WHBS - A History
WHBS-FM 106.3 Holiday – Holiday Broadcasting System, Inc. (Roy Speer, president) founded WHBS, a 3,000 watt FM, in September 1978. To meet FCC rules, space was acquired in a real estate office at 5403 Aloha Place, just over the Pinellas/Pasco county line on US 19 in Holiday, its city of license. However, offices and studios were located in Clearwater at Broadcast House, 2633 Enterprise Road, and later at 1055 N. Hercules. A 320-foot tower was built at a site in the Custom Commerce Center in Port Richey at 6214 Springer Drive.
WHBS programmed a variation of the beautiful music format – a 50/50 mix of non-rock vocals from the 50’s and 60’s blended with early 70’s light rock. The music was augmented by extensive news and weather coverage provided by sister station WWQT-AM 1470. There were also four hours of specialty programs each week in German and Greek. Except for a couple of weekend shows, the station was fully automated.
In 1983, WHBS was sold to a trio of investors that included radio engineer Gary Hess and Martin Spector, founder of Spec’s Music stores. It wasn’t long before the calls flipped to WVTY (VarieTY 106).
Other names from WHBS history include Lowell W. “Bud” Paxson (exec VP/GM-1978), Jim Stanley (PD and host of “Make Believe Ballroom” 1978-1983), Angelo & Sotirios Angelatos (hosts of “The Greek Voice”-1978), Paula Roberts (sales manager-1979), James Denewith (chief engineer-1979), Tony Ceresoli (sales manager-1980), John Ryder (chief engineer-1980), Barbara Paxson (sales manager-1981), Mark Guthrie (chief engineer-1982), and Bill Elliott (chief engineer-1983).
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1978 - 1983 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)