WLOQ-FM 103.1 
Windermere

 

Original Call Letters: WLOQ 

Originally Licensed: 1966 

Original City of License: Winter Park  

Original Frequency: 103.1

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 3,000 watts

Original Location: Langford Hotel, E. New England Ave.

Original Format: Beautiful Music 


Network Affiliation(s):


Owner(s):

1966-Clarke and Rutledge
1972-Rounsaville Radio, Atlanta
1972-Home Security Broadcasting Co.
1977-Gross Communications Corp. ($210,000)
2011-TTB Media Corporation  ($8,037,000)

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WLOQ-1966-Beautiful Music
WLOQ-1972-Beautiful Music/Light Classical
WLOQ-1980-Smooth Jazz  "Smooth Jazz 103.1 WLOQ"
WLOQ-2009-Smooth Jazz/Adult Contemporary "Smooth 103.1 WLOQ"

WLOQ-2011-On line Only Smooth Jazz/Adult Contemporary  


History of WLOQ 
From Steve Rutledge whose father John Rutledge was a co-founder of WLOQ in 1966.  "...He put WLOQ on the air in the Langford Hotel.  I got out of school to go over and watch the Poli Brothers put up the monopole for the antenna. It was a cool operation.  He formatted these beautiful music stations himself, no announcers, production (was done) at WLOF(-AM 950), almost a forerunner of the automation of today.
In June of 1977 Herbert Gross buys WLOQ from Home Security Broadcasting Co. for $210,000. In 1977 the station broadcast classical and beautiful music from a room in the Langford Hotel and kept its library of albums in a bathtub. Its signal was spotty even in Winter Park. It had no ratings. More than that, WLOQ needed to be unloaded fast by a broadcaster who would have broken federal radio ownership rules if he had kept it. Today that broadcaster wouldn't have had to sell. The rules have changed over the years and Herbert Gross was in the right place at the right time. Looking to expand into a metropolitan area, WLOQ was his doorway to the fast-growing Orlando market.


12-10-08  WLOQ received permission from the FCC increase its class of service to the community of Orlando, FL (Licensed to Winter Park) from a Class C3 license to a Class C2 FM Radio facility effective upon WLOQ's build-out in January 2009. This new FCC license will allow WLOQ to effectively increase its power from 25,000 Watts to 50,000 Watts. WLOQ will move its primary FM antenna to a new "twice taller tower" in Winter Garden, just west of its current tower site, giving the new signal far greater geographic coverage of the three county Orlando, FL, Metro Survey Area, and beyond, as well as far greater signal density to better penetrate office buildings, and homes within existing WLOQ coverage areas. The signal will now cover a far larger section of Central Florida, introducing its Smooth Jazz/Adult Contemporary format to a far larger potential audience including Orlando's newer bedroom communities, and its suburban dwellers and commuters. Lake County, one of the fastest growing areas of Orlando's greater metro area, will now enjoy higher quality primary signal coverage, as will Leesburg to the Northwest, Sumter to the West, Lakeland to the Southwest, and Southern Osceola County to the South-Southeast. 







For many years WLOQ would broadcast from the Langford Hotel in Winter Park.



Photo property of  
Winter Park Public Library


In introducing the smooth jazz format Gross passed on mainstream music and the prospect of being No. 1 in the market. Instead he carved a niche with a powerfully loyal upscale audience. Herb Gross' son John became general manager in 1980.  During his career, Herbert Gross owned five radio stations and a small cable television system; all but WLOQ were in Minnesota. WLOQ is Gross Communication Corp.'s only property now, but in the early days the company needed its other stations to generate cash flow. In 1977, WLOQ was the neglected stepsister to then powerhouse Top 40 station WLOF-AM 950. The late Robert Rounsaville of Atlanta, who also owned Top 40 station WBJW-FM 105.1 at the time, couldn't buy WLOF without selling WLOQ for Home Security Broadcasting first. Federal rules prevented stations from owning more than one AM and FM in a market. Enter Herb Gross. Rounsaville wound up paying Home Security $165,000 on top of Gross' $210,000 to seal the WLOQ deal. Gross said WLOQ was worth more than he paid, but he knew it would cost him plenty more. ''I bought the frequency,'' Gross said. ''I bought the potential, but you had to rebuild it from the ground up.''  For years, Gross turned all revenues back into the station. The first format was beautiful music with a jazz twist. In 1980, WLOQ became one of the first stations in the country to base its programming on the instrumentals and vocals of such artists as George Benson and Al Jarreau. In 1994, the station increased its signal from 3,000 watts to 25,000 watts, strengthening its reach into the outlying areas of metro Orlando.


