WBLI (106.1 FM, "106.1 'BLI") is a Top 40 (CHR) music formatted radio station which mainly serves Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. It can also be heard in the Hudson Valley, the South Shore of Connecticut, and the Jersey Shore. Its transmitter is located in Selden, New York, and studios are located on Sunrise Highway (NY 27) in West Babylon.

History

The station went on the air on December 13, 1957 as WPAC-FM,[2] but gained fame in the 1970s under their new call letters "The New 106 WBLI". BLI jocks from the 1970s & 1980s included Barry Neal, Randi Taylor, Bruce Michaels, Nick O'Neil, Chris Tyler, Bill Terry (was PD in the 1980s), Jeff Thomas (also the PD), Scott Taylor, Don Nelson, Rick Sommers, Keith Allen (who moved over to WBZO after BLI), Rob McLean, Mary "J.J. Kennedy" Ann of WPLJ and WLTW/New York City, Carl Dayton, TK Townsend, Brooke Daniels, Larry Adams, Ken Rhodes-Rosato former WBLI news director and now WABC-TV/Channel 7 news anchor, Scott Miller and Kelly Hart. WBLI had a Saturday Night dance show called "Club 106" during the disco days, hosted by Long Island club DJ Rory J. Thompson, and a Sunday Night Oldies show known as "Only Gold" during the 1970s through the mid-1980s hosted by Bruce Michaels, Jerry St. James and then Don Nelson. Although technically a CHR/Top 40, WBLI had a more adult contemporary sound in certain dayparts and avoided such harder-rocking CHR hits, such as "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, during their initial chart runs.

In September 1996, 'BLI dropped the Syndicated weekend Program "Open House Party" on Saturday nights in favor of a disco show hosted by Martin "Party Marty" Mitchell. Party Marty hosted the Arbitron #1 rated B-103 Disco Party for three years prior to 'BLI. Open House Party continued on Sunday nights until November of '96. Party Marty's show would continue until 1998 when Marty left to Co-host "Mary and Marty in the Morning" on LOVE 96.1, WLVG.

Its most recent incarnation of CHR began in September 1996 when the station, under its then-owners Chancellor Broadcasting and PD Doc Medek flipped from Hot AC, an evolution that had begun in May 1996. Under Doc Medek and Al Levine as MD and night jock, the station redeveloped its CHR sound on Long Island, voiced by Billy Moore, and a new jingle package by TM Century, playing the current records, and had night show features like the "Fresh 5 at 9", and the "New Music Challenge" return. By 1997 'BLI was one of the more rhythmic mainstream CHR's on the air featuring "Classic Dance Weekends".

When Cox Radio took over 'BLI they evolved into a more mainstream CHR with less dance product (though still more than most other CHR's) and a tighter playlist voiced by Kurt Flood, Mark Driscoll, with Jennifer Vaughn, and Brian James. On March 29, 2006 Beau Weaver took over as voice of 106.1 BLI, and a new jingle package debuted at that time, which is still used today.

WBLI, which is owned by Cox Radio and licensed to Patchogue, New York, is programmed by Jeremy "J.J." Rice who has been with the station since 1998. Rice was formerly PD of WWHT (Hot 107.9) in Syracuse while the station was owned by Cox Radio. When ClearChannel purchased WWHT in 1998, Rice moved to Long Island and has since been the program director of WBLI and CHR format director for Cox Radio. The APD is Alan "Al On The Scene" Levine, who has been with 'BLI since February 5, 1995 and has done nights, afternoon drive and now mid-days.

The Cooper Lawrence Show

On July 11, 2016 Cooper Lawrence formerly of WPLJ and and Anthony Michaels who had previously co-hosted on the syndicated Cooper Lawrence Show, took over mornings 5:30 - 9am on the station.[3]

Dana and Jayson in the Morning

On June 30, 2016 the station announced on its Facebook page that Dana and Jayson in the Morning had ended its run.[4]

The morning program, which had begun as "BLI in the Morning," featured Dana DiDonato, Jayson Prim, John Mingione (John Online), Shawn "Puffy The Producer" Novatt, and Ted Lindner with news and traffic.

Recurring segments on BLI in the Morning:

  • The Dirt Report at 5:50, 6:50, 7:50, & 8:50 - Hollywood gossip

Dana and Jayson in the Morning often posed questions or opinions to the listeners, both on the air and online. They had many people call in each day with their opinions, and even had some 'friends' who they know well and who called a lot, like "Loyal Listener Lucille," "Lighthouse Michelle (LHM)," "Millie Milz" and more.

Steve Harper had hosted BLI in the AM for 25 years before being let go in the Summer of 2006, with Maria Garcia for about eight of them as "Steve and Maria in the Morning." Dana replaced Maria in 2005. Steve's last show was on July 19, 2006. Dana then assumed hosting duties alongside "Big Gay" Randy Spears and Drew Applebaum. Randy and Drew exited the station on December 16, 2010.

On January 10, 2011, the radio station introduced the NEW BLI in the Morning, which featured Dana with new co-host Jeffrey Jameson, and the return of Shawn "Puffy the Producer" Novatt one month later, who was with BLI in a similar role from 2000–2004.

