WPUL-AM 1590 

South Daytona

 

Original Call Letters: WDAT

Originally Licensed: Mar 14, 1957
Original City of License: South Daytona
Original Frequency: 1590
Origin of Call Letters:
Original Power: 1,000 watts day time/32 watts night time
Translator: 2020-W264DP 100.7 Daytona Beach
Original Location: 427 Dr Martin Luther King Blvd South Daytona Beach 
Original Format: Gospel


Network Affiliation(s):


American Urban
Sheridan
Air America
CBS

Owner(s):

1957
-Thomas Carr

1957-Daytona Broadcasting Company

1959-Quality Broadcasting of Daytona, Inc.

1963-Seven Cities Broadcasting Corp.

1967-Peeples Broadcasting Company

1972-WELE Radio, Inc.

1972-WELE Radio, Inc. (New Ownership)
1988-Tama Broadcasting Inc. ($85,000)
  1989-Psi Communications, Inc. ($250,000)
2015-The Julia Cherry Living Revocable Trust
2016-Central Florida Communicators Group, LLC (Glenn Cherry)  ($25,000) 

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WDAT-1957-Country Western
WELE-1959-Country Western
WELE-1963-Negro
WELE-1967-Country
WZIP-1981-Oldies
WZIP-1986-Country
WPUL-1988-Black Gospel/R&B Oldies  "Victory Radio"
WPUL-1991-Black
WPUL-1991-Jazz/Oldies
WPUL-1996-Urban Contemporary
WPUL-2001-Gospel  "AM 1590 Victory Radio"
WPUL-2007-Gospel/Talk
WPUL-2014-Licensed/Silent
WPUL-2018-Latin Hits   "La Jeffa" ("The Boss")
WPUL-2020-Licensed/Silent


WPUL History
WPUL is co-located with the family-owned African-American newspapers, The Daytona Times and The Florida Courier. Charles Cherry founded the Daytona Times newspaper that has grown into a media company that covers Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with two newspapers and 11 radio stations, including WPUL. Cherry moved to Daytona in 1952 and embarked on a multi-faceted career in business and public service. He taught business administration for 25 years at Bethune-Cookman College, while working in other jobs which included real estate and the restaurant business. Charles Cherry was a civil rights leader, businessman, city commissioner and family man. In the 1960s, Cherry participated in sit-ins and other actions to bring about integration. He became president of the Volusia County-Daytona Beach Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as president of the state branch and a member of the national board of directors. Charles two sons often accompanied their father to St. Petersburg on business trips. They enjoyed the trips because they got to listen to WTMP, that played black music. The sons often talked about the lack of a black radio station in Central Florida. The Cherry brothers bought WPUL in 1988. They purchased WPUL for $85,000. At the time the station was playing country. The Cherry's changed the format, to black oriented music. Their initial inventory was comprised of their personal albums. The station took off and others soon realized there was a market in Daytona for black music. Then the FM stations came in, with competition from WJHM-FM 101.9 owned then by Infinity Broadcasting, and WCFB-FM 94.5, owned by Cox Radio Inc. The two FMs are located in the Orlando, but are licensed to Daytona Beach. The small AM wasn't strong enough to compete and soon the station fell in the ratings. They also lost the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" to "Star 94.5". The competition from the FMs forced a change in format to black gospel. Son, Glenn W. Cherry, gave up a successful practice as a veterinarian to become president and chief executive officer of Tama Broadcasting Inc. His brother, Charles W. "Chuck" Cherry II, quit his law practice in Fort Lauderdale  so he could manage WPUL. Chuck Cherry majored in mass communications at Morehouse College in Atlanta and went on to law school at the University of Florida. 


WPUL-AM 1590 Goes Silent     5-8-14

Technical problems cause shutdown

Daytona Times 
From Staff Reports

After 25 years, five months, 18 days, 21 hours, three minutes and 21 seconds of continuous radio broadcasting, WPUL-AM 1590, Volusia County's only Black-owned radio station, signed off for the foreseeable future on Monday morning, Feb. 17, at 3:03 a.m. The reason for the shutdown: Technical problems.


Covered for 20 years
For almost 20 years, WPUL-AM covered Ormond Beach to the north to New Smyrna to the southeast. But since 2008, the station has operated at reduced power after its longtime landlord refused to renew the lease of its broadcast tower off Nova Road in South Daytona. The station searched for other broadcast sites, but other local radio station owners couldn't- or wouldn't-allow WPUL-AM to "share" broadcast sites. Because of its reduced broadcasting area, WPUL began to lose local listeners-though it had more than 50,000 online listeners at the time it was shut down. 


