|City of license||Tampa, Florida|
|Broadcast area||Tampa Bay Area|
|Branding||Tampa Bay's Q105|
|Frequency||104.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||June 1954 (as WPKM)|
HD2: Contemporary Christian "The Faith"
|Callsign meaning||Ralph Beaver (station engineer)
|Former callsigns||WPKM (1954-1972)
|Owner||Beasley Broadcast Group
(WXTU License Limited Partnership)
|Sister stations||WBRN-FM, WHFS, WLLD, WQYK-FM, WYUU|
WRBQ-FM (104.7 FM, "Q105") is a commercial classic hits music formatted radio station in Tampa, Florida. Owned by Beasley Broadcast Group, its studios are in St. Petersburg while its transmitter is in Palm River-Clair Mel.
Formerly WPKM and later WEZX, 104.7 switched to a Top 40 format as WRBQ ("Q105") in December 1973. From 1977, Cleveland Wheeler served as morning deejay and radio personality. The station hired Scott Shannon as program director in 1981; Shannon and Wheeler soon developed the first morning zoo radio show in the U.S. The two decided to break with tradition and work up a wilder show together, founded on their own playful, irreverent and provocative interaction, with spontaneous bits of parody and comedy leavened with straight news. They called the show the Q Morning Zoo, and it quickly became a hit. At its height, it had 85 people working to produce it. Dave Saint, Jack Harris, Bill Garcia, Uncle Johnny, Alan O’Brien, Tedd Webb, Pat McKay, and Mason Dixon were all involved with the station as on-air personalities. Q105 quickly overtook WLCY-FM, which had signed on three years earlier with an automated rock format.
According to engineer Ralph Beaver, the station's call sign was created when they were looking for a set of unique call letters and tossing out ideas, he suggested ‘RB’ (which happened to be his initials). Southern Broadcasting, which then owned the station, had just signed on WRVQ in Richmond, Virginia, and ‘RB’ was available, creating a call sign that sounded similar to its sister station.
When it signed on, WRBQ-FM was owned by Southern Broadcasting. In 1978, the station was purchased by Harte-Hanks, then in 1983, by Edens Broadcasting, headed by former Southern Broadcasting and Harte-Hanks executive Gary Edens. WRBQ would add an AM simulcast on 1380 AM that same year.
For the first 20 years, Q105 was a Top 40 station, and dominated in the ratings in Tampa. In the early eighties, Program Director Scott Shannon and morning show host Cleveland Wheeler began the "Q Morning Zoo," which spawned imitators across the industry. The station was able to maintain its popularity until 1989, when crosstown Oldies station WFLZ changed to an aggressive CHR/Top 40 format called "The New Power 93, The Power Pig!" Part of WFLZ's plan was to mock and belittle Q105. The main aspect of their campaign were billboards all over Tampa saying "Screw The Q" with the letter "Q" and a large screw through it.
Q105 continued on against The Power Pig for a few more years, but was unable to regain the ratings they once enjoyed. In 1993, WRBQ FM/AM were purchased by Clear Channel Communications, who switched the AM station to the satellite-fed urban AC service "The Touch", and the FM station to a country format on April 2 at 1:05 PM, keeping the Q105 name and logo (albeit recolored in a red, white and blue motif). The switch to country was an immediate ratings success, climbing from 13th all the way to 2nd, beating every station except then-rival (now sister station) country competitor WQYK-FM. WRBQ continued as a successful country radio station until the early 2000s.
At one time, WRBQ was the flagship radio station for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League, becoming perhaps the first top-40 station in the U.S. to carry live play-by-play sporting events. Jesse Ventura, the former professional wrestler and actor who later became governor of Minnesota, was one of the team's color analysts.
In 2000, as a result of the merger of Clear Channel and AMFM, WRBQ was sold to Infinity Broadcasting, now CBS Radio, and became WQYK's sister station. On April 18, 2002, under the lobbying of former WRBQ Program Director Mason Dixon, who was Program Director of WRBQ's sister station WYUU (which at the time was an oldies station), WRBQ and WYUU swapped formats. WYUU became "Outlaw 92.5" (WYUU later dropped country for a Hispanic format in 2005), while WRBQ became an oldies station. Since that time, WRBQ has had an oldies format under program director Mason Dixon, first as "Oldies 104.7", then back to the "Q105" branding in July 2005, tweaking the format to classic hits ("The Greatest Hits of All Time").
In 2008, Scott Walker was hired to be WRBQ's on air Program Director and midday host. This was done to allow Mason Dixon to focus entirely on his morning show duties. In 2013, Brian Thomas programmed WRBQ and sister station WQYK for a short period of time.
In recent years, WRBQ-FM has brought back jingles from its CHR days on the air. These include cuts from the "Positron", "Outstanding", "The Rock", "FM", "The Flame Thrower", "Warp Factor,", "Red Hot", "Power Station", "Skywave," "Turbo Z," and "Z World" packages, all from JAM Creative Productions; the Q105 jingle melody, in its present incarnation, was modeled after that of "Z100," WHTZ in New York.
On October 2, 2014, CBS Radio announced that it would trade 14 radio stations located in Tampa (including WRBQ) and Charlotte, as well as WIP in Philadelphia, to the Beasley Broadcast Group in exchange for 5 stations located in Miami and Philadelphia. The swap was completed on December 1, 2014.
- Belcher, Walt (July 21, 2011). "Recalling the days of Q Morning Zoo". The Tampa Tribune.
- CBS And Beasley Swap Philadelphia/Miami For Charlotte/Tampa from Radio Insight (October 2, 2014)
- Venta, Lance (December 1, 2014). "CBS Beasley Deal Closes". RadioInsight. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- WRBQ-FM Official Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WRBQ
- Radio-Locator information on WRBQ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WRBQ
- Audio: Cat Sommers Aircheck, 1981 (sorabji.com) Mason Dixon actually on first 2 breaks
- Audio: Mason Leroy Dixon Aircheck, 1982 (sorabji.com)