|City of license||Westport, Connecticut|
|Broadcast area||Bridgeport New Haven Stamford|
|Slogan||"Connecticut's Best Music Variety!"|
|Frequency||107.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
WEBE 107.9 FM (advertised on air as "WEBE 108") is an Adult Contemporary music formatted radio station licensed to serve the community of Westport, Connecticut, and owned by Cumulus Media. WEBE is one of the most powerful radio stations in Southern Connecticut, with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts, reaching most of Westchester County, New York into the Bronx as well as southern parts of the Hartford area. Its studios and antenna, along with sister station WICC, are located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Some current WEBE personalities include Storm N. Norman (WEBE Wake-Up Morning Show), Danny Lyons (The Lyon's Den), Robby Bridges (WEBE Ride Home Show) and John Tesh (John Tesh Show). WEBE plays '70s and '80s party music on Studio 108 every Saturday night with Jose the Party DJ. The station is usually number one in the ratings for the Stamford-Norwalk, Bridgeport and Fairfield County ratings, and in the top 5 in the New Haven Market.
One element of the station's success is for long distance commuters from interior Connecticut to lower Fairfield County the station provides traffic reports for the entire route. As a result "WEBEland" includes New Haven County.
The frequency of 107.9 MHz was originally assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to Westport, Connecticut under its Table of Allocations, and in 1969 the signal which was later to become WEBE signed on the air.
In the 1970s and early '80s the station, then known as WDJF, was owned by Donald J. Flamm and affiliated with Westport radio station WMMM AM 1260. The stations broadcast out of offices and studios located above a deli on Main Street in Westport. The broadcasting antenna for 107.9 was located in a residential zone in Wilton, Connecticut, to the chagrin of neighbors, and the height of the antenna was only 135 feet, so the broadcasting radius of the station was quite small.
In 1984 New York entrepreneur Franz Allina, who also owned WBAB and WGBB, purchased 107.9 WDJF for $2 million and hired Vince Cremona, General Manager of Bridgeport station WICC to run it for him.
A call letter change was needed, so various lists of unused call letters were studied by station management, yet none seemed to pop until Vince Cremona's 14-year old son, Vinny, found "WEBE" on the list, and ran around saying "Wee Bee Wee Bee Wee Bee". Based on this example of powerful appeal and figuring these to be memorable call letters, the call sign WEBE was applied for to the FCC and granted in February 1984. "WEBE 108" signed on the air at midnight on March 1, 1984. Curt Hansen, former Program Director of WAVZ and KC101 in New Haven was hired to program the new station.
WEBE108 moved to 50 Washington Street in Norwalk, 10th floor, and in the fall of 1984 moved to the 11th floor of 50 Washington Street. The station's target was female baby boomers, the idea being to latch on to the 'baby boom' generation, the population bulge, supersatisfy them, and grow older as they did. The station's slogan was "Hits of a Whole Generation", playing the most popular hits from 1963 (the Beatles invasion) to the present day.
In 1985, after months of hard work and technical exploration by owner Franz Allina and consulting engineers, WEBE moved its transmitting antenna to the top of the United Illuminating red and white smokestack in Bridgeport harbor, putting out a full 50,000 watts from a height of 386 feet above average terrain.
In 1987 the station was sold to ML Media Partners, led by New York television executive Marty Pompadur and partners, for the sum of $11 million.
In 1989 ML Media partners also purchased WICC (AM) in Bridgeport for $6 million.
In 1990 Cremona moved both WEBE and WICC together under one roof at 350 Fairfield Avenue (2 Lafayette Square) in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
In 1999 the stations were sold for $66 million dollars to New Canaan radio operator Frank Osborn and partners (including Cremona), who in turn sold the stations, along with additionally acquired clusters in Danbury, Westchester, and Poughkeepsie, New York, to Cumulus Media in 2002 for just under $300 million in cash and stock. Under Market Manager Ann McManus, the stations continue to be popular and profitable.
Cumulus Broadcasting began upgrading its stations to HD Radio broadcasting in 2005. One of the first ten stations to be upgraded was WEBE.