Sunday, January 13, 2013

Whatever happened to WLCY?

Man, when I was growing up, if you wanted new music up on the Florida panhandle, WLCY-AM 1380 was the station to tune to.  Mostly Top 40, but there was a lot of innovative music coming from that station too.  And at least in the daytime, when they could run full power and the signal came booming over the Gulf, up from the Tampa Bay area.  Like this:
See why we could get Tampa-area radio so well?  We always thought it "skipped" over the Gulf like CB or something, but in fact it was very much another major radio propagation effect, groundwave.  It may be called "ground," but it works even better over salt water.  Whatever the case, the fun went away at dark when the FCC made daytimer stations like WLCY turn down their power to reduce interference with other stations when the nighttime ionosphere actually did allow something akin to skip (i.e., skywave propagation) at AM broadcast band frequencies.

But I digress off into physics.  What actually became of WLCY?

To make it short, circa 1981 WLCY was sold and re-named WNSI-AM (News, Sports, & Information).  Later this was changed to WRBQ-AM, and finally WWMI.  Which is a.... Radio Disney affiliate.
Does it strike you too that it is just so freekin' wrong that a station that once proudly broadcast stuff by the New York Dolls has been reduced to Disney teeneybopper fare?  Worse yet, there's actual programming aimed at younger children going out through that same transmitter.  Hopefully the tower was sandblasted clean and repainted before programming for the younger set went out through it onto the airwaves.  Remember, this is the station that once ran the promo line "WLCY sticks it in your ear!"  Will somebody think of the children, pleeeze?!?!

OK, back to the history of WLCY, you can read more details about it at Wikipedia and at the labor-of-love site Radio Years.

Oh and one more thing.  This Channel Master could blast it out loud enough to hear WLCY over a howling pressroom:
Amazing what you can do with a handful of transistors and four D batteries if you're not too worried about shredding the speaker cone.

No comments:

Post a Comment