New group
Last year, the broadcast license was assigned to a new Black ownership group, Psi Communications LLC. The new group decided to shut WPUL down temporarily to find another broadcast tower site and improve the station's signal before placing it back on the air. Under Federal Communications Commission rules, a radio station can "go dark"-be off the air-for a total of 364 consecutive days before the license to broadcast is permanently forfeited.


Since 1988
WPUL's first day on local airwaves was Sept. 1, 1988. It was then known as WZIP-AM and was a country-western music station. A group of investors, including Daytona Times founder Charles W. Cherry, Sr., put up the initial capital to purchase the station from D&H Radio in 1988. All of the investors were graduates of Morehouse College (in Atlanta) and members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. "When we bought the station, we originally wanted to play groups like Earth, Wind and Fire and Kool and the Gang all day, every day, "explained current General Manager Charles W. Cherry II. "But when we changed the format, all the previous advertisers dropped us. That taught us that we should think about things before making a big move in the radio business." For almost 20 years, local gospel DJ and concert promoter Mattie Howard was the backbone of the station. From WPUL-AM's first day on the air in 1988, she played gospel music every weekday morning starting at 6 a.m., until leaving for health reasons in 2003. "Ms. Howard was dedicated to God, the community, and the station," Cherry said. "She never wanted to miss a day on the air, no matter how tough it was for her to show up at the studio.
"


Only Black music station
For years, WPUL-AM was the only full-time Black music radio station in Central Florida. The station tried to stay on the technological cutting edge to stay competitive. It was one of the first local stations to air broadcasts via satellite, and aired the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" in the early 1990s. The "Joyner" show then moved from WPUL-AM to WCFB-FM 94.5 (Star 94.5) in Orlando, where it has remained. The station also has broadcast a number of formats, including urban adult contemporary music, gospel music, and progressive talk. Various programs have aired over the years, including jazz, health and medical, a show selling discount items, and local talk, Christian ministry, politics, and sports. Radio station technology evolved at WPUL-AM from eight-track cartridge machines, reel-to-reel tape and vinyl records to cassettes, then to mini-disks and CDs, then to computer files. Programs were tracked first by handwritten records, then by computer. The station went from broadcasting over a transmitter with vacuum tubes literally held together by duct tape and chicken wire to its current transmitter that has run 24-7 for years with minor maintenance and without a major hiccup.


Moved to MLK
In 1999, WPUL-AM established a secondary studio at the Daytona Times building on South Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Daytona Beach to reduce costs and move closer to the center of the Black community. "Daddy (Charles W. Cherry, Sr.) didnít think we could have the transmitter at Nova Road and a studio at MLK," Cherry II remembers. "We told him it was no problem. When we got it done, he proudly showed the studio off to everyone who came by his MLK office. It made it a lot easier on him to walk downstairs from his office and get on the air whenever he believed it was necessary to speak to the community." The last songs played on the air:
"The Star-Spangled Banner" by Whitney Houston; "God Bless Africa" by Ladysmith Black Mambazo; and "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," by the Morehouse College Glee Club. The station will remain silent until another tower site is located. Operations of Daytona Times and the Florida Courier will remain unaffected.


WPUL Ownership Changes Hands   5-1-15
Psi Communications, LLC has sold WPUL-AM 1590 to The Julia Cherry Living Revocable Trust. The contract is the cancellation of debt

WPUL Returning To Daytona Beach    11-30-16    
Glenn Cherry is about to revive the licensed and silent WPUL-AM 1590. Dr. Cherry is paying $25,000 for the license held by the Julia T. Cherry Revocable Living Trust. Psi Communications, LLC had sold the station to the trust in 2015. Cherry had a 45% interest in Psi Communications, Inc.
  which was sold to the trust to resolve debt. 

Three Local Stations Request STA        4-13-17
WPUL-AM 1590 owner Glenn Cherry has filed for an extension of his Silent STA while the company looks for a new transmitter site. 
To read the entire article go here.

WPUL Returned To The Air     1-18-18
WPUL-AM 1590 returned to the air on Jan 18, at the transmitter site. The station operated with 250 watts during the daytime hours. The ground system was vandalized. After repairs are made power will be returned to 1,000 watts.

WPUL Now On FM      2-22-20
WPUL-AM 1590 now has an FM translator at 100.7.

