|Broadcast area||Greater Orlando|
|Branding||96.9 The Game|
|Slogan||Orlando's Sports Leader|
|Translator(s)||96.9 W245CL (Deltona)|
|Repeater(s)||101.1 WJRR-HD2 (HD Radio needed)|
|First air date||February 8, 1947|
|Callsign meaning||W Y GaMe|
|Affiliations||Fox Sports Radio
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WFLF, WJRR, WMGF, WRUM, WTKS-FM, WXXL|
|Website||FM 96.9 The Game|
WYGM (740 kHz "96.9 The Game"), is a commercial AM radio station in Orlando, Florida, United States. It is owned by iHeartMedia and airs an all sports radio format. Programming is simulcast on FM translator station W245CL at 96.9 MHz in nearby Deltona, Florida, and uses its FM dial position in its moniker, "96.9 The Game." It is also heard on the HD-2 channel of co-owned WJRR 101.1.
WYGM has studios and offices in iHeart's Orlando facility in Maitland. It operates at the maximum AM power permitted by the Federal Communications Commission, 50,000 watts at all times, but because AM 740 is a clear-channel Canadian frequency, reserved for Class A CBL in Toronto, WYGM must use a directional antenna. By contrast, WYGM's translator operates at only 250 watts. WYGM's transmitter is off Tower Pine Drive in Winter Haven.
Evenings, late nights and weekends, WYGM carries the Fox Sports Radio Network, which is syndicated by Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of WYGM's parent company, iHeartMedia. Each weekday, the station features local shows, beginning with "Open Mike" hosted by Mike Bianchi. A local weekday late morning show is called "The Beat of Sports" with Marc Daniels and Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel. Weekday afternoons are hosted by Brandon Kravitz and the Shot Doctor, in a show called "The Sports RX." WYGM also carries The Herd with Colin Cowherd in early afternoons, syndicated by Fox Sports.
On February 8, 1947, the station signed on as WORZ. It originally broadcast with 1,000 watts and was an affiliate of the NBC Red Network. In the 1960s as WKIS, the station was a full service middle of the road music station. In 1979, WKIS changed to a news/talk format.
In March 1988, the station was bought by Guy Gannett Communications, becoming an affiliate of the ABC Talk Radio Network and airing CBS Radio News, plus local news with an eleven person staff. The call sign changed to WWNZ ("Wins") on May 12, 1988. Gannett raised the power from 5KW non-directional day and 1KW 3 tower directional nights, to 50,000 watts both day and night from the new site in Lake County just outside Orange County. The new the site used 6 towers with one specially configured wagon wheel top array to better control the nighttime skywave.
WQTM debuted as a sports talk station, "The Team", in January 1995 on AM 540. In January 2001, WQTM transitioned over to 740 by simulcasting on both frequencies for one month. Beginning in February, the transition was complete, and 540 AM became WFLF (NewsRadio 540 WFLA), also owned by iHeartMedia.
740 The Team carried several local shows:
- The Dan Sileo Show from 6-9 a.m.
- Keep 'N Score from 9-10 a.m. hosted by Orlando Sentinel columnists
- Coach and Company from 3-6 p.m. hosted by Marc Daniels, the voice of UCF Knights radio broadcasts, and accompanied by then-Florida Gators reporter "Stunning" Steve Egan. "The Freak" Mark Lloyd was also part of the show through 2001, after which he left and joined the WWE announcing staff.
- The Finish Line from 6-9 p.m. hosted by Knights sideline reporter Jerry O'Neill along with "The Shot Doctor" and Mike Tuck (often pre-empted by live sports).
- 740 The Team was also the Orlando affiliate of The Jim Rome Show and Fox Sports Radio.
On October 12, 2006, Clear Channel announced the dismissal of twelve-year program director, and show host Marc Daniels. The move was made as part of budget cuts. Steve Egan was also dismissed. Speculation in an Orlando Sentinel article suggested the station would possibly undergo a format change. On November 10, 2006, it was announced that WQTM's summer 2006 ratings fell to an average of 0.6 (84,000 listeners), falling behind competitor 1080 WHOO.
On October 1, 2007, WQTM changed its morning lineup. It dropped Keep 'N Score, a one-hour show hosted by Orlando Sentinel columnists which ran from May 2003, and Fox Sports Radio's Out of Bounds, in favor of the newly re-launched Dan Patrick Show from 9 a.m. to noon.
In January 2008, further changes were made at 740 AM, and other Clear Channel-owned stations in the market. The station transitioned to a Spanish-language format. Pat Campbell left 540 WFLA's morning show. Dan Sileo's morning show was put in its place at 540, and it was simulcast on WDAE in Tampa as well. The Finish Line with Mike Tuck and The Shot Doctor also moved to 540 (taking its normal 6-9 p.m. timeslot). The Jim Rome Show was picked up by rival station WHOO, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers affiliation switched to RealRadio 104.1.
Transition back to sports radio
After many rumors, Clear Channel Orlando announced on January 23, 2009 that the Sports talk format would return in February 2009.
WQTM received new call letters WYGM on February 11, 2009. 740 began stunting at 5 p.m., on Friday, February 13. As expected, the station went back to sports, this time branded as "740 The Game" on Monday, February 16 (the previous " Team" moniker had been snagged during the sabbatical by WHOO). 740 The Game resumed affiliation with Fox Sports Radio. Rick Everett became the station's Program Director. He is also the PD for rock-formatted sister station WJRR.
In May 2009, The Dan Sileo Show transitioned back from 540 WFLA and became the 6-9 a.m. morning anchor program on "740 The Game." The Finish Line, however, did not return. Initially, the Shot Doctor was fired by Clear Channel and Mike Tuck moved to WHOO to re-unite with Jerry O'Neill. Later, the Shot Doctor returned in July to host a new afternoon show, The Sports Rx, from 3pm-6pm. Dan Sileo was dropped from Orlando to focus as a Tampa Bay host. He was eventually replaced by Mike Bianchi at the 6-9am slot in 2011. Sileo has since relocated to San Diego to host mornings on 1090 XEPRS.
By 2013, original anchor Marc Daniels (who had spent time at WHOO), returned to 740 AM, and started a new morning program, The Beat of Sports from 9am-noon, co-hosted by Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel.
In 2010, WYGM began simulcasting on WTKS-FM "Real Radio 104.1" as HD Radio subchannel WTKS-FM HD-3. On May 6, 2012, WYGM switched its HD Radio simulcast from WTKS-FM HD-3 to WJRR HD-2 with the demise of "Channel X".
WYGM began carrying The Jim Rome Show in April 2009. Jim Rome's program left the station at the end of 2012, coinciding with his move to CBS Sports Radio, resulting in his show moving to CBS affiliate 810 WRSO in the Orlando market, and is now heard on 1080 WHOO.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1949 page 103
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1989 page B-66
- Rick Edwards, I built the system
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1993 page B-79
- "WWNZ-AM 740 Orlando". Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- "Call Sign History (WYGM)". Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- The `Shot Doctor' is in
- Orlando's Game Adds FM Signal
- FM 96.9 The Game
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WYGM
- Radio-Locator Information on WYGM
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WYGM
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W246BO
- Radio-Locator information on W246BO