Various Stations

This post will contain information about some of the radio stations in Providence that are not included in the other posts. It is a work in progress and will continue to be updated.

WHJY (94HJY)
As the clock struck midnight on September 4, 1981, Bob Seger's "Fire Down Below" blasted over the airwaves at 94.1 and "The New 94 HJY" was born, giving Providence its first true album rock station. The station had previously operated a beautiful music/easy listening format as "Joy 94". David Place was the man behind the microphone that first evening. The station has never looked back from then and has always been a force to reckon with in the Providence radio market. From Janet "From Another Planet" Bates and Rick O'B, to Carolyn Fox (w/Rudy Cheeks) and Lou Brutus, to Paul & Al and Geoff Charles today, the station has always had the personalities to perfectly compliment the format.

WICE
WICE Radio was located at 1290 on the AM dial from 1952 to 1983. The station is most remembered for its years as a top-40 station from 1962 to 1973, fiercely competing with WPRO-AM and owned by Susquehanna Broadcasting. Its personalities were known as the WICE Good Guys and later the WICE All-Stars (WICE All-Star Radio). By 1964, Len Woloson was the station’s morning man, followed by Jack Murphy in late mornings, King Arthur Knight in early afternoons and Blaine Harvey (Dan Donovan) in late afternoons. Among those handling the night and swing shifts were Chuck Frederick, Dave Pearce, Jack Burns, Jim O’Leary, John Carson and one of the station’s most renowned personalities, Bob DeCarlo, who was with WICE from 1963 until 1969. DeCarlo would take over mornings by late 1964. Two more of the station’s prominent personalities arrived in 1965 as Pat Patterson, formerly of WPRO became PD and took over early afternoons (Knight moved to late afternoons and was the MD) and Bill Corsair came from WKFD in Wickford. Corsair handled late mornings, then early afternoons and would go on to become the popular overnight host at WCAU in Philadelphia in the 1970’s. In 1966, the core group of DeCarlo, Corsair, Patterson and Knight were joined by Ed Coles and Mike “Surfer” Sands for overnights (later moved to nights). John Kennedy was the news director. In early 1967, Frank Smith (aka Frank Kingston Smith) arrived at WICE for late afternoons. Also joining the station was Al Frazer (for the second time), Don Berns and Jerry Stevens. At the beginning of 1968, the weekday lineup was as follows: King Arthur Knight (6am-9am), Bob DeCarlo (9am-12noon), Bill Corsair (12noon-3pm), Frank Smith (3pm-7pm), Mike Sands (7pm-12mid) and Al Frazer (12mid-6am). DeCarlo added PD duties in early 1968, replacing Jack Murphy. In June 1968, Frank Smith moved to WRKO in Boston. In the station’s final Top 40 years, some of the other personalities included future WPRO afternoon and WSNE and WWLI morning man Davy (David) Jones, Jim Harrington, Gary DeGraide (as Gary Steele), Jim Pride and Brad Pierce (as Shadow Morgan).

WICE shifted to a talk format in 1973 and even went country in 1979 for a short time. By 1983, the station had switched to a Portuguese format and on June 1 of that year, the call letters were changed to WRCP. The WICE call letters were moved a short time later to 550 AM.

WICE left behind quite a legacy during its time at 1290 and the station, along with many of its personalities have been recognized by the R.I. Radio Hall of Fame. Inductees that worked at WICE over the years include Sherm Strickhouser, Charlie Jefferds, Chuck Stevens, Jim Mendes, Gary DeGraide, King Arthur Knight, Brad Pierce, Bill Corsair, Bob DeCarlo and Frank Kingston Smith. WICE also received the legacy station award in 2017, and the station was represented at the Hall of Fame dinner by Bob DeCarlo and Frank Kingston Smith, almost 50 years after they had left the station!

