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WBEB (101.1 FM, "B101 FM") is a radio station broadcasting a Soft Rock/Adult Contemporary format. Licensed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker, it serves the Greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. It first began broadcasting in 1963 under the call sign WDVR. The station is currently owned by Jerry Lee. The station has been a top ranking station in the Philadelphia Arbitron ratings since the early 1990s, and is the only independently owned station in the Philadelphia radio market. Its transmitter is located in the Roxborough section of the city.

WDVR-FM heritage

Previously called WDVR (Delaware Valley Radio) and WEAZ, the station pioneered the Beautiful Music format beginning in 1963.

Original staff included Rich Franklin and Dave Shayer, both broadcast veterans, and were two of the original air staff hired by WDVR/WEAZ/WBEB 101.1 FM when they first went on the air May 13, 1963. Both, later, were Music Directors at 101.1 FM, and are still active in broadcasting today. Also part of the first air staff were Lou Klawansky (air name: Lee Kramer), Frank Goshy (air name: Frank Edwards), and Joaquin Bowman. Working with Jerry Lee, Marlin Taylor, Dave Kurtz, Alan Campbell and others, WDVR skyrocketed to phenomenal success and became a broadcasting legend. 101.1 FM was, and is, one of the most successful independent FM stations in the country.

The station was known for playing Beautiful Music featuring pop tunes reworked in the form of instrumentals. They played two vocalists per hour, as the instrumentals would be based on the works of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond and The Carpenters. By the 1980s, the station increased the amount of music with vocalists to four per hour as they also added more artists suited to an adult contemporary format. Also in 1980, WDVR changed its call letters to WEAZ, and began using the slogan EAZY 101 with Patrick O'Neal (later Robert Urich) as its spokesperson. By 1984, EAZY 101 became the #1 rated station in Philadelphia.

In 1988, the station dropped Beautiful Music for a soft adult contemporary format. This format change came after research tests showed that people who grew up after the advent of rock and roll didn't like elevator music. With the format change, the station was satellite-delivered, but by the next year, some of the airstaff returned. By 1990, the station's name was shortened to "EZ 101." The station would shift to a mainstream adult contemporary format in 1993, and its call letters would eventually change to WBEB (B 101).

WSNI (now WRFF) "competed" with B101 for 4 years under the name Sunny 104.5. However, unlike B101, Sunny had a gold-based format similar to WCBS-FM in NY. The "Competition" ended on 8/10/06, when Sunny 104.5 was shut down in favor of Spanish, then Modern Rock.

Signal Strength

WBEB's signal reaches north into New Jerseymarker, especially along Interstate 287 south of Morristownmarker, and in northwestern New Jersey. In those areas WBEB interferes with WCBS-FM, an Oldies station in New York Citymarker, which also broadcasts on 101.1, and in some spots, WBEB's signal actually seems stronger. This is because both stations are full, non-directional Class B operations that are severely short-spaced under a grandfathered FCC rule.

Philadelphia's Christmas Station

In 2002, a competing Adult Contemporary station WSNImarker (Sunny 104.5) began an annual tradition of flipping to all-Christmas as early as the first weekend in November. In previous years, B101 had gone all-Christmas for only 36 hours--from noon Christmas Eve to midnight on December 26--but the extended all-Christmas format proved very successful for Sunny 104.5 and B101 had no choice but to react. So for a few years, Philadelphia had two stations playing nothing but Christmas music for more than a month!

Sunny 104.5 changed formats in August of 2006 and the all-Christmas stunt was dumped along with it. With no pressure to compete, B101 didn't go all-Christmas until November 18. At 12:00 a.m. on December 26, after "Christmas Cannon" by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, there was a brief silence followed by a commercial break and the legal ID ("B101, WBEB Philadelphia"): An unceremonious end to 38 days of continuous Christmas music (though they threw in a smattering of Christmas songs for a few days as they transitioned back to the regular format).

