Throughout most of the 1960’s Providence listeners had their choice of two great top-40 AM radio stations, Capital-Cities owned WPRO (630) and WICE (1290). WPRO, which had been broadcasting since the early 1930's under different formats, became a top-40 powerhouse during this decade. The one constant the station had was morning man Walter "Salty" Brine, who had been working the shift since 1942. Other personalities as the decade began included Jack Spector (1959-1960), Dave Sennett (pre-1960-1963), and Gerry Forrest. Later in the year, the lineup consisted of the following: Salty Brine 6a-10a, Dave Sennett 10a-230p, Paul James 230p-7, Bill Quinn (1960-1961) 7-12mid and Howie Holland 12mid-6a. This group was billed as "Five Swinging Gentlemen". The station identified itself by liners such as "Channel 63" and "Color Radio". By 1962, Joel A. Spivak (late 1960-1964) handled middays, followed by Sennett, Bill Ward at night and Bob Cusack overnights. In 1963, Rex Miller joined the station for afternoons, followed by Robin Scott. Headed into 1964, Spivak still followed Brine in late mornings. Joe Thomas pulled a double afternoon/evening shift, Robin Scott handled late afternoon drive, and Ed Horne worked overnights. Also heard were John Sterling and Bill Mac. By the middle of 1964, Charlie Jefferds was following Brine in late mornings. Lod Carleton and Bud Roberts (aka Bob Dearborn) worked the afternoon shifts, and Joe Thomas was down to one shift as the nighttime host. Music Director Pat Patterson handled afternoons for a while in the fall and Jim Raynor also worked some afternoon shifts at this time. Dave MacFee was PD and Ed Brown headed up the news department. In 1965, Al Gates was now the afternoon host and Vik Armen handled the graveyard shift.
As the latter part of the decade advanced, WPRO, “The Station that Reaches the Beaches”, remained as the number one station in the market, while WICE would later venture into other formats. By 1966, although his popular Salty’s Shack television show was nearing the end of its long run, 24-year morning man Salty Brine’s popularity and legacy was continuing to grow and just kept on growing through his final show in 1993 and even to this day after his death in 2004. Although many voices passed through "Pro-Country" over the years, the station always had personalities that perfectly complimented the format and were instantly recognizable while they were on the air. Other personalities on the station in 1966-1967 included Charlie Jefferds (middays), Vik Armen (afternoons), Joe Thomas (nights) and Bud Williams (overnights). Weekenders included Howie Holland, Jack Burns and Neil Scott. Another personality that would join the station around this time was Andy Jackson, also known as The Big Ange. By 1969, Jackson would be ruling the Providence nighttime airwaves on late nights with his extremely popular show, and Dick Jones handled overnights during this time. The other four shifts remained about the same through summer, 1969. Joe Thomas then replaced Jefferds as the midday host, with Jackson moving up to 6pm-10pm. There was a Sunday night countdown show in 1969 in which I heard two future Providence radio legends for the first time. Jimmy Gray handled the show in the late summer of 1969, and would soon take over the overnight shift from 2am-6am. Another newcomer to the station heard on the countdown show around the same time was Davy Jones. Jones would resurface in Providence radio as David Jones at WPRO-FM in 1984 and after a stint in Boston, returned in 1986 and would spend most of the next 27 years as a morning host of WSNE and then WWLI. At WPRO, Jones handled the 10pm-2am shift in late 1969. Following the countdown on Sunday nights was the “Chariot Wheels” show with David Parker featuring gospel “that’s good for your soul”. Amazingly, this show would be a Sunday night fixture for over twenty years.
Programmed by Al Herskovitz, the station had many other elements that stood out at this time besides the music and great personalities. Newscasts were a big part of the WPRO sound at this time. “WPRO Pulsebeat News” would be heard at the top of every hour and “WPRO Instant News”, a shorter version, would be heard on the half-hour. Booming and authorative voices, such as Tom Black in the morning and “the dean of R.I. newscasters”, Bud Toevs, in the afternoon made it impossible (at least for me) not to follow the newscasts. Other newsmen of the late 60’s and early 70’s included George Norton, Barry Parker, Bill Northrup, Bill Rossi and Ted Maynard. The listener with the best news tip of the week would win $6.30. The station was also the home of Providence College basketball (with Chris Clark, often simulcast on WPRO/WPRI-TV Channel 12) until moving to WJAR in 1970. Jingles were laced throughout the presentation with the “Radio Now “ jingle package, including “Pro Radio 63 is WPRO, we turn you on”. The multi-voiced commercial and promo spots were another element of the station as well as contests galore, including “Spin It & Win It”. Also, when a jock wanted to add a little extra punctuation to a word or phrase he was saying, he could turn on some heavy reverb, such as the “Big Ange PROOO SHOOW”.