WHJJ (in progress)
In August 1980, a switch between three radio stations (WJAR, WHIM and WRLM-FM) occurred 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.  By June 1983, under new PD Ron St. Pierre and with new owners, WHJJ had become a full-fledged talk station headlined by Sherm Strickhouser in the morning, Steve White aka The Captain on the “"Steve White Flight" middays and Steve Kass, late afternoons.  White was extremely controversial (also called the Captain of Controversy), but did have a loyal following and the ratings rose in 1983 for his show, as they did as for the station, which moved up to fifth place from seventh in the Providence ratings.  Shortly after being suspended for violating the station’s broadcast policies and procedures in May 1984,  Steve White resigned and was replaced briefly by future WHJY morning co-host Rudy Cheeks and then John Morgan (11am – 3pm).
In October 1984, former Providence major Buddy Cianci began a stint as a co-host with John Morgan. Also, Steve Kass had left for WPRO-AM and was replaced by Charlie Huddle (3pm – 6pm). Former congressman Ed Beard had joined the station as well (in late 1983) for weekend and then the evening (6pm to 8pm) shift.  In March 1985, Cianci became a full-time host from 4pm-6pm and Huddle moved to 6pm-8pm (until October) replacing Ed Beard.  In October, the station held on-air auditions to host a nightly call-in sports show from 6pm to 8pm.  Two of the contestants were paired up and the Dick and Dave show was born. The lineup was now as follows: Sherm Strickhouser (7am-11am), John Morgan (11am-2pm), WHJJ’s spy-in-the-sky traffic reporter and now talk-show host Tony DiBiasio (2pm-4pm), Buddy Cianci (4pm-6pm) and Dick and Dave (6pm-8pm).  Paul Perry would soon take over early afternoons in 1986.  In August 1987, in an effort to head into a more issues-based direction, the station brought back Steve Kass from WPRO for the 12noon-3pm shift and added an extra hour to Buddy Cianci’s show (3pm-6pm).  One year later, PD Ron St. Pierre left the station for rival WPRO-AM. Sherm Strickhouser would soon follow, however he could not leave until his contract expired.  After being moved to nights on WHJJ in March, he finally started with WPRO-AM in August 1989.  Fill-in host Moe Lauzier joined the weekday lineup in March 1989 from 12noon to 3pm with Steve Kass moving from 9am to 12noon following WHJJ’s all news til’ 9.

