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WJTO: Wikis


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City of license Bath, Maine
Broadcast area Portland and Vicinity
Branding The Memories Station
Frequency 730 kHz
First air date 1957
Format Adult Standards/Oldies
Power 1,000 Watts Daytime - 6 Watts Nighttime
Class D
Callsign meaning Jet-Assisted Take Off
Former callsigns WMMS (1957-60)
Owner Bob Bittner Broadcasting
(Blue Jey Broadcasting Company)
Sister stations WJIB

WJTO 730 AM is an Adult Standards/Oldies station licensed to Bath, Maine. Formerly a news/talk station, WJTO is owned by Bob Bittner Broadcasting and is a sister station to Cambridge, Massachusetts' WJIB. Bittner bought WJTO in March 1997, as the 4th station under his ownership. (In 1996-7, he sold two of his other stations, WNEB in Worcester Mass, and WKBR in Manchester, New Hampshire. WJTO was a complete purchase, meaning that such purchase included the station license, equipment and real estate of 12 acres (49,000 m2), located on an ocean inlet. (WNEB and WKBR were both off the air, not operational, and real estate under questionable status, when purchased by Bittner). Later in 2003 and 2004, Bittner made two adjoining land and house purchases, creating a full residence 600' from the station, all situated on 220 acres (0.89 km2) in West Bath, Maine. Bittner uses the premises as a summer residence and keeps an extensive music collection for both stations at WJTO. On display at WJTO is a lot of radio memorabilia.

WJTO puts out a 1000 Watt daytime signal and can be heard as far away as Provincetown, Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, with a daytime city-grade signal into Portland.

WJTO began broadcasting in September 1957 (as WMMS) with the first owner being Winslow Porter Sr. Call letters were changed around 1960 to WJTO (Jet-assisted Take-Off) referring to the arrival of the beginning of military jets usage at nearby Brunswick Naval Air Station.

The station in the 60's and 70's was prosperous busy place (studios located in downtown Bath then). Female DJ's were first heard on WJTO, along with a few other stations. WJTO gave several Portland stations real competition. In 1971, the modern two-story building was constructed at the transmitter site (the current site owned by Bittner), and all was well until the lage 70's when FM came into fashion. WJTO did have a powerful FM (WJTO-FM), which later became WIGY-FM and WKRH-FM; all 3 incarnations co-owned with WJTO. With listenership drifting to FM across America, the original AM station was getting the least attention. The station went through several ownership changes in the 1980s and one of them was at the helm when both stations went into bankruptcy around 1990. Off the air then for 11 months. In 1994, the FM was sold to a Rhode Island broadcaster (which still owns it, with call letters changed to WBCI).

With Bittner's purchase in 1997, WJTO switched from talk to beautiful music with less than stellar results. Slowly, Bittner morphed it to an adult standards station with a lot of 50's/60's oldies pop mixed in. Since 2003, WJTO has had an audience equivalent to the prosperity days of the 1960s and 1970's. Similar to Bittner's Boston station WJIB, WJTO does not air any commercials, but is big on local public service announcements.

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