WWQT - A History
WWQT-AM 1470 Dunedin – Newsradio 1470, Inc., (Lowell W. “Bud” Paxson, president/GM) acquired Dunedin’s WDCL in 1977 and changed the call letters to WWQT. It was a 5,000-watt daytime Mutual network affiliate, and programmed an all news format (“Get your news on the QT”), except for about three hours each week of Greek and German specialty shows. Studios were housed with sister station WHBS-FM at Broadcast House, 2633 Enterprise Road in Clearwater. The transmitter site was in an unincorporated area near U.S. 19 north of Curlew Road.
Around 1981, WWQT dropped its news format and went to beautiful music. When advertising sales began to sag, it started experimenting with on-air retailing three hours a day, hawking items flea-market style on a show called “The Bargaineers Club.” Soon the program went 24 hours a day and also began appearing on a local cable-TV channel. The entire initiative was the beginning of what would later become TV’s Home Shopping Network.
After moving his operation to 1055 N. Hercules Avenue in Clearwater, Paxson sold WWQT in 1983 to Bay Area Communications Inc., which consisted of a trio of investors that included radio engineer Gary Hess (president) and Martin Spector of Miami, the founder of Spec’s Music stores. After the sales was completed, the format and call letters changed to news/talk WFNN.
Other names from WWQT history include Paula Roberts (sales manager-1979), James Denewith (chief engineer-1979), Angelo & Sotirios Angelatos (hosts of “The Greek Voice”-1979), Tony Ceresoli (sales manager-1980), Jim Stanley (PD/news director-1980), John Ryder (chief engineer-1980), Barbara Paxson (sales manager-1982), and Bill Elliott (chief engineer-1982).
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1977 - 1983 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)