WBCN 104.1 FM, the long-celebrated Boston radio station credited with leading the progressive rock ‘n roll radio movement from the 1960s to the modern day, will no longer rock the airwaves.
Owner CBS Radio Boston said today that the legendary station is going off the air in a complicated shuffle intended to make room for a new sports/talk format.
On August 13, 98.5 The Sports Hub will replace the music station WBMX, or Mix 98.5, which will move to WBCN’s slot on the dial. WBCN will become a Web-only operation available at www.wbcn.com.
The Sports Hub will air New England Patriots and Boston Bruins games, according to a release from the station. Local personalities Toucher and Rich will anchor the morning drive hours. The station will take the call letters WBZ-FM, pending FCC approval.
CBS Radio Inc. (the former Infinity Broadcasting Inc.) is making a similar move in Washington, D.C., where on Monday, its talk station WJFK FM will become "106.7 The Fan," with sports talk and broadcasts of Washington Wizards games.
As for WBCN, it will “say goodbye to Boston listeners after 41 years on the air with unique programming and stories celebrating the history and heritage of the station,” according to the release.
The news stirred wide interest among people in Boston and across the nation, according to Google figures. At mid-afternoon, WBCN was the seventh fastest rising search term in the United States, according to Google Trends. Of searches for 'WBCN,' 15 percent originated in Boston, 8 percent in Cambridge, and 6 percent in New York. Here's more.
For decades, WBCN carried a reputation as perhaps the most progressive commercial rock station in the country, featuring such well-known air personalities as Charles Laquidara, with his “The Big Mattress” morning show, Danny Schechter the News Dissector, and J. Geils Band lead singer Peter Wolf, who worked as a DJ there. Musically adventurous and politically active, the station informed popular tastes both regionally and nationally, in its glory days helping to break such artists as U2, Elvis Costello, and The Cars.