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WYOU - A History

WYOU-AM 1550 Tampa – In 1963, Tampa's ten thousand watt country WZST became rhythm and blues WYOU. John M. McLendon, president of McLendon Ebony Stations and owner of WENN in Birmingham, owned the Tampa daytimer, which headquartered its offices and studios at 1333 West Cass Street, just across the Hillsborough River from the downtown area.

WZST’s license was acquired by Florida Fund Raising Radio in 1964, and then, in the summer of 1965, by WYOU Radio, Inc. (Art Reuben, president/GM). It was Reuben who flipped it back to a country music format.

WYOU was an independent station, meaning it did not carry a network until 1969 when it affiliated with Mutual. It remained country until switching to a nostalgic easy-listening format in 1976 with former WDAE PD Ed Ripley as Program Director. The following year it flipped to Spanish and Woody Garcia was brought in to run things. Since 1986 AM-1550 has been WAMA which today (2006) programs a soft Spanish A/C format.

Names from WYOU’s history as an R&B station include William J. Brown (GM-1964), and Lynn McMoran (chief engineer-1964).

Names from WYOU’s history as a country and pop music station include Tedd Webb (1965), Joe Gratz (station manager-1967), Terry Nichols (news director-1967; PD-1968), Marilib Langum (promotions-1967), Harry Abell (chief engineer-1967), Cuz’n Larry Lane (1967), Al Waters (1968), Charlotte Finley (promotions-1968), Ed Brown (Ed Pendino-news director 1968), Sid Perry (PD-1968), Bill Polk (chief engineer-1968; PD-1972; station manager-1979), Bill Floyd (PD-1971),  Gordon Solie (news/sports director-1971), Homer Lee (sales manager-1971), Jimmy Williams (music director-1974), Dave Young (Dick Ergenbright -1977), Dennis Thomas (1977), Chip Acton (1977), Jackie Ripley (1977), Ross Wheldon (1977), Herold White, Al Dunaway, Gil Cabot, Daylon Rushing, Rick Richards, and Rick Allen.

Names from WYOU’s history as a Spanish language station include Woody Garcia (music director-1977), Nelson Alba (news director-1979), John W. Rhea (GM-1986), Victor Marero (sales manager-1986), Jorge Suarez (PD-1986), Jorge Capdevela (music director-1986), Gabby Castillo (news director-1986), and Ed Pendino (chief engineer-1986).

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Station History

1963 - 1986 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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