WLLH (1400 AM; "La Mega") is a radio station in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts, licensed to Lowell, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Gois Broadcasting, LLC, and airs a tropical music format. In addition to a transmitter in Lowell, there is a synchronous transmitter in Lawrence, together forming the two Ls in the callsign. (There were once plans for a transmitter in Haverhill, — the H — but it was not built.) Both WLLH transmitters operate on 1400 kHz. WLLH also operates translator W236CU (95.1 FM) in Lowell.
|City||Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts|
|Broadcast area||Merrimack Valley|
|Branding||La Mega 95.1|
|Slogan||La fuerza que te mueve! (The force that moves you!)|
|Translator(s)||95.1 W236CU (Lowell)|
|First air date||
October 1926 (in Somerville)|
October 27, 1927 (in Lexington)
October 10, 1934 (in Lowell)
December 1, 1937 (Lawrence transmitter)
(Lawrence synchronous site)
1200 kHz (1926–1927)|
1390 kHz (1927–1928)
1420 kHz (1928–1930)
1370 kHz (1930–1941)
Gois Broadcasting LLC |
(Gois Broadcasting Boston LLC)
The station that now operates as WLLH came on the air in October 1926 as WAGS with 5 watts on 1200 kHz, and was licensed to Somerville, Massachusetts, near Boston. Its call letters stood for "Willow Avenue Garage Station." During September–October 1927, the station moved to Lexington, Massachusetts and it returned to the air on October 27, 1927 as WLEX at 1390 kHz with 50 watts. It was located in the home of part-owner Carl Wheeler. The other owner was Jesse Smith Dodge. The station time-shared with South Dartmouth station WMAF. On November 11, 1928, WLEX moved to 1420 kHz with 100 watts, time-sharing with Boston-based religious station WSSH.
When Wheeler's company, the Lexington Air Stations, purchased the license of WBET from the Boston Evening Transcript and moved it from Medford to Lexington in February 1929, the WLEX call letters were transferred to that station (now WVEI in Worcester), with the original WLEX being renamed WLEY. During this time, the stations also operated an experimental television station, W1XAY. WLEY remained at 1420 kHz until 1930, when it moved to 1370 (concurrent with WLEX's move from 1360 kHz to 1410). W1XAY shut down in 1930, and WLEX was sold off in 1931, but the Lexington Air Stations retained WLEY until 1933, when it was purchased by Alfred Moffat, who moved the station to Lowell on October 10, 1934 and changed the call letters to WLLH six days later. Moffat boosted the station's daytime power to 250 watts from a transmitter and studio location at the Rex Center, and affiliated it with the Yankee Network; in 1936, the station also began an affiliation with the Mutual-affiliated Colonial Network. He also began efforts to establish a second transmitter in Lawrence, which signed on the air under special temporary authority with 100 watts on December 1, 1937, with a license for the Lawrence transmitter being issued on March 4, 1941. WLLH moved to 1400 kHz on March 29, 1941 under the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement. Ed McMahon began his career in 1942 as an announcer for WLLH. In addition, the station began an FM sister station in 1947.
By the 1990s, WLLH, under Arnold Lerner's Merrimack Valley Wireless Talking Machine Company, had adopted an adult standards format, and was the radio affiliate of the Lowell Spinners minor league baseball team. However, the station was sold to Mega Communications in 1999, and switched to a simulcast of Spanish-language tropical music station WNFT (1150 AM, soon renamed WAMG) that April; some of WLLH's staff, as well as Spinners games, moved to WCCM (then at 800 AM, now WNNW; now at 1570 AM). The WAMG simulcast continued after that station moved to 890 AM in 2003, following the sale of 1150 AM (now WWDJ) to Salem Communications. Mega sold WAMG and WLLH to J Sports in 2005; on July 24, the stations returned to English-language programming and switched to ESPN Radio. Most programming was simulcast on both stations, though WLLH again carried Lowell Spinners baseball, replacing WCAP, during the 2007 season; after that season, the team returned to WCAP.
WAMG and WLLH discontinued ESPN Radio programming on September 14, 2009; as a result, the sports format was dropped, and the stations temporarily went dark. While the station was silent, on October 9, 2009, Merrimack College announced that Merrimack Warriors ice hockey games would be broadcast on WLLH beginning on November 13.
WLLH returned to the air with test programming in late October 2009, carrying a pre-recorded loop in Spanish, with Gois Broadcasting launching the current format soon afterward. Initially operating the station under a local marketing agreement, Gois purchased WLLH outright in January 2010.
|City of license||Facility
|Class||Transmitter coordinates||FCC info|
- Fybush, Scott (March 6–13, 2003). "Rambling Around Central Massachusetts". fybush.com Tower Site of the Week. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Halper, Donna L. (September 21, 2011). "The Eastern Massachusetts Radio Timeline: The First Fifteen Years". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- Halper, Donna (April 2001). "John Shepard -- Boston's Showman". oldradio.com. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- "Radio Service Bulletin" (PDF). United States Department of Commerce. February 28, 1929. p. 13. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Halper, Donna L. "How Television Came to Boston—The Forgotten Story of W1XAY". Television History-The First 75 Years. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- "The Boston Radio Timeline". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. January 2, 2001. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1935 (PDF). 1935. p. 36. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Halper, Donna L. "Lexington's Forgotten Radio History (from WLEX and WLEY to WAAB and WLLH)". New England Radio Histories. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "The Colonial Network". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
- Hauser, Glenn (May 4, 2003). "DX Listening Digest 3-077" (text file). World of Radio. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1972 (PDF). 1972. p. B-99. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "Log of U.S. Broadcast Stations Effective March 29, 1941" (PDF). Supplement to Broadcasting. September 15, 1940. p. 5. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
- Fybush, Scott (February 6, 1999). "WKOX, WLLH Sold". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Fybush, Scott (April 21, 2000). "WMJQ Comes Home". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Fybush, Scott (April 16, 1999). "Raleigh Retires, Bruds Cuts Back Hours at WBZ". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Fybush, Scott (April 2, 1999). "The Eagle Has Crash-Landed". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Reid, Alexander (August 7, 2005). "Change is in the airwaves". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- Fybush, Scott (February 12, 2007). "Barber out, DePetro in at WPRO". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Fybush, Scott (November 5, 2007). "C&K Out, Imus In at WABC". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Finn, Chad (September 12, 2009). "ESPN Radio's Boston affiliate set to sign off". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
- "All Hockey Games to be Broadcast on 1400 AM beginning November 13". merrimackathletics.com. October 9, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- "Spanish on 1400: WLLH or a pirate?". October 20, 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
- "Double deal in Boston moving two AMs". Radio Business Report. January 14, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2017.