WZTM - A History
WZTM-AM 820 Largo – Paxson Communications’ Sports Radio 820-AM WNZE became 820 the Team WZTM in 1996. Studios and tower site were at 800 8th Avenue SE in Largo. Although its power was 50-kilowatts during the day, night time power dropped to 1,000 watts.
Paxson sold WZTM to Clear Channel Communications in 1997 who continued operating the station with its full-time sports format. After Mega Communications acquired the property in 1999, it flipped the calls to WMGG and instituted all Spanish programming the following year.
When the sale was finalized, Clear Channel vice-president/marketing manager Skip Schmidt ordered the plug pulled on the top-rated sports station, less than a minute before its scheduled final live broadcast. Schmidt said the move was an attempt to keep WZTM afternoon hosts Rob Weingarten and Scot Brantley from promoting the station’s competitor, CBS-owned WQYK-AM 1010, a rival of Clear Channel’s own 1250 WDAE The Sports Animal.
Some names from WZTM history include Drew Rashbaum (GM-1996), Rob Weingarten (PD/afternoons -1996), Colin Cowherd (mornings-1996), St. Pete Times sports columnist Hubert Mizell (mornings-1996), Scot Brantley (afternoons-1996), T.J. Rives (1996), Nanci Donnellon (“The Fabulous Sports Babe”-1996), James Ryan (1996-1997), Matt Birmingham (1996-1998), Pat Boyle (mornings-1997), Tom Korun (1997-1999), The Ron & Ron Show (mornings-1997), Frank Robertson (1997), Capt. Sergio Atanes (host of “Florida Marine Scene”-1997), Pete “The Sports Geek” Larios (1998), Paul Porter (1999), Whitney Johnson, and David Sharp.
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1996 - 2000 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)