In broadcasting and radio communications, a call sign (also known as a call name or call letters—and historically as a call signal—or abbreviated as a call) is a unique designation for a transmitter station. In the United States of America, they are used for all FCC-licensed transmitters. A call sign can be formally assigned by a government agency, informally adopted by individuals or organizations, or even cryptographically encoded to disguise a station's identity.
The use of call signs as unique identifiers dates to the landline railroad telegraph system. Because there was only one telegraph line linking all railroad stations, there needed to be a way to address each one when sending a telegram. In order to save time, two-letter identifiers were adopted for this purpose. This pattern continued in radiotelegraph operation; radio companies initially assigned two-letter identifiers to coastal stations and stations aboard ships at sea. These were not globally unique, so a one-letter company identifier (for instance, 'M' and two letters as a Marconi station) was later added. By 1912, the need to quickly identify stations operated by multiple companies in multiple nations required an international standard; an ITU prefix would be used to identify a country, and the rest of the call sign an individual station in that country.
Merchant and naval vessels are assigned call signs by their national licensing authorities. In the case of states such as Liberia or Panama, which are flags of convenience for ship registration, call signs for larger vessels consist of the national prefix plus three letters (for example, 3LXY, and sometimes followed by a number, i.e. 3LXY2). United States merchant vessels are given call signs beginning with the letters "W" or "K" while US naval ships are assigned call signs beginning with "N". Originally, both ships and broadcast stations were assigned call signs in this series consisting of three or four letters. Ships equipped with Morse code radiotelegraphy, or life boat radio sets, Aviation ground stations, broadcast stations were given four letter call signs. Maritime coast stations on high frequency (both radiotelegraphy and radiotelephony) were assigned three letter call signs. As demand for both marine radio and broadcast call signs grew, gradually American-flagged vessels with radiotelephony only were given longer call signs with mixed letters and numbers.
Leisure craft with VHF radios may not be assigned call signs, in which case the name of the vessel is used instead. Ships in the US still wishing to have a radio license are under FCC class SA: "Ship recreational or voluntarily equipped." Those calls follow the land mobile format of the initial letter K or W followed by 1 or 2 letters followed by 3 or 4 numbers (such as KX0983 or WXX0029). U.S. Coast Guard small boats have a number that is shown on both bows (i.e. port and starboard) in which the first two digits indicate the nominal length of the boat in feet. For example, Coast Guard 47021 refers to the 21st in the series of 47-foot motor lifeboats. The call sign might be abbreviated to the final two or three numbers during operations, for example: Coast Guard zero two one.
Originally Aviation mobile (aircraft) stations equipped with radiotelegraphy were assigned five letter call signs. (e.g. KHAAQ). Land Stations in Aviation were assigned four letter call signs. (e.g. WEAL - Eastern Air Lines, NYC.) These call signs were phased out in the 1960s when flight radio officers (FRO) were no longer required on international flights. USSR kept FRO's for the Moscow-Havana run until around 2000.
Currently all signs in aviation are derived from several different policies, depending upon the type of flight operation and whether or not the caller is in an aircraft or at a ground facility. In most countries, unscheduled general aviation flights identify themselves using the call sign corresponding to the aircraft's registration number (also called N-number in the U.S., or tail number). In this case, the call sign is spoken using the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. Aircraft registration numbers internationally follow the pattern of a country prefix, followed by a unique identifier made up of letters and numbers. For example, an aircraft registered as N978CP conducting a general aviation flight would use the call sign November-niner-seven-eight-Charlie-Papa. However, in the United States a pilot of an aircraft would normally omit saying November, and instead use the name of the aircraft manufacturer or the specific model. At times, general aviation pilots might omit additional preceding numbers and use only the last three numbers and letters. This is especially true at uncontrolled fields (those without control towers) when reporting traffic pattern positions or at towered airports after establishing two-way communication with the tower controller. For example, Skyhawk eight-Charlie-Papa, left base.
In most countries, the aircraft call sign or "tail number"/"tail letters" (also known as registration marks) are linked to the international radio call sign allocation table and follow a convention that aircraft radio stations (and, by extension, the aircraft itself) receive call signs consisting of five letters. For example, all British civil aircraft have a five-letter call sign beginning with the letter G. Canadian aircraft have a call sign beginning with C–F or C–G, such as C–FABC. Wing In Ground-effect vehicles (hovercraft) in Canada are eligible to receive C–Hxxx call signs, and ultralight aircraft receive C-Ixxx call signs. In days gone by, even American aircraft used five letter call signs, such as KH–ABC, but they were replaced prior to World War II by the current American system of civilian aircraft call signs (see below).
