WBRN - A History
WBRN-FM 98.7 Holmes Beach – In a multi-station swap, Tampa Bay’s WHFS-FM was acquired by the Beasley Broadcast Group from CBS in late 2014. On Dec.4, the station dropped is sports format and began playing Christmas music, promising a new format would debut the first of the year.
When Jan. 5, 2015 arrived, WHFS-FM premiered Tampa Bay’s return of Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) at 6 A.M. and announced that it would air continuous Bubba shows 24/7 for the next 30 days. When that month was up, Bubba made the big announcement shortly after 9am February 2nd that the station’s new format would be personality-oriented No Rules Radio, featuring the music Bubba likes, and that 98.7’s call letters would change from WHFS to WBRN-FM (Bubba Radio Network).
The inaugural station lineup included Bubba from 6-10am, commercial-free music from 10am-noon, and Bubba sidekick characters Manson from noon-3pm and Ned (aka Nedly Mandingo III) afternoons 3-7 pm, both played by Mike Waters.
The WBRN-FM studios are located with others in the Beasley cluster at 9721 Executive Center Drive in St Petersburg. The FM’s 50-kilowatt transmitter and tower are at a site off CR 694 (Park Blvd.) in Seminole.
In late 2015, Beasley dropped Bubba’s name from WBRN’s nickname after Neilsen (formerly Arbitron) sued the shock jock (who admitted to ratings tampering) for one million dollars. The station then began referring to itself as 98.7 No Rules Rock.
WBRN announced in early December 2016 that Beasley had dropped Bubba's show in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market and, in advance of another format flip, would be playing commercial-free Christmas music as Santa 98.7. As soon as Christmas was over, the station returned to its rock format and re-branded itself 98.7 Donald FM, promising to make radio great again (a play on Donald Trump's presidential campaign slogan).
On Thursday, January 5, 2017, Beasley re-launched WBRN as The New b98.7 FM
(a mainstream adult contemporary station playing today's hits and yesterday's favorites from a wide variety of artists like Maroon 5, Pink, and Journey), with 10,000 songs in a row. The station also announced the debut of a new morning show on February 6, hosted by Tampa's top-rated AC morning duo Chadd & Kristi (Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, formerly with Magic 94.9 WWRM).
(Please contact us if you have additional information to share about WBRN.)
2015 - 2017 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)