In 1970, after a stint in late-nights, Jones replaced Armen, who was involved in a night club controversy that made the news, in the late afternoon shift. Armen was later cleared of any charges and moved on to great success in the broadcasting and music industries in his native homeland of Canada (See the Edmonton Broadcasters Club website). Shortly after, the lineup was adjusted to the following: Salty Brine 6-10, Joe Thomas 10-1, Jimmy Gray 1-4, Davy Jones 4-8, Andy Jackson 8-12 and Len Daniels 12-6. Warren Potash was now the station's general manager (hired in June, 1970). By late 1971, Thomas was replaced in middays by Jack Casey. In 1972, a WPRO “solid gold” record album cover showed the following lineup: Salty Brine 6-10, Jack Casey 10-1, Jimmy Gray 1-4, Davy Jones 4-8, Andy Jackson 8-12 and Dusty Brooks 12-6. Jay Clark, who would later program WABC in New York during its conversion from music to talk, became PD in January 1972 and remained for several years. Clark was heard as the voice of many station promos, as was production director Austin "Jake" Paquin, a fixture at the station for 35 years until 1990. Mike Fitzgerald took over the 10-1 midday slot during 1972(until moving to WMOD-FM Washington in early 1973). Ski reports were handled by Roxy, and later Bill Hoffman.
By 1972, the station was using the WKBW jingle package. This package was mainly sung by a deep male voice and featured a music bed that sounded a little like the music of Blood Sweat & Tears. The station was still going strong as the top-40 leader in 1973, although WGNG, consulted by John Rook, changed to a top-40 format during this year and would make a run at WPRO over the next couple of years, but could not dethrone the champion. The WPRO early summer 1973 lineup included Salty Brine 6-10, Jimmy Gray 10-2, Davy Jones 2-6, Andy Jackson 6-10, Gary Berkowitz 10-2 and Jim Henchey 2-6. Henchey was heard in June filling in for the vacationing Gray from 10a-3p. Joe Arruda and Bob Grossi handled weekends at this time. Perry Snead was heard on weekend newscasts. As the summer heated up in late July, Jones had left the station and was soon to be replaced in the afternoon-drive slot by WHYN Springfield, MA morning man Larry “Ice Cold” Kruger. Scott Robbins joined for weekends. At the end of the year, the station aired its own “WPRO Top 100 of 73” countdown with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” by Tony Orlando & Dawn taking the top spot.
More changes were in the air as 1974 would come and pass by. The Big Ange would take his night show to WJAR in a move that received plenty of local media attention. Gary Berkowitz moved to 7pm-midnight. By May of 1974, sister station WPRO-FM had switched from beautiful music to a top-40 format, with Berkowitz taking over as its PD. It was about at this time that WPRO-AM began its long transition in moving away from a top-40/rock sound into the adult contemporary format that it would be known for in the late 70’s and 80’s. Bruce Diamond (aka Jack Diamond) took over Berkowitz' 7-12 slot. Holland Cooke joined WPRO during the early part of the summer of 1974 as a weekend host and would soon fill the 7-12 pm shift by the fall of that year. Also joining WPRO was “Brother Bill” Goodman, who would work Saturday and Sunday nights and fill in for almost everyone over the next five or six years. Dave Fallon was now a part of the news team. A new jingle package (WFIL Philly Story) was now being aired. The station also moved from downtown Providence at 24 Mason St. to its current home on the Wampanoag Trail in East Providence. On the evening of October 31, 1974, WPRO aired a local and masterfully produced version of Orson Welles'"War of the Worlds", featuring the WPRO news team, that had many listeners believing that meteorites were falling and martains had invaded the Ocean State.
