|City||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Broadcast area||Providence metropolitan area|
|Slogan||Talk and Business|
|Owner||Cumulus Media |
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|WEAN-FM, WPRO, WPRO-FM, WWKX, WWLI|
First air date
|June 2, 1922 (as WEAN)|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
WPRV (790 AM, "AM 790") is a radio station located in Providence, Rhode Island. The station is owned by Cumulus Media, and airs a Talk radio format. The station's studios are located in East Providence and the transmitter site is located separately in East Providence just east of the Seekonk River. The station operates at 5,000 watts around the clock and serves the Providence metropolitan area.
While its sister stations WPRO and WEAN-FM simulcast mostly local talk shows, WPRV's schedule mainly comes from nationally syndicated talk programs, much of which are produced by Cumulus Media subsidiary Westwood One, along with some locally produced brokered programming in afternoon drive.
WPRV is the Providence affiliate for First Light, America in the Morning, The Chris Plante Show, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Mark Levin Show, The Savage Nation, Red Eye Radio and Westwood One News, the latter airing at the top of each hour. The station also serves as the Providence affiliate for the New York Yankees Radio Network, the Boston Celtics Radio Network, and also carries Brown University football and men's basketball.
WPRV was originally WEAN, Rhode Island's first radio station (that callsign now belongs to a sister FM station). WEAN's first broadcast was on Friday evening, June 2, 1922, for the benefit of "Block Aid". The broadcast was arranged in conjunction with the radio editor of the newspaper The Providence News. WEAN would receive its first license 3 days later, on June 5, 1922.
WEAN was originally owned by the Shepard Stores of Boston, and starting in the late 1920s, received programming from Boston sister station WNAC, now WRKO. This would form the cornerstone of the Yankee Network, a regional radio service feeding newscasts and other programs throughout the region.
In the early 1950s, WEAN was sold to the Providence Journal-Bulletin newspaper.
By the 1960s, WEAN was a middle-of-the-road outlet, transitioning to adult contemporary music by the 1970s. From 1975 to 1977, WEAN was an affiliate of NBC's short-lived News And Information Service, or "NIS," a 24-hour all-news radio network and branded "All News 79 WEAN." When NIS folded in 1977, WEAN continued as an all-news station. Affiliation switched to CBS and while the station carried a considerable amount of CBS news content, most news originated locally, with a local news staff that numbered as high as 22 members (not all full-time, but all working for the news department.) WEAN continued as an all-news station (Newsradio 79, WEAN), morphing in the early 1980s into all-news much of the day, but with local talk in certain dayparts and syndicated late-night talk. It continued as such, branded "Newstalk 79, WEAN" until shortly after the Journal-Bulletin sold it on April 1, 1985.
After ownership changes, WEAN changed callsigns to WWAZ, with classical music, followed by oldies; then adult standards under the callsign WLKW. WLKW switched formats and callsigns in 1998 to sports as WSKO ("The Score"), airing local and national sports shows (including ESPN Radio programs), with most programs simulcast with WSKO-FM 99.7 (which was replaced by WEAN-FM, a simulcast of WPRO). The sports format was discontinued on March 10, 2008. Hosts over the years included John "Coach" Colletto, Andy Gresh, Scott Cordischi, John Rooke, Steve Hyder, Jess Atkinson, Amy Lawrence, Scott Zolak, John Crowe, and Bryan Morry.
After dropping sports, the station took on its current callsign, as well as an oldies format, largely provided by Scott Shannon's The True Oldies Channel from ABC Radio; The Oldies format was discontinued on April 13, 2009. WPRV moved to a Business News and Talk format, including shows from Bloomberg Radio, although today much of the business programming has been scaled back and replaced with syndicated talk shows.