|Broadcast area||Boston, Massachusetts and Worcester, Massachusetts|
|Slogan||Boston's Rock Station|
|Frequency||107.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1937 as W1XOJ
1967 as WAAF
|Format||FM/HD1: Mainstream rock
HD2: WEEI-FM simulcast
HD3: WRKO simulcast
|Former callsigns||WAAB-FM (1961-1967)|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WEEI, WEEI-FM, WKAF, WRKO|
WAAF (107.3 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Westborough, Massachusetts. It owned by Entercom Communications and it airs a mainstream rock radio format for Greater Boston and Central Massachusetts. The station's studios are located in Boston's Allston district, while its transmitter is on Stiles Hill in Boylston, with a backup in Paxton.
WAAF broadcasts from Stiles Hill in Boylston, with an effective radiated power of 9.6 kW directional (protecting three other FM signals). WAAF used to broadcast from Paxton when it was licensed to Worcester and maintains a backup site there. When WAAF transmitted from the location in Paxton, the station could be heard throughout much of Massachusetts, as well as parts of neighboring states New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont.
In spring and summer of 2006, when WAAF began testing the new transmitter site, the station's signal strength dramatically decreased in most parts of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont and Western Massachusetts. WAAF was trying to concentrate the signal into its primary sales market, Boston. The new transmitter began operating on program test authority from the FCC, at the WUNI-TV tower on Stiles Hill in Boylston. The first experiment from this transmitter location took place between October 31 and November 22, 2005, but the station had to return to its Paxton site for a couple of months to address alleged multipath issues. (The issues were blamed on a faulty T1 line between their Brighton studios and the transmitter site after extensive testing). WAAF continued to operate from this site, under the original program test authority until May 26, 2011, when the FCC officially issued a license for the site.
On August 21, 2006, Entercom acquired Urban Adult Contemporary outlet WILD-FM (97.7) from Radio One for $30 Million. Hours after that deal was made, Entercom pulled the plug on WILD-FM's format at 7 p.m. that day and began stunting with a computerized countdown to the August 22, 5:30 p.m. start of simulcasting WAAF's format on that signal, beginning with AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)". The addition of 97.7 gives WAAF improved signal coverage in Boston. On August 30, 2006, 97.7's call sign changed from WILD-FM to WKAF. Despite these changes, WAAF maintains a healthy amount of advertising in Worcester, and is promoted online as a "Worcester/Boston station", though this is presumably to fulfill FCC requirements on cities of license and to not ignore the Worcester area completely. The simulcast ended on January 5, 2017, when Entercom flipped WKAF back to Urban AC.
By 1951, the station was operating under the call letters of WGTR, at 99.1 MHz, owned by Thomas S. Lee Broadcasting, which had also purchased the Shepard stations in the late 1940s. Subsequently, the WGTR call letters, and the station itself, seemed to disappear, and only 580 WTAG, owned by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette newspaper, operated an FM station in Worcester during the remainder of the 1950s. The station which took the call letters of WAAB-FM did not go on the air till the autumn of 1961, operating at 107.3 MHz and owned by Bernard E. Waterman.
WAAF was the first station to launch the long running popular radio show Opie and Anthony in March of 1995.
On August 12, 2009, WAAF became the longest-running rock radio station in Boston, when rival station WBCN signed off analog radio to allow WBMX to move from 98.5 to 104.1 FM. The same day, 98.5 became WBZ-FM, "The Sports Hub."
Weekend DJs have returned with long term DJs Mike Brangiforte and David "Doug Dave" Breen. Other notable weekenders include Jim Ryan, Mike Logan, and Keith Rice.
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On March 27, 1995, shock jocks Opie and Anthony came to WAAF from Long Island rock station WBAB. For three years they powered the afternoon drive shift. When they were at WBAB they were not technically a pair. Opie was doing nights(7-12am) and Anthony would come in and perform comedy songs with his brother Joe. It was not until they got to WAAF (hired by Ron Valeri WAAF program director who heard them in N.Y.) that they became "Opie and Anthony". Throughout their time at WAAF Opie and Anthony became number one in afternoons. They were a part of a number of the early "Real Rock TV episodes. Anthony would parody Howard Stern, and they would perform ridiculous bits (The most popular was the Tickle Me Elmo episodes performed back in 1997 when the doll was popular. They put it in a wood chipper and hung the parts from the WAAF rock van while at a toy drive event in Natick, MA.) The duo released a comedy CD entitled Demented World, composed of clips and bits from their show. They came up with a promotion called W.O.W.(Whip em' Out Wednesday) were women are encouraged to flash their breast at drivers that display the word WOW on their car. Their show was the cause of a lot of controversy, resulting in a number of suspensions. After ganing popular ratings Opie and Anthony finally started not listening to their program director Dave Douglas (something they still do to this day) who was constantly trying to break up the duo and developed a more controversial and shocking on-air style which would craft itself into what became their staple in New York City.