In 1975, the lineup included Salty Brine (mornings), Jimmy Gray (middays), Larry Kruger (afternoon drive), “Heavy Duty” Holland Cooke (nights), and “The Cherub”, Ed Cherubino (overnights). Cherubino’s all-night show included a good amount of listener calls. News was still a big part of the station as in addition to Toevs and Parker, news people included Mark Haines and Barbara Hamilton. These two were among many WPRO news reporters who would later become successful television news anchors/reporters (others included Magee Hickey and Pamela Watts). Aviva Freudmann, now a journalist in Germany, was also a news reporter at this time. Weekenders beside Goodman, included Peter Knight, Bob Oliver and Mark Simone (the same guy who brought back the music every Saturday night on WABC, New York on an oldies/interview show until moving to WOR for a late-morning talk show in 2013). Live traffic reports from ALA and Rescue 9 road call (in later years from the AAA Traffic Network and CVS Samaritan) were now broadcast in morning and afternoon drive.
One morning in early 1976, WPRO listeners were introduced to a voice that would become a fixture on local radio for 30 years, as Salty Brine was “locked” out of the studio and Gary DeGraide was left to do the show that morning. DeGraide would then move into the late afternoon shift. The new lineup that would remain intact for the next three years was as follows: Salty Brine 5:30-9, Larry Kruger 9-12, Jimmy Gray 12-4, Gary DeGraide 4-7, Holland Cooke 7-12, and Ed Cherubino 12-6. This lineup change coincided with a great new PAMS 46 jingle package called “Just for You”. Holland Cooke has an excellent section in his website that explains how this package came about and other cool tidbits about the station in the mid-to-late 70’s. Another voice that would become very familiar, especially to New England sports fans, appeared at this time as Mike Gorman reported on sports during the morning and afternoon shows. Toevs had moved to morning news by this time and his camaraderie in the morning with Salty would delight listeners for the next fourteen years. He would team with Frank Daly over the next few years. In the summer of 1976, the station was a major presence at the Tall Ships festivities in Newport with traffic and a great deal of other information to help visitors.
In 1977, the station was still on the path to AC, although songs such as “Barracuda”, “Do You Feel Like I Do” and “Stairway to Heaven” could still be heard, mainly on nights and weekends. If I can remember correctly, Cooke would play Stairway to Heaven just about every night on his show. During this year, Gorman became somewhat of a sidekick on Salty’s morning show instead of just reading the sports. In the fall of 1977, the station honored their morning man, often known as "Captain" Salty Brine, on his 35-year anniversary with the station by renaming their building to the “Brine Broadcasting Center”. It was rededicated twenty years later. By the end of the year, Kruger would now be Salty’s sidekick (from 7-9), while remaining on his 9-noon shift. New weekenders included “The Weekend (also Part-Time) Guy”, Bill Lally and Kenny Cole. Dick Rakovan was WPRO's GM at this time.
The "Great Blizzard of '78" on February 6, 1978 paralyzed the Ocean State for several days. As always, WPRO could be counted on to provide full coverage as many staffers (including Brine, Gray, Cooke, etc.) were "stranded" in the building and kept listeners informed around-the-clock. The station handed out "I Survived with 63 WPRO" bumper stickers as the state recovered from this storm. The hot contest during the first half of 1978 was the “Free For All” contest with over $25,000 given away in cash and prizes. Prizes included a Sylvania "Instant Replay" home video tape system. The above-mentioned songs from 1977 were no longer heard on WPRO in 1978. One of the few rock-leaning hits played that year was “Love Is Like Oxygen”, which was heard for a few weeks on Cooke’s show in the summertime. Countdown shows were still heard on WPRO in 1978. American Top 40 with Casey Kasem appeared on Sundays for the entire year. Also, the station was still running the “Pro Music Survey” show with Holland Cooke counting down the top 25 songs every Friday Night. Neither show would make it to 1979 with AT40 moving to WPRO-FM. Listeners were collecting “Pro-dough” dollars during on-air contests and at specified locations to win prizes, including a 1979 Chevy Chevette, in the summer and fall of 1978. Former WJAR-TV newsman Franz Laubert was now anchoring the afternoon newscasts along with Barry Parker. On the overnight shift, national news was provided at the top of the hour by UPI radio, mainly from Craig Smith. Weather reports were (and still are) being supplied by “Accu-Weather” meteorologists, including Elliot Abrams, Dr. Joel Myers, Joe Sobel and Joe Bastardi. The station began running URI Rams basketball in late 1978 with Mike Gorman and Frank Daly calling the action. Joining the part-time ranks in 1978 was Al DeStefano. News reporters now heard included Mike Wolfe, Kathy O’Brien and Karen Roberts.
