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WBRN 987 logo.png
City of license Holmes Beach, Florida
Broadcast area Tampa Bay Area
Branding Bubba 98.7
Slogan No Rules Radio
Frequency 98.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1989 (as WAYP)
Format Rock-based Variety Hits
ERP 50,000 watts
HAAT 149 meters (489 ft)
Class C2
Facility ID 18527
Transmitter coordinates 27°50′35″N 82°48′50″W / 27.843°N 82.814°W / 27.843; -82.814Coordinates: 27°50′35″N 82°48′50″W / 27.843°N 82.814°W / 27.843; -82.814
Callsign meaning W Bubba Radio Network
Former callsigns WAYP (12/7/1989-4/2/1992)
WISP (4/2/1992-6/1/1998)
WLLD (6/1/1998-8/19/2009)
WSJT (8/19/2009-8/2/2012)
WHFS (8/2/2012-8/9/2012)
WHFS-FM (8/9/2012-2/4/2015)
Owner Beasley Broadcast Group
(WPOW License Limited Partnership)
Sister stations WHFS, WLLD, WQYK-FM, WRBQ-FM, WYUU
Webcast Listen Live
Website bubba987.com

WBRN-FM is a Tampa Bay area radio station that broadcasts on 98.7 FM that is currently programming a Rock-leaning Variety Hits format. The station, owned by Beasley Broadcast Group, is licensed to serve the community of Holmes Beach, Florida, with studios in St. Petersburg and transmitting facilities in Seminole. The station was assigned its current WBRN-FM call sign by the Federal Communications Commission on February 4, 2015.[1]


The station signed on the air on December 7, 1989 under the call letters WAYP. The call letters changed to WISP on April 2, 1992. Under the WAYP and WISP call letters, the station played mostly easy listening and adult contemporary music. On June 1, 1998, the rhythmic contemporary format of "WiLD 98.7" debuted under new call letters WLLD. (See the WLLD page for the history of "WiLD"). On August 19, 2009, at 5 PM, "WiLD 98.7" and "Smooth Jazz 94.1 WSJT" switched frequencies, with 94.1 becoming "WiLD 94.1" and 98.7 becoming "Smooth Jazz 98.7 WSJT." The smooth jazz format would evolve into a hybrid of Urban AC and Soft AC (essentially called a "Smooth AC" format).

On August 31, 2010, at 3 PM, the station dropped Smooth AC in favor of Adult CHR as "Play 98.7."[2] The first song on "Play" was "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon. The smooth jazz format was subsequently moved to HD Radio frequency 98.7-HD2. This would change on December 18, 2013, when the WFAN simulcast on 94.1-HD3 moved to 98.7-HD2, while the smooth jazz format was relocated to 94.1-HD2.

Due to low ratings with "Play", CBS Radio announced on June 20, 2012 that WSJT would flip to sports talk in August, branded as "The Fan".[3] On July 25, CBS announced that the station would flip to the new format on August 2.

On that day, at 11 AM, "Play" signed off with "Closing Time" by Semisonic, followed by an hour of stunting with songs usually played at sports games, as well as a history of sports teams in the Tampa Bay area, with the actual launch of "The Fan" at Noon.[4] At the same time as the format flip, WSJT changed call letters to WHFS-FM. The WHFS call letters were held by former sister station WUUB in West Palm Beach and were heritage call letters for a long-time alternative rock station in the Washington, DC/Baltimore, Maryland area. The station simulcasted sister station WHFS until January 3, 2013, when WHFS became a 24/7 affiliate of the new CBS Sports Radio network.

WHFS-FM was an affiliate of University of South Florida sports.

On October 2, 2014, CBS Radio announced that it would trade 14 radio stations located in Tampa (including WHFS-FM) and Charlotte, as well as WIP in Philadelphia, to the Beasley Broadcast Group in exchange for 5 stations located in Miami and Philadelphia.[5] The swap was completed on December 1, 2014.[6]

On December 4, 2014, Beasley released the entire "Fan" airstaff, and at 3 PM, following The Jim Rome Show, the sports format was dropped in favor of Christmas music, and shifted its stunting towards a broad mix of music on December 26. [7] [8]

After months of speculation, longtime local personality Bubba the Love Sponge returned to the Tampa airwaves on 98.7 on January 5th, the same day his non-compete with Cox Radio ended. Bubba's show airs live every weekday from 6-10 am. After his return show on the 5th, the station shifted its stunting by airing repeats of Bubba's show for the remainder of the day. On February 2 at 10 AM, the station debuted a Rock-leaning Variety Hits format billed as "Bubba 98.7," which features a mix of current and recurrent Rock songs, along with selections of songs personally picked by Bubba himself. The first song played under the new format was AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)". The station's callsign changed to WBRN-FM on February 4.[9]


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