Highlights in WLOQ History

1972-Call Letters “WLOQ” begin with “Beautiful Music/Light Classical” format

1977-The Gross Family buys the station and begins broadcasting from the Langford Hotel 

1977-WLOQ moves from the Langford Hotel to Comstock Ave 

1980-“Smooth Jazz” format debuts on WLOQ

1980-"Monday Night Cheek to Cheek" concert series debuts 

1981-WLOQ and Hyatt Orlando present "Weekend of Jazz" hosted by Bill Frangus 

1981-"Orlando Jazz Festival" in downtown Orlando launches as does the "Jazz Jams" concert series in Winter Park

1985-WLOQ moves from Comstock Ave to Fairbanks Ave in Winter Park

1986-WLOQ presents "Orlando Jazz Festival" at Lake Eola

1994-WLOQ increases its signal from 3,000 watts to 25,000 watts

1995-Gavin Award for Station of the Year and Steve Huntington wins Program Director of the Year

1997-Marconi Award for Jazz Station of the Year 

2004-WLOQ moves from Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park to Lucien Way in Maitland

2005-Transfer of control from Herbert Gross to Margaret Gross

2006-Radio and Records names WLOQ “Smooth Jazz Station of the Year” 

2007-"Smooth Jazz 103.1 WLOQ" presents the 30th Anniversary Concert 

2007-The city of license was moved from Winter Park to Windermere.

2008-WLOQ hosts first ever "Orlando Food and Wine Fest" in downtown Orlando 

2009-"Smooth Jazz 103.1 WLOQ" slogan changes to "Smooth 103.1 WLOQ"

2009-WLOQ increases its signal from 25,000 watts to 50,000 watts 

2011-Station is sold for just over $8 Million


WLOQ On The Selling Block    7-13-11
Gross Communications owners of family owned WLOQ-FM 103.1 has signed a purchase agreement with New York based TTB Media Corporation. The sale price is $8,037,000. TTB Media is run by Eran Schreiber. According to Radio Info.com "...the ultimate buyer as “Lindemann Capital Partners LP.” Adam Lindemann was the principal of the former Mega Communications group that specialized in running Spanish formats along the east coast."  TTB begins a LMA on August 1.

Welcome to WLOQ Online!    8-1-11
As difficult as the past few weeks have been with the sale of the 103.1fm signal becoming real, the possibility of remaining "On the Air" but in a new and different form also became a reality. WLOQ will continue to broadcast the music you have come to know as the 'WLOQ sound' on the Internet. You'll be able to hear us on your computer, your smart phone, and any web-enabled device -for free- without subscription or other fees. The technology may have changed... but the music will play on! Bear with us over the next few days and weeks as we navigate our way into this new way of doing business... and new way of connecting with our community and you, the listener. It is our desire to bring you the programming, events, and concerts you have supported and attended for the past three decades. It is your support that made the past 33 years possible, with that same support, we'll look forward to bringing you WLOQ now and in the future!

Thank you for listening!
Ken Jones
Operations Programming Manager  WLOQ.com


WLOQ - The Early Years
 by Dennis Snyder
WLOQ joined the Orlando area airwaves in 1966 licensed to Winter Park where their "Beautiful Music In Stereo" came from studios in the Langford Hotel for many years. Since this was a sister station to WLOF-AM 950 it was often said the letter F stood for "Fun" and the Q stood for "Quality".  WLOQ's 103.1 FM signal was only 2.1 KW with antenna gain boosting it to 3 KW.  The antenna was on a mast on the roof of the hotel and was just over 100 feet high. For many years WLOQ only played instrumental music and toned things down even more at night making it more of a background music station.  To some degree the music became a bit more lively over the years.  During the early 1970s WLOQ had a fairly good place in the ratings.  In the mid 1970s the station added some newer music and began to play a few easy listening vocalists such as Frank Sinatra, Ray Conniff Singers, and  Barbara Streisand. The station was "closed mike", so the board operators never talked on the air, with commercials, news, and PSA's recorded at WLOF.  A good number of people made their entry into broadcasting by starting at WLOQ in the earlier years.  Many have spoken of the record library being in the bathtub, but over the years a small library was built in the walk-in closet.  It was a rather cozy little station. To add some more variety there was a weekly jazz show with Alan Rock.  Classical music segments were also experimented with during the mid 1970s beginning with a weekly pre-recorded program by Paul Neal then expanding to daily segments with pre-recorded shows from Parkway Productions. While the jazz and classical added variety and enthusiasm for those who enjoy those types of music, ultimately the stations ratings and sales suffered and the classical and jazz were discontinued. In June 1977 WLOF and WLOQ were split and Herb Gross purchased WLOQ.  We continued with the easy listening music with plans to go live mike, but the control board was very close to the transmitter and too noisy.  The board was moved into the adjoining room and we opened up the mike for the first time. Ron Louis started it off in the morning, but this was a gradual change over a few weeks for the rest of the announcers who initially just gave the time, weather, and a few brief news stories. In the late summer of 1977 the studios moved over to 174 W Comstock with the transmitter remaining at the Langford briefly then was moved over to Johnson Communications on Minnesota Ave. Soon the station started moving towards the jazz music that it has now become well known for over the past 30 years.  The present day studios are on Fairbanks Ave close to the Comstock location while the transmitter (with higher power) is now just a few blocks from the old WLOF studios in the Old Winter Garden Rd area of Orlando. 


