WRUF (AM)

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WRUF
WRUF ESPN98.1-850 logo.jpg
CityGainesville, Florida
Broadcast areaGainesville/Ocala, Florida
BrandingESPN 98.1/850
Frequency850 kHz
Translator(s)98.1 MHz (W251CG-Gainesville)
First air dateOctober 1928
FormatSports
Power5,000 watts
ClassB
Facility ID69151
Callsign meaningW Radio from the University of Florida
AffiliationsESPN Radio
OwnerUniversity of Florida
WebcastListen Live
Websitewruf.com

WRUF (850 AM) is a radio station that operates from the University of Florida's main campus in Gainesville, broadcasting at 850 kHz. WRUF is a sports station. Unlike its public sister stations, WUFT-TV and WUFT-FM, WRUF is a commercial station and, despite being state-run, is run no differently from privately owned commercial stations.

The station signed on in October 1928 and is the fifth-oldest station in the state.

WRUF featured a mixture of local and syndicated programs, including Jim Bohannon, Dr. Joy Browne, Larry King Live and Sporting News Radio, plus religious programming on Sunday mornings, including Bill Gaither, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and local church services. Network news are provided by Associated Press and CBS Radio.

The Brand Manager is Rob Harder, Operations Manager is Brett Holcomb and the Sports Director is Steve Russell.

WRUF's news and sports departments, staffed almost entirely by School of Journalism students, are fairly large for a station of its size; by at least one account it has the largest local radio news department in Florida.

A WRUF microphone used by UF alumnus Red Barber during the 1930s is part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's collection. It has been displayed in the museum's "Scribes and Mikemen" exhibit and from 2002 to 2006 it was a part of the "Baseball as America" traveling exhibition.

In 2010, WRUF changed their format from news and talk (previously in existence since 1993 and known as Newsradio AM 850 WRUF) to sports (Sportsradio 850) and on June 29, 2012, WRUF received the ESPN Radio affiliation. [1]

The station is an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays radio network, Tampa Bay Lightning and Jacksonville Jaguars. It is the flagship station for the Florida Gators football, basketball, baseball, women's basketball, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball.

On August 19, 2015, WRUF began simulcasting on FM translator W237EJ 95.3 FM in Gainesville. It exists mainly to fill in the gaps when the main signal must adjust its coverage to protect a glut of clear-channel stations on adjacent channels. Shortly afterward, the station changed its branding from "ESPN 850" to "ESPN 95.3," after the translator.

On December 1, 2016, WRUF switched its FM translator from W237EJ 95.3 FM Gainesville (now simulcasting WUFT-HD3 as CHR-formatted GHQ) to W251CG 98.1 FM Gainesville.[2]

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WRUF ESPNGainesville logo.png (WRUF's logo under previous 95.3 FM translator)

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Coordinates: 29°38′34″N 82°25′13″W / 29.64278°N 82.42028°W / 29.64278; -82.42028