Radio call signs used for communication in manned spaceflight is not formalized or regulated to the same degree as for aircraft. The three nations currently launching manned space missions use different methods to identify the ground and space radio stations; the United States uses either the names given to the space vehicles, or else the project name and mission number. Russia traditionally assigns code names as call signs to individual cosmonauts, more in the manner of aviator call signs, rather than to the spacecraft.
The only continuity in call signs for spacecraft have been the issuance of "ISS"-suffixed call signs by various countries in the Amateur Radio service as a citizen of their country has been assigned there. The first Amateur Radio call sign assigned to the International Space Station was NA1SS by the United States. OR4ISS (Belgium), DP0ISS (Germany), and RS0ISS (Russia) are examples of others, but are not all-inclusive of others also issued.
Broadcasters are allocated call signs in many countries. While broadcast radio stations will often brand themselves with plain-text names, identities such as "cool FM", "rock 105" or "the ABC network" are not globally unique. Another station in another city or country may (and often will) have a similar brand, and the name of a broadcast station for legal purposes is normally its internationally recognised ITU call sign. Some common conventions are followed in each country.
Broadcast stations in North America generally use call signs in the international series. In the United States, the first letter generally is K for stations located west of the Mississippi River and W for eastern stations. Historic exceptions in the east include KYW in Philadelphia and KDKA in Pittsburgh, while western exceptions include WHB in Kansas City. All new call signs have been 4-character for some decades, though there are historical 3-character call letters still in use today, such as KSL in Salt Lake City, KOA in Denver, WHO in Des Moines, WJW in Cleveland, WBT in Charlotte, WSM in Nashville, WGR in Buffalo, and WGN plus WLS-AM 890 and WLS-TV in Chicago. American radio stations announce their call signs at the top of each hour, as well as sign-on and sign-off for stations that do not broadcast 24 hours.
In Canada, the publicly owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation uses the prefix CB; privately owned commercial broadcast stations use primarily CF and CH through CK prefixes; and four stations licensed to St. John's by the Dominion of Newfoundland government retain their original VO calls. In Mexico, AM radio stations use XE call signs (such as XEW-AM), while the majority of FM radio and television stations use XH. Broadcast call signs are normally four or five alpha characters in length, plus the -FM, -TV, or -TDT suffix where applicable.
In South America call signs have been a traditional way of identifying radio and TV stations. Some stations still broadcast their call signs a few times a day, but this practice is becoming very rare. Argentinian broadcast call signs consist of two or three letters followed by multiple numbers, the second and third letters indicating region. In Brazil, radio and TV stations are identified by a ZY, a third letter and three numbers. ZYA and ZYB are allocated to television stations, ZYI, ZYJ, ZYL and ZYK designate AM stations, ZYG is used for shortwave stations, ZYC, ZYD, ZYM and ZYU are given to FM stations.
In Australia, broadcast call signs are optional, but are allocated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and are unique for each broadcast station. Most European and Asian countries do not use call signs to identify broadcast stations, but Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan do have call sign systems. Britain has no call signs in the American sense, but allows broadcast stations to choose their own trade mark call sign up to six words in length.
Amateur radio call signs are in the international series and normally consist of a one or two character prefix, a digit (which may be used to denote a geographical area, class of license, or identify a licensee as a visitor or temporary resident), and a 1, 2, or 3 letter suffix. In Australia, call signs are structured with a two letter prefix, a digit (which identifies geographical area), and a 2, 3 or 4 letter suffix. This suffix may be followed by a further suffix, or personal identifier, such as /P (portable), /M (mobile), /AM (aeronautical mobile) or /MM (maritime mobile). The number following the prefix is normally a single number (0 to 9). Some prefixes, such as Djibouti's (J2), consist of a letter followed by a number. Hence, in the hypothetical Djibouti call sign, J29DBA, the prefix is J2, the number is 9, and the suffix is DBA. Others may start with a number followed by a letter, for example, Jamaican call signs begin with 6Y.