The show was syndicated to Cox sister-station "Hot 100.9" WHTI/Richmond, VA and renamed "Dana and Jeffrey in the Morning" on Monday, June 4, 2012. Syndication ended with WHTI was sold to another owner in June, 2013.

Jeffrey Jameson announced he was leaving in December, 2013 and Jayson Prim debuted on January 6, 2014.

Controversy

On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, Randy of the "BLI in the Morning" show offended a caller from Mastic Long Island, by insinuating that she lived in a trailer park.[5] After the station received complaints regarding the remarks, and after Randy's refusal to apologize, he was suspended by station management.[6]

On Friday, February 29, 2008, radio announcers Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia of Opie and Anthony, vocal proponents for free speech in broadcasting, called for the firing of WBLI station manager John Shea for "not standing behind his guy." [7]

Staff

Current

  • - Morning Drive
  • - Morning Drive
  • - Middays
  • - Afternoon Drive
  • - Nights
  • (Traffic and Talent)
  • (Traffic and Talent)

Former

  • Alfredo on the Radio (now afternoon drive on Party 105 on Long Island)
  • Alina (Now working middays at WPTY Party 105 FM on Long Island)
  • Astra (Now working afternoons at 92.3 AMP Radio in New York City)
  • Ballistic Bob
  • Barbra "Beautiful Stranger" DeLaleu (Now Editor-N-Chief/Professional Blogstress @ )
  • Bill Terry (Now adjunct instructor at Suffolk County Community College in Selden NY and freelance photographer)
  • Bobby Fester
  • Broadway Bill Lee (now afternoons at CBS-FM in New York)
  • Bryan Martinez (now on-air at X96.3 FM New York as "Danny Candela")
  • Chloe (Now working at 96.5 TIC FM in Hartford CT under the name Lisa Gold)
  • Chris Cruise (now On-air at 94.1 KMPS in Seattle WA)
  • Crash
  • Dana DiDonato
  • Dennis the Menace (now using his real name Ted Lindner to do traffic on both WBAB & WBLI)
  • DJ Theo now radio/mixshow personality on WPTY Calverton NY and celebrity DJ/Producer
  • Drew (Drew Appelbaum, now Community Director at Yelp Long Island NY)
  • Erik "Erock" Nagel (now SiriusXM 'Opie & Jim Norton' show Producer and 'It's Erik Nagel' show Host on Opieradio Channel in New York)
  • Fisher (now Technical Product Manager/Media Strategy for Cox Media Group in Atlanta GA)
  • Gabrielle Vaughn
  • Holly Levis (now working part-time at K98.3 Long Island)
  • J. Martinez (Josh Martinez, now MD/Imaging Director/night host at 107.5 KISS FM in Des Moines IA)
  • Jarrett Galeno aka Skywalker (now On Air (PM drive) Personality/Assistant Program Director at K-104 Poughkeepsie NY, weekends at 92.3 AMP Radio in New York City and voice-tracking to several stations around the country via his company Sky Sky Media)
  • Jeff Young (now Host - Westwood One Mainstream Country in Culver City CA)
  • Jayson Prim
  • Jeffrey Jameson (currently a Creative Consultant for United Stations Radio Networks in New York City)
  • Jerry St. James (Jim Cutler) (currently owner of )
  • Johnny "John Online" Mingione ( currently Street Ranger and Video Vigilante on 'Todd & Jayde In The Morning Show' at WPLJ NYC)
  • Jonathan "Jonny" Weitz (now managing Digital & Online Communications at JetBlue Airways)
  • Just Joe (Now at WPTY Party 105 FM on Long Island)
  • Ken Rhodes (Rosato) (now WABC-TV Channel 7 Eyewitness News anchor)
  • Larry Addams (Larry Wachs, now podcasting at )
  • Lil' Cee (currently weekends on New York's 103.5 KTU)
  • Maria Garcia ( Now Freelance Anchor Reporter on 77 WABC New York City)
  • Matt Goldapper (Former PD of Party 105, now Assistant Program Director of 103.9 LI News Radio and Voice Artist at JVC Broadcasting on Long Island.
  • Orphan Andrew (now doing middays at 107.9 The End in Sacramento CA)
  • Party Marty Mitchell (now Program Director/Music Director/Morning Show Host Weekdays 5am-10am, Saturdays 6am-10am on Country 107.3 Highland, NY)
  • Peter Gasbarrini aka Skyy Walker (now no longer in broadcasting and working in financial services in Annapolis MD)
  • Randy "Big Gay Randy" Spears (retired from radio)
  • Reno
  • Scotty B (now producer and on-air at Z100 in New York)
  • Shawn "Puffy The Producer" Novatt
  • Shelley Rome (now on-air at Z100 in New York)
  • Slam the Stuntman
  • Steve Harper (now doing mornings on K98.3 Long Island)
  • Stick "On The Radio" ( Now in Programming at CBS Radio and pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles CA)
  • Tim Clarke (now head of digital for Cox Media Group in Atlanta GA
  • Tony "The Tiger" (now the Imaging Director for Cox Radio Long Island)
  • Vic Latino (now co-founder of JVC Broadcasting and on air at Party 105 Long Island, weekdays from 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.)
  • Wendy Wild (currently weekdays on New York's 103.5 KTU)

Programs

  • BLI Open Mic 5 at 9(PM)
  • BLI 10'oclock Mini Mix With DJ Eagan (PM)