WRXB

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WRXB
City St. Pete Beach, Florida
Broadcast area Tampa Bay
Slogan Praise 1590
Frequency 1590 kHz
Translator(s) W243AK 96.5 FM
Bradenton, Florida
First air date 1959 (as WILZ)
Last air date November 14, 2017
Format Urban Gospel
Power 5,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
Class B
Facility ID 57478
Transmitter coordinates 27°44′3.00″N 82°41′8.00″W / 27.7341667°N 82.6855556°W / 27.7341667; -82.6855556
Callsign meaning Rhythm X (and) Blues
Former callsigns WILZ (until 1975)
Owner Polnet Communications, Ltd
Website WRXB Online

WRXB (1590 AM) was a commercial American radio station broadcasting an Urban Gospel format. Licensed to St. Pete Beach, Florida, with studios and a transmitter in St. Petersburg, it served the Tampa Bay area until it ceased broadcasting on November 14, 2017.[1]

Originally owned by Holiday Isles Broadcasting Company, the station signed on the air as WILZ on December 4, 1957, from its studios at 7500 Boca Ciega Drive in St. Pete Beach.[2] Its initial programming format consisted of nostalgic pop music featuring "all time favorites from 1925 to the present."[2] One of its disc jockeys in the early 1960s was Elmo Tanner, the former singer and whistler with the Ted Weems Orchestra.[3]

In 1969, Millbeck Broadcasting bought the station, maintaining the nostalgia format but adding New York Mets baseball.[2] The station subsequently changed its format to Top 40 as Z16 and, in 1973, changed to an oldies format as Solid Gold 16.[2] In 1975, WILZ was bought by Gene Danzey, a former General Manager for WTMP in Tampa, who retooled the station as WRXB, the region's first black owned station.[4]

Danzey would later sell the station in 1996 to Rolyn Communications, Inc.[5] A transfer was requested to Metropolitan Radio Group in 1996, but that transfer was not completed until 1999. In 2000, Gary Acker (owner of Metropolitan Radio Group) died, and control of the station passed to his estate, which was overseen by Mark Acker. In 2007, the station was sold to Polnet Communications, the owner and licensee when it went off the air November 14, 2017.[1]

Past announcers at WRXB included Jim Murray, Rob Simone and Sister Dianne Hughes. WRXB also featured state legislator Wengay Newton (D-St. Petersburg) with a weekly community program, along with Pastor Brian Anderson's The Voice of the Village and Undignified Praise and Worship, produced by Richard Guess.[1] Other announcers included Ivan Summers and Tony King hosting TK's Midday Cafe.

On August 20, 2009, WRXB had its first major format change in over 30 years when it switched to 24-hour gospel programming.[4] Gene Danzey died of respiratory failure on May 29, 2012.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Moore, Waveney Ann (December 8, 2017). "Historic WRXB-AM no longer on the air". St. Petersburg Times. p. 12. 
  2. ^ a b c d "WILZ - A History". RadioYears.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  3. ^ "Risher Motors newspaper ad featuring Elmo Tanner". The Evening Independent. 17 November 1961. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  4. ^ a b c Tampa Bay Times: "Gene Danzey launched the first local black-owned radio station", June 7, 2012.
  5. ^ http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/altc_list.pl?Facility_id=57478

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