Glenn O'Brien contributed the following history:
August 9, 1991 was the launch date for this station. The initial call letters were WVNL. On November 1 of that same year the call letters were changed to WBMW. John J. Fuller, owner of WJJF-AM 1180 in Hope Valley, RI and WPJB-FM 102.7 in Narragansett Pier, RI, signed on the station and has been its only owner. The Rhode Island stations were later sold.
WBMW has always had a mainstream adult contemporary format. The morning show was always local, but the other dayparts were originally satellite-delivered. WBMW’s early nickname was Mix 106.5, later rebranding as Soft Rock 106.5. After AC competitor WTYD switched to oldies in 2000, WBMW had the mainstream AC format to themselves except during the period when Citadel’s WXLM made a run at it in 2004. With Red Wolf Broadcasting’s purchase of Pawcatuck’s WKCD (later WHJM, then WWRX) in 2002, Brian Ram was hired as VP/Programming for WBMW and the newly acquired sister station.
Biz Franklin was the first morning personality. Teresa Berry, who also delivered newscasts on New London’s WTWS-TV26, began hosting the WBMW morning show a short time later. Longtime WCTY morning man Michael Bernz was brought on board for mornings from 1999 to 2006. Glenn O’Brien was later joined by Rebecca Morse Whitten on the Wakeup Club, which lasted until early in 2010. Teresa Berry and Shawn Murphy are the current hosts.
Marc Sommers was WBMW’s midday personality in 2002 and 2003. Teresa Berry returned as midday host from 2003 to 2008. Heidi West has done middays since then, with an Awesome 80s All Request Lunch Hour added at noon.
Jody Morris, formerly with the Q105 morning show, had a long run on WBMW’s afternoon drive shift from about 1998 to 2008. Teresa Berry moved from middays to PM drive in November 2008. Seth Alan Hughes of Burlington, VT sister station WTNN took the slot in March 2010.
The station was an early affiliate of the syndicated Delilah nighttime love songs show, on Sunday through Friday.
Awesome 80s Weekends have been a staple on WBMW since the new millennium. They were later branded as Awesome 80s Work Escape Weekends. Casey Kasem’s America’s Top Ten ran Saturdays 7-10am until Casey’s retirement in 2009.
WBMW got in early riding the national wave of switching to the all holiday format. It has been the market’s Christmas music station for many years. For the past several years, they have been flipping to all holiday music the weekend before Thanksgiving.
WBMW has been heavily promoted throughout eastern Connecticut, also employing market research.