WDUV - A History
WDUV-FM 103.3 Bradenton – Tampa Bay’s The Dove was initially licensed to Bradenton on 103.3 in 1963 as 26,000 watt easy listening (and later country) WBRD-FM (in stereo) and shared studios with sister station WBRD AM-1420 (The Bird) on U.S. 41 at 26th Avenue E. Both later shared office and studio space with Sarasota ABC affiliate WXLT-TV channel 40, also owned by Sunshine State Broadcasting Company (Robert R. Nelson, president).
In 1973, management began thinking of something new they could do with the FM and gathered together a small group of employees in the production room for a brain storming session. According to Robert Nelson, vice-president and general manager for more than 30 years, the WDUV calls were suggested by sales manager Donna Valentine. Although Nelson had an issue early-on with the term “dove” (what the word meant politically, as in “hawks” and “doves” with regard to the war in Vietnam going on), he eventually approved the calls and moniker, and the FM became beautiful music Stereo 103 The Dove WDUV. Power was boosted to 100,000 watts in 1975.
In the mid 1990’s The Dove was acquired by Jacor (soon to be absorbed by Clear Channel) and switched frequencies from 103.3 to 103.5 to improve its coverage in the Tampa Bay area. Studios were also moved to St. Petersburg. There was another dial swap in 1999 (with classic rock WTBT) when WDUV moved to 105.5. The transmitter relocated from Riverview to New Port Richey, the new city of license, and then to Holiday. In order to buy out Jacor, the FCC required Clear Channel to divest itself of some of its Tampa Bay stations and The Dove was spun off to Cox Communications.
Today (2007), WDUV-FM, the station for “continuous relaxing easy favorites,” is Tampa Bay’s most listened-to station. Except for the morning show, programming is generally automated.
Other names from WDUV history include Bob Keehn (station manager-1973), Donna Keehn (sales manager-1973), Mike Simmons (news director-1974), Robert W. Nelson (PD/music director-1973;later GM), Doug Pidgeon (sales manager-1975), David K. Jahn (sales manager-1979), Dave Harrell (PD/afternoons), Dick Ring (mornings), Read Shepherd (news), and Paul Ciliano (operations).
1973 - 2007 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)