The Story of The Maine Blues Project
Commercial-free Blues on the radio! Is this too good to be true?
Now, we’re suddenly off the air and onto the internet. What the heck is going on? It’s a complicated answer but here goes...
Until last June, 93.9 WCYI was owned by Citadel Broadcasting…hey, that’s us! Citadel owns WBLM as well as a bunch of other great stations in Maine and nationwide. The 93.9 tower is in Litchfield, and we had been using it to simulcast our modern rock station 94.3 WCYY. But then Citadel bought ABC Radio, and FCC rules forced Citadel to sell some of its stations in some of its markets. In Portland, we had to sell WCLZ and WCYI, and immediately placed both stations in a trust, called Last Bastion Station Trust. WCYI then began a simulcast of WCLZ. WCLZ sold first, and that left 93.9 without any programming.
Enter Captain Herb Ivy, morning host and program director of WBLM and Drew Scamman, local musician and Citadel engineer. Both were working for the Trust AND Citadel. See-- told ya this was crazy complicated! The Captain and Drew, who love the blues, thought they could at least enjoy themselves while they waited for the impending sale of WCYI. Hell, why not do something unexpected and different, that you couldn’t hear anywhere else on the dial? And since the station was in trust, there was no need to generate revenue. Voila! Commercial-free blues 24/7.
After several months, everywhere we went we heard people saying things like, “Have you heard the new blues station?” Bingo! We knew we had something really good happening, but we also knew that, much to our consternation, 93.9 was eventually going to be in someone else’s hands. The Maine Blues Project was too cool to just let it slip away quietly into the night. What to do...
What if we set up a web-stream off the WBLM website? We asked for your emails…and we received THOUSANDS. So here we are...with this grand experiment/lucky accident/succulent bar-b-que of the Maine Blues Project on the web. Thanks for getting us this far. Who knows what will happen next? All we know is that playing commercial-free Blues all day is wicked fun.