WTIS - A History
WTIS-AM 1110 Tampa – Previously pioneer Top 40 WALT and country WQYK, Tampa Bay’s clear channel 1110-AM was acquired by Forus Communications (Simon Rosen, president) in the summer of 1976. The 10,000-watt station then flipped to a Christian format as WTIS (Tampa’s Inspiration Station).
Although licensed to Tampa, WTIS’ transmitter, and directional three-tower array are located in St. Petersburg at 311 112th Avenue N.E. To protect other stations on the 1110 clear channel frequency, including WBT/Charlotte, WTIS has always been a daytimer.
In addition to its regular religious programming, WTIS aired Christian rock music on the weekends from the mid 1980’s until 1991, featuring shows like “Joyful Noise” and “Power House,” which ran on Saturday afternoons.
In December 2016, WTIS went silent. It had been operating under a construction permit to move transmitter and tower to another site that would enable the station to broadcast its 10-kilowatt daytime signal from a single non-directional tower, and 4.2 kilowatts during critical hours.
In early 2017, George Arroyo’s Q Broadcasting filed a $175,000 deal to buy the station from license holder WTIS-AM, Inc. (Ron Roseman, president). Arroyo already owned Tampa regional Mexican La Ley 1550 WAMA. The deal also included a St. Petersburg-licensed translator W266CW on 101.1 FM.
The WTIS tower was moved to WAMA’s stick on St. Paul Street in Tampa and, in August 2017, the station began transmitter testing, playing soft rock with liners that referred to The New WTIS, from its new studios at 330 S. Falkenburg Road in Tampa. WTIS flipped to a Spanish format in May 2018 as La Mega.
Other names from WTIS history include James Clark (GM-1976), Steven Shute (news director-1976), Drew Worthen (CE-1976), Lind Voth (GM-1980), Matthew Burt (PD-1980; sales manager-1981), Steven Boyd (PD-1981), Bill Rowen (PD-1982), Gary Kolosey (PD-1985), Ed Gorman (CE-1985), Lee Smelser (PD-1986), Sue Alexander (announcer-1989), Jerome Brackeen (PD-1989), Norm Swenson (1990), Ronnie and Phil Lipka (hosts of “Polka Serenade"-1990), and Robert King (2000; GM/sales-2010).
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1976 - 2018 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)