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WAMR AM & FM - A History

WAMR-AM 1320 & WAMR-FM 92.1 Venice – Venice-Nokomis Broadcasting (Larry Rhodes, president) put WAMR-AM on the air in 1960. It was a 500-watt daytimer and programmed an MOR format. In the early days WAMR-AM’s studios were upstairs in the Blackburn Building on the corner of Nassau Street and West Venice Avenue in Venice. Operations would later move to the transmitter site at 282 North Auburn Road.

WAMR-FM was launched in 1974 on 92.1 with mostly a duplication of WAMR-AM’s MOR format. In the early 80’s, it split off from the AM and ran with a beautiful country format, while the AM began to lean more heavily on big bands. About this time the AM’s power was upgraded to 5,000 watts days and 1-kilowatt nights.

In 1984, the AM and FM were acquired by Comco Inc. of Florida (Walter Windsor, president) and the FM became WRAV.  Hall Communications (Robert M. Hall, president) added the combo to its stable in 1986. WAMR-AM became a Music of Your Life station and WRAV flipped to adult contemporary WCTQ. In 1988, Hall sold WAMR-AM to Asterisk Radio, Inc. (Fred Ingham, president).

In the 90's, WAMR-AM was doing news/talk, and then oldies. In the 2000's, it was Sportsradio 1320 The Whammer. Jacor acquired WAMR-AM and WCTQ-FM in 1996. In 1999, WCTQ-FM moved to 106.5 FM, forcing the station’s city of license to change to Sarasota. Its former 92.1 dial spot became the home of The Dove WDDV. In 2005, after Clear Channel absorbed Jacor, it took the WDDV calls and Dove format from the FM and moved them to the AM. 92.1 became Lite 92.1 WLTQ.

Other names from WAMR history include Richard Doudna (GM-1960; PD-1968; sales manager-1972), George Millar (sales manager-1960), Jack Charest (PD-1960; news director-1963), Cliff Arquette (news/promotions-1960), Charles Hartman (chief engineer-1960), Joseph Barone (chief engineer-1962), Lewis Romack (sales manager-1963), James Hart (PD-1964), Woodrow Thayer (News director-1964), Mickey W. Booth (promotions-1966), Gregory Cohane (news director-1972; station manager-1980; GM-1981), Lou Leinhauser and Steve Nader (on-air personalities 1973-74), Bob Chambers (PD/music director-1975), Florence Rhodes (president, Venice-Nokomis Broadcasting-1980), Joseph Vinson (PD-1980; music director-1981; operations-1985), Tom Edmondson (promotions-1980; sales manager-1981), Dick Spaulding (news director-1980), John Fonda (chief engineer-1980), Craig Dalton (news director-1981; operations-1988), William Ferguson (chief engineer-1981), Bruce Parsons (news director-1982), James Johnson Associates (chief engineer-1982), Valerie Morawa (promotions-1985), Jim Day (GM-1986), Jerry Reed (PD-1986), Tim White (chief engineer 1986-88), Ed Allen (chief engineer-1986), Bill Reilly (operations-1987), Edd Monskie (Hall Communications' director of engineering-1987), Doug Tweedy (GM-1988), Dave Pierce (station manager-1989), Big Ed Edwards (1989), Dave McClure (sales manager-1989; GM-1992), Jeff Southall (music director/chief engineer-1989), Dennis Scott (news director-1989), Ron Knight (GM-1990), Buddy Baker (PD-1990), Rick Parrish (music director-1990), Debbie Pfender (promotions-1990), Gary Ramsey (news director-1990), Lee Freshwater (chief engineer-1990), John Brooks (PD/music director-1991), Ken Berryhill (1992), Lenore Leopold (promotions-1993), Del Potts (music director-1995), Sheila Diamond (promotions-1998), Denny Turk (music director-1998), Wilson Welch (chief engineer-1998), Marlene Meyer (promotions-1999), Sherri Carlson (GM-2003), Barry Wade (marketing director-2003), Ron Miller (promotions), Maverick Johnson (PD-2003), and Matt Howell (chief engineer-2003).

Others included Nick Rieth, Ken Griffin, Frank Benny, Scott Hayes and Jake Jacobson (“Scott & Jake Show”), Jon Sampson, and Jeff Rhodes and Johnny Smith (high school football commentators).

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