WTAN AM & FM - A History
WTAN-AM 1340 & WTAN-FM 95.7 Clearwater – WTAN signed on the air in 1948 on 1340 kc, a 250 watt full-timer that operated from studios in the south wing of the old Clearwater Municipal Auditorium. Its own studio building was later built at the transmitter site on Clearwater Bay at 200 Pierce Boulevard. WTAN was owned by Clearwater Radio Broadcasters, Inc., Otis E. Pruitt, president. Programming featured popular music with University of Florida “Gator” football during the fall season, other game sports, and fishing information.
Station owners have included WTAN, Inc. (William G. Wells, president -1955), Clearwater Radio Inc. (H. Dennison Parker, president & GM -1958), Broadcast Enterprises Network, Inc (Ragen Henry, president-1976), Shore Broadcasting, Inc. (1980), and in 1985, Brosig Broadcasting (Rod Brosig, president, a former WQYK general manager). Radio World, Inc. (David W. and Lola Wagenvoord) has owned it since 1988.
In 2001, WTAN moved from its home on Clearwater Bay to allow construction of the new $69 million Memorial Causeway Bridge. Today (2009) the 1 kilowatt station is a non-directional 24-hour operation and broadcasts from studios and transmitter site at 706 North Myrtle Avenue near downtown Clearwater. Its format includes CNN News with a mix of Music of Your Life, bartered talk (TAN Talk 1340), and syndicated programming from talk show hosts Don Imus, Lionel, and Bruce Williams. Sister stations include WDCF-AM 1350 Dade City and WZHR-AM 1400 Zephyrhills.
WTAN-FM signed on (in stereo) in August 1963 on FM 95.7 duplicating the AM, however it later switched to separate programming. The station flipped to a disco format in the late 70’s and became 96 Fever WOKF.
Other names from WTAN history include: Denzil Pulley (GM-1948), Jim Brownell (PD-1948), C.A. McKay (sales manager-1948), John Callan (chief engineer-1948), Vinson A. Coker (chief engineer-1951), Charles Adams (PD-1951), Howard Hartley (news director-1951), H. Dennison Parker (GM-1953, Frank L. Parker (sales manager-1953), Leslie Preedom (chief engineer-1955), Scott Dilworth (circa 1956-57), Gene Robinson (PD & chief engineer-1958), Frank L. Reid (chief engineer-1960), Harry Lytle (PD-1960), James J. Short (sales manager-1967), Bill Schricker (GM & sales manager-1979), Greg Rogers (chief engineer-1979), Byron Ellison, Rick Randall, Dr. Chuck Stevens, Dennis Crandall (GM), Larry MacMillan (sales and on-air), Rick Collins (1999), Ron Scott, Gary Ballinger (PD), Wally Gardner (1983), Bob Clark (GM), and Bill Jenkins (GM-mid 80’s).
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1948 - 2009 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)