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WQXM - A History

WQXM-FM 97.9 Clearwater –56,000-watt stereo FM WQXM (Quality and eXcellence in Music) went on the air in December 1967 from studios at the tower site at 8320 Starkey Road in Seminole. The station was owned by FM Enterprises Inc. (Edmund Leddy, Jr., president), and initially aired a classical music format, which was dropped in 1969 to make way for a beautiful music instrumentals-only format promoted as Stereo 98. A new transmitter boosted power to 100,000 watts in 1973.

Plough Broadcasting, which also owned St. Pete’s AM-620 WSUN, acquired WQXM in 1975. A few years later, the elevator music format was out, Lee Abrams’ “Superstars” AOR format was in, and the station was re-branded 98 Rock.

Both the format and calls were dumped six years later and, in 1983, Plough flipped 98 Rock to Top 40 Z98 WZNE before eventually selling it in late 1985.

Other names from WQXM history include Sheila Wasey (PD-1968), John H. Pringle (chief engineer-1968), M.W. “Mike” Balton (GM-1972), Jerry Reeves (music director-1969; station manager-1975), Michael J. Hadfield, president of FM Enterprises, Inc.-1970), Joseph S. Field (1971), James W. Buckler, Jr. (operations manager-1971), John T. Rutledge (president of FM Enterprises, Inc.-1972), William D. "Bill" Elliott (chief engineer-1972), Charlie Champion (PD-1973), G. Douglas Pidgeon (news director-1973), Thomas B. Watson (GM-1975), Dave McKay (news director-1975; PD-1976), H. Wayne Hudson (president of Plough Broadcasting-1976), Jim Johnson (GM-1976), John Mocsary (news director-1976), Carr MacCormack (chief engineer-1976), Bonnie Plichcinski (news director-1977), Scott Fey (sales manager-1977), Jennie Cheeks (music director-1977), Chris Taylor (PD-1977), Gloria Mayfield (traffic director-1978), Jack Audino (sales manager-1978), Lee Arnold (PD-1978), Bob Hughes (news director-1978; promotions-1983), Paul Resnik (1978), John Amendt (production director-1979), Neal Mirsky (PD-1979), Brock Whaley (music director-1979), Judy Ferrara (sales manager-1980), Al Peterson (PD-1980), Russ Albums (1980), Don Swindell (1980), Nick Van Cleve (music director-1980), Leslie Greene (news director-1980), Ted Pritchard (mornings), George Hawris (PD-1981), Baxter (mornings-1982), Gary Knight (1982), Gary Kines (PD-1983), Larry Gorick (sales manager-1983), Mark Stevens (PD-1983), and Moby (music director-1983).


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Station History

1967 - 1983 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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