As 1979 began, Big John Bina moved upstairs from PRO-FM to take over the evening shift, while all of the other shifts were adjusted. The new lineup as of January 2, 1979 was as follows: Salty Brine and Larry Kruger 6-10 (Larry was solo from 9-10), Jimmy Gray 10-2, Gary DeGraide 2-6, John Bina 6-10, Holland Cooke 10-2, Ed Cherubino 2-6. The hot contest at this time was once again, the “Free For All” contest. Despite the adult-leaning musical direction of the station, in the spring of 1979, with disco music at its peak, Cooke’s night show was basically turned “all-disco”. This would continue through most of the summer. The station played quite a few of the disco-flavored pop hits through this time, and even played “I Was Made For Loving You” by Kiss frequently at night. Mike Wade was heard doing fill-in shifts and Polly Reynolds was heard on newscasts around this time. In July, 1979, long time midday host Jimmy Gray moved downstairs to become WPRO-FM’s morning man. Ed Cherubino received a well-deserved promotion to take over Gray’s shift. As the fall approached, the disco music was gone and the station now appeared to be a full-fledged AC outlet. A new approach to overnights was tried at this time. In what may have been a somewhat of a precursor to voicetracking, the Charlie and Harrigan show made its debut. Pre-taped bits were dropped in while a jock ran the control board. The show eventually made it to 7-9pm as the new decade rolled in with Holland Cooke running the controls. Cooke then would then take over the airshift from 9-12. Greg Reynolds worked overnights at this time. Mark Wayne was heard doing some fill-in shifts just before summer. Bill Lally departed to New York City in June to write comedy and other material for Mark Simone. On July 10, 1980, a story by Bob Angell and Ty Davis in the NewPaper announced that Holland Cooke would be leaving the night shift to program a station in New Hampshire (WKBR). Sure enough, it was announced on the Salty Brine show and on Cooke’s show that evening and the next few nights featured many goodbye calls from listeners and current and former WPRO personalities. At the end of his final show on July 25, 1980, he played the first song he had played at WPRO in 1974, “Hello, Goodbye”, along with his old “And in the end the love you take..." (from Beatles - The End).” show closing, and promised he would be back someday to program a Providence station (promise fulfilled as he would return to the area as WSNE PD just a couple of years later and today is a highly successful news/talk radio consultant based out of Block Island). Cooke did some promotional appearances in the next week before he left to give away some “Hot Tickets”, which was WPRO’s promotion at the time. At about the same time Cooke left, PD Dave McNamee resigned and Gary Berkowitz was hired to oversee WPRO-FM and AM while still programming WROR in Boston. The next week, with Charlie and Harrigan removed from the schedule by Berkowitz and Reynolds now working 7 to midnight, there was a bit of a different sound as the WFIL jingles were briefly brought back and uptempo hits such as “Take Your Time (Do It Right)”, “Funkytown”, “Stomp” and “It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me” were added to the rotation. A new Saturday night oldies show with Jim Knight (aka Jim Raposa) was also added. Former WPRO traffic reporter (Stan the Traffic Man) and music director Stanley Bomes took on overnights, but soon left the station after being heard on WHJJ. Woody "The Woodman" Flo came in and did nights for a couple of months with Reynolds back on overnights. Joanie Pfeiffer (later morning co-host on WMYS with Pete Braley) was a new weekender during this time period. Anne Gabianelli and Rick O'Brien were heard on newscasts. Jim Knight then took his oldies show to WHJJ and Berkowitz himself took over the show on WPRO and the shows butted heads on Saturday nights for a few months. News director Frank Daly left for WTOP Washington DC to join former WPRO PD Dave McNamee. A radio “dating” call-in show would debut on Thursday nights beginning on October 2nd as Dick Syatt hosted “Hotline”. In November, 1980, David Simpson took over the night show. Songs such as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and even “Another One Bites The Dust” and Whip It” were heard on his show, along with the typical AC hits the station was playing. Also heard on the station at this time were Tom Cuddy, John Monk, and WPRO-FM's Giovanni, who did some fill-in shifts. A contest called “Hi-Lo”, where listeners would try to guess how much was in the jackpot with the announcer telling them if it was too high or too low, was now a regular feature on the station and would resurface at various times over the next few years.
