Sunday, July 22, 2007

WSNE History

In August 1980, a switch between three radio stations (WJAR, WHIM and WRLM-FM)occured in the Providence listening area. In the switch, the Outlet Company essentially moved its adult contemporary station, 920 WJAR, to the 93.3 FM frequency, which was operating out of Taunton, MA as WRLM-FM. A new station (with a similar format) owned by Franks Broadcasting emerged at 920. The station's call letters were renamed to WHJJ and featured former WHIM (and WJAR) personalities Sherm Strickhouser and Ron St. Pierre. In October, the station at 93.3 FM began to take shape. Although the call letters were identified as WRLM Taunton-Providence(an application to change to WSNE was in the approval process), the station used the "FM 93" slogan, again operating with an adult contemporary format. Most of the WJAR personalities moved to FM 93, with the one notable exception being morning man Charlie Jefferds, who headed up to Boston. He was replaced by John Morgan (Morgan In The Morning) from Kansas City. Joining Morgan on the morning show was former WPRO-AM news director Tom Black from the "Newswatch Team" for news, Steve Jackson for sports, and Norm MacDonald for weather. The rest of the original lineup under PD Peter Mokover was as follows: Mike Sands 10a-2p, Paul Perry 2p-6p, Bob Hollands 6p-12mid and Patty Costa 12mid-6am.

Former WPRO-AM nighttime host Holland Cooke returned to the area as PD of WSNE in 1982 until moving to WTOP, Washington in 1984. Cooke did not have a regular airshift, although he would occasionally do an airshift using the name Gary Daniels. Holland combined the names of two people he worked with at WPRO-AM to come up with the name. They were former WPRO-FM PD Gary Berkowitz and former WPRO AM/FM General Manager Aaron Daniels. The lineup remained intact with the exception of Jeff Shade taking over afternoon drive. Vinnie McCoy, Ken Cole and Wally Bruckner were heard on weekends. Bill Thompson was news director. Dyana Koelsch was also part of the news staff. The station was now broadcasting much of its programming out of Providence, although Taunton would remain as the city of license.

In 1984, the station was sold by the Outlet Co. to 2100 Corp. The station was now known as “93.3 WSNE”, although "Sunny 93.3 WSNE" would also be mentioned at times. Norm Thibeault joined the station for afternoons. In May 1984, the lineup was as follows: Mike Sands 6a-10a, Vinnie McCoy 10a-2p, Norm Thibeault 2p-6p, Patty Costa 6p-12mid, Ken Cole 12mid to 6am.

In February 1985, Norm Thibeault moved to mornings from 6a-10a, while Mike Sands returned to 10a-2p, and Vinnie McCoy moved to 2p-6p. Costa and Cole's shifts remained the same. Liz Solar worked weekends and swing shifts. Charlie Warren was heard on the station shortly after being part of a major workforce cut in March at WEAN, where he was the morning man. Also heard around this timeframe were Jim Raposa, Don Bosworth and Art Berlutti. In the spring of 1985, listeners were collecting "Sunny Money" during contests and appearances to bid on trips and prizes. In the summer of 1985 Mike Farrow joined the staff as as morning man and Program Director. Also, Vinnie McCoy exited to take afternoons at crosstown WICE. The station then gave away over $60,000 in the fall with the "Everyday Triple Play One Thousand Dollar Giveaway" contest. Dave DiLorenzo was handling weekend shifts at this time. Former WPJB night man Rick Everett was also heard on the station in 1985. As 1986 rolled in, Joan Edwardsen from WEAN/WPJB joined Farrow as the morning news anchor. Others heard included Phil Galise and former WPRO-FM night host Tyler.

In March of 1986, the station was sold again, this time to Beck-Ross Communications. Bill Campbell, former sales manager of WPRO-AM was hired as GM. Campbell hired former WPRO-AM afternoon and recent WPRO-FM and WZOU swing shift man, David Jones, to take over mornings with Edwardsen handling news duties. Norm Thibeault was again handling the afternoon drive shift. The station was now calling itself "Nintety-three-three SNE" and dropped their "93.3 WSNE" jingles and tightened the playlist a bit. As Edwardsen became more involved with the show instead of just the news, the show’s name was changed to “Jones & Joan”. Jones & Joan would become a very popular duo over the next decade and a half on WSNE. Charles “Chuck” Hinman took over the news duties. Allan Camp and Eric Chaney were also heard on the station around this time. By 1987 headed into 1988, the lineup was as follows: Jones & Joan (5:30am – 10:00am), Mike Sands (10:00am – 2:00pm), Steve York (2:00pm – 7:00pm), Ken Cole (7:00pm – 12mid) and Patti Harrison (12mid – 5:30am). The last four hours of Cole’s show consisted mainly of love songs and was called “Pillow Talk”. Heard on the weekends were Jack Roberts, Charles Hinman, Bill Hall and Bill Goodman. The spring of 1988 was highlighted by the The WSNE Secret Serial game, which awarded $93 to many listeners and $1,000 to a select few by knowing the secret serial numbers. Ed Medeiros was heard on the weekends in the summer of 1988.

In February, 1989, Jones & Joan finished second to the legendary Salty Brine with over 14,000 votes in the highly publicized “Lifebeat Top Jock” contest sponsored by the Providence Journal. Russ Dana was heard on fill-in shifts in the summer of that year. In the fall of 1990, the WSNE Dollar Bill Game gave listeners a chance to win up to $1,000. With the exception of overnights, the weekday lineup of Jones & Joan, Sands, York and Cole remained unchanged heading into 1992.

