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WQSR - A History

WQSR-FM 102.5 Sarasota –Sarasota Radio Company (Edward A. “Ted” Rogers, president) bought Sarasota’s WSAF-FM and flipped it to WQSR in 1973. It began as a full time beautiful music station (Quality Stereo Radio) and even carried Chicago White Sox baseball. Studios were at Beneva Road and Bahia Vista, while the tower site was located in Bradenton.

The station’s album oriented rock format started with a three-hour show called “Night Song with Jason.” Before long, the show had increased from three hours to six, until finally another AOR jock was added. At that point, WQSR was playing beautiful music from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. and progressive rock from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. When 95% of the station’s commercials were sold for airing in the AOR hours, the decision was made to switch completely to AOR full time.

The legendary 100,000-watt stereo station came to epitomize the progressive rock radio format. During most of the 70’s, WQSR was marketed as Quad 102½ with a broadcast signal that could be tuned as two separate stations with conventional stereo receivers. Members of the air staff, referred to as “air guys” instead of “deejays,” maintained a low-key approach on the air and announced the station’s dial position as “one-oh-two-and-a-half” rather than “one-oh-two-point-five.”

In 1979, WQSR was acquired by Cosmos Broadcasting. The calls became WSRZ in 1982. 

Some names from WQSR’s history include Carroll Newton (partner, Sarasota Radio Co.), Paul Delaney (general sales manager-1974), Scott Stewart (weekends, overnights, afternoons 1974-76), Mark McGee (1974), Jason (Don Brady, nights), Mark Beltaire (PD/music director-1975), Brock Whaley (1975), Jim Grant (chief engineer-1975), Steve Burgess (Steven B-1976), Steve Huntington (PD-late 70’s), Bob Stroud (music director-late 70’s), Norm Hale (news director-late 70’s), Tim Ruskell (overnights), Neil Mirsky, Sam Copper (mornings), Lisa Copper (traffic), Debbie Ulman (mid-days), Jason McCord (sales), Joe Adami (local sales manager), Sandy Thomas (local sales manager, Billy Hawkins, Nick Van Cleve, Susan Silberkliet, John Hamel (engineering), and Bill Mims.

Station History

1973 - 1982 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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