WQSA - A History
WQSA-AM 1220 Sarasota – Sarasota Radio Company (Edward A. “Ted” Rogers, president, and business partner Carroll Newton) acquired Sarasota one-kilowatt daytimer AM-1220 WSAF in 1973 and flipped the calls to WQSA. Nighttime operation began with 600-watts around 1990. WQSA’s studios and transmitter/tower site were south of downtown Sarasota at 1111 Beneva Road in shared quarters with sister station Quad 102½ WQSR.
WQSA began with an MOR/big band format but flipped to all news in 1975. In the mid 80’s, some talk shows were added and, by the beginning of the 90’s, the format featured news and sports, talk, and nostalgic music. During the winter months, Prior Smith anchored “Canada Calling” with news from “back home” for vacationing snowbirds along the Suncoast.
WQSA also carried an abundance of sports programming, including Tampa Bay Buccaneer football, Chicago White Sox baseball, and Florida State Seminole football. There was also Tampa Bay Lightning hockey and Miami Heat basketball.
Horizon Communications acquired WQSA in 1983 and company president Jim Seemiller served as its GM until 1986. In 1991, E.F. Schwarzer acquired the station. WQSA fell silent some three years later but returned to the air with an all-sports format in 1997, under the ownership of Sarasota Broadcast Corporation. The station also relocated its operation to 1941 Main Street.
Nova Broadcasting (Ronald E. Crider, Robert Weeks, and Thomas McCoy) acquired WQSA in 2002 and the calls became WIBQ.
Other names from WQSA history include Rod Weller (PD-1974), Paul Delaney (sales manager-1974), Lowell Schumaker (mornings/PD-1975), Pat Patterson (music director-1975), Tom Keene (news director-1975), Jim Grant (chief engineer-1975), Kathy Nordman (PD-1977), Chris Seger (sales manager-1977), Norm Hale (news editor-1977), Scott Leon (1978; news director 1979-80), Jay Frank (operations/PD/promotions-1979), Gary Linscott (sales manager-1979), George Barber (sales manager-1980), Neil Wilson (sales manager-1981), Mike Edwards (PD-1981), Sam Litzinger (news director-1981), Bill Demarest (promotions-1981), Patrick Dennis (sales manager-1983), Ralph Janotti (news director-1983/operations-1986), Myron Hieronymous Thomas (production/copy-1983; host of 'Studio III' 1984-94; GM-1986-94), John Clark Wheeler (news director-1985), Dave Seibert (sales manager-1986), Scot Kaufman (sales manager-1990), Kristie Thomas (PD-1990), Pete Shafhausen (news director-1995), Big Ed Edwards (1993), Joseph Bruno (sports director 1997-98), Jennifer Rowe (operations-1998), Drew Ryan (sales and programming-1998), John Hamel (engineering), Jose Diaz-Balart (reporter/anchor), Bruce Pearlstein (station manager), Sherwood Lorenz (sales manager), John Sipos, Al Christoffersen, Lee Bensley, and Jim Genovese.
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1973 - 2002 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)