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WWRZ - A History

WWRZ-FM 98.3 Arcadia – Hall Communications (Art Rowbotham, president) purchased Arcadia’s WKGF, changed it to The Rose WWRZ, and signed on the station in April 1997 from studios across from the Lakeland Center.  During the first six years on the air, the soft-rock station had live announcers from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. with the remaining 12 hours of the broadcast day, and most of the weekends, fully automated.

At the time the station was acquired, it was a 3,000-watt FM. Hall relocated the tower to Zolfo Springs to boost power to 50-kilowatts. In an effort to further improve the signal in the greater Lakeland area, WWRZ’s tower was moved another fifteen miles north in 1999 to just inside Hardee County at Bowling Green, moving the city of license to Ft. Meade. Today (2011), the FM’s tower site is off CR 555 southwest of Bartow.

On January 2, 2006, WWRZ dropped its female-oriented music mix and Rose moniker, and brought in rock and pop hits from the 1970’s through today, calling itself Max 98.3 FM.  

Other names in WWRZ history include Steve Howard (station manager-1997), Tunie Moss (promotions-1997), Ed Kirkland (sales manager-1997), Bob Crews (PD/mornings-1997), Debbie Tennick (mornings-1997; promotions-1998), Treva Surrency (sales-1997), Andrea Oliver (news director-1997), Lorie Marx (mid-days-1997), Jim Maloy (afternoons-1997), Gail Borden (sales-1997), Dave Day (promotions-1998), Chris Kelly (mornings-1998; afternoons-2004), Chris Winters (mid-days-1998), Eric Michaels (mid-days-1999; promotions-2000; mornings-2004), Enrique Lopez (chief engineer-2001), Brian Bruchey (PD-2004), Alise Graham (mid-days-2003), Liz Kavanaugh (mid-days 2004), Terry Lombardi (news-2005), Jesse Steele (weekends-2005), Nancy Cattarius (station manager-2006), and Mike James (PD-2006).

Station History

1997 - 1999 Other Central Florida Stations (History)

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