WLOQ  Personalities
Dennis Stevens (Snyder)-1972-1977 Biography In his latest email Dennis tells a couple of "tales".  Dick's (Camnitz)  account of walking out on the WLOQ balcony and locking the door behind him brings to mind the same experience I had; must have been a WLOQ tradition.  With a long cut on the turntable, I dashed across the parking lot to the drink machine only to return and find the front door had locked behind me. Checked with the hotel desk clerk who had no key, but suggested I check the sliding glass door on the balcony because some of the WLOQ folks leave the door cracked for that reason.  What a relief it was to find the door cracked so I returned without incident.

Another memorable time was  (with headphones on) in the wee hours while cranking out the elevator hits when I was startled by a police officer who I didn't hear open the door.  He informed me a bomb threat had been received for the (Langford) hotel and I must evacuate immediately.   This wasn't exactly on our list of "what to do" so I faded out the song on the air and started a new album.  Once across the street at Langford Apartments I called Louis (manager at the time) to let him know.  Fortunate once again, we were allowed to return without incident, still had an extra song or two to go on the album as well! 

Dick Camnitz-Dick tells a tale about himself. "WLOQ was all in a single hotel room when I worked there and albums were stored in the bathtub.  Some have heard this story before but one morning I walked out on the balcony for fresh air....probably trying to stay awake and locked the sliding glass door when I closed it.  I managed to climb down the balcony and get to the front desk to call Violet (Sidebottom) in time for her to jump out of bed and get to the station before the album ran out.  Luckily, I played the first cut.  She was livid, but got over it."

Dave Elliot-1973-News Director-Home Security Broadcasting Co.

Joe Francis-1977-Operations Manager/2000-2012-Public Affairs Director-Gross Communications Corp.    Biography


Bob Kelley
-1978-1992-Mornings/1979-1981-Program Director/1984-1992-Mornings with Bob Church-"Bob and Bob"/2005-Sat 10AM-3PM/Fill in-Gross Communications Corp.


Steve Kennedy-1979-1980-Weekend Overnights-Gross Communications Corp.  Biography
Bob Young (Bob Roth)-1980-1983-Weekends/Fill Ins-Gross Communications Corp.


Bill Frangus-1981
-Gross Communications Corp.

Ken Dixon-1982-1986-Overnights/1990-1994-Production Director-Gross Communications Corp.  Biography
Tom Barry-1983-1994-Movie/Theater Critic-Gross Communications Corp. 

Bob Church-1984-1992-Mornings with Bob Kelley-"Bob and Bob"/1987-Mornings/Program Director-Gross Communications Corp. 
In Memory


Tom Gillan-1984-1985-Evenings/Overnights/Weekends-Gross Communications Corp.
Lee Randall-1993-Production/Creative Director-Gross Communications Corp. 
Paul Newnum-1994-"Smokestack Lightnin'"-Gross Communications Corp.
Sabrina Kershner-1996-Morning co-host with Bob Church-Gross Communications Corp
Bill Wise-1998-Program Director-Gross Communications Corp.


Alan Spector-1999-Weekends-Gross Communications Corp.


Bob O'Brien (Bob Leszczak)-1999-2001-Mornings/Production Director-Gross Communications Corp.


Patricia James-1996-2009-10AM-2PM/Music Director/Public-relations Director-Gross Communications Corp.
2009-After 13 years Pat is let go by Gross Communications



Robyn Austin-2000-2003-"Smooth Jazz After Hours"/ Mornings
-Gross Communications Corp.

Bob Stephenson-2000-Production Director/Mornings/Evenings-Gross Communications Corp.



Bill Gable
-2001-2002-Morning Drive-Gross Communications Corp.



Brian Morgan-2003-Program Director-Gross Communications Corp.

Dave Kosh-2004-Program Director-Gross Communications Corp.
Ash Kimble-2005-Host of "The Chill Lounge"-Gross Communications Corp. (aka Kid Cruz when he worked at WXXL-FM 106.7)
Paul Lavoie-2007-Program Director-Gross Communications Corp.
Alicia Kaye-2010-“Lights Out Orlando”-Gross Communications Corp.  


Jennifer Armstrong-2011-2011-Promotions/Marketing Manager-Gross Communications Corp.  


Carren Sheldon
Ed Pasha-Host of the "Night Train" show-Gross Communications Corp.



