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WPKM - A History

WPKM-FM 104.7 Tampa – FM Broadcasters (Frank and Eloise Knorr) put WPKM-FM (“Where People Know Music”) on the air in 1954 from studios (initially) on the top floor of Tampa’s Bayshore Royal Hotel (pictured). The 10.5 kilowatt station later moved its operations to the hotel’s basement.

WPKM’s format can best be described as “elevator music,” the instrumental kind pumped into stores and businesses back in the day. It was continuous and interrupted only four times an hour for an ID, time, temperature, and commercials. 

In the mid 60’s when WPKM’s broadcast day was roughly 18 hours, and sign off was around 1:00 A.M., it played a popular and light classical mix. A 24-hour schedule began in 1968, and published ads described the station as “The Velvet Sound” featuring familiar music for people of all ages in stereo. 

The Knorrs sold WPKM in 1967 to Tecnico Leasing, Inc. (Frederick T.C. Brewer, president) who, in 1972, flipped it to a beautiful music format as WEZX. The following year it was acquired by Southern Broadcasting and became WRBQ-FM (Q105), Tampa Bay’s first stereo rock station.

Other names in WPKM’s history include George Mayrand (sales manager-1956), Jerry Krumbholz (1956), Robert Bernstein (WALT and WLCY’s Rock Robbins-1956), Herb Brown (chief engineer-1956), Roy Correll (sales manager-1959), Richard V. Leonard (GM-1960), J.C. Triplett (PD-1961), J. Brady III (chief engineer-1961), O.R. Sherrow (sales manager-1961), Daylon Rushing (1963), Joe Black (1963; PD-1967), Roy Borges (PD-1963), Joe Culbreath (1963), Tom Drane (1964), Harry Abell (chief engineer-1964), Ron Harpe (PD-1965), Tedd Webb (Hank Henry-1966), Violet Hall (promotions-1968), Ted Brewer (GM-1969), Thomas Krohn (chief engineer-1969), Marcus Nusinov (chief engineer-1971), Robert Auslander (chief engineer-1972), Burt Mitchell, Nan Davis, and Jack Morin.

Station History

1954 - 1972 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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