Comments

Tremendous site with rich and wonderful histories of many of Southern New England's finest stations! I was at WWBB from 1993 until 2000. Interesting to add at the inception the PD was former WSNE morning man and WHJJ talk host John Morgan (whom would serve the longest tenure to date as the B's PD) The first GM was Scott Backerman working for Mike Swartz and with consultant Pete Salant (who personally dubbed the entire music library onto cart). The studios were located at 1445 Wampanoag Trail East Providence, almost literally across the street from the Brine Broadcasting Center. It signed on the air at Noon 12/26/89 replacing the beautiful music format with calls WLKW that had been heard at 101.5 for the previous decade or so. The format would later move to 790 AM for a time, the former WEAN. The station was B101.5 for its first day or so of operation until the decision came to re cut the jingles and sweepers to "B101" The slogan was All Oldies, B101. The launch was followed with a memorable TV ad campaign spotlighting the "sing along songs" of the format and this was a secondary postioner for many years that followed. The first jingle package I believe was a hodge podge of Q-Cuts and cuts from Positron. There was also use of TM Century jingles for a time in the early days but JAM jingles were heard on the station for its first dozen years. Kris Erik Stevens was the VO announcer and was replaced after a couple of years by Jeff Davis who voiced the station for more than a decade. The first weekday lineup included Dick McDounough in the AM, Norm Thiebault (Whom was the first jock heard on the air playing its first song "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley, PD John Morgan doing afternoons. Vinnie Lewis and Daria Bruno split the nightshift and within two weeks of the launch Cruisin Bruce Palmer was full time overnights 1-5:30am where he remained for the first few months of the year moving to nights by fall 1990 when Dick left and Paul Perry joined from WVBF in Boston, Daria moving to AM drive as co-host. The line-up Paul and Daria( 5:30-9am) Daria**Solo (9-11am) Norm (11a-3p) John Morgan (3-6pm) Bruce Palmer (6-10pm) Vinnie Lewis (10p-2am) and I believe this is when Roger Letendre was hired for 2-5:30am...weekenders inclduded Rick Lyle, Steve Valentine, Mark Ambrose, Kenny Kool, Silvio Van Chenzo and the debut of All Request Saturday Night early in 1991, a staple of the station for 13 years. Palmer also debuted Rockin Around the Christmas Bee and the New Years Eve 101 Countdown which both continued until 2004. Daria gave up her solo airshift in late '91 with Norm hosting 9a-1pm John moving to 1-4pm. It was at this point Bruce moved to 4-8pm and after some guest hosts WFHN New Bedford's Randy Saxx was hosting 8pm-11pm with Vinne moving to 11pm-2am for a brief time before leaving Randy to host 8p-12am and Roger 12a-5:30am. When former WBRU rock jock Melissa Culross was hired in the fall of 1993 the line changed to Paul and Daria (5:30-9am) Melissa (9a-12pm) Norm Thiebault (12-3pm) and Bruve moved up to 3-7pm where he remained the rest of his tenure with Morgan coming off air but remaining PD and weekday fill in. Randy started now at 7pm. By this time Big John Bina has joined from PRO-FM, weekend overnights were handled by Bobby Michaels and Sunday evenings by Kristin Lessard who returned years later as morning co-host. Also, Matt Chase is GM with George Sasson consulting and the station is owned by Radio Equity Partners. I started as a programming and production assistaint in the summer of 1993. Norm left in October of 1994 replaced by Dr. Don who swapped shifts with Melissa. The next big change came when WWBB was bought by then small TX outfit Clear Channel Radio in December of 1995. Moving to a new facility (former home of WWLI-Lite 105) at 75 Oxford Street on Providence's south end with new sister FM classic rock WWRX with Morgan assuming the role of OM for both stations. New to weekends at this time was long time WPRO-AM host Larry Kruger. Big John moved to 12-3pm in early 1997 and line up was intact for a time. A tradition that lasted a few years Cruis-a-palooza was a masive oldies concert festival and classic car show held at the Warwick Musical Theatre and later at Quonset Point first in May of 98.John Morgan left for CBS' Oldies 103 in Boston in August of 1998. Paul Perry and AM show producer Michele Hughes followed in November leaving Daria and new co-host Tiffany Hill formerly of cross-town WCTK and WWKX. New to the PD chair was Al Brock. Other new weekenders included Chris Eagan and syndicated faire "American Gold" and "The Oldies Countdown". Daria and Tiffany made major local news when they pulled a January 1999 prank telling listeners if Christmas trees were not taken down they'd be fined by the city of Providence. The fall 1998 ratings showed the station tied for 1st 12+ one of its best returns ever. By the fall of 1999 a new OM Bill Westin had arrived along with new GM Jim Corwin. By December Al Brock had left and Bill took over day to day programming of both B101 and sister WWRX. Also heard weekends at this time was long time metro traffic anchor Rob Mullen, Ali Delisle and Ray Anthony. Daria, Tiffany and Rockin Joe (who had joined from PRO-FM) were displaced by Imus with local newscasts by Mike Montecalvo. Imus aired from its inception until til 10 and Don Spencer was limited to 10a-12pm and remained production director until he and Randy Saxx left in September of 2000 with Big John taking on 10a-3pm and overnight host Scott Murphy moving up to 7pm-12am. Within the year Westin had left and the new PD was Bill Hess. WWRX was sold to the FNX Network who flipped it to alternative and Clear Channel aquired CapStar making the new Providence cluster WWBB, WSNE , WHJY and WHJJ although the later would not move to Oxford Street for a couple of years. Hess brought Tiffany back and hired Tom Campell for mornings moving Imus and local anchor Montecalvo to WHJJ-AM.
pvdradio said…
Robby, thanks for the all of the great information on B101. I have incorporated it into the article.

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