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WMKI
Rd am1260 2007.PNG
Broadcast area Greater Boston
Branding Radio Disney
Frequency 1260 kHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date Circa 1922, 1953 as WVDA (frequency once occupied by WNAC)
Format Children's
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Callsign meaning Disney Character MicKey Mouse
Affiliations Radio Disney
Owner Disney/ABC Radio
(Radio Disney Group, LLC)
Website radio.disney.go.com/mystation/Boston/

WMKI is a children's radio station in the Boston market. It is owned by The Walt Disney Company, and runs their Radio Disney programming.

History

WMKI began broadcasting in 1953 as WVDA, after WNAC purchased the 680 kilohertz frequency of WLAW, moved its programming there, and sold the 1260 frequency. After just four years, the station was sold in 1957 and became WEZE, and began a beautiful music format, branded as "The Wonderful World Of Music", that targeted older listeners. From the late 1950s until the mid 1960s, WEZE was also Boston's NBC Radio affiliate. In his autobiography, comedian George Carlin describes his experiences as a DJ at the station, until he was fired after taking the station's news station wagon to New York to buy marijuana (leaving the station unable to cover a prison riot). Carlin said fellow comedian Jack Burns was a newscaster at the station during this time. Although only 5,000 watts, WEZE was one of Boston top-rated radio stations for much of the 1960s, until the beautiful music format made a big splash on the FM dial late in the decade.

In late 1972, WEZE flipped to a Rock n Roll Oldies format, with live DJs. By mid 1973, the format was altered to include currents as well. Now known as Z-1260, WEZE was now in direct competition with established Top 40 AM stations WRKO and WMEX. In 1974, the format was modified again to a more MOR/personality approach. From 1975 until 1977, WEZE tried "The Wonderful World Of Music" again, but with little success given that beautiful music had pretty much migrated to the FM dial.

In early 1977, WEZE became one of the first statoions to program what might now be called Adult Album Alternative (or at least what would pass for such a format at that time). This format continued until the 1978 sale of the station to New England Continental Media (an ancestor company of Salem Communications), which instituted a [[religious] broadcasting|Religious] format.

Initially the religious format consisted of Contemporary Christian Music, Christian features, teaching, and preaching. Music aired about half the day. The station also was and still is a commercial station. By the mid 80's local Christian talk shows replaced some of the hours of weekday music programming. More teaching programs were added to replace other music hours eliminating weekday music totally. From 1984 WEZE only played music on weekends for a few hours.

Salem exercized an option to acquire WBNW 590 in the Fall of 1996, and began a simulcast that resulted in WEZE's entire intellectual property move to 590 and 1260 become WPZE "Praise 1260" in February 1997. The Praise 1260 format took programs that Salem lacked the time to air on 590 WEZE along with about 6 hours a day of Rhythmic Christian Music. The music consisted of Upbeat praise and worship church music, gospel, and soft AC Christian cuts. However, in July Salem decided to sell the station, and it was sold to Hibernia Broadcasting, who switched the station to Radio Disney on November 21. (The Praise 1260 format was closed earlier in that fall in preparation for the sale, and reverted to the WEZE simulcast). The station switched to the current WMKI late in December 1999, and was sold in a group deal to ABC, the owner of Radio Disney, in 2000.[1]

References

  1. ^ "Archives at BostonRadio.org". The Boston Radio Dial: WMKI(AM). http://www.bostonradio.org/stations/48403.html. Retrieved October 23, 2005.  

External links

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