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WXEX-FM (92.1 FM; "Seacoast Oldies") is a radio station licensed to Sanford, Maine, United States. The station serves the Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire areas with an oldies format. WXEX-FM is owned by Port Broadcasting LLC (based in Newburyport, Massachusetts) and simulcasts with WXEX (1540 AM) from Exeter.
|Broadcast area||Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire areas|
|Slogan||"The Seacoast Oldies Station"|
|First air date||October 10, 1975 (as WSME-FM)|
|HAAT||156 meters (512 ft)|
|Call sign meaning||taken from sister AM station WXEX, based out of EXeter|
|Former call signs||WSME-FM (1975–1983)|
|Owner||Andrew Hartman |
(Port Broadcasting LLC)
|Sister stations||WWSF, WXEX|
The station originally went on the air October 10, 1975 as WSME-FM, with an automated Drake-Chenault adult contemporary/oldies hybrid format. In 1986, WSME-FM became WCDQ, well known for its on-air staff, as well as creative programming. One such program was "Dead Tracks", an all-Grateful Dead program broadcast on Thursday nights at 10 PM. Another program was "Blue Monday", featuring all Blues music hosted by "The First Lady of Mt. Rialto" Sharon Small. Two other groundbreaking programs were "Mt. Rialto Redemption", a Reggae music show, and "Local Chords", an opportunity for local, unsigned bands to get their material played on the radio. It was hosted by Steve Biron, who also did afternoons. The show would later be hosted by Pete Casper "The Friendly DJ".
The station claimed that it broadcast from "The Summit of Mt. Rialto", a reference to the common name for movie theaters, popular in the 1930s through the '50s. It was sometimes called Mt. Rialto Radio. Another fictional locale often referenced by the station was "The Elegante Ballroom", a cavernous hall from which the station's lunch time show was supposedly broadcast. The ruse of the station's broadcast locale was so well done (complete with summit ski and weather reports) that occasionally students from the University of New Hampshire would travel to Sanford with the intent of hiking the non-existent mountain.
The station heralded the weekend's arrival every Friday at 5 PM by playing "Switchin' To Glide" by The Kings.
The secondary tag line for the radio station was "The Theater of the Mind". This was based on the fact that WCDQ produced its own original radio plays, similar to "The Shadow" and "The Lone Ranger" radio shows from the 1930s and 1940s, before televisions were a common household item. WCDQ staff wrote original plays, together with original music, and performed them on the air. Radio plays included a Christmas story entitled "The Miracle of Mt. Rialto", a 1950s high school drama called "Young Lust", and a soap opera-style story called "The Web of Fate".
The station was owned by Donald Crown, who sold the station to Phoenix Media/Communications Group. It became WPHX-FM and began simulcasting WFNX, from the Boston, Massachusetts, radio market in the summer of 1999. Phoenix Media/Communications Group announced a sale of the station to Aruba Capital Holdings, licensee of WXEX in Exeter, New Hampshire, in May 2011. On August 11, 2011, Aruba Capital Holdings relaunched the station as WXEX-FM, a simulcast of the oldies/classic hits programming of WXEX.
On April 14, 2015, Port Broadcasting LLC, owner of WWSF in Sanford, Maine and WNBP in Newburyport, Massachusetts (and their respective FM translators), began operating WXEX and its AM simulcast partner in Exeter under a local marketing agreement (LMA). On August 20, 2015, WXEX-FM and its sister AM station shifted their format from classic hits to classic rock, branded as "Classic Rock 92.1"; the move was made to distinguish WXEX from WWSF's oldies format. In 2015 a merger was proposed with Garrison city Broadcasting owners of WBYY and WTSN but never finalized.  Effective January 31, 2017, Aruba Capital sold WXEX-FM, WXEX, and W246BP to LMA partner Port Broadcasting. In return, Aruba Capital received a 26.9% stake in Port Broadcasting, giving Aruba Capital principal Andrew Hartman a controlling interest in the new licensee.
During Labor Day Weekend in 2018, WXEX-FM and WXEX stunted with a broadcast of the Drake-Chenault documentary The History of Rock and Roll. On September 3, 2018, the stations changed to an oldies format, in effect reversing the 2015 format change.
- Eric "EJ The DJ" Johnson Co-host of "Morning on the Mountain"
- Jonathan Smith Co-host of "Morning on the Mountain" and daily "Bone Head" award presenter
- Sharon Small
- Steven Biron
- Katina Kageleiry
- Tommy Record
- Kenny Ridley
- Heather Salisbury
- Pete "The Friendly DJ" Casper
- Russell Dumont
- Freddie Dee
- Becky Brown
- Kimberly Rowe
- Andy Austin
- Kenny Wallace
- Roy Lawrence
- Rocky Bergeron
- Keith Taylor
- Paul Dupuis
- Carl Lindemann
- Daniel "Dangerous Dan" McGlincey
- Kelly Brown
- Bob Angell
- Bret Saunders
- Jimmy the Weather Dog (weather and Flea and Tick alerts)
Two photographs from the end of days of Mount Rialto:
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-201. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- "The Boston Phoenix regional network is about to shrink". Radio-Info.com. May 9, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
- Sanborn, Aaron (August 24, 2011). "Exeter radio station WXEX moving to FM". seacoastonline.com. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- Port Broadcasting To LMA WXEX AM/FM radioINSIGHT, April 14, 2015
- WXEX Shifts to Classic Rock
- Venta, Lance (September 4, 2018). "WXEX Flips To Seacoast Oldies". RadioInsight. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- Official website
- WXEX in the FCC's FM station database
- WXEX on Radio-Locator
- WXEX in Nielsen Audio's FM station database