WBEC-FM 95.9 Pittsfield, MA
In 2017, WBEC-FM replaced their original Gates antenna with a new Shively.
95.9 sits on the left hand tower, along with the 106.1 Translator.
The upper left is the 106.1 translator. The lower right is the 95.9 antenna.
From the American Tower website, the photo of the tower clearly shows the 95.9 antenna and it "blurry" shows the 106.1 antenna.
On the 1420 WBEC towers in Pittsfield, now sits a 4 bay Aux antenna for 95.9
Here is a closeup of the new 4 bay aux.
WBEC's studio (Shared with WBEC- WUPE A/F)
"WBEC-FM" 105.5 was an old allocation in Pittsfield. WBEC
started out in July 1967 as WQRB-FM, transmitting
3,000 watts from the AM tower (see bottom photo for the original FM antenna). In 1976, WQRB (no "-FM") would
relocate from the AM tower to the top of Bosquet Ski Area on a new tower. The new site was also joined by
new-comer WGRG (95.9). WQRB would operate at 630 watts from the tower until 1989, when the transmitter
was replaced with a Harris Quest 1000, and a new Harris (ERI) antenna was installed, upping the power to 950 watts.
WBEC-FM became Top40 in the 1980s, launching as "Live 105" (then Live 105.5). WBEC-FM (as Live 105.5)
was interesting as it was not a "true" stereo station, despite having a stereo pilot, there wasn't stereo seperation until
the mid 90's. In 1993, a FM station in Patterson, NY raised its power to 900 watts, causing "unintentional"
interference to WBEC-FM in the southern Berkshire town of Great Barrington. In 1998, to offset the interference,
WBEC-FM launched a new translator, W231AK from the roof of Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington.
At 30 watts, W231AK covered the city of license, Great Barrington quite nicely. In 2004, a series of moves in nearby Albany
would set the fate for the original Live 105.5. This move, which involved moving in a 105.7B1 into Albany from
the Glens Falls area, required 105.5 to move. In 2005, 105.5 was sold, and in 2006, was moved from Pittsfield to
Easthampton via a transmitter on Mt. Tom covering the Springfield, MA market. Thus marking the end to
"WBEC-FM" 95.9 is much newer, signing on in 1975 as "WGRG-FM"
, sister station to WGRG 1110. (now WUPE).
WGRG became WUPE-FM in 1979 with a format change to Top40 as "Whoopie 96". In 1986, WUPE boosted its
power to 1,000 watts. In the late 80's, the "Whoopie 96" format was dropped for "Lite 96", a AC format, which
was fully automated. (which made, "Live 105.5", ironically, the only station which was mostly "live" in Pittsfield).
In 2006, when 105.5 was moved away, 95.9 would pick up the the "Live 105.5" format, but skew it much older,
eventually shifting it into oldies. In 2006, the call sign was changed to WBEC-FM (with the WUPE-FM calls
moving to their current home on 100.1 in North Adams, replacing the beautiful music format that adorned
100.1 as WMNB).
Now, onto some "historical" pictures.
The Bosquet tower with 105.5 side mounted.
105.5's two bays on this tower.
WBEC-FM's former main, then aux antenna
on one of the towers of 1420.
Another view of the antennas on the Bosquet tower.
A closer view. The top two bays are
the old 105.5 antenna. The single bay below it
is the 95.9 antenna.
The green arrow is pointing to the antenna.