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was History of 1570AM Beverly -- here's another 1570 station history...
1570 now-WGSR Fernandina Beach - started out in 1953 as a 1kw daytimer.
The station, which signed on as WFBF, was started by Marshall Roland, who
went on to found WQIK AM 1050 in Jacksonville, a 5kw daytimer. (Second
Mexican Clear Channel station)This station evolved into a highly rated
successful FM Country station. Now 1050 is "The Rose of Jacksonville" Block
Religous programming owned by Eldon Hall. A well run organization."We feed
bull frogs" was a monniker used among the local poplace unoffically. WFBF's
format was country music.
In the 1960s, then, WPAP petitioned the FCC to move an unused FM allotment
of 104.9 FM Class A in Atlantic Beach, Florida to Fernandina Beach, Florida,
using a side mounted antenna on the 187' WPAP tower. The application was
denied. Later this allotment grew into a class C allotment and 100,000 watts
on 104.5. This station has been known for the past 28 years or so as "Rock
105" started as WFYV 1460 AM 5kw in Jacksonville in 1942.
The Hogan Family, headed by Billy T. Hogan bought WPAP in 1972. Played
country music with afternoons rock and top 40 music for the afterschool
audience. The call sign was changed to WYHI to coincide with other stations
he owned in Alabama and Mississippi (WIHI, etc). Mr. Hogan's experience in
Broadcasting started as a performer in local television in the south and
then in Television and Radio sales. Mr. Hogan brought his sons into the
business with Jeff Hogan being the engineer and disc jockey and Mark Hogan
as business manager and disc jockey, at early ages. WYHI "Hi Radio" as to
hello... not the counterculture...
In 1980 as WHOG, they upped power to 5kw NDA daytime only. In 1986 they were
allowed 30w nights. I suspect they didn't persue PSSA of 500 watts because
the Collins 21E transmitter, originally with WMEX 1510, had only either 5kw
or a switch that powered down to 1kw.
A variety of Leases were tried in the 1990s as WQAI. B&L Broadcasting used a
Drake-Chenault Goldies format and used the monniker Island Radio 1570,
featuring tourist orientated programming and maritime forecasts for the
Mayport and vicinity shrimp boat and fishing fleets. The call sign, stood
for "Q" which is Ham radio parlance for calling. AI is for Amelia Island,
where Fernandina Beach is located in northeastern-most FL.
After a time B&L folded with a dark period and then "White Broadcasting"
Charley Cecil White et al brought Country Music to the station with "First
Coast Country" with NFL Football - Jacksonville Jaguars and UF Gators
Football... keeping the station in 'the green' was a Home Radio Shopping
Show (Advertising Trades) The Bargain Hunter's Radio Show ran twice weekly
for about 6 hours for each show. The show was very well recieved, done in
auction-style. A sales office was opened in Jacksonville, which ended up as
the nerve center of the station.
By 1997 due to a loss of advertising staff eventually the auction show
withered on the vine drying up operating revenue. The station operated on
night power of 30 watts during the day during "non-revenue" generating hours
in desperation to keep things going. Many longtime clients left the station
when they discovered that the morning man/PD was not playing advertising in
accordance with contract. Especially the local accounts. Word got out to
some of the out of town advertisers via auction players who patronized the
businesses. According to the station's owner, the $1700 a month lease was
paid for about two of the four years, and Northeast Florida Radio, Inc let
them keep rolling since it was a better alternative to being dark. In
November 1997 the station was 'turned over' to the ownership. Secretly, the
station officially went 'on the block'.
By January 1998 a new image was forged for the station... or an old one
resurrected. Call sign was changed back to WYHI (which fist started in 1972
until just before 1980) and monniker was "Island Radio 1570". Format started
out as 1970s Pop hits. Reason - This was the largest library of music
available courtesy my large CD library of 70s music and we still had the
Tanner - Pepper Reachin' Out jingle package for WYHI. Sponsorship slowly
picked up to at least keep the station operating. It was difficult to sell
ads when the locals were accustomed to years of advertising trades, and the
previous issues of ads not being run and station's previous power level.
Through it all the station managed to keep the power bill (about $900 a
month or so) paid with the General Manager going unpaid at times and keeping
the morning personality paid.
