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WTKN - A History

WTKN-AM 570 Pinellas Park – Susquehanna Broadcasting officially took possession of Tampa Bay’s first 24-hour news/talk station, AM-570 WPLP, on March 4, 1988 and shortly thereafter switched the calls to WTKN (We’re TalKiN). Gordon Obarski was named general manager, Ed Hartley was appointed PD, and eight former WPLP staffers were out of a job. 

WTKN was licensed to Pinellas Park and its studios and transmitter/tower were located in Seminole. The station’s hourly news reports were provided by CNN Radio and Florida’s Radio Network, while the Business Radio Network brought the stock updates. Syndicated programs included talkers Sally Jessy Raphael, who moved over from WFLA to fill evenings, and Mutual’s Larry King, who held forth overnights.

A few sports shows were carried on WTKN’s schedule before it switched to an all-business format (Business Radio 570) in April 1990. Less than a year later, it flipped back to news (All-News 570). However, a much bigger switch was just around the corner. In late 1991 Paxson Communications acquired the station and it became 570 Wins WHNZ.

Other names from WTKN’s short history include Gordon Byrd (PD), Tom Bowerley, Kira Kinkead (local news), Roger Christy, Ed Hartley & Duff Thomas (hosts of the 6-9 A.M. “Rush Hour Report”), Drew Rashbaum (sales manager), and talk show hosts John Eastman, Jay Marvin, Nanci Donnellan, Tom Bauerle, Tim Coles and Art Snow (“At Your Service”).

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Station History

1988 - 1991 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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