WPAS - A History
WPAS-AM 1400 Zephyrhills – Pasco County’s 250-watt AM-1400 went on the air in May 1962 as ZephyRHills' WZRH (Zephyr Broadcasting Corp., John Dent, president). Paul Lasobik acquired the station in October 1963 and changed the call letters to WPAS (PASco County).
Other owners included R.A. “Art” Artabasy, president of Art Advertising Co., Inc. in 1968. Artabasy increased WPAS’ daytime power to 1,000 watts and switched the format to full time country (“Top Gun Radio”). WPAS, Inc (Charles Wister, president) bought the outlet in 1974 and flipped the music to MOR, due to the area’s large senior citizen population, especially during the winter months. Big Z Broadcasting, Inc. (David Zeplowitz, president) acquired WPAS in 1989. In 1994, it was sold to Zephyr Broadcasting, Inc. (Judy Huff, president) and the calls changed to WZHR (ZephyrHills Radio). The company also owned sister station WDCF in Dade City.
WPAS’ offices and studios were originally at the transmitter/tower site on U.S. 301 north of downtown Zephyrhills. After a fire destroyed the transmitter and part of the station’s building in 1970 and road work, which included the widening of U.S. 301, offices and studios relocated to Zephyrhills’ Mission Square Shopping Center on SR 54 West, and the tower and transmitter to a site off Ft. King Road. In 1994, after WPAS became WZHR, a studio was constructed at the WDCF studio/transmitter site off U.S. 301 south of Dade City, but its transmitter remained at another site closer to Zephyrhills.
Other names from WPAS history include Bill Bailey (GM/sales manager-1965), Ray Andrews (PD-1965), Emil Peters (news-1965), Charles Oswald (1965-66), Daylon Rushing (1965-66), James Cassilly (chief engineer-1965), Ken Reitz (1965-1967), Russ Miller (nights 1966-1967), Tedd Webb (1966), Karol Kelly (GM-1967), Betty Rickard (sales manager-1967), Denver Westerfield (PD-1967), John Tytka (1967), Jim Stubbs (chief engineer-1967), Greg First (on-air personality 1967-1969; 1979-1986), Fred Hopp (sales manager-1968), Lonnie Hughes (1966-70; PD 1968-70), Darrell Barrington (1968), Bob Duckett (news-1968), Walter Strait (chief engineer-1968), Jerry Kay (Brent Alberts-1970), C.R. Tomlinson (sales manager-1971), Jeff King (PD-1971), Kenny Lamb (1972), Pat Artabasy (sales manager-1972), Mike Hemmingson (program director/chief engineer-1972), Vernon Howell (1972), Dave Johnson (PD-1974), Don Barger (news-1974), Gene Crook (chief engineer-1974), Bob Neil (mornings, 1975-77), Jamie Love (1975), Bob Rice (GM-1975), Jim Nevins (PD-1975), Ralph Pierson (chief engineer-1975), Peter J. Callahan (Peter Lloyd, PD/MD 1979-1981), David Ayers (GM/sales manager-1979), Cathy Ashmore (1979), Randy Potter (PD-1986), Rick Morgan (music director-1986), Bruce Bodie (news director-1986), Tom Digan (chief engineer-1979), Gary Benjamin (PD-1988), Jane Friend (1988), John Rowe (PD 1988-90, Tom Shaw (1989), David Sharp (operations-mid 90’s), Mark Chase, Gary Oesch, and Mike Conrad.
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1964 - 1994 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)