Bud Brewer
Biography


Bill Bauman-News Biography
Byron Holden

Russ Wheeler
Biography
Richard Andrews
Alicia Rivas


Mark Taylor-Mornings
Eileen Foster-Morning Co-host
Anne Jeffries shares "Radio Tales" from the "media table" at Malcolm's Hungry Bear Restaurant


Kathy Cole
Stan Rearden
Al Crom
Lon Wagner
Melissa Algood
Aldie Beard
Jay Klassen
Lucy Barnard
Jim Kirk
Brock Lesperence
Drew Townsend

Kerry Gardner

Brian Schmitz

Dave Mills
Lee Hogan
Laura Bourdeau
Tom Brooks


Mark Butler
-"Landscapes"-Sunday-6:30AM-10AM    



Yvonne Coleman   

Cathy Johnson
David Kosh-Program Director 
Kenneth Troy
Scott Wade
Sabrina
Don Kirby
Paul Thomas
Steve Huntington-Program Director
Lee Hogan
Scott Silver Biography


Dan Jones Biography
Patrick Riley-Nights



Mick Dolan-
Morning co-host/Nights
Louis Satmaria



Greg Warmoth

Robin Austin



Allen Moore
-News



Kevin Baldinger
-Traffic
Biography



Jaime Lerner

Robin Cole
Greg Wells-Afternoon Drive In Memory
Ron Lewis


Thom Robinson

                   


Other Names in WLOQ History



John Rutledge
-1966-Partner/General Manager-Clarke and Rutledge In Memory Biography

Bill Clarke-1966-Partner-Clarke and Rutledge

Don Welsh-1966-Sales Manager-Clarke and Rutledge
Bob Corley-1966-Operations Manager-Clarke and Rutledge
Violet Sidebottom-1966-Operations Manager/Chief Engineer-Clarke and Rutledge
Pamela Lawrence-1966-Board Operator-Clarke and Rutledge
James Buckley-1971-Operations Manager-Clarke and Rutledge
Warren Chenevert-1971-Chief Engineer-Clarke and Rutledge
Robert Rounsaville-1972-President-Rounsaville Radio
Carl Glicken-1973-President/General Manager-Home Security Broadcasting Co.
Jerry Frericks-1973-Commercial Manager-Home Security Broadcasting Co.
Tim Sawyer-1973-Chief Engineer-Home Security Broadcasting Co.
Luke Beasley-1974-Chief Engineer-Home Security Broadcasting Co.
Herb Gross-1977-President-Gross Communications Corp.


John Gross
-1979-General Manager/1980-Vice President/Chief of Operations-Gross Communications Corp. 
In Memory
Jim Gross-1995-General Sales Manager-Gross Communications Corp.
Kevin Smith-1998-National Sales Manager-Gross Communications Corp.
Kim McFadden-1998-General Manager/General Sales Manager-Gross Communications Corp.



Rick Weinkauf
-2000-2007-Vice President/General Manager-Gross Communications Corp.
Rick announced his retirement in 2007   Biography

Stace Donlon-2000-Promotions Director-Gross Communications Corp.
David Chambers-2000-Chief Engineer-Gross Communications Corp.
Jamie Roberts-2002-Weekends/2003-Production Director/Swing Shifts-Gross Communications Corp.
Ken Marks-1995-2010-General Sales Manager/Vice President/General Manager-Gross Communications Corp.
Amy McGuire-2002-Promotion Director-Gross Communications Corp.
Dennis Sloatman-2002-Chief Engineer-Gross Communications Corp.
Jeff Uryga-2005-Promotions Manager-Gross Communications Corp.
Jennifer Rabaja-2007-Sales Manager
Mark Steinmetz-2008-President and Chief Operating Officer
Ken Jones-2010-Program Director/Operations Manager-Gross Communications Corp.
Pete DeSimone-2011-2011 -Vice President/General Manager-Gross Communications Corp
Paul Cross-Program Director-Gross Communications Corp.
David Martin Young-Engineer  In Memory
Carole Smock-Advertising Manager   In Memory
wloq72a.jpg (19310 bytes)
Here is a photo of the WLOQ studio in 1972.

 

wloq70sa.jpg (24669 bytes)  
After a little  updating, new  cart machines, new turntables, and the addition of
 reel to reel machines for  the classical  programs        
                                                                                                

studio photos courtesy of Dennis Snyder


    WLOQ_studios.jpg (56305 bytes)             
WLOQ studio in 1977

WLOQ 2004.jpg (70205 bytes)
WLOQ studios in 2004

WLOQ Program Log mid 60s.jpg (86893 bytes) WLOQ_Dennis_Snyder_1972.jpg (52346 bytes)
Dennis kicks back while the time and 
temperature machine "Bertha" keeps watch 


wloq1031 towers.JPG (1796274 bytes)

WLOQ
Tower 

 courtesy of Paul Walker 


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