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|City||AM: Jacksonville, Florida|
FM: Atlantic Beach, Florida
|Broadcast area||Jacksonville metropolitan area|
|Branding||AM: ESPN 690|
FM: News 104.5 WOKV
|Slogan||FM: Depend on WOKV/it!|
|Frequency||AM: 690 kHz|
FM: 104.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
|Translator(s)||99.5 W258CN (relays HD2)|
|First air date||AM: 1958 (as WAPE)|
FM: July 1967 (as WAQB-FM at 104.9)
HD 2: Urban contemporary "Hot 99.5"
|Power||AM: 50,000 watts day |
25,000 watts night
|ERP||FM: 98,800 watts|
|HAAT||FM: 309 meters (1014 ft)|
|Facility ID||AM: 53601|
|Transmitter coordinates||AM (day): |
|Former frequencies||FM: 104.9 MHz (1967-1979)|
|Affiliations||AM: ESPN Radio|
Fox News Radio
|Owner||Cox Radio |
(Cox Radio, Inc.)
|Webcast||AM: Listen Live|
FM: Listen Live
WOKV (690 kHz) and WOKV-FM (104.5 MHz) are a pair of commercial radio stations in the Jacksonville, Florida, media market. WOKV is licensed to Jacksonville and WOKV-FM is licensed to Atlantic Beach. WOKV and WOKV-FM are owned by Cox Radio of Atlanta. WOKV-FM airs a news/talk radio format. AM 690 WOKV carries an all-sports format. The studios are located in Jacksonville's Southside district. The AM daytime transmitter is in Orange Park while its nighttime transmitter is in Baldwin. The FM transmitter is in Jacksonvilleʼs Southside neighborhood. WOKV-FM's HD2 subchannel airs an urban contemporary format. It feeds translator station 99.5 W258CN, known as "Hot 99.5."
Weekdays on WOKV-FM begin with "Jacksonville's Morning News with Rich Jones." The rest of the weekday schedule is syndicated conservative talk shows along with locally anchored news, traffic and weather reports. WOKV hosts include Brian Kilmeade, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Chad Benson, Clark Howard, Dana Loesch and "Coast to Coast AM with George Noory." Weekends feature programs on money, health, gardening, home repair and the syndicated Bill Cunningham show. Some weekend hours are paid brokered programming. WOKV is a Fox News Radio Network affiliate.
WOKV AM 690's programming is made up of ESPN Radio Network shows, with some live play by play coverage of sporting events.
WOKV (AM) History
AM 690 first signed on the air on October 23, 1958 as WAPE. It was a daytimer, owned by Brennan Broadcasting. WAPE was originally powered at 25,000 watts and required to be off the air at night. In 1963, the station got a boost to 50,000 watts by day and it also got nighttime authorization, running 10,000 watts after sunset.
From the late 1950s to the early 1980s, 690 kHz was the original home to a popular Top 40 station, known as "The Big Ape, WAPE." At one time, it had comic actor Jay Thomas as its wake up host. For more on the early days of AM 690, see WAPE (defunct). In 1981, as young people switched to FM for listening to hit songs, the station flipped to country music. By the mid '80s, it ran a Christian radio format. And in 1986, WAPE migrated to 95.1 MHz (formerly rhythmic contemporary WJAX-FM) and restarted its Top 40 format as WAPE-FM.
In 1989, AM 690 was bought by Genesis Communications, which changed the call sign to WPDQ and switched the format to news/talk. The station carried a mix of local hosts and nationally syndicated shows. It ran world and national news from the ABC Information Network.
In 1993, Prism Radio Partners bought WPDQ for $400,000. The following year, Prism bought talk station AM 600 WOKV and oldies station WKQL 96.9, for $3.75 million. The company moved the talk programming and call letters from AM 600 to AM 690, creating a new WOKV on 690 kHz.
Cox Radio acquired WOKV and several other Jacksonville-area stations in 2000. In 2006, Cox upgraded WOKV's nighttime signal to 25,000 watts after sunset, with a broader pattern, and also added an FM simulcast on 106.5 FM, formerly WBGB, now WXXJ. This made WOKV one of only a few large market news/talk radio stations to simulcast on both AM and FM. In 2013, the FM simulcast was upgraded, when 100,000-watt 104.5 WFYV began airing WOKV programming, while 6,000 watt 106.5 returned to a music format, first as soft AC WEZI, and currently as alternative rock WXXJ.
