WKXY - A History
WKXY-AM 1540 Sarasota – WKXY was established in 1949 by Sarasota Broadcasting Company (Antonio G. Fernandez, president/GM). Originally a 1-kilowatt daytimer on 1540 kHz, it moved to 930 kHz in 1957 and began nighttime operation with 500 watts.
WKXY’s first offices, studios, and tower site were located at Jefferson Avenue and 16th Street. Later, studios and a two-pattern, three-tower array (The Triple Towers of Power) were built at 2500 10th Street, and the station’s daytime power bumped to 5-kilowatts (2.5 kilowatts at night). In 1986, four new towers were erected off Dog Kennel Road, east of I-75.
WKXY became an ABC network affiliate in 1972. It had a top 40 format for a number of years but later switched to adult contemporary. Eventually, it became Sarasota’s only full service 24-hour news/talker (News/Talk Radio 930) with two-way talk and hourly news updates from Comcast cable’s SNN (Six News Now) and the CBS network.
After nearly 50 years of ownership by the Fernandez family, Carl Marcocci acquired WKXY in 1999, changed the longtime heritage call letters to WUGL, and began simulcasting “The Music of Your Life” format from his New Port Richey station, WGUL. In 2002, Salem Broadcasting bought WUGL and AM-930 returned to news/talk with the calls WLSS.
Other names from WKXY history include: Charles J. Fernandez (co-owner-1949; news director-1955; PD-1959; operations-1974), William P. Carey (co-owner/sales manager-1949), Robert W. Hanesworth (PD-1950), Howard O. “Red” Ermisch (sports director-1951; PD-1953), Bob Kohlmeier (chief engineer-1953), Gonzalo Fernandez (co-owner-1956), Jim Angel (sales manager-1959), Dwight Cook (1967), Johnny Dark (George Coogan-1968), Steve Summers (1972), Charles Lawrence (PD-1973), Rick Riley (1973), Kris Van Dyke (mornings-1975), Al Clarke (afternoons-1975), Myron Hieronymous Thomas (middays-1975-76; mornings-1978), Rockin' Rodney (nights-1975), Rick Stone (nights-1976), A.J. Austin (1976), Art Jeffries (1977), Dale Namminga (chief engineer-1979), Brian Phillips (mornings 1981-82), Michael Serio (mid-days 1981-82), Jim Driscoll (1982-1983), Lori London (1982-83), Tony Willard (1982), C. David Kelly (1983), Jay Thompson (1983), Tony W. Fernandez (music director-1986; chief engineer-1987), Charlie Lawrence (PD-1987), Jim Glascock (promotions-1987); Frank Benny (1990), Janet Bishop (1990), Chris Caccia (1990-91); Mimi Thomas (1992), John Patten (news), and Dean Wolfe.
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1949 - 1999 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)