WMJX (106.7 FM; "Magic 106.7") is a radio station licensed to Boston, Massachusetts. It has an adult contemporary format. The station's transmitter is located atop the Prudential Tower in Downtown Boston, and its studios are located in the Dorchester section of Boston. The station is one of Boston's most successful radio stations. WMJX broadcasts Christmas music year round on their HD2 subchannel.
The 106.7 frequency in Boston was first used on December 15, 1957 as WBZ-FM, the FM complement to WBZ, under the ownership of Westinghouse Broadcasting. The station's earliest format was a classical music format, and later evolved into a combination simulcast of the AM station during the morning, with the classical music at other times.
On December 31, 1971, WBZ-FM became a rock music station as "Rockin' Stereo 106.7", programming mostly top 40 with some album cuts. Although automated, it featured voice-tracked announcing from Clark Smidt (who also programmed the station) and Ken Shelton. For a time in the mid-1970s, WBZ-FM was Boston's second most popular top 40 station, trailing only WRKO. In 1975, both Smidt and Shelton left to join WCOZ, which was changing formats from beautiful-music to album-oriented rock. By 1979, WBZ-FM had drifted into an automated album-oriented rock format itself, which remained in place through 1981.
During the years as a rock station, WBZ-FM also simulcast the hourly newscasts from WBZ, the commercial spots on which were the only commercials heard on the FM side.
In 1981, WBZ-FM was sold to Greater Media, becoming that company's first Boston station. Under the new ownership, the station signed off at the end of 1981. During this silent period, Greater Media installed a new transmitter and increased the height of the antenna on the WBZ-TV tower. A few years later, the transmission equipment was relocated to the Prudential Tower, improving the station's signal in Downtown Boston.
The new 106.7 signed on at 6 p.m. on January 6, 1982 as WMJX with program director Jack Casey delivering the legal ID: "This is WMJX, Boston" followed by a short welcome message from General Manager Bill Campbell. The station debuted the adult contemporary format pioneered by Greater Media at WMGK in Philadelphia, and also heard on WMGQ in New Brunswick, New Jersey and WMJC in Detroit, and branded as "Magic 106.7". The first song on "Magic" was "Do You Believe in Magic" by The Lovin' Spoonful. The initial air staff consisted of (Bob) Cohen and (Lori) Kelman in the Morning from 5-9AM; Doug Collins from 9AM-1PM; Ed Brand from 1-5PM; David Allan Boucher from 5-9 PM and Nancy Quill from 9PM-1AM. Due in part to the "get-acquainted-free offer" of commercial-free programming which Magic aired during its first six months of operation, the station quickly became the highest-rated adult contemporary station in Boston, reaching a 5.3 share of 12+ (according to Arbitron) listeners within its first year.
Upon debuting, WMJX faced several competitors, including WROR (98.5 FM, now the current WBZ-FM), WVBF (105.7 FM, now the current WROR-FM), WSSH (99.5 FM, now WCRB), and, to some extent, easy listening station WJIB (96.9 FM, now WBQT); however, during the 1990s, all four stations changed formats. (WROR-FM and WBQT are now also owned by Greater Media; the company at one time also operated the 99.5 frequency as WKLB-FM.)
Two of the personalities on Magic, Nancy Quill and David Allan Boucher, have been on the station since its inception. Quill has long been the weekday midday hostess; Boucher hosts the very popular nighttime show Bedtime Magic, and is also heard on various stations around the country.
WMJX has had only four program directors during its entire run. Jack Casey was the original program director from 1981 to 1986, followed by Phil Redo. Don Kelley served as the Program Director from October 1989 to February 2012. Cadillac Jack was named program director in 2013.
For much of the early 2000s (except for 2005), WMJX was one of the very few AC stations not to broadcast wall-to-wall Christmas music during the weeks leading up to Christmas. In 2005, WMJX joined the bandwagon and broadcast an all-Christmas format from the day after Thanksgiving through December 25. It did not do so again until 2012 (choosing to change to Christmas music on December 5), although sister station WROR-FM broadcast an all-Christmas format during the holidays from 2007–11. However, during a 24-hour period from 6 p.m. Christmas Eve to 6 p.m. Christmas Day, WMJX presents a commercial free program called The Magic Of Christmas. While it is billed as "traditional" Christmas music, most of the songs are new age or smooth jazz arrangements of holiday favorites. One fan of the show spent months identifying the Magic of Christmas set list.
WMJX frequently edited the songs they play to make them fit the "soft rock" format. The change in management in 2013, marked the end of the policy of "home grown" edits, and most (if not all) of these songs were replaced with the full versions that were supplied by the record companies.
Cool, Hot or Green
In 2008, WMJX ran a contest titled Cool, Hot or Green. The prize was advertised as a new car, a choice of a “cool” Mercedes-Benz C-series sedan, a “hot” Audi TT convertible or a “green” Toyota Prius. A complaint was filed when it was learned that the prize was a two year lease on one of the three cars, and would only be awarded if the winner qualified for the lease. In response the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a $4,000 fine to Greater Media, the station's owners.
In November 2014, WMJX-HD2 switched to all-Christmas music, which has been a normal practice in previous years (the primary station's main adult contemporary format would traditionally move to the HD2 while the analog/HD1 would switch to Christmas music full-time; after Christmas Day, the Christmas music would move to the HD2 and continue until New Year's Day). However, unlike previous years where the smooth jazz format would return after the holiday season, the HD2 sub-channel continues to play round the clock Christmas music.
In 1998, WMJX received a "Radio Active" Grammy Award for programming excellence. In 2007 the station was nominated for the top 25 markets adult contemporary station of the year award by Radio & Records magazine. Other nominees included KOST in Los Angeles, WALK-FM in Patchogue, New York, WLTW in New York City, WBEB in Philadelphia, and KEZK-FM in St. Louis. In 2010 the station received the Marconi award from the National Association of Broadcasters in the AC Station category.