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 (2018, the one-kilowatt station is a non-directional 24-hour operation that broadcasts primarily a brokered talk format (Tampa Bay's Tan Talk) with a mix of select syndicated shows and The Music Of Your Life. WTAN's offices, studios and transmitter site are at 706 North Myrtle Avenue near downtown Clearwater.
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 (Chuck) 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), John Stagg (John Stagwillo); 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), Roy Bodden ("Country Music Memories" 1984-87), and Bill Jenkins (GM-mid 80’s).
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1948 - 2018 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)