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WGBH (89.7 FM MHz) is a public radio station located in Boston, Massachusettsmarker. WGBH is a member station of NPR and PRI. The license-holder is the WGBH Educational Foundation, which also owns WGBH-TVmarker and WGBX-TVmarker.

The station, dubbed "Boston's NPR Station", broadcasts a news-and-information format during the daytime (including NPR News programs and PRI's The World, which is a co-production of WGBH, PRI, and the BBC World Service), and jazz music during the nighttime.

"GBH" stands for Great Blue Hillmarker, the location of WGBH's FM transmitter, as well as the original location of WGBH-TV's transmitter. Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusettsmarker, has an elevation of 635 feet (193 m), is located within the Blue Hills Reservation, and is the highest point in the Boston area. (The late Mai Cramer, longtime host of the program Blues After Hours, jokingly maintained that the station's call sign stands for "We Got Blues Here!".)


WGBH's 89.7 FM service is relayed by translator W242AA (96.3 FM) East Cambridgemarker.

WGBH also operates a separately-programmed service for the Cape Cod and Islandsmarker area, with a full-time news-and-information format. This service is simulcast on three stations: WCAImarker (90.1 FM) Woods Holemarker, WNAN (91.1 FM) Nantucketmarker, and WZAI (94.3) Brewstermarker.

WGBH also owns WCRB (99.5 FM), a classical music station. This service is simulcast by station WNCKmarker (89.5 FM) in Nantucket.

Both WCAI and WCRB are also simulcast on HD Radio sidechannels of WGBH itself.

WGBH, WCAI, and WCRB all webcast their audio programming on the internet.


For more of a history of the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council see the article on John Lowell, Jr.

WGBH Educational Foundation received its first broadcasting license (for radio) in 1951 under the auspices of the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council, a consortium of local universities and cultural institutions, whose collaboration stems from an 1836 bequest by textile manufacturer John Lowell, Jr. calling for free public lectures for the citizens of Boston.

WGBH signed on October 6, 1951, with a live broadcast of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


WGBH broadcasts news programming from NPR or PRI during the daytime hours, except for some weekend timeslots.

Jazz music is broadcast on evenings and during the overnight hours. This occasionally includes in-studio live performances and interviews, as well as Riverwalk Jazz.

Saturday afternoon and evening programming is focused on Celtic music, followed by A Prairie Home Companion and Says You!.

Programs originating from WGBH for the local market include:
  • A Celtic Sojourn, a three-hour program of Celtic music broadcast on Saturday afternoons
  • Arts and Ideas, a three-hour news and arts magazine broadcast on Sunday evenings

Programs originating from WGBH that are broadcast in other markets include:

2009 format change

Until December 1, 2009, WGBH broadcast a variety of classical music programming, mostly during the day on weekdays, weekend mornings, and Sunday afternoons. These broadcasts included (in addition to generally available recordings) recordings made by WGBH of regional chamber music and solo recital performances, live in-studio performances and interviews, as well as live broadcasts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from Symphony Hallmarker (on Friday afternoons when the orchestra is scheduled to play), and Tanglewoodmarker (on Sunday afternoons in the summer).

In addition, WGBH's music programming also included folk music on Saturday afternoons and blues on Saturday evenings. News programming was limited to drive time (6-9AM and 4-8PM) on weekdays, and between 10AM and noon on weekends.

In September 2009, the WGBH Educational Foundation announced a deal to acquire WCRB, a local classical music station. It consolidated all classical music programming on WCRB, and changed WGBH to an all-news and information format. In November 2009 the station announced that its long-running Saturday afternoon folk and Saturday evening blues programs would be discontinued in December, however A Celtic Sojourn and A Prairie Home Companion would remain.

Programming overlap

WGBH and WBURmarker are two large public radio stations serving the same geographic area and having the same format and some of the same programming sources; it is not yet clear yet whether coordination will be done to reduce the considerable expected overlap in national news and talk programming.


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