Fire Reported At WPUL      3-11-20
The Daytona Beach News Journal is reporting a large fire at 429 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. in Daytona Beach. The building houses the offices of  WPUL-AM 1590/100.7 FM. No word on if the station's transmitter has been affected.


Daytona Beach Fire Department personnel arrived quickly on the scene of a fire that was allegedly set deliberately at the offices of the Daytona Times, the Florida Courier and WPUL-AM 1590/100.7 FM.
Charles W. Cherry II / Florida Courier  
Black-Owned Media Attacked    March 14, 2020
A Building Housing Records and Equipment Belonging to The Daytona Times and Florida Courier Newspapers, as Well as the Radio Broadcasting Facilities of WPUL-AM 1590/100.7 FM, Was Deliberately Set on Fire in Broad Daylight on Wednesday
By Andreas Butler

Florida Courier

Daytona Beach-On Wednesday afternoon, local Black history took a hit when the building that houses the Daytona Times and WPUL-AM 1590/FM 100.7 radio station was allegedly deliberately set on fire. A preliminary inspection of the building at the Florida Courier's press time late Wednesday night indicated that intentional damage was done to external equipment that broadcast the radio station. At this time the motive, if any, remains unknown as both local and state fire investigations continue. The two newspapers and the radio station have been owned by the family of the late Charles W. Cherry, Sr. for more than 40 years. The Cherry media group is one of only three Black families nationwide who own both newspapers and radio stations in the same area. The other two are in Seattle, Washington and Oklahoma, respectively.

Historical Value
The building, located at 427 and 429 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., has stood for some 80 years. It is also a site on the city of Daytona Beach's Black Heritage Trail. Substantial fire damage occurred to the first floor and smoke damage to the second floor of the building. Also damaged was the WPUL transmitter, which was on the first floor along with the radio station studio. Fortunately, no one was in the building at the time, so there were no injuries. Charles W. Cherry II, publisher for the Daytona Times and its sister newspaper, the Florida Courier, said he didn't want to come to any conclusions until both fire and criminal investigations were completed.


What Happened?
"I don't understand how this happened or why. An electrical malfunction somewhere? Perhaps. Was this arson? Maybe. Was it a hate crime? Could be,' Cherry mused. "Both our newspapers are unapologetically Black. We've made people angry, both locally and statewide over the years through our newspaper articles and opinions as well as our radio broadcasts. "WPUL, which has been Black-formatted for decades, now focuses on a Latino listening audience. And we just launched a simulcast of the station at 100.7 on the FM dial just a few weeks ago, so its listening population is larger than ever." What concerns Cherry most is the deliberate damage done to outside equipment that took WPUL's signal off the air temporarily. "Why would somebody even bother to do that?" he asked.


Can't Be Stopped
"If somebody was trying to stop us, they can't. Both newspapers will come out on time this week. The Daytona Times has never missed an issue in almost 41 years, even during the week that Dad died. That's more than 2,100 consecutive weekly issues. "Both the AM and FM radio broadcasts were knocked off the air briefly. The FM signal began broadcasting again a few hours after the fire was set. The AM signal may take longer to restore, but we are still on the air. "In other words, this fire will have no lasting effect on our media operations. Assuming this attack was deliberate, it will take more than that to stop Black-owned media generally and the Black Press in particular. "I hope the result of the various investigations can help us get more answers than we have right now. And we thank the neighbors who called 911 as well as the Daytona Beach Fire Department, which responded quickly and saved the building from burning to the ground."


One Of A Few
For Cherry, the actual impact was more personal. "It's about 60 years of local business history and personal family records gone up in smoke," he acknowledged. "The most important thing to us is the fact that we had 30 years of bound volumes of the Daytona Times and about 15 years of the Florida Courier stored on the second floor. They survived, but with smoke damage. There's too much smoke residue right now to see what can be salvaged."


A Snapshot In Time
Cherry reiterated the history that the building holds. "The building itself was a time capsule of newspaper journalism from the late 1970s through the late 1990s, when print media started to go digital. We kept original equipment from the those eras inside the building, including the first computer we ever bought: a Radio Shack TRS-80 with its original large floppy disks. There's a lot of history in there," he related. 


Office Remains The Same
"The office my dad had was severely damaged by the smoke. It looked exactly how he left it on his last visit there in November 2004, just before he died." Cherry, Sr., who later became a Daytona Beach city commissioner, founded the Daytona Times in 1978. "He held court in his upstairs office when he was alive," Cherry remembered. "National NAACP officers, other Black media owners, local power brokers, any Black person thinking about going into local or statewide politics, all came to his second-floor office. "And if somebody local needed help getting a kid out of jail or figuring out how to buy a house, Mr. Cherry's office was where you had to go."


