WKPE-FM 104.1
Cocoa Beach

 

Original Call Letters: WRKT

Originally Licensed: May 8, 1962 

Original City of License: Cocoa Beach  

Original Frequency: 104.1

Origin of Call Letters: Sounds like; KPE=Cape (Cape Canaveral) 

Original Power: 100,000 watts 

Original Location: 

Original Format: Progressive Rock


Network Affiliation(s):


Owner(s):

1962-C. Sweet Smith
1968-Bucks County Radio News
1972-Flagler Broadcasting Company, Inc.
1981-Guy Gannett Broadcasting Services, Inc.
1992-Paxson Communications Corp ($18.6 Million with WWNZ-AM 740, WINZ-AM 940, WZTA-FM 94.9 )
1993-Press Broadcasting ($5 million-Gannett Broadcasting)
1996-Paxson Broadcasting ($25 million)
1997-Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
2007-Aloha Station Trust, LLC, as Trustee
2008-Clear Channel Communications, Inc.


History Of Call Letters and Formats:


WRKT-1962-Bonneville Automated  
WKPE-1970-Progressive Rock     "Cape Radio"
WRKT-1977-Top 40     "Rocket 104"
WRKT-1980-Adult Contemporary   "Rocket 104"
WSSP-1981-Country     "Brevard's Stereo Country 104"
WSSP-1985-Easy listening  "WSSPer 104"
WZTU-1992-Adult Contemporary  "U-104.1"
WHVE-1992-Top 40   "One Hundred Four Point One, The Wave"
WVRI-1992-Talk-simulcast of WWNZ-AM 740 
WWNZ-1993-Talk  "Real Radio"
WTKS-1993-Talk   "Real Radio 104.1"
WTKS-1997-Talk, Modern Rock on weekends "Real Radio 104.1"


History of WKPE
From Brian Douglas; "...104.1 was a Progressive Rock station from maybe 1967 through 1970(?).  It was called "KPE-FM" and was automated (in stereo).  By 1969, they added a live, local morning show.  I "think" it was originally on 104.3, but moved to 104.1 in some frequency switch in the late 60s."


From Rick Morton
:
"...I was on WRKT-AM 1300 from about 1966-1968 when I went to WDVH-AM 980 in Gainesville...In late '68 I came back to RKT to turn the "good music" FM into WKPE with an easy rock format, fashioned after WNEW-FM in NY. We were automated but I did a live evening show for a while. I would actually record the show and let the automation run it. I was on the air the night of the Apollo fire, sadly. I remember the "confidential" call I got from a listener on the cape. I had a sidekick - a pretty girl - named Peppy Playmate - real name Sandy Valles. I inherited the "Peppy" name from the guy I replaced... She wasn't on the air, but answered phones and gave me something to talk about if I was stuck. I brought Bill Marlin and Al Radlein to the station from WARN, a little station in Ft. Pierce. When I was first there, the station was owned by C. Sweet Smith, a real character who would drive to the station in his Porsche down Pluckebaum road like a bat out of hell. He went in the canal more than once. Later, the station was bought by Chris Young, a young guy from Bucks County, PA.  His station manager, I don't remember the name, used to walk around with an actual crown and make people call him King. Seriously. You could buy a spot for about a dollar in those days. We used to pray for some national or regional spot who might pay as much as $3. Imagine. No wonder there were so many trade outs. I did a show on weekends from the Tiger's Den which was put on by the (city) recreation department and was a popular place on Saturday nights. They had local Florida bands, the favorite of which were the Tropics from Tampa..."

Orlando Evening Star
Jim Lewis 

Jan 2, 1969

John Meder, general manager of WRKT(-AM 1300) and WKPE, its FM station, is doing a fantastic job with its rock music policy. Whereas, most FM stations play sedate back-ground music, Meder says as far as he knows WKPE was the first FM-rock-stereo station in Florida. This Is a quote from Mr. Meder: "Public reaction to this policy far exceeded our anticipations." Rock music is broadcast 24 hours a day on 104.3 megacycles on the FM dial. Rick Morton, a very popular rock-n-roll personality on WRKT before going to Omaha, was brought back by popular demand to program the new FM rock format He himself is on the air from 3 until 7 p.m. every day Monday through Saturday. FM Is the only way to hear rock, says Mr. Meder. "An example of this Is the Beatles' "Hey Jude," he declared. "This was recorded on a 16 track tape recorder and has an extraordinary amount of sophistic ated music pumped into each record, much of which is lost on the small spectrum of AM."


Florida Today
Oct. 29, 1972
Mr. Chet Pike, President of Flagler Broadcasting Company. Inc., owner and operator of radio stations WRKT-AM and WKPE-FM (104.1), Cocoa Beach, announces the appointment of Mr. Ron Burgess as Station Manager of both stations. Mr. Burgess, a longtime resident of Brevard County, started his advertising career as Account Executive with Universal Advertising of Tulsij, Oklahoma. Mr. Burgess advertising associations in Brevard County beginning 1965 include the Orlando Sentinel as an Advertising Representative and Sales Manager WEZY Mr Burgess joined WRKT in April of 1971 as Sales Manager and was instrumental in the total reorganization of both WRKT and WKPE-FM (104.1) with Flagler Broadcasting. As Station Manager of both stations, Mr. Burgess will be, responsible for the day to day operations of WRKT and WKPE - FM which includes the Sales, Program, and Engineering Departments.


From Marc Tyll;
After WKPE dropped its AOR format, the calls went back to WRKT-FM and the format became Top 40 as "Rocket 104".


Names In WKPE History

C. Sweet Smith-1962-1968-Original Owner

Chris Young-1968-President-Bucks County Radio News




Rick Morton-1970-Bucks County Radio News



Lee Arnold-1970-Bucks County Radio News

Peppy Playmate (Sandy Valles)-Bucks County Radio News 

John Meder-General Manager-Bucks County Radio News 
Chet Pike-1972-President of Flagler Broadcasting Company. Inc.

Ron Burgess-1972-Commercial Manager-Bucks County Radio News/Station Manager-Flagler Broadcasting Company, Inc.

Bill Baker

Bill Marlin

Al Radlein


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