When operating with reciprocal agreements under the jurisdiction of a foreign government, an identifying station pre-pends the call sign with the country prefix and number of the country/territory from which the operation is occurring. For example, W4/G3ABC would denote a licensed amateur from the United Kingdom who is operating in the fourth district of the United States. There are exceptions; in the case of U.S./Canadian reciprocal operations, the country/territory identifier is, instead, appended to the call sign; e.g., W1AW/VE4, or VE3XYZ/W1.
Special call signs are issued in the amateur radio service either for special purposes, VIPs, or for temporary use to commemorate special events. Examples include VO1S (VO1 as a Dominion of Newfoundland call sign prefix, S to commemorate Marconi's first trans-Atlantic message, a single-character Morse code S sent from Cornwall, England to Signal Hill, St. John's in 1901) and GB90MGY (GB as a Great Britain call sign prefix, 90 and MGY to commemorate the 90th anniversary of historic 1912 radio distress calls from MGY, the Marconi station aboard the famed White Star luxury liner RMS Titanic).
When identifying a station by voice, the call sign may be given by simply stating the letters and numbers, or using a phonetic alphabet. Some countries mandate the use of the phonetic alphabet for identification.
In wartime, monitoring an adversary's communications can be a valuable form of intelligence. Consistent call signs can aid in this monitoring, so in wartime, military units often employ tactical call signs and sometimes change them at regular intervals. In peacetime, some military stations will use fixed call signs in the international series.
The United States Army uses fixed station call signs which begin with W, such as WAR, used by U.S. Army Headquarters. Fixed call signs for the United States Air Force stations begin with A, such as AIR, used by USAF Headquarters. The United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard use a mixture of tactical call signs and international call signs beginning with the letter N.
In the British military, tactical voice communications use a system of call signs of the form letter-digit-digit. Within a standard infantry battalion, these characters represent companies, platoons and sections respectively, so that 3 Section, 1 Platoon of F Company might be F13. In addition, a suffix following the initial call sign can denote a specific individual or grouping within the designated call sign, so F13C would be the Charlie fire team. Unused suffixes can be used for other call signs that do not fall into the standard call sign matrix, for example the unused 33A call sign is used to refer to the company sergeant major.
No call signs are issued to transmitters of long-range navigation systems (Decca, Alpha, Omega), or transmitters on frequencies below 10 kHz, because frequencies below 10 kHz are not subject to international regulations. In addition, in some countries lawful unlicensed low-power personal and broadcast radio signals (Citizen's Band, Part 15 or ISM bands) are permitted; an international call sign is not issued to such stations due to their unlicensed nature. Also, wireless network routers or mobile devices and computers using Wi-Fi are unlicensed and do not have call signs. On some personal radio services, such as Citizen's Band, it is considered a matter of etiquette to create one's own call sign, which is called a handle (or trail name). Some wireless networking protocols also allow an SSID or a MAC address to be set as an identifier, but with no guarantee that this label will remain unique.
International regulations no longer require a call sign for broadcast stations; however, they are still required for broadcasters in many countries, including the United States. Mobile phone services do not use call signs on-air because the phones and their users are not licensed, instead the cell operator is the one holding the license. However, the U.S. still assigns a call sign to each mobile-phone spectrum license.
In the United States, voluntary ships operating domestically are not required to have a call sign or license to operate VHF radios, radar or an EPIRB. Voluntary ships (mostly pleasure and recreational) are not required to have a radio. However, ships which are required to have radio equipment (most large commercial vessels) are issued a call sign.
A directory of radio station call signs is called a callbook. Callbooks were originally bound books that resembled a telephone directory and contained the name and addressees of licensed radio stations in a given jurisdiction (country). Modern Electrics published the first callbook in the United States in 1909.
Today, the primary purpose of a callbook is to allow amateur radio operators to send a confirmation post card, called a QSL card to an operator with whom they have communicated via radio. Callbooks have evolved to include on-line databases that are accessible via the Internet to instantly obtain the address of another amateur radio operator and their QSL Managers. The most well known and used on-line QSL databases include QRZ.COM, IK3QAR, HamCall, F6CYV, DXInfo, OZ7C and QSLInfo.
Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign for a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In common parlance the term describes those U.S. Air Force aircraft designed, built, and used to transport the president. The presidential aircraft is a prominent symbol of the American presidency and its power.The idea of designating specific military aircraft to transport the President arose in 1943, when officials of the United States Army Air Forces, the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force, became concerned over the reliance on commercial airlines to transport the president. A C-87 Liberator Express was reconfigured for use as the first dedicated VIP and presidential transport aircraft and named Guess Where II, but the Secret Service rejected it because of its safety record. A C-54 Skymaster was then converted for presidential use; this aircraft, dubbed the Sacred Cow, carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference in February 1945 and was subsequently used for another two years by President Harry S. Truman.
The "Air Force One" call sign was created after a 1953 incident during which a Lockheed Constellation named Columbine II, carrying President Dwight D. Eisenhower, entered the same airspace as a commercial airline flight using the same flight number.A number of aircraft types have been used as Air Force One since the creation of the presidential fleet, starting with two Lockheed Constellations in the late 1950s: Columbine II and Columbine III. It also operated two Boeing 707s, introduced in the 1960s and 1970s; since 1990, the presidential fleet has been two Boeing VC-25As, which are specifically configured, highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft. The U.S. Air Force plans to procure the Boeing 747-8 for the next version of Air Force One.Airline codes
This is a list of airline codes. The table lists IATA's two-character airline designators, ICAO's three-character airline designators and the airline call signs (telephony designator). Historical assignments are also included.Amateur radio
Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, describes the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term "amateur" is used to specify "a duly authorised person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;" (either direct monetary or other similar reward) and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).
The amateur radio service (amateur service and amateur-satellite service) is established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) through the Radio Regulations. National governments regulate technical and operational characteristics of transmissions and issue individual stations licenses with an identifying call sign. Prospective amateur operators are tested for their understanding of key concepts in electronics and the host government's radio regulations.
Radio amateurs use a variety of voice, text, image, and data communications modes and have access to frequency allocations throughout the RF spectrum. This enables communication across a city, region, country, continent, the world, or even into space. In many countries, amateur radio operators may also send, receive, or relay radio communications between computers or transceivers connected to secure virtual private networks on the Internet.
Amateur radio is officially represented and coordinated by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), which is organized in three regions and has as its members the national amateur radio societies which exist in most countries.
According to an estimate made in 2011 by the American Radio Relay League, two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. About 830,000 amateur radio stations are located in IARU Region 2 (the Americas) followed by IARU Region 3 (South and East Asia and the Pacific Ocean) with about 750,000 stations. A significantly smaller number, about 400,000, are located in IARU Region 1 (Europe, Middle East, CIS, Africa).CSN International translators
CSN International is relayed by numerous low-powered translators nationwide. As a religious station, CSN International flagship KAWZ is allowed to place translators anywhere in the United States, regardless of distance from its parent station's coverage area.Call signs in North America
Call signs are frequently still used by North American broadcast stations, in addition to amateur radio and other international radio stations that continue to identify by call signs around the world. Each country has a different set of patterns for its own call signs. Call signs are allocated to ham radio stations in Barbados, Canada, Mexico and across the United States.
Many countries have specific conventions for classifying call signs by transmitter characteristics and location. The call sign format for radio and television call signs follows a number of conventions. All call signs begin with a prefix assigned by the International Telecommunications Union. For example, the United States has been assigned the following prefixes: "AAA"–"ALZ", "K", "N", "W". For a complete list, see international call sign allocations.Code letters
Code letters or ship's call sign (or callsign) were a method of identifying ships before the introduction of modern navigation aids and today also. Later, with the introduction of radio, code letters were also used as radio call signs.List of Canadian television stations
This page lists the table of every television station in Canada by call sign. For the list of television networks in Canada, see the List of Canadian television networks (table).
Under the current digital television transition, television stations in Mandatory Markets, in Canada are launching digital transmissions by August 31, 2011. On August 18, 2011, the CRTC issued a decision that allows CBC's mandatory market rebroadcasting transmitters in analog remain on-air until August 31, 2012. Where known, a digital channel assignment is noted below. Digital channels listed on a green background have already been launched, while those listed on a red background have not yet commenced operations. In some cases, the digital channels have been allocated but the stations have not applied to use them; as there is no requirement that Canadian stations begin digital broadcasts before the end-August 2011 analogue shutdown, it is currently unknown whether some broadcasters will ask to flash-cut on their existing frequencies or to continue on their assigned digital channel.List of radio stations in Illinois
The following is a list of FCC-licensed radio stations in the U.S. state of Illinois, which can be sorted by their call signs, frequencies, cities of license, licensees, and programming formats.List of television stations in the United States by call sign (initial letter K)
This is a list of full-power television stations in the United States having call signs beginning with the letter K. Low-power TV stations, those with designations such as KAGN-LP or K11XQ, have not been included in this list.