Realty Office Too
Throughout the years, the building housed the Daytona Times, the Florida Courier, the WPUL radio broadcast studio, and Mormen Realty and Development, Inc., a real estate brokerage firm created by Cherry, Sr. with a goal of helping local Black families buy their own homes. Before Cherry, Sr. purchased it, the building had housed other businesses, including a store and a doctor's office. Despite the damage, not all is lost.


Backups Elsewhere
"Back in 1978, I convinced Dad to bind all of the newspaper issues into large books every year, then to have them converted into microfiche," Cherry disclosed. "We have two sets of microfiche until approximately the year 2000. One set is stored off-site. We have PDF files of both newspapers thereafter, so we should be fine. "Everything is not gone, but it's a blow," noted Cherry.

Investigation Continues
There were plans for the building as well. "We were thinking at one point about developing the building into a newspaper museum of some sort that would fit well with the Dr. Howard Thurman Home that will soon anchor Daytona Beach's Black community, with the hope of our area becoming a destination tourist site." Cherry related. "The family will decide what happens next."

Can't Go In
Meanwhile, authorities continued to investigate the fire this week. "We'll see what the fire marshal says. The building is unapproachable. Right now, you can still smell the smoke from about half a block away. You can't enter the place without an oxygen tank," Cherry added.

WPUL Goes Silent After Fire        4-4-20
WPUL-AM 1590/FM 100.7  has filed for an STA with the FCC until repairs can be completed on the transmitter that was damaged during the fire that took place on March 11.

WPUL Returns     4-14-20
WPUL-AM 1590/100.7FM has returned to the air in South Daytona after the fire of March 11.

Names In WPUL History


Charles Cherry, Sr.-1988-2014-President-Tama Communications/1989-General Manager-Psi Communications   In Memory


Mattie Howard-1988-2007-"Friendship Gospel Hour"-Tama Communications/-Psi Communications  
In Memory


Charles Cherry II-1989-President/Program Director/General Manager/2000-2014-Host-"Free Your Mind"-Psi Communications
Mike Thomas-1989-Program Director-Psi Communications 
Tamela Powell-1989-National Sales Manager/Program Manager/Chief Engineer-Psi Communications
Kondo Dale-1989-News Director-Psi Communications
Chuck Washington-1989-Program Director-Psi Communications


"Captain" Chris Hill-1989-1991-Psi Communications  Biography
Ronnie Rogers-1992-Music Director-Psi Communications
Stacey Reynolds-1992-News Director-Psi Communications
Cloe Sears-1993-Program Director/Music Director-Psi Communications
Steven King-1995-Program Director/News Director-Psi Communications


Bobbie Thomas-1997-Co-host of "Straight Talk'' with Kevin Young-Psi Communications
Kevin Young-1997-Co-host of "Straight Talk'' with Bobbie Thomas-Psi Communications
Patricia Hyacinth-1998-Program Director-Psi Communications
Christopher Baker-1998-1999-Afternoon show Co-host-Psi Communications
Vince Robinson-1999-Chief Engineer-Psi Communications


Phinesse Demos-2003-2008-Program Director/
Host "Express Yourself" -Psi Communications



Stephanie Miller-2005-"Stephanie Miller Show"-Psi Communications



Rev Al Sharpton-"Al Sharpton Program"-2006-Psi Communications


Larry Steele-2007-2014-Station Manager/Sports Director-Psi Communications
Marc Dixon-2009-Production Intern/Manager-Psi Communications


Glenn Cherry-2016-
President-Central Florida Communicators Group, LLC


Bill Press-"The Bill Press Show"


Dwayne Taylor-Host of "On The Agenda"
Walter James-Music Director-Psi Communications


George "Harold" Utter-Engineer    In Memory
Terry Abdo-co-host of the "Terry and Jerry Show"
Jerry Kenney-co-host of the "Terry and Jerry Show"


Rick Brady  Biography
Phyllis Hartmann  In Memory


Jarvis Smith-Psi Communications, Inc.
  In Memory
Elder Robert Brewer
Rev. Harry Austin
Mary Rhymes
Joyceline Poole-Dudley
Larry Lee Love


Other Programs In WPUL History

Miami Hurricanes Football  



WPUL Studio in the
Daytona Times building on South Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

 


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