For 2007, B101 announced that they'd be conducting an electronic survey on their website, alleging the results would be used to make up the holiday playlist and to decide when the station would flip to all-Christmas. Although ratings have consistently shown that Philadelphians are huge fans of the all-Christmas format, B101 didn't make the switch until 3:00 p.m. on November 21, 2007 (the day before Thanksgiving). There was also no noticeable change in the playlist versus 2006. B101 stopped playing all Christmas music at 5:00 a.m. on December 26. Like the previous year, Christmas music was "sprinkled in" for the next few days. With the all-Christmas format all to themselves, B101 enjoyed a 17-share in the 6+ Arbitron ratings. (Double-digit shares, let alone a few ticks shy of a 20 share, are somewhat unprecedented in the modern era of major-market radio).

In August of 2008, a new Adult Contemporary station (WNUW/Now 97.5) launched in Philadelphia with sights set squarely on B101. To draw attention to themselves and to take B101 down a peg, Now 97.5 flipped to all-Christmas at 5:00 p.m. on October 31. Shortly thereafter, B101 announced they'd be sprinkling in Christmas tunes during the weekend of November 8-9. This was the earliest they had ever played Christmas music and it was obviously in response to Now 97.5. On November 13, B101 flipped to all-Christmas. Shortly thereafter, 1340 WHAT-AM also went all-Christmas. On November 26, 98.1 WOGL made the surprise move of abandoning its format for the first time ever to flip to all-Christmas. Considering Wilmington's 99.5 WJBR is crystal clear all over the city, Philadelphians found themselves with five all-Christmas stations in 2008. B101 still saw a holiday ratings spike, though nothing like the year before. WNUW has since flipped to an all-sports format.

On November 19, 2009, at 3:00 pm EST, B101 officially started playing Christmas music 24/7 until Christmas.

Listener Confusion with WWBB

In the last 10 years, many B101 listeners have mistakenly called the request lines of WWBB in Providence, Rhode Islandmarker also positioned as "B101" (but located at 101.5 FM). The confusion lies in the fact that the "" website is owned by WWBB and Clear Channel, not WBEB. WBEB listeners sometimes log on to "", assume they are on the correct website, find the phone number, and end up calling WWBB. Both stations also used a bumblebee logo, which could add to the confusion (WWBB dropped the bumblebee from their logo a few years ago). Jerry Lee, the owner of WBEB, has made offers to Clear Channel for the "" domain name. All offers have been rejected. Thus, WBEB uses "". Coincidentally, WBEB's current morning show co-host, Tiffany Hill, was also once the morning co-host at WWBB.

Relaunching as "Fresh"

On September 18, 2007 at 12:00pm, WBEB conducted a special poll, which was broadcast both on-air and online via their website. The poll was 700 songs long and the station would play a 5 to 7 second clip of a song. Liners would encourage listeners to go to the station's website. Once there, a user would then click if they wanted to hear the song often, sometimes, or not at all.

At 2pm, the station relaunched using the "Fresh" concept, becoming the second outlet to add this concept following the launch of WWFS, Fresh 102.7, in New York Citymarker by CBS Radio in January 2007 (although their ads use the same exact "cartoon office figures" as WLTW in New Yorkmarker).


In 2007, the station was nominated for the top 25 markets Adult Contemporary station of the year award by Radio & Records magazine.Other nominees included WMJX in Boston, KOST in Los Angeles, WALK-FM in Nassau, New York, WLTW in New York, and KEZK-FMmarker in St. Louis.

Listening Live

As of Sunday, March 15th B-101 is no longer giving the ability of listening live. The statement from WBEB follows:


Dear B101 Listener,

Sorry, B101 is not streaming our radio signal on the internet at this time.

A new SoundExchange music licensing agreement has jeopardized your ability to listen to all kinds of music on the internet. Excessive music royalty rates, which have nearly doubled in the last three years and continue to increase to unprecedented levels, no longer make streaming a viable option.

Please tune to B101 on your radio dial at 101.1 FM. If you’re having trouble getting our signal to come in clearly, try moving around the power cord, as on most radios, it also acts as the antenna. In the event you’re looking for a quality, dependable radio for your office or home, click here for one we recommend.

If you would like to read more on the issue, please click here.


B101" For more on this, click the following



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