WERS (88.9 FM) is one of Emerson College's two radio stations (the other being campus station WECB), located in Boston, Massachusetts. Student-run and professionally managed, it serves eastern New England an eclectic mix of musical genres, and more live performances than any other station in the region. Programming features over 20 different styles of music and news, including live performances and interviews. WERS stands as the first non-commercial radio station in New England, and has been in operation since November 1949. Among the founders of the station was WEEI Radio program director Arthur F. Edes, who first taught broadcasting courses at Emerson in 1932 and helped to plan a campus radio station. The chief architect of WERS in its early years was Professor Charles William Dudley.
|Broadcast area||Greater Boston|
|Slogan||"Music for the Independent Mind"|
|Frequency||88.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||W243BG (96.5, New Bedford)
W268AM (101.5, Gloucester)
|First air date||November 14, 1949|
|Callsign meaning||Emerson Radio Station|
|Former frequencies||88.1 MHz (1949–1950)|
"Standing Room Only" HD2: Listen Live
|City of license||ERP
|W243BG||96.5||New Bedford, Massachusetts||55||FCC|
In June 2007, WERS inaugurated a translator station on 96.5 MHz in New Bedford, Massachusetts, relaying WERS's programming to New Bedford and nearby communities. Another translator, on 101.5 MHz in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on Cape Ann, went on the air in July 2008.
According to The Princeton Review, WERS is the #1 college radio station in America, an award the station has won or come close to winning almost every year since The Princeton Review started ranking colleges.
WERS is the most highly rated student-run college radio station in the US. In the Boston market (10th largest in the nation), WERS's daytime programming usually ranks at 20th to 25th.
WERS has an eclectic block format. It has a Triple A "Daytime" format between 2 am and 10 pm Monday through Friday. On weeknights WERS has an urban format, R&B slow-jams and soul on "The Secret Spot." A directive from the college resulted in the cancellation of their Reggae show "Rockers" and Hip-Hop show "88.9@Night."
On weekends the station features "Family-Friendly" programming, which includes "The Playground" (kids' music) Saturdays from 6 am to 10 am and Sundays from 6 am to 7 am (formerly broadcast on Saturday and Sunday evenings); "Standing Room Only" (showtunes) on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm and Sundays from Noon to 2 pm; and "All A Capella" on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 pm to 4 pm. On Sundays they broadcast Yiddish Klezmer and Israeli Music from 8 am to 11 am and services from the First Church in Boston Unitarian Universalist from 11 am to Noon.
WERS also features news programming on weekdays during drive time commutes, and the award-winning public affairs show "You Are Here" Sunday mornings from 7 to 8 am.
WERS podcasts "You Are Here", available at wers.org.
In the late 1990s and mid-2000s, WERS featured a successful sports-themed program, “Sports Sunday”, which aired Sundays from noon to 2 pm. The program won three consecutive Associated Press annual awards for student sports programming (2002, 2003, and 2004.) Guests of the show included former basketball great Bill Walton, Boston Globe columnist Kevin Paul DuPont, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna, former Northeastern University Men’s Hockey head coach Bruce Crowder, InsideHockey.com columnist James Murphy, and NHL.com columnist Bob Snow.
Former show hosts include Lon Nichols (current anchor for KLKN-TV Lincoln, Nebraska), Lowell Galindo (current ESPNU anchor,) Tom Gauthier (current radio broadcaster and Director of Media Relations for the Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods), Justin Termine (current anchor and producer for NBA Radio on Sirius,), Mike Gastonguay (interned as an associate producer for KXTA’s “Loose Cannons” Los Angeles), Matt Porter (Palm Beach Post Miami Hurricanes beat reporter), Steve Crowe (Boston Globe part-timer) and Ryan Heisler (noted triathlete).
- Halper, Donna; Wollman, Garrett. "The Eastern Massachusetts Radio Timeline: the 1940s". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- "Best 361 College Rankings". The Princeton Review.
- Emerson’s WERS radio cancels ‘Rockers’ and ‘88.9@night’, two late-night music programs