WBDN AM & FM - A History
WBDN-AM 760 Brandon & WBDN-FM 96.1 Dade City – Brandon’s WEND AM-760 became WBDN (BranDoN) when Asti Broadcasting (Bruce Micek, president) sold the 10-kilowatt (one kilowatt at night) outlet to Bloch Broadcasting (financial talk show host Irwin H. “Sonny” Bloch) in 1993. The station aired a mostly brokered business and news/talk format from studios at 13577 Feather Sound Drive in Clearwater.
Bloch eventually went to prison after being convicted of persuading hundreds of listeners to invest in worthless securities, bilking them of $21 million. By 1998, WBDN was in receivership when Maryland-based Mega Broadcasting (later renamed Mega Communications) paid $1.75 million for it, flipped it to Spanish, and moved operations from Clearwater to 1915 North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.
After Carl Marcocci moved his WGUL-FM from 96.1, licensed to Dade City, to 106.3, licensed to Spring Hill, Mega acquired the Dade City dial spot and, in January 1999, made it Tampa Bay’s first Spanish FM, WBDN-FM. Its initial programming was a simulcast of another Mega AM in the market, WZTM-AM 820, featuring salsa, merengue and popular Spanish hits 24-hours a day.
In May 1999, the WBDN AM/FM combo flipped both sets of calls. The AM became La ClassiCa WLCC, featuring older Spanish-language hits geared to a 40-plus audience, and the FM adopted the calls WMGG (La Mega).
Other names in WBDN history include Bruce Micek (co-founder and president of Asti Broadcasting), Paul Porter (sports show host-1996), Jere Sullivan (GM-1996), Alfredo Alonso (president/CEO of Mega Communications-1996), Neil Fernandez (afternoons and play-by-play announcer for Tampa Bay Bucs Spanish broadcasts-1999), Mike Chavez (color analyst for Tampa Bay Bucs Spanish broadcasts-1999), Eulides Nunez (play-by-play announcer for Tampa Bay Devil Rays Spanish broadcasts), Enrique Oliu (color analyst for Tampa Bay Devil Rays Spanish broadcasts), and Josh Mednick (VP/GM-1999).
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1993 - 1999 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)