadcasting’s classical-music network.

    It’s no secret MPBN wants to acquire more stations for it’s classical network so it’s original network can complete a transition to 24/7 public-radio news and information (which it has done, except for an of classical music in the evening, three hours on Friday nights), once it can acquire stations in southwest Maine (or get a higher-power station in Portland) and northern Maine.


    This station has a very good signal range that will cover the midcoast nicely and possibly as far inland as Augusta.  I’ll be tuning in later in the week when I’m on my way to Portland.


    The only area they’re missing is Northern Maine at this point……


    Is WTQX the ‘old’ WCME 96.7 out of Brunswick?  I worked there in the mid to late 60s.


    WTQX is now WBQA and was WCME when they originally went on the air.. They have always been licensed to Boothbay Harbor.I think their studios were on route 1 in Damrascotta just north of Reny’s Warehouse when they first were on the air..


    I worked at WCME in the mid to late 60s.  It was 900 AM and 96.7 FM and was licensed to Brunswick.  The studios were on River Road in Brunswick.  The tower was only about 3 feet from the building and the FM elements also were on the tower.  We had an effective radiated power of 80,000 watts.   The change of location and call letters came after I left in Dec. of ’69.  Eventually the AM went dark, but was revived just a few years back and they took back the WCME call letters.

    There was an early Boothbay Harbor connection.  Every summer from ’66-’69 I did a one hour live remote from Boothbay Harbor.  We had a phone line from the Chamber of Commerce office in Boothbay Harbor back to our Brunswick studio and used a Marti to transmit to the Chamber office, so we could broadcast anywhere in the Boothbay region.  We even did remotes on excursion boats.

    I didn’t follow the station much after I left, but while I was there WCME-FM was licensed to Brunswick.


    WCME in Brunswick in the ’60’s was at 98.9,the current WCLZ.I remember listening somewhere around 1970,and the only on air  name I can remember is Bruce Biette, currently of Blueberry Broadcasting.Do you remember some of the on air staff from when you were there?
    Here’s something that Scott Fybush did on Maine Radio History:
    Eastern Cumberland County has a radio history of its own, mostly centering on 900 AM and 98.9 FM in Brunswick. In 1971, these were simulcast WCME AM/FM, and for the next quarter-century the station experimented with numerous formats, including oldies, and (under the later WCLZ AM/FM calls) classic rock. Today, WCLZ(AM) is home shopping and WCLZ-FM is a nifty AAA. Bowdoin College’s WBOR (91.1) in Brunswick has been around all along. And at 91.9, Brunswick High School ran 10-watt WBHS in the 1970s and 80s. The frequency became home to religious WMSJ Harpswell in the 1990s.


    Thanks Andy for the clarification.  My memory doesn’t always serve me well at times.

    The on-air staff included Cameron Smith, Jim Roberts (Pollard), Rick Clarke, Walter Thomes, Bob Dean, Daphne Pidacks, Roger Doran, Rick Foster and others I can’t remember.  Steve McCausland read the news on week-ends–his mom worked in the office.  Steve is now the spokesman for the State Police.   Those were fun years and I have a lot of fond memories of the station.  I don’t remember the name Bruce Biette.  Before I went there 900 AM WCME was owned, I believe, by J.J. Jeffreys, who went on to much bigger things.  When he was there, 900 was a rock n’ roll station, if I remember right.

    You have a very good working knowledge of radio in Maine and I always enjoy your posts.  I just wish this forum was more active.


    I came to the area in 1970.I don’t remember any of those names from when you were at WCME..I got there I think when WJTO FM went on the air on 95.3.I remember listening to Casey Kasem.Steve McCausland was doing news at ‘JTO.I remember the name Ian E. Morgan and Jeff Ryder on ‘JTO. I remember WCME promo’d their 80,000 watts.Also Bruce Biette at the same time was the regular weekender at 1530 WPNO in Auburn under the name Bruce Jefferson.
    This from Scott Fybush’s Maine Radio History:Lincoln County’s one and only radio outlet, WCME 96.7 Boothbay Harbor, signed on in 1984 as an easy-listening outlet. It’s been simulcasting 95.5 from Topsham (about which more later) for the last couple of years, first as country, and now as classic rock/oldies “Golden Eagle”.
    Here’s a link to the whole thing.
    Hope you enjoy it.


    Great post, Andy.  That history page from Scott Fybush is intriguing–I’ve saved the page and will look at it later.

    You mentioned Jeff Ryder on WJTO.  Jeff’s real name is Mark Osborne and now owns WNSX (STAR 97-7) in Ellsworth.  He’s had a great career all over the country.

    WJTO was WCME’s biggest competition, but friendly.  It was owned at the time by Winslow Porter.  He had a booming voice and would do the news, stopping frequently and editorializing on some of the stories.  I guess you can do then when you own the joint.

    Keep up the good posts, Andy.


    Andy, do you remember a newsman at WJTO named Mike Gallant?  He was still there when I left the area in Dec. of ’69.  I wonder what ever became of him.


    It was a simulcast of WTOS 105.1 Skowhegan WTOS is also currently simulcast on WTUX 101.1 Gouldsboro.

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