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WBVM - A History

WBVM-FM 90.5 Tampa – Since 1986, “Spirit FM 90.5” WBVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) has been a listener-supported Christian-based radio station licensed to Tampa, covering the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area east to Lakeland and south to the metropolitan Bradenton and Sarasota areas.

WBVM’s programming was also simulcast on 3800-watt sister station WLMS-FM 88.3 in Lecanto to reach northern areas along the Nature Coast and parts of Sumter, Marion and Hernando counties. However, the effort was never really effective in reaching a large number of people and, in 2008, the Diocese accepted a $2 million offer to sell the outlet to the Central Florida Educational Foundation, Inc., owner of “Z88.3” in Altamonte Springs.

For 23 years, WBVM, owned and operated by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, was headquartered near downtown Tampa in offices and studios at an old motel on Morrison Avenue, with its antenna on a tower in Riverview with WEDU-TV Channel 3. In 2009, the 77,000-watt non-commercial educational FM moved to much larger studios on the third floor of the Mary Martha House, the parish center for Christ the King Catholic Church, at 717 South Dale Mabry.

WBVM’s programs primarily Christian contemporary music, traffic reports, local diocesan speakers, and some programs in Spanish. Its schedule also includes the syndicated “Family Minute with Dr. James Dobson” and the long-running and locally-produced “Sacred Classics,” a two-hour Saturday and Sunday program of traditional choral and organ music.

The station’s weekday program lineup includes: “The Big Big House Morning Show” co-hosted by Carlos and Abby; “More Music Middays” with Elle Spada; “On the Way Home” afternoons with Jamie and Olivia; “Real Life Radio” weeknights with Davis Watts; and “Overnights with Britta.”  “Kids Kingdom,” a three-hour radio program for children, is heard on Saturday mornings. 

Other names from WBVM’s history include Tom Derzypolski (GM-1986), John Morris (station manager), Debi Deloney (business underwriter), Mike Dee (music/PD/overnights), Gus Lloyd (mornings), Tom D. (mid-days), Drew Townsend (afternoons), Jamie Derzypolski (afternoons-2009), Jim Howes (host of “Sacred Classics”), and Ron Jones (host of “Gospel Saturday Night).


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Station History

1986 - 2009 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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