WTBN

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WTBN
City Pinellas Park, Florida
Broadcast area Tampa Bay area
Branding Faith Talk 570/910
Frequency 570 kHz
Repeater(s) WTWD 910 kHz, Plant City, Florida
First air date March 12, 1966 (as WFSO)
Format Religious
Power 5,000 watts day and night
Class B
Facility ID 51985
Transmitter coordinates 28°12′40.00″N 82°31′46.00″W / 28.2111111°N 82.5294444°W / 28.2111111; -82.5294444
Callsign meaning W Tampa Bay News (previous news/talk format)
Former callsigns WFSO (1966-1978)
WPLP (1978-1989)
WTKN (1989-1991)
WHNZ (1991-2000)
Owner Salem Communications
(Common Ground Broadcasting, Inc.)
Sister stations WGUL, WWMI
Webcast Listen Live
Website letstalkfaith.com

WTBN (570 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Pinellas Park, Florida and serving the Tampa Bay area.[1] The station is owned by Salem Communications and it airs a religious radio format.[2] Most of the schedule is made up of brokered programming where national religious leaders pay Salem Communications for 30 to 60 minute time blocks. Hosts include Dr. Charles Stanley, Jim Daly and Jay Sekulow.[3]

WTBN's programming is simulcast on WTWD 910 AM, licensed to Plant City, Florida, and serving the eastern portion of the Tampa Bay radio market. Both WTBN and WTWD operate with 5,000 watts day and night with directional antennas. WTBN's transmitter is off Tower Way in Land O' Lakes, Florida.[4] WTWD's transmitter is off Sidney-Dover Road in Dover.[5] The studios and offices for both stations are on West Laurel Street in Tampa.[6]

History[edit]

For the history of the 570 frequency prior to WTBN, see WPLP.

WFSO[edit]

On March 12, 1966, AM 570 first signed on as WFSO. It began as a daytime only station, broadcasting at only 500 watts.[7] For most of its early years, it was owned by the Pinellas Broadcasting Corporation, broadcasting a blend of album rock and Top 40 music.

WPLP[edit]

In 1978, it was acquired by International Broadcasters, Inc. and became Tampa Bay's first full-time news/talk station, as WPLP.[8] The new owners, in addition to changing the format and call sign, also boosted the power to 1,000 watts, around the clock. The station affiliated with CBS Radio News and the Mutual Broadcasting System, carrying the syndicated Larry King Show overnight.

In 1984, WPLP was bought by Guy Gannett Communications, which owned radio stations, TV stations and newspapers around the country. Gannett kept the news/talk format in place for the five years it owned WPLP.[9]

WHNZ[edit]

In 1989, the station was acquired by Paxson Broadcasting, a company started by Florida multi-millionaire Bud Paxson after he sold the Home Shopping Network. For two years, its call letters were WTKN, continuing as a talk station. In 1991, Paxson switched the format to Business News and Talk, changing the call letters to WHNZ for "Wins Radio," implying that if you listened to the station, you'd win at business.

In 1998, Clear Channel Communications (which is today iHeartMedia, Inc.) bought WHNZ in anticipation of a three-way frequency swap, also involving AM 620 and AM 1250. On January 1, 2000, Clear Channel moved WDAE's all-sports format from 1250 to 620. It moved WHNZ's business talk format from 570 to 1250. And it created a news/talk station on 570 with the call letters WTBN, standing for Tampa Bay News.

WTBN and WTWD[edit]

The news/talk format on 570 didn't last long. By the following year, Salem Communications had bought the station, keeping the WTBN call letters but switching the format to Christian radio.[10] In July 2000, Salem had also bought AM 910 in Plant City, which had been running its own sports talk format. Salem's religious format had begun on WTWD several months before it debuted on WTBN.

WTWD first signed on in July 1949. At the time, it was WPLA, broadcasting at 1570 kHz, powered at 500 watts, on the air days only.[11] By the 1960s, it had moved to its current dial position at 910 kHz, with 1000 watts, but still as a daytimer, playing country music.[12] By the 1980s, the station had gotten nighttime authorization, also at 1,000 watts. In the 1990s, it was sports talk WFNS, boosted to 5,000 watts fulltime, before it was bought by Salem and converted to Christian radio, in 2000.

Gary Gauthier[edit]

WTBN and WTWD previously broadcast two shows hosted by Gary Gauthier, It's God's Money and All About Florida Real Estate, until Gauthier was arrested in January 2014 for running a Ponzi scheme from 2005 until 2010, which allegedly allowed Gauthier and a partner to bilk $6 million from the retirement savings of at least 38 people.[13][14]


References[edit]

External links[edit]