|City||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Broadcast area||South Florida|
|Slogan||South Florida's Classic Rock|
|Frequency||105.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||July 1960 (as WFLM)|
HD2: News/Talk (WIOD simulcast)
|HAAT||314 meters (1030 feet)|
|Callsign meaning||W BiG G|
|Former callsigns||WFLM (1960-1970)
(Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WHYI-FM, WINZ, WIOD, WMIA-FM, WMIB, WZTU|
WBGG-FM, branded as Big 105.9, is a commercial radio station licensed to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and serving the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale media market. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., the station airs a classic rock radio format. WBGG is licensed for HD Radio and carries the talk radio format of sister station WIOD 610 AM on its HD2 channel. WBGG's studios are located on Rivera Boulevard in Miramar and the transmitter site is off Fifth Street in Pembroke Park.
The station first signed on the air in July of 1960. Its call sign was WFLM, Broward County's first all-stereo station, with an easy listening format. It was sold to the owners of AM 1520 WIXX (today WEXY), continuing the easy format with the new call letters WIXX-FM, while the AM was country music. The station switched to the call letters WAXY just before RKO General's purchase. The combo was WEXY-WAXY after the AM switched to a contemporary format. When the stations were sold to RKO General, the AM switched to gospel music.
In the early 1970s, the station had an album rock format, but flipped to automated oldies in 1975. In 1990, RKO sold WAXY-FM to Ackerley Communications, an outdoor advertising company, which later sold the station to Clear Channel Communications after the Federal Communications Commission relaxed its rules against one company owning numerous stations in the same market. On January 17, 1992, WAXY-FM dropped its then-Adult contemporary format and began stunting with a loop of various versions of "Louie, Louie". On January 20, at 6 a.m., the station flipped to oldies as simply "WAXY 106."
Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) acquired Metroplex in March 1996 and the call sign was changed from WAXY-FM to WBGG-FM on September 1. The final quarter-hour of music was delivered by DJ Miguel Lombana and consisted of "It's the Same Old Song" by the Four Tops, "The End" by The Doors and "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles (which was an inside gag and reference to Stuart Elliott and his signing off of 96X (WPOW) years earlier). The station went dark for 1 minute and signed back on the air at 12:01 as The New Big 106. (The WAXY call sign is now used by an unrelated AM station in the Miami market at 790 kHz.)
Initially, BIG 106 started out as a 1970s hits station. By mid-1995, it was calling itself a Classic Hits station while still playing mostly 70s music. But by mid-1996, it evolved to the current classic rock format, later using the syndicated Howard Stern Show for mornings.
In April 2004, the Federal Communications Commission fined Clear Channel Communications $495,000 for broadcasting allegedly indecent material on the Stern show. Subsequently, Clear Channel dropped Stern from WBGG and five other stations.
To fill the morning talk slot, in May 2004, Clear Channel moved Paul & Young Ron from WZTA. (Lex and Terry took over the morning show at WZTA, but lost that outlet for their syndicated program when it abruptly switched formats to Hispanic Urban in February 2005, changing its call sign to WMGE.) Since the switch, Paul and Young Ron continue to be a popular program in South Florida.
In 2005 the station changed its branding from "BIG 106" to BIG 105.9"
By April 2006, South Florida had only two major rock radio stations, WBGG and WHDR (the latter of which had a mainstream rock format). WBGG-FM ranked 14 in market share. The top four stations had either a Spanish, urban or urban AC format. As WHDR flipped to Soft AC and became WFEZ, WBGG-FM is the only rock station in the Miami market.
Airstaffed by Paulie Castronovo & Ronald Brewer mornings, Aly 10-2, Doc Reno afternoons and Big Rig evenings. Big Rig and Doc are voice tracked during other times. The station has started tweaking the format to include recent classic rock acts, from artists such as Green Day, Three Doors Down and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
- WBBG-FM Official Website
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-41
- Reel Radio vintage radio site
- South Florida Radio History site
- Buckmaster Annual Stockholder Reports
- Federal Communications Commission database query site Archived August 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- www.cnnmoney.com article
- Radio Hot Talk News
- Radio Online's Arbitrend results