WWBA - A History
WWBA-AM 1040 Pinellas Park – Tampa Bay’s heritage WWBA calls were resurrected by Clear Channel for its Pinellas Park NewsTalk AM-1040 in 1997. Studios at that time were located at 402 N. Reo in Tampa. The station was later acquired by Tampa-based Genesis Communications, which moved it to 4300 W. Cypress Street.
In September 2008, Genesis agreed to pay $3 million for Mega Communications’ 50,000-watt flamethrower WMGG (AM-820). Genesis dropped Mega’s Spanish oldies and moved WWBA’s local and syndicated talk format to AM-820, giving the outlet a more powerful signal.
WWBA-AM 820 moved offices and studios from 4300 West Cypress to its transmitter/tower site at 800 8th Avenue SE in Largo in late 2010. At that time, its city of license also switched from Pinellas Park to Largo.
After moving its talk shows to sister station AM-1470 WMGG, WWBA began airing an all news and information format with a locally-anchored news broadcast in morning drive and filling out most of the remaining on-air hours with various syndicated shows.
In early 2019, Neal Ardman's NIA Broadcasting began operating WWBA under an LMA with Genesis Communications. Over the summer of 2019, the station's format flipped to 70's and 80's classic country, apparently a stunt of some sort, because it then flipped back to news/talk as AM-820 News with Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive.
Following the short-lived LMA with Nia Broadcasting, Genesis re-structured WWBA in May 2020 and re-branded it as The Big 8 with a mix of hot talk and sports featuring Bubba the Love Sponge mornings, longtime Tampa area talk personality Brenda Lee from 10am-12N, Del Walmsley from noon to 1PM, CBS Sports’ Jim Rome from 1-3PM, former WDAE afternoon host JP Peterson from 3-6PM, and CBS Sports Radio at night.
Names from NewsTalk WWBA include Mark Larsen (“Morning Magazine”) and news staffers Roger P. Schulman, Shayna Lance, and Eban Brown.
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1997 - 2020 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)