Anthony always said "Program Direcrors are nothing more than failed deejays in suits, and know nothing about what makes good radio, and we have had enough. If the audience likes what we're doing and the ratings are up then we're doing our job ".
The show became less about prank calls and silly bits and progressed into a more raunchy type of show, which in the last months on WAAF was on a run away train headed for disaster.
They were ultimately fired from WAAF for an April Fool's prank which stated that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino died in a car crash while in Florida. People close to Menino were not sure whether the story was true, causing Menino to demand for Opie and Anthony's termination.
Opie & Anthony in New York City
After Menino forced O&A off of WAAF, Opie and Anthony went to WNEW in New York City, were they gained popularity, reached number one, received syndication to over 30 cities nationwide. They developed a talk format that has made their show top rated and amongst the best in the country. They hired stand up comic Jim Norton to be their third mic. At WNEW Opie and Anthony developed one of the greatest radio wars of all time, squaring off against Howard Stern. On August 15, 2002 the Opie and Anthony show was canceled. Although their show was canceled they were not actually fired. Infinity paid them for two years, until their contracts were up. In that time Opie and Anthony were not allowed to broadcast a show.
Opie & Anthony after two year hiatus and return XM Satellite Radio.
In the summer of 2004 Opie and Anthony announced they were returning to radio along with comedian Jim Norton with XM Satellite Radio on October 4th 2004 after their contracts with infinity broadcasting were up. The next year saw Opie and Anthony slowly building a new audience since they were now on a pay service and Their channel "high voltage, ch. 202) was a premium add on to the regular XM Package. In the summer of 2005 XM dropped the premium service and added Opie and Anthony as part of their regular programming. In 2006 Howard Stern left terrestrial radio and started on Sirius Satellite Radio, XM's only competition and Opie and Anthony were now allowed to talk about Stern and his show, something they could not do on WNEW because Howard put a gag order on them and they couldn't mention his name, show or anybody affiliated with his show, or Opie and Anthony would face termination. With the gag order lifted they boys unleashed a war against Howard. In 2009 XM announced they were merging with Sirius Satellite Radio, joining the two company's together. Rebranded as SiriusXM Radio. In 2014 the company fired Anthony for a series of racially charged tweets. Opie and. Comedian Jim Norton continued because they were under contract, the show was renamed Opie with Jim Norton and the channel renamed OpieRadio. In 2016 Jim Norton left the show and Opie moved to afternoons and Jim a new morning show with Opie and Anthony producer Sam Roberts (radio personality). In July of 2017 SiriusXM fired Opie for filming a employee of his show in the bathroom. This removed any trace of Opie and Anthony from the satellite giant and after 20 years The Opie and Anthony Show officially came to an end.
In 2014 Anthony started a podcast called the Anthony Cumia Show on Compound Media shortly after his firing, in 2017 Comedian and old Howard Stern show host, Artie Lange joined Anthony as his Co host putting to rest the rumors of a Opie and Anthony reunion. Opie has yet to find a new job
Every November, starting in 1993, WAAF has held its popular annual charity event "Walk and Rock for Change". During this event, the DJs (Greg Hill 1993-2003, LB and Spaz 2004-present) from the station walk across Massachusetts, asking for change from the people as they stop in each town. The station will often air interviews with people as they come across interesting events. Starting in 2003, while this event is proceeding, the DJs at the station will play requested songs, for a price. While the station will play any song requested, obnoxious or unpopular songs, such as the SpongeBob SquarePants theme, will have a higher price than the station's standard fare. In 2009, for the first time in 17 years, the "Walk and Rock for Change" was held in December, one week before Christmas.
The station has released a number of mostly limited edition CDs containing exclusive in-studio performances and various comedy bits from the on-air staff.
WAAF also released Opie and Anthony's Demented World, a CD that highlighted some of Opie and Anthony's most popular bits during their time at WAAF. The CD has not been acknowledged by the station since Opie and Anthony were fired; however, is still acknowledged by Opie and Anthony on their current Sirius XM show.
In 2007, the station was nominated for the Radio & Records magazine Active Rock station of the year in a top 25 market award. Other nominees included WIYY in Baltimore, KBPI in Denver, WRIF in Detroit, WMMR in Philadelphia, and KISW in Seattle.