AM 690 Facilities
WOKV has one of the strongest daytime AM signals in the Southeast. In addition to the Jacksonville metropolitan area, its non-directional 50,000 watt daytime signal covers the Atlantic coast, as far south as Melbourne, Florida, and as far north as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, an area that includes Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. At night, the station reduces power to 25,000 watts and uses a directional antenna to protect clear channel Class A station CKGM in Montreal as well as older, high power stations on the 690 frequency, including XEWW in Baja California, Mexico and CBU in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
In July 1967, the current WOKV-FM first signed on as 104.9 WAQB-FM. It was the FM counterpart of AM 1600 WKTX (now WZNZ). WAQB-FM ran at only 3,000 watts, a fraction of its current power and it simulcast WKTX's middle of the road music format. Around 1970, it changed its call sign to WJNJ-FM.
In the late 1970s, the station changed its call letters again, this time to WFYV. The station changed its frequency to 104.5 MHz, coupled with a dramatic boost in power. WFYV began running 100,000 watts, the maximum permitted for non-grandfathered FM stations, allowing it to be heard throughout Jacksonville's expanding suburbs, from Southeast Georgia to St. Augustine and Gainesville. On March 10, 1980 WFYV became "The New Rock 105 FM, Where Rock Lives!" with an album rock format. Over the years, the station gradually shifted towards classic rock.
In 2010, following a format change at rival rock station 107.3 WPLA, WFYV shifted from classic rock to mainstream rock under the name "Rock 104.5, Jacksonville's Best Rock".
On April 10, 2013, Cox Media announced that "Rock 104.5" was going to "retire," effective April 28. On that day, at 10:07 PM, the station signed off with a live version of "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, followed by a minute of silence. After that, the station began stunting with a 5-minute loop of teasers of potential formats: Hot Talk as "Raw Talk, 104.5 The Bone," Soft AC as "Easy 104.5," Country as "104.5 Brad-FM," Urban Contemporary as "Power 104.5" and Spanish Tropical music as "Caliente 104.5." During the stunting, rock listeners were redirected to sister alternative rock station 102.9 (now 106.5) WXXJ.
The stunting lasted until midnight on May 1, 2013, when WFYV-FM changed to a simulcast of news/talk-formatted 690 WOKV, abandoning all music entirely. On May 16, 2013, WFYV-FM changed its callsign to WOKV-FM.
In October 2008, WFYV-FM host Gregg Stepp left the station to take a job in Bakersfield, California, as a Program Director. Stepp was then asked by WFYV-FM management to create a bit that would bring some attention to the station before announcing the return of "The Greaseman" to the Jacksonville airwaves a couple weeks later. Stepp decided to make everyone think he had quit live on-the-air, by giving listeners the idea that station management were planning on firing him but he was quitting before they had the chance. Stepp concluded his bit by saying:
Now I find out that there's another deal in the works with somebody else and they're only minutes away from handing me my walking papers! Well, here's your 15 second notice: Kiss my ass, Cox Radio Jacksonville, and especially you, Bill Hendrich and David Israel! You two empty suits will be lucky if this is the only time this happens to you, and it's gonna be a bright day in Jacksonville when your desks are emptied and radio is free of you. Now, this shows you how much they're paying attention, by the way, because they should have been in here by now, and if they were really listening to the radio stations they'd knew what was going on. So, thanks for nothing, rot in hell Cox Radio. I am gone!— Stepp's final words
This was followed by 11 seconds of dead air, and then music played. It was not revealed until much later that Stepp's "quitting" WFYV-FM was merely a bit.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1960 page A-131
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1991 page B-68
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1994 page B-76
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1995 page B-83
- Cox to Launch ESPN 690 Jacksonville Radioinsight - November 6, 2018
- "WOKV-AM NEWS TALK 690 - BUSINESS OFC". cylex-usa.com. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1969 page B-33
- WFYV DJ Quits live in mid-broadcast
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WOKV
- Radio-Locator Information on WOKV
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WOKV
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WOKV
- Radio-Locator information on WOKV
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WOKV