WFCI (Pawtucket, Rhode Island)

WFCI was one of four radio stations in the pre-World War II Providence market (the others being WPRO, WEAN and WJAR). WFCI was an affiliate of the NBC Blue network, which in 1943 became simply the Blue Network, and finally changed to the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1945. WFCI added FM service on 101.5 MHz in about 1950; on that frequency today is WWBB.

Broadcast areaProvidence metropolitan area
Frequency1420 kHz
FormatDefunct (was Network radio (Mutual Radio Network: June 1, 1942-))
AffiliationsNBC Blue
Blue Network
OwnerPawtucket Broadcasting Company
WFCI-FM (101.5)
First air date
April 1927 (temporary permit issued)
re-established March 29, 1941
Last air date
May 1933 (first station, merged into WPRO)
October 1954
Former call signs
WFCI (1927-1929, 1941-1952)
WPAW (Early 1930s-1941)
WPJB (1952-1954)
Former frequencies
1330 kHz (1927)
1240 kHz (1928-1941)
1420 kHz (1941-1954)
Technical information
Power5,000 watts
Matchbook from WFCI in blue, advertising its affiliation with the Blue network.

The first WFCI (1927-1933)Edit

A listing for WFCI Pawtucket dates from at least 1927, owned by Frank Crook.[1] WFCI was on 1330 kHz on or before June 30, 1927, with 50 watts,[2] then moving to 1240 kHz (not yet a Class IV frequency as it would become under NARBA) a year later.[3] WFCI's first studio/office location was at 450 Main Street in Pawtucket. The original WFCI became WPAW which shared time with WPRO, and was merged into WPRO in May 1933.[4]

The second WFCI (1941-1954)Edit

WFCI was then restarted on March 29, 1941. W. Paul Oury was general manager, and George Sutherland was program director.[5] The station became a Mutual affiliate as of June 1, 1942 (prior to that it had served as WEAN's overflow station).[6] WFCI moved to the Biltmore Hotel in Providence in 1949 and took WEAN's ABC affiliation.[7] WFCI was relicensed to Providence in 1950.

WFCI was sold to the Providence Journal-Bulletin in 1952 which changed the callsign to WPJB, matching their radio station on 105.1 MHz (now WWLI).[8] When the Journal-Bulletin bought WEAN in 1954, it surrendered WPJB's license back to the FCC.

1420 was not silent long, as WBSM in New Bedford, Massachusetts, was given permission to move to 1420 in 1956 where it remains to this day.


  • Buddy & The Gang.[9]
  • Cavaliere Antonio Pace hosted an Italian program which had originated at WPRO & was also heard at one time on WRIB.[10]


  • T.F. Allen: Advertising & Commercial head (1941)
  • Frank Crook: Founder.
  • W. Paul Oury: general manager (1941)
  • Arthur Paquette: Host of the "1420 Club" (1942)[11]
  • Anita Ramos: Supervisor of foreign broadcasts.[12]
  • Mark Sheeler: Disc jockey (1948)[13]
  • Goerge Sutherland: program director (1941).
  • Howard W. Thornley: chief engineer (1941).
  • Wallace A. Walker: General Manager (1946)[14]


  1. ^ WFCI temporary permit issued to Frank Crook (Inc.) in April 1927
  2. ^ Cached listing of WFCI on 1330 in 1927.
  3. ^ June 30, 1928 listing of WFCI: Pawtucket on 1240kc.
  4. ^ Providence radio history essay on; retrieved April 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "Street Level Studios". Variety. March 5, 1941. p. 28.
  6. ^ Mutual 1942 affiliate list
  7. ^ 1949 list of A.M. stations and their networks
  8. ^ North East Radio Watch September 17, 2004 (retrieved July 26, 2010)
  9. ^ January 16, 2012 obituary for Lucille M. Masse who was a child performer on "Buddy & The Gang" (retrieved November 27, 2012)
  10. ^ Snippet of an Italian-language program on WFCI.
  11. ^ List of radio personalities from the 1942 Broadcasting Yearbook, including Arthur Paquette
  12. ^ ASU staff profile of Anita Ramos De Schaff
  13. ^ Listing of Mark Sheeler on WFCI.
  14. ^ 1946 Broadcasting Yearbook, page 158; retrieved April 3, 2019.