|City of license||Miami Beach, Florida|
|Broadcast area||Miami-Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida|
|Frequency||94.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1962 (as WAEZ)|
|Callsign meaning||W MeGa Espanol (Hispanic meaning of the word "Spanish")|
|Former callsigns||WAEZ (1962-1969)
|Sister stations||WBGG-FM, WHYI-FM, WINZ, WIOD, WMIA-FM, WMIB|
WMGE (94.9 FM, "Mega 94.9") is a radio station in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale radio market. The station plays a Spanish Top-40 format, mixed with some English top 40 songs, which is a growing trend once again in the United States after several years of decline. Despite the market target, the station's signal is able to reach as far north as Jupiter and as far south as Key Largo. Its studios are located in Miramar and the transmitter site is in Miami Gardens.
The station signed on in 1962, with 81,000 watts under the WAEZ calls. It was the first station in Miami to broadcast continuously in stereo. It played easy listening music "from the beautiful Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach." The station was owned by Arthur E. Zucker, hence the "AEZ" in the station's calls. In 1969 it changed its calls to WOCN-FM to reflect its sister station WOCN, which it was now partially simulcasting. It continued to play its format, and even began an attempt at Spanish language romance music. For a brief moment during the mid-1970s, they were known as "Stereo 94".
In 1975, it became WINZ-FM under Guy Gannett Broadcasting, and went to a progressive rock format, with the moniker "Zeta-4" until early 1981, when it flipped to CHR/Pop station "I-95", retaining the WINZ-FM calls. "I-95" provided for a highly competitive ratings battle against Top 40 powerhouse WHYI during its few years of existence. In early 1986, WINZ-FM transformed from Top-40 to a short-lived Classic Rock/Adult Hits hybrid as "Rockin' With Class....95-INZ". This lasted for about a year until early 1987 when the station flipped to Classic rock as Zeta, this time with the WZTA call letters. This is where the station would begin a long term commitment as a rocker. In the early-90s, the station was purchased by Paxson Communications and then swallowed up by Clear Channel Communications (Now iHeartMedia, Inc.) in the mid-90s. Under Paxson, the station evolved to an active rock format, still retaining the WZTA calls. In the early new millennium, Zeta attempted an Alternative rock format, but switched back to the active rock format in 2004. With ratings continuing to slump, and Lex and Terry underperforming, Zeta finally came to an end on February 11, 2005 after 19 years as a rock station.
Mega 94.9 was born, with the new calls WMGE, which previously existed in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale on what is now urban AC WMIB, also under the Clear Channel umbrella. The station was part of Clear Channel's effort to expand its Hispanic radio efforts, as they were flipping several more stations to Spanish formats the same year under the leadership of Alfredo Alonso. Coincidentally, with no more active rock stations in the market, Cox Radio flipped their CHR-dance station Party 93.1 to active rocker 93Rock, with new calls WHDR, on February 14, 2005. Like other Hispanic Urban formatted stations, Mega was a hybrid of both English and Spanish language.
The new Mega 94.9 however continued to lose a listening base and failed to improve beyond its old rock format after two years on the air, and the station was adjusted to a Hispanic top 40 format in 2007. The station still uses the Mega brand name and has only made changes to its playlist.
- WMGE website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WMGE
- Radio-Locator information on WMGE
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WMGE