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Les McDowell
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WYNF - A History

WYNF-FM 94.9 Tampa – To become more competitive with market leader Q105 WRBQ, the Rahall brothers (Joe, Sam and Farris), owners of automated Top 40 WLCY-FM, began introducing live jocks in 1976, switched the station’s calls to WYNF in 1977, and branded it y95. Studios were in the Rahall Communications Center on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg, also home to WLCY-AM and WLCY-TV Channel 10.
 
In 1978, the Rahalls began selling off their Tampa Bay broadcasting properties, starting with Channel 10, which meant the FM would have to move out. It didn’t move far, landing back in the old WLCY/WTSP building next to the Channel 10 parking lot.

Taft Broadcasting bought WYNF in 1980 and the music shifted from Top 40 to AOR. The y95 branding was dropped, and WYNF became “The New 95” (1980), “95 FM – Florida’s Best Rock” (1981), and then “95ynf – Florida’s Best Rock” (1982). Studios also moved to 504 Reo Street in Tampa, home of another Taft property, 1250/WDAE.

CBS, Inc. acquired WYNF from Taft (which had become Great American Broadcasting) in 1985. Studios moved to the Koger Center off 4th Street North in St. Petersburg and the 100,000 watter’s antenna moved to the WTVT Channel 13 tower 1390 feet up. 

Cox Radio bought WYNF from CBS in 1993, dropped the rock music, and moved its “soft & contemporary” WWRM (WaRM 107.3 FM) to 94.9. The WYNF calls were temporarily parked on 107.3 as an audio message to let listeners know of Warm’s new address, and then dumped when 107.3 became all-70’s WCOF-FM The Coast. In the mid 1990’s, the WYNF calls surfaced again along Florida’s West Coast at a Sarasota rock station broadcasting on 107.9.

Some names from y95 and 95ynf history include Bill Hennes (consultant), Shotgun Charlie Bennett (mornings), Tom Murphy (mornings), Dave Mann (Mike Lee-afternoons), Phil “Screaming Jay” Hawkins (nights), Ben Christopher (overnights), Chuck Morgan (PD), Ray Yorke (GM), Randy Stewart, Mike Mann, newsman J. Paul MacGregor (Ted Tidwell), Mike Rivers (overnights), Bob McNeill (mornings), Uncle Johnny (nights), Bill Elliott (Ass’t Chief Engineer), Ron and Ron (Bennington and Diaz), Charlie Logan (PD), Jack Strapp (Steve Austin), Russ Albums, Tom Marshall (PD), Walt-Bob (Walt Marsicano), Al Peterson (PD), George Hawras (PD), Mark Larsen (PD & afternoons), Don Capone, Marla Stone, Billy the Phone Freak (Bill Owens), Jimmy Beck (Dave Adams), Bobby Ocean, Garry Mitchell (aka Garry Wing), Scott Phillips, John DeHaven, Robert Reed, Jeff Jensen, Tom Daniels (1991), Nobie Wheeler, Nick Van Cleve (afternoons), George Sosson (GM), Carey Curelop (PD), J.J. Lee, Fez Whatley, Don Marion, Bill Burnett (news), Steve Downes, Brian Sykes, Joe Corbett (sales), Joe Bell (local sales manager 1977-1980), Becky “Flash” Gordon (news), Zoltan Koppany, Flipper, John Stewart, Morgan Prue (music and research), and Shawn Portmann (GM).

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Station History

1977 - 1993 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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