WFTI - A History
WFTI-FM 91.7 St. Petersburg – First licensed to St. Petersburg-Tampa Community Radio, Inc. (Steven J. Callahan, president/GM), WFTI was a 3,000-watt Class-A non-commercial FM. In 1988, before it ever hit the airwaves, the station was acquired by Family Stations, Inc. (Harold Camping, president), a non-profit corporation based in Oakland, CA, and finally signed on the air in 1992 as Family Radio WFTI.
The 24-hour non-denominational Christian station was listener-supported and part of a network of (mostly) FM’s with non-commercial licenses (and a few commercial licenses used as non-commercial) and relays, with some AM’s. The net also includes two television stations and WYFR shortwave in Okeechobee, FL.
WFTI was headquartered in the BB&T Bank Building at 360 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, with its transmitting tower located on the bank’s rooftop. As with other Family Stations outlets, WFTI’s music programming consisted mainly of early American hymns and generally void of other genres like contemporary Christian and southern gospel. One of the station’s most enduring broadcasts was "Open Forum," a call-in show hosted by founder Harold Camping, who responded to callers’ questions and comments as they related to the Bible.
In 2012, WFTI was sold to Radio Training Network for $2.5 million and began airing a Christian AC simulcast from The Joy FM network’s flagship station, Bradenton’s 88.1 WJIS. The FCC cancelled and deleted WFTI’s license when RTN discontinued operations on 91.7 in November 2013.
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1992 - 2013 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)