See also the list of TV stations beginning with W and the list of TV stations beginning with X.List of television stations in the United States by call sign (initial letter W)
This is a list of full-power television stations in the United States having call signs beginning with the letter W. Low-power TV stations, those with designations such as WAOH-LP or W16CE, have not been included in this list.
See also the list of TV stations beginning with K and the list of TV stations beginning with X.Maritime call sign
Maritime call signs are call signs assigned as unique identifiers to ships and boats.
One of the earliest applications of radiotelegraph operation, long predating broadcast radio, were marine radio stations installed aboard ships at sea. In the absence of international standards, early transmitters constructed after Guglielmo Marconi's first trans-Atlantic message in 1901 were issued arbitrary two-letter calls by radio companies, alone or later preceded by a one-letter company identifier. These mimicked an earlier railroad telegraph convention where short, two-letter identifiers served as Morse code abbreviations to denote the various individual stations on the line (for instance, AX could represent Halifax). 'N' and two letters would identify US Navy; 'M' and two letters would be a Marconi Station.
On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic station MGY, busily delivering telegram traffic from ship's passengers to the coastal station at Cape Race, Newfoundland (call sign MCE), would receive warnings of ice fields from Marconi stations aboard the M.V. Mesaba (call sign MMU) and the SS Californian (call sign MWL). Its distress call CQD CQD CQD CQD CQD CQD DE MGY MGY MGY MGY MGY MGY position 41.44N 50.24W would be answered by a station aboard the RMS Carpathia (call sign MPA). Later that same year, an international conference standardised radio call signs so that the first two letters would uniquely identify a transmitter's country of origin.
Merchant and naval vessels are assigned call signs by their national licensing authorities. In the case of states such as Liberia or Panama, which are flags of convenience for ship registration, call signs for larger vessels consist of the national prefix plus three letters (for example, 3LXY, and sometimes followed by a number, i.e. 3LXY2). United States merchant vessels are given call signs beginning with the letters "W" or "K" while US naval ships are assigned callsigns beginning with "N". Originally, both ships and broadcast stations were given call signs in this series consisting of three or four letters, but as demand for both marine radio and broadcast call signs grew, gradually American-flagged vessels were given longer call signs with mixed letters and numbers.
As broadcast stations became commonplace in the 1920s, some original three and four-letter call signs were reassigned as the corresponding ships were removed from U.S. registry. The WSB call sign had been held by two ships (the SS Francis H. Leggett, shipwrecked off Oregon's coast on September 18, 1914, and later the Firwood, a ship destroyed by fire near Peru on December 18, 1919) before being assigned to the Atlanta Journal for use by its presumably unsinkable Atlanta, Georgia broadcast radio station in 1922. Similarly WEZU, the international radio call sign of the ship SS Lash Atlantico, was assigned in 1997 to a broadcast station. Additional call signs would be reassigned to coastal stations or moved from marine radio to terrestrial broadcast radio when ships were sold for registration to foreign nations, as the new owners would obtain new, local call signs for any existing shipboard radio stations.
Leisure craft with VHF radios may not be assigned call signs, in which case the name of the vessel is used instead. Ships in the US wishing to have a radio licence anyway are under F.C.C. class SA: "Ship recreational or voluntarily equipped." Those calls follow the land mobile format of the initial letter K or W followed by 1 or 2 letters followed by 3 or 4 numbers (such as KX0983 or WXX0029).