On January 9th, 1999, Island Radio 1570 ceased to exist at sunset when the
creaking, moaning Collins 21E turned off for the last time under the
Northeast FL Radio flag. The equipment at the station left a lot to be
desired, held together nearly by spit and bailing wire... Audio quality was
sub-par. Sale was reported for $250,000, for the license, real estate, and
equipment as a 5kw/30w facility. RJM Communications bought the station
citing it's investment value with the potential of jumping to 50kw days
(though it could be 25kw) nights in Jacksonville. Orginially The New Star
1570 was adult standards on PC Hard Drive, using WYHI's Mediarack software
program... basically a wav after wav file player... on a 266 mhz PC and 10
Gig hard drive. Later satellite programming was implemented with a studio
upgrade and call signs change to WGSR in March 1999. WGSR subscibed to the
Jones Music of Your Life Service, and Mike McClain doing mornings with
former WYHI morning personality Mark Dougherty. Wave Station became the
chief operating program. Later on, Mark Dougherty left the station for
Jacksonville and Doug Vaught was tapped for morning sidekick service from a
newly appointed mini studio located in St. Marys, GA, across the St. Mary's
River from Fernandina, using a STL link from leased storefront space in the
main business district giving the station some visibility. The main studio
was moved to waterfront office space, open to a local restaurant, paid for
by adversting trades. The office space at the WGSR's 707 Dade Street studios
were leased out. WGSR's GM recieved many many positive remarks from
listeners around our service area (Jacksonville ADI) in regard to the Music
of Your Life Service, which uses high profile personalities as Charlie Tuna,
Wink Martindale, Gary Owens, Peter Marshall, and others, including weekend
features hosted by Pat Boone, Peggy Lee and so on.
About April 2000 the current Nautel ND-10 Transmitter was installed, and the
whole station's equipment renovated up to the antenna tower. So now they
have 10kw NDA days, 500 watts 6AM to local sunrise, and again from local
sunset for two hours they use 500 watts and then down to 30 watts. All NDA.
An application is pending for a COL move to Orange Park, FL using five
towers and power upgrade to 50kw days, 3,300 nights. This will help the
station's commercial viability in the Jacksonville proper area. Metro
Jacksonville, FL has a population of about 1 million people.
In a sense, it will be sad to see the Fernandina Beach, FL plant go -
because it's tower is planted in a salt water slough/marsh next to the
station. Serves 600 miles of the southeastern US coastline during the day. .
An aside - WGSR originally was on 1570 in Tifton Georgia a 250 watt
daytimer. When Current ownership RJM Communications bought then - WYHI
Fernandina Beach, FL in January 1999. The Georgia station was dark and
deleted (I believe) so we scooped up WGSR to use with our Adult Standards
programming under the RJM Flag - Greatest Stars of All Time.
WGSR went dark on the evening of March 11th 2001 under orders of the
absentee ownership, Mr. Rick Morrison of Michigan with yours truly behind
the console. At issue was a deficit of operating revenue due to a sales
staff that either left of were let go because of the ratio of "personal
trades" versus the cash sales. The Owner has a different business in MI and
that led to a problem getting someone to 'watch the store' and run things in
Fernandina Beach, FL with the owner's best interest in mind (amongst other
considerations of course). At the manager's request I hosted a 'last hurrah'
show, with announcements of WGSR's imminent demise played every half hour.
Listening via DX after midnight, the former ownership, on my invitation to
listen in, called, and reminiced over the station's history through the
years over the air. A retrospecitve of available jingles were played. We
concluded the program after the call, it was about 1:30AM into Monday
morning. We were directed to take the station dark at 6PM. But with absentee
ownership, the manager had other plans, which I fully supported... After my
last "This is WGSR Fernandina Beach Florida" I thanked everyone for
listening and the manager, John E. Perry, Jr. and I walked to the back room
and killed the carrier, then using our checklist, secured the Nautel ND10
transmitter and then all power to the studio and audio chain equipment. I
packed up all my personal 70s CDs and equipment and after some chatting with
the manager headed home to get ready for work on my ship... tuned to 1570khz
as if I expected to hear it's signal again.... but gone dark...
After searching for a buyer, (asking price $550,000) Mr. Morrison entered
into a lease agreement with Mr. Cleo Sears, who is a popular broadcaster and
host from the Miami and Melbourne, FL markets in Urban and Gospel format. He
started operations about July 2000 and have been there ever since. Mornings
are brokered or Urban Gospel. Afternoons are Urban Oldies and Urban
Contemporary hits. Evenings are brokered dollar a holler. "The New Soul of
the East Coast... The Big One 1570 WGSR Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville" is
the TOH monniker, liberally used through the hour, which should make it easy
to ID. Many prospective buyers wanted first to see if the 50kw application
Sources for this are: FCC records, various licenses and renewals posted at
WGSR's transmitter room, www.buysellradio.com, firsthand accounts from Mark
Hogan, Northeast Radio, Inc, John E. Perry and my own firsthand experiences
at the station.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dan Strassberg [SMTP:email@example.com]
> I believe that when the Taunton-Newton-Beverly agreement was executed,
> was still a 1 kW station. (1570 is a Mexican "clear" channel--home of the
> legendary XERF--and, back then, the maximum power for any US station on
> frequency was 1 kW. Also all US stations on 1570 were limited to daytime
> operation.) When the structure of Western Hemisphere AM allocations began
> change a few years later, US stations on Mexican clears were first allowed
> to increase to 5 kW-D, then to add limited night service, and ultimately
> operate full time, first with a maximum of 500W-N and later, any power. I
> think that WPEP now runs 5 kW-D and some low power at night. I don't
> whether or not it's directional to protect WNSH.
> Although WPEP never became a 10-kW station, staying on 1570 turned out to
> a much better deal than moving to 1550 because full-time operation on 1570
> is possible with relatively uncomplicated facilities.
> Dan Strassberg,