Tragedy struck WSNE on Saturday, June 5, 1993 as popular long-time midday host Mike Sands was killed in an auto accident while on his way to a station remote in Swansea, MA. The following Monday, the station paid tribute to Sands throughout the day with phone calls from listeners, former co-workers and personalities from other stations, including WPRO-AM. PD Steve Peck and Jim Halfyard would split Sands shift after his death. Amy Hawkins joined the station for overnights. Ken Cole was still the night host. With the exception of the Jones & Joan morning show, there would be many changes in all of the airshifts over the next few years.

Heading into 1997, following Jones & Joan was Amy Navarro (10am – 3pm), Jack Casey (3pm – 7pm), Jay Stevens (7pm – 12mid) and Scott Mallory (12mid – 5:30am). Weekenders included Jack Lawrence and Bruce Gammon. Casey also served as Music Director. Bill Weston was PD of WSNE, as well as WHJY. The station was now classified as a “Hot AC” station, although the music was not too much different than “mainstream AC” stations. By the middle of 1998, the rest of the lineup included Donna Mac (10am – 2pm), Harmon Dash (2pm – 4pm), Bill O’Brien (4pm – 7pm), the syndicated Delilah show (7pm – 12mid) and Scott Mallory (overnights). Scott Keith was the station PD, although Bill Hess would take over as WSNE/WHJJ PD by the fall.

In October 1999, Clear Channel Communications acquired AMFM, Inc., which owned WSNE , WHJY and WHJJ. WWBB (B101) and WWRX-FM. Shortly after, afternoon man Bill O’Brien left to program WERO in North Carolina. By 2000, Steve York had rejoined the WSNE weekday lineup for the noon-4pm shift and Doug O’Brien worked from 4pm-8pm. Gary Trust was heard on the overnights and would soon become WSNE’s music director. The lineup remained unchanged through October, 2002 with the exception of the noon-4pm shift, which was handled by Stacey Shannon in late 2001 and early 2002. Courtney Young then took over the shift in the spring of 2002.

The station would undergo many changes beginning in November, 2002. WSNE played all Christmas music for several weeks leading into December 25th. After 16 1/2 years of the Jones & Joan show, the station decided to go in a slightly different direction while re-imaging WSNE, and as a result, David Jones was no longer a part of the morning show. The re-imaging to "Star 93.3" took place after Christmas, including a slightly hotter music mix. There was one problem, however. Entercom Communications filed a complaint that the name caused confusion with their Star 93.7 station in the Boston market. The "Star 93.3" slogan was dropped and WSNE was known as the "New 93,3" for about three months. In April, 2003, the station was renamed as "Coast 93.3". In August, Brian Mulhern, formerly known as The Pharmacist on WWRX, joined the Coast Morning Show as the new co-host with Joannie Edwardsen. Steve Peck returned to the station as PD, replacing Bill Hess, who headed to Washington, DC.

In March 2004, Doug O'Brien was out of the afternoon drive shift and was replaced by Chris Eagan. Midday personality Courtney Young headed to WBGG-FM,Miami in July 2004 and was replaced by former WBOS morning man David O'Leary. In June 2005, Eagan and O'Leary flipped shifts. Eagan was named interim PD in January 2006 replacing Steve Peck. Weekenders around this time included Dave Newfell, Dilini Fernando and Courtney Kelley. In March 2006, WCTK PD and former JB105 late night host Rick Everett was named PD of WSNE and WWBB. The morning show would be revamped in November as Joannie Edwardsen and her husband, news director Chuck Hinman were let go after 20 years on the morning show. Former WCTK morning man Tad Lemire replaced Edwardsen. Brian Mulhern remained on the show with Lemire until June 2008. In December 2006, Courtney Young was again hosting middays, although this time voicetracking from Miami. This would last less than a year as Kristin Lessard was handling the midday shift by November of 2007.

In April 2008, APD/MD and afternoon host David O'Leary departed to become production director of WMJX, Boston. The following month, Chris Duggan, from WDAQ, Danbury, CT, was named PD of WSNE and WWBB, replacing Rick Everett. In June, Ryan Seacrest's syndicated show took over afternoons and the John Tesh Radio Show, also syndicated, was added to nights, replacing Delilah. Musically, Coast was now moving back into the direction of "Hot AC".

On April 28. 2009, Clear Channel Communications eliminated 590 positions nationwide, including Coast PD Chris Duggan and morning man Tad Lemire. On May 18, 2009, the station began broadcasting Kiss 108's Matty In The Morning show. In August 2009, the Cindy Spicer show replaced John Tesh for nights. In June 2011, the Matty In The Morning show was replaced by Toby Knapp, based out of WIHT, Washington DC. The station slogan was now "The Best Variety of the 90's, 2K and Today" and The Ryan Seacrest Show was now heard middays from 10am-2pm with Kristen Lessard in afternoon drive from 2pm-7pm.

In February 2014, Rob Anthony was named Operations Manager and PD for the Clear Channel Providence stations (WSNE, WWBB, WHJY and WHJJ). The WSNE lineup was as follows: Toby Knapp (6am-10am), Ryan Seacrest (10am-2pm), Kristin Lessard (2pm-7pm), Rob Anthony (7pm-12pm) and Chris Davis (12mid-5am).

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Your station histories are great! Have you considered posting them on the stations' respective pages on wikipedia?