On February 14, 1981, Simpson said his "I'm David Simpson and we're Over and Out" show closing for the last time on WPRO and became the afternoon drive-time host on WPRO-FM. He would continue in this role for well over a decade. A couple of new voices joined the regular lineup at this time as Rod West from JB105 took over 6-10pm and assistant PD Tom Cuddy worked from 10-2am. The Woodman was still hanging in on the 2-5:30am shift, leading in to Salty Brine. A new jingle package, “Pro Radio”, debuted also, and the rock-leaning songs were dropped.
By 1982, a growing number of AM stations around the country, including WRKO and WABC, had switched from music to talk. WPRO –AM began to head down that track by adding an all-night syndicated talk show featuring Larry King, In 1983, new personalities included former WICE and WMEX, Boston jock King Arthur Knight and John “Coach” Colletto, who did a one-hour music show following West from 11pm-12mid and then produced the talk show overnight. Late in 1983, Gary DeGraide moved to mornings at WPJB and was replaced in afternoons by Knight. In 1984, Beverly Horne shared morning news duties with Toevs and would continue in this role over the next several years. Listeners were calling in to win cash during the Hi-Lo "Phase 2" contest in the spring of 1984. Colletto had become the sports reporter on the Salty & Larry show and often filled in as co-host when one of them was out.
By 1985, under PD Tom Cuddy, the station was moving more into the direction of talk as Steve Kass handled a local talk show four nights a week from 8-12 and syndicated talk shows continued on overnights. With Brine and Kruger’s morning show playing very little music, the only shows regularly playing music during the week were Ed Cherubino’s midday show featuring “Out to Lunch with the Best of the Golden Oldies”, and King Arthur Knight’s afternoon show. There was also music played on weekends, including shows hosted by Alan K. and Vic Edwards. Jim Parisi and David Weiss were additions to the news staff. Weiss was also heard hosting the Hotline show. The station only played one current song an hour when it did play music. Starting with the 1986 season, the station became the local radio affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. In the summer of 1986, former 790 WEAN morning man Charlie Warren was heard doing fill-in shifts.
By 1987, more talk was in the air as Steve Kass worked the 9am–noon shift and Cherubino moved to early afternoons with his still all-music show. The Larry King Show returned on May 11, 1987 to run on weeknights beginning at 11pm. Naomi DiClemente was heard on weekend newscasts around this time. WPRO-FM's Neil Sullivan filled in on weekend air shifts. Vic Edwards was now hosting "The Original Saturday Night All-Request Oldies Show". In October, Charlie Jefferds returned after an 18-year absence to take over for Kass with a show that was primarily talk with lots of guests. This programming continued in 1988 with David Spencer (aka Dave Stewart from PRO-FM), Mark Ambrose, Phil Galise and Vic Edwards doing some weekend and fill-in music shifts. Spencer often hosted "Nighttime Trivia" contests on his shifts. Bruce Newberry was also a weekend and fill-in host. Weekends were often referred to as "The Million Dollar Weekends". Other programs included the "Hotline" call-in dating show hosted now by Dave Scott, Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story", which aired three times a day, and the Larry King show, still running each weeknight beginning at 11pm. In August of 1988, it looked like WPRO’s days as a music station were about to come to an end as WHJJ PD Ron St. Pierre was hired as PD of WPRO. St. Pierre had successfully transitioned WHJJ from music to talk and was about to do the same here. The station actually seemed to play some more current AC hits when they did play music after St.Pierre’s arrival, but as expected, the music was finally about to disappear for good.
In February 1989, it was announced that the dean of R.I. talk show hosts, Sherm Strickhouser had signed a contract to join WPRO once his WHJJ contract expired. Finally, the day the music died was March 20, 1989 as WPRO officially became an all-talk station with mostly the same lineup: Salty & Larry (6-9), Charlie Jefferds (9-12), and Ed Cherubino with a talk show (12:30-3). New to the station was Geoff Charles, whose zany and off-the-wall show aired from 3-6. The lineup was rounded out a couple of weeks later as the popular Chuck Wilson On Sports show took over from 6-8. Charles made front-page news in June when he broadcasted his show while standing under the big Blue Bug on I-95 along with a belly dancer and a girl in a bikini. There just happened to be a couple of accidents on the interstate that day. Strickhouser made his debut in August, 1989, moving Jefferds to afternoons and Cherubino to nights. Additions to the news department in the late 80's included Donna DePetro (originally as Donna J.), Gregg Perry, Fran Liro (sp?) and Jeff Derderian.