U.S. Coast Guard small boats have a number that is shown on both bows (i.e. port and starboard) in which the first two digits indicate the nominal length of the boat in feet. For example, Coast Guard 47021 refers to the 21st in the series of 47 foot motor lifeboats. The call sign might also be abbreviated to the final two or three numbers during operations, for example: Coast Guard zero two one.WOSH
WOSH (branded as NewsTalk 1490) is a radio station serving the Oshkosh, Wisconsin area with a News/Talk format from the ABC News Radio network. This station broadcasts on AM frequency 1490 kHz and is under ownership of Cumulus Media. During the late 1960s until 1975, WOSH was the leading Top 40 radio station in the Appleton-Oshkosh market; in the summer of 1975, WOSH's Top 40 format was moved to its sister FM operation at 103.9, with Jonathon Brandmeier as the station's star disc jockey, and WOSH-FM's Country and Western music format was placed on 1490 AM, with the new call sign WYTL applied. In 1984, the call sign WOSH was reinstated to 1490 and the current news/talk format established. WOSH also broadcast a UHF TV signal under WOSH-TV 48 for a time.WVFN
WVFN (730 AM, "The Game") is a radio station licensed to East Lansing, Michigan, broadcasting a sports radio format. It broadcasts on AM frequency 730 kHz and is under the ownership of Townsquare Media. 730 AM is a Mexican and Canadian clear-channel frequency.
As WVIC, AM 730 was a Top 40 music station in Lansing for many years (see also: WMMQ, current sister station and former simulcast partner).
WVFN is an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers baseball and Grand Valley State Laker football radio networks.WVFN began broadcasting as WVIC in 1965 with a Middle-of-the-Road (MOR) format, as sister station WVIC-FM programmed a Beautiful Music format. WVIC and WVIC-FM adopted a full-time Top 40 format in 1968, competing with cross-town rivals WJIM and WILS. WVIC and WVIC-FM would simulcast the Top 40 format full-time for most of the 1970s, eventually leading WVIC-FM to beat out its AM competitors with the advantage of a 24-hour FM stereo signal. WVIC, during this time, was licensed to operate from 6:00 am to local sunset, and aired a promotional announcement at nightly sign-off, encouraging listeners to tune to WVIC-FM. WVIC made a partial break in their simulcast with WVIC-FM in 1979, airing an Urban Contemporary format during the midday, while continuing to simulcast WVIC-FM for the remainder of the broadcast day.
WVIC and WVIC-FM were purchased by Goodrich Broadcasting in August 1981, and WVIC was reprogrammed with Al Hamm's Music of Your Life format, featuring Big Band music from the 1940s, along with vocal standards from the 1950s and 1960s. Along with the format change came a call-sign change to WVGO. Less than two years later in July 1983, the Music of Your Life format was abandoned, the WVIC call-sign was restored, and the station returned to a Top 40 simulcast with WVIC-FM as "The New 73 AM". The simulcast would continue until May 1992, when the current Sports Talk format was introduced under the call-sign WVFN.
Goodrich Broadcasting changed the call-sign of WVIC to WAAP for a brief period in 1989, apparently to prevent cross-town rival WLNZ (The Ape 92) from acquiring the same call-sign (WLNZ later changed its call-sign to WGOR). There were no programming changes made to WVIC during this period.WXLO
WXLO (104.5 FM; "104.5 XLO") is a Hot Adult Contemporary radio station owned by Cumulus Media, licensed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and serving the Worcester and Boston, Massachusetts markets, broadcasting on the FM band at a frequency of 104.5 MHz. The studio is located in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts, and its transmission tower is located in the Leominster State Forest in Leominster, Massachusetts.
The call sign WXLO was chosen in 1984 by station management in tribute to the former New York station (which is now WEPN-FM). In 1991, the call sign was changed to WXLO-FM, when WFGL 960 briefly changed their call sign to WXLO. The station was reassigned the WXLO call sign by the Federal Communications Commission on June 5, 1997.WXLO is often the most listened-to adult radio station in the Worcester market. WXLO also has a substantial audience in the Boston metro area, especially the area known as MetroWest. Outside the station's hot AC format, WXLO airs specialty programming, and the Awesome 80's Saturday Night. WXLO also spotlights that genre of music with an annual event known as the "Awesome 80's Prom". WXLO also hosts an annual Acoustic Christmas event at Mechanics Hall in Worcester that has featured artists such as Train, Guster, Lee Dewyze, Daughtry, Delta Rae, Steven Page, Gavin DeGraw, and Andy Grammer.
On air personalities include; Jen Carter and Frank Foley in the morning, Laura St. James, Rick Brackett, Chuck Perks, Diana "Lady D." Steele, and Lindsay Bohigian.
On January 15th, 2019 WXLO launched 3 repeaters on their same frequency in the cities of Waltham, Lexington, and in downtown Boston from atop the Hancock Building to help improve their signal in downtown Boston and increase listenership.
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