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WFNX 99.9 the River logo.jpg
CityAthol, Massachusetts
Broadcast areaNorth County, Pioneer Valley
Branding99.9 The River
SloganIndependent Radio
Frequency99.9 MHz
First air dateDecember 4, 1989 (as WCAT-FM)[1]
FormatAAA (WXRV simulcast)
ERP1,850 watts
HAAT124 meters (407 ft)
Facility ID51124
Transmitter coordinates42°35′39.00″N 72°12′2.00″W / 42.5941667°N 72.2005556°W / 42.5941667; -72.2005556 (WFNX)Coordinates: 42°35′39.00″N 72°12′2.00″W / 42.5941667°N 72.2005556°W / 42.5941667; -72.2005556 (WFNX)
Callsign meaningformer call letters of WBWL, which was once owned by the Boston Phoenix
Former callsignsWCAT-FM (1989–2002)
WAHL (2002–2003)
WNYN-FM (2003–2008)
WXRG (2008–2013)
OwnerNortheast Broadcasting Company, Inc.
(County Broadcasting Company, LLC)
Sister stationsWXRV, WXRG, WLKC
WebcastListen Live
Listen Live (MP3)

WFNX (99.9 FM; "The River") is a radio station broadcasting an adult album alternative music format. Licensed to Athol, Massachusetts, United States, it serves the North County and Pioneer Valley areas. The signal for WFNX can be heard in north central Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, and southern Vermont. It first began broadcasting in 1989 under the call sign WCAT-FM. The station is owned by Northeast Broadcasting Company.


The station first signed on December 4, 1989[1] as WCAT-FM, a contemporary hit radio station owned by P&S Broadcasting along with WCAT (700 AM, now WPVQ).[2] By 1992, the station had shifted to an adult contemporary format,[3] then to hot adult contemporary a year later.[4]

In 1998, P&S sold WCAT-FM and WCAT to CAT Communications Corporation (a company controlled by Jeff Shapiro),[5][6] who in turn sold the stations to Citadel Broadcasting in 2000.[7] Citadel operated the WCAT stations as part of its Worcester group of stations, even though Arbitron considered the stations to be within the Boston market.[8] That September, WCAT-FM changed to an oldies format;[9] from 2001 until 2002, this was simulcast on the AM sister station.[10][11] On April 19, 2002, the call letters were changed to WAHL,[12] after Citadel moved the WCAT-FM call sign to a Cat Country-branded station on 106.7 FM in Hershey, Pennsylvania[13] (WCAT-FM is now assigned to 102.3 FM in Carlisle, Pennsylvania).

Citadel sold WAHL and WCAT to Northeast Broadcasting, controlled by Steve Silberberg, in 2003.[8] That October, the station was renamed WNYN-FM[12] and introduced a classic rock format branded as "99.9 The Eagle."[14] In April 2008, the station became WXRG,[12] a simulcast of adult album alternative sister station WXRV in Andover;[15] in late 2011, the simulcast was extended to the AM station, by then WTUB. The call letters were changed to WFNX on May 6, 2013.[12] The WFNX call letters were previously used by an alternative rock station in Boston owned by the Boston Phoenix, first on 101.7 FM (now WBWL) and later as an Internet radio station; after that station shut down along with the Phoenix, Northeast Broadcasting acquired the call sign for 99.9 FM in April 2013.[16]

WFNX logo from July 1, 2014 through May 29, 2016.

WFNX and what had become WWBZ dropped the WXRV simulcast in May 2014 and began stunting with a wide range of music while preparing to launch new formats for the stations on June 9, with listeners being asked to vote on which of the songs being played should be included in the new formats.[17] On June 9 at 9 a.m., the station launched its permanent variety hits format, asking listeners to now vote for its nickname; the simulcast on WWBZ ended two hours earlier, when that station introduced a separate oldies format.[17] On July 1, WFNX officially began branding as simply "99-9 WFNX."[17] In May 2016, the station announced that it would end its variety hits format after May 29 and return to simulcasting WXRV, citing a lack of advertiser support; in its announcement, WFNX said it needed ten businesses to advertise on the station on an annual basis to cover its costs.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-207. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  2. ^ The Broadcasting Yearbook 1991 (PDF). 1991. p. B-153. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  3. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1993 (PDF). 1993. p. B-167. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  4. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1994 (PDF). 1994. p. B-172. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  5. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 20, 1998). "Non-Compete -- The Battle Continues". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  6. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. August 31, 1998. p. 55. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  7. ^ Fybush, Scott (February 25, 2000). "Changing Hands on Route 2". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Citadel sheds a Worcester pair". Radio Business Report. April 21, 2003. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  9. ^ Fybush, Scott (September 18, 2000). "LPFM - It's Nutmeg and Granite States' Turn". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 12, 2001). "Montreal Gets X-Bander". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 18, 2002). "North East RadioWatch". Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 22, 2002). "Astral, Standard, Rogers win Telemedia Prize". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  14. ^ Wiseblood, Steven C. (December 2003). "FM News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 31. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  15. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 5, 2008). "The Sales Market Heats Up". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  16. ^ "WFNX Lives On ... Sorta". All Access. April 10, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c Venta, Lance (July 1, 2014). "99.9 WFNX Rebrands As 99.9 WFNX". RadioInsight. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  18. ^ Venta, Lance (May 3, 2016). "Two Central Massachusetts Stations To End Programming". RadioInsight. Retrieved May 21, 2016.

External links[edit]