By April 1990, "Spy-in-the-sky" traffic reporter Tony DiBiasio had his own talk show, replacing Charles in the afternoon. According to Ron St. Pierre, during an "Ask the Manager" segment, the change was ratings driven and the numbers showed that Rhode Islanders wanted more mainstream talk radio. Charles briefly handled nights (he was pre-empted often by Red Sox baseball) until his contract ended a few weeks later. Cherubino came off the air and became production director. In May, Strickhouser tragically suffered a stroke. Although he made several appearances on the show with his eventual replacement, Mary Ann Sorrentino, Sherm would never return to a full-time shift before his untimely death in 1992. After a long run in the morning with Salty Brine, Bud Toevs was moved to the late morning and early afternoon newscasts. Milt Fullerton replaced Toevs in the early morning. St. Pierre was now general manager, replacing Mitch Dolan. In September, 1990, Jefferds was replaced on the 12-3pm time slot by the syndicated Rush Limbaugh show, where it ran for 17 years. It had been running on weekends (taped) before then. Also in 1990, the Galilee State Beach was officially renamed Salty Brine State Beach.
As 1991 rolled in, DiBiasio no longer held the afternoon shift (he remained as the WPRO traffic reporter through 1992). Milt Fullerton and Sara Wye would host an interview show called "Newsline" in that timeslot. Chris Camp replaced Wye in October, 1991 and the show was reduced to 3-5pm with Chuck Wilson picking up an extra hour. In early 1992, former Lt. governor Tom DiLuglio would take over from 3-5. He would soon be joined by John Hackett. Dave Kane was a weekend host at this time. Although the station was referred to as "Southern New England's News and Information Leader", news department cuts left the station with four full-time reporters (Camp, Fullerton, Horne and Perry).
On April 28, 1993, as the station was being sold to Tele-Media Corp., Salty Brine finally stepped down after an incredible 51-year run in the mornings at WPRO. Until his passing in November of 2004, he would be heard from time-to-time announcing school closings with his legendary “No School Foster-Glocester” announcement and seen in the Cardi’s Furniture commercials (Nobody beats Cardi’s...Nobody). Kruger and Colletto were left to hold the fort in the morning drive spot under new PD Artie Tefft. Tom DiLuglio and John Hackett still held the drive time spot with Rudy Cheeks replacing DiLuglio a few weeks later. Bruce Newberry would eventually take over the shift before the end of the summer of 1993. Chuck Wilson no longer handled the sports show after April, 1993. He had been working weekends at ESPN Radio and joined them full-time in 1994. News Director Chris Camp also left the station, in October 1993. He was replaced by Rory O'Neill. As 1994 began, newsman Gregg Perry departed to WHJJ.
Larry Kruger would be out of the station after 22 years of service in August of 1995. "Coach" John Colletto and Laurie Johnson were the new morning team. In April 1996, a simulcast of WRKO Boston's Howie Carr show replaced Newberry's show in the afternoon. Scott Cordischi and Frank Carpano hosted WPRO Sportsbeat from 6-8pm.
In the fall of 1997, Steve Kass returned to WPRO as morning host. Colletto (sports) and Johnson (news with Milt Fullerton) remained on the show. Some changes in 1998 saw Mary Ann Sorrentino's eight-year run in late mornings end as her contract expired in July. She would be replaced by Myrna Lamb. Soon taking over the drive-time shift was ex-WHJY morning host Carolyn Fox. She would leave WPRO and head over to 103.7 WWRX within a year. Her replacement in November, 1999 was Dan Yorke, from Springfield, MA, who occupied the shift for over 10 years. Bill Haberman became morning news anchor and remains in that position today.
WPRO received some publicity in 2000, as Survivor winner Richard Hatch filled in for Steve Kass for a week. As 2001 rolled in, Myrna Lamb was gone from her 9-11:45a show and Kass would take on a double shift for the next several months. Finally, in July, then operations manager Ron St. Pierre took over mornings on the WPRO Morning News show and Kass remained on late mornings. In the early years of the decade, the station received stiff competition in the ratings from crosstown newstalk rival WHJJ and their strong late morning and afternoon combination of John DePetro and Arlene Violet. In September of 2002, WPRO made big news again by bringing in former Providence mayor and WHJJ afternoon host Buddy Cianci as a co-host with Kass until his prison sentence late in the year.
In May 2003, veteran programmer David Berstein was hired as PD of WPRO and sister station WKSO. In July of 2004, John DePetro left WHJJ for WRKO in Boston and WHJJ began running shows from the Air America network. WPRO was now running strong in the Providence talk radio battle
The regular lineup from morning to afternoon drive remained intact until September 2005, when Steve Kass left to take a job with the governor's office. Shortly after, Bernstein was out as PD. His replacement, initially on an interim basis, was former WSAR PD Paul Giammarco. The station's popular primary weekend and fill-in host, Matt Allen filled in on the late morning shift until March, 2006 when Dave Barber from Flint, Michigan was brought in. Barber would be replaced in February, 2007 by native Rhode Islander and former WHJJ and WRKO talk host, John DePetro. On August 16, 2007, it was announced that Buddy Cianci would be joining WPRO's talk-radio lineup beginning on September 20th. The new weekday lineup as announced on September 6th was as follows: Bill Haberman with WPRO’s First News (5am-6am), John DePetro with the WPRO Morning News show (6am-10am), Buddy Cianci (with Ron St. Pierre) (10am – 2pm), Dan Yorke (2pm-6pm) and Matt Allen (6pm-7pm). The Rush Limbaugh Show was dropped after 17 years in WPRO's noon-3pm timeslot and was picked up by WHJJ.
On March 11, 2008, WPRO began simulcasting its programming on sister station WEAN-FM (99.7). The Matt Allen show was expanded to three hours (6pm-9pm). The lineup remained intact until March 15, 2010 when Buddy Cianci and Dan Yorke flipped shifts with Yorke moving to 10am-2pm and Cianci to 2pm-6pm.
On February 22. 2011, WPRO announced that the new WPRO Morning News team of Tara Granahan and former WLNE-TV news anchor/reporter Andrew Gobiel would debut on March 7th from 6am-9am, with John DePetro moving back to 9am-12pm. Dan Yorke moved to 12pm-3pm, Buddy Cianci (with Ron St. Pierre) to 3pm-6pm and Matt Allen continues to host evenings from 6pm-9pm. Under PD Craig Schwalb, hired in July 2012, the lineup remained intact headed into 2013. That was until the announcement naming Channel 10 newsman and WPRO weekend host Gene Valicenti as the new WPRO morning show host beginning January 7, 2013. In addition, Tara Granahan was promoted to assistant PD and then joined the Buddy Cianci show in February.
On January 3, 2014, PD Craig Schalb had left the station to take the PD job at WABC, New York and was replaced by WABC operations manager and former long time WPRO-FM personality and music director Tony Mascaro. Later that year on his June 25th radio show, Buddy Cianci announced his candidacy for mayor of Providence. The station announced that as of June 26th, Tara Granahan would take over the 3pm-6pm afternoon drive slot as Cianci ran for the third time for mayor of Providence. Cianci returned to his show one day following the election on November 5, 2014. On January 28, 2016, Buddy Cianci passed away at the age of 74 after being admitted to the hospital with severe stomach pains the previous night while taping his weekly television program, ABC6 News On the Record. Tara Granahan filled in on Cianci's shift for the next three months. Beginning on May 2, 2016, the lineup was adjusted as follows: Gene Valicenti with the WPRO Morning News show (6am-9am), John DePetro (9am-12noon), Matt Allen (12noon – 3pm), Dan Yorke (3pm-6pm) and Tara Granahan (6pm-9pm). In December 2016, John DePetro announced that he was leaving the station. He would resurface one month later at WADK, Newport. On April 7, 2017, WPRO announced the return of local sports talk to the airwaves with the Gresh Show (Andy Gresh) taking over the early evening shift. The new lineup as of April 17, 2017 was as follows: Gene Valicenti with the WPRO Morning News show (6am-9am), Tara Granahan (9am-12noon), Matt Allen (12noon – 3pm), Dan Yorke (3pm-6pm) and The Gresh Show (6pm-9pm).