WJRQ-FM 92.1 

Original Call Letters: WJRQ 

Originally Licensed: Jul 1983 

Original City of License: Williston 

Original Frequency: 92.1 

Origin of Call Letters: Jim and Robertaís Quest 

Original Power: 1,700 watts 

Original Location: 

Original Format: Country

Network Affiliation(s):

Satellite Music Network


1983-Jim Johnson Enterprises, Inc.
1984-Arkelian Broadcasting, Inc. ($1.3 million)
1984-WJRQ Broadcasting, Inc.
1987-Gulf to Bay Broadcasting Corporation 
1992-Bogi Broadcasting
1994-Gainesville Broadcasting of Connecticut, Inc.
2001-Pamal Broadcasting, Ltd. ($4 million)

History of Call Letters and Formats:

WJRQ-1983-Country  "Country 92"
WLLO-1986-Beautiful Music   "Willo 92"
WFEZ-1987-Easy Listening    "E-Z 92"
WFEZ-1988-Country    "Z-Country 92.1"
WFEZ-1992-Urban Contemporary/Hip Hop
WTMG-1996-Urban Contemporary/Hip Hop

History Of WJRQ
Thanks to Marc Tyll for this history of WJRQ.
WJRQ-FM began operations in 1983. WJRQ was owned by Jim Johnson who had been a legendary broadcaster and innovator in Tampa Bay radio during the 1970s when he took WQXM-FM 97.9 from Beautiful Music to Progressive Rock and transformed the defunct WOKF-FM 95.7 "96 Fever" from Disco to Adult Contemporary as "Magic 96". WJRQ was Johnsonís first owned radio station, Levy Countyís first FM radio station and the first FM station to program country music to Levy, Marion, Gilchrist and Alachua Counties. WJRQ was known as "Country 92" and broadcast 24-hours a day with its mix of classic and modern country favorites provided by the Satellite Music Network. There were only a hand full of employees who worked at "Country 92", all working eight hour shifts. Johnson served as the stationís only sales representative while his wife Roberta kept the books and performed general office and clerical work as the stationís business manager. Former Tampa Bay broadcast engineer Bill Elliotte served as WJRQ's Chief Engineer and Operations Manager. Elliotte also was the 9am to 5pm board operator. Although WJRQ started out as a rural Williston radio station, because of its 24-hour FM stereo country programming, it quickly gained high ratings and attracted a large market share in the Gainesville/Ocala Arbitron. Long time country legend, Gainesvilleís 5,000 watt day-timer, WDVH-AM 980 began to feel the squeeze from WJRQ and made a switch to Adult Standards as "U.S. 98" under the call letters WLUS in 1984.
Soon after, Gainesvilleís only Beautiful Music station, WMFM-FM 100.9 "Stereo 101", saw an opportunity to capture the country listening audience that had defected from WDVH-AM to WJRQ-FM. WMFM-FM 100.9 became WYGC-FM as "Gator Country 101" or simply "CG 101" and switched to full-time country. Early in WJRQ's existence, Johnson saw the possibility of yet another FM station changing formats to country, so Johnson sold WJRQ in 1984 for $1.3 million to Naples, Florida based Arkelien Broadcasting, headed by former Erie, Pennsylvania newspaper publisher, Art Arkelien. Arkelien owned AM-FM combos in Naples, New Port Richey and now WJRQ in Williston. Jim Nieman, Arkelienís Naples group sales manager, was sent to Gainesville to become WJRQ's General Manager. Nieman immediately switched the format to Easy Listening with a call letter change to WLLO. The station became "Willo 92 Under The Willow Tree". Although the ratings on "Willo" were good, Neiman had difficulty selling the demos in Gainesville which had a median age of 26 due to the large student population at the University of Florida. The Easy Listening format was attracting large numbers in the 55+ demo, a difficult sell since most of the ad agencies wanted the coveted 25 - 54 demographic. Arkelien sold WALL in 1987 to well known Orlando radio news director, Reagan Smith and his Gulf to Bay Broadcasting Corporation. Smith changed the call letters to WFEZ for "EZ 92" and left the format easy listening. However, WFEZ was experiencing the same difficulty as WLLO in that the format was attracting the 55+ demographics which was virtually impossible to sell in Gainesville. In 1984 Smith decided to switch the format back to its original country roots and started calling it "Z-Country 92." Since Smith was operating the station absentee, no one locally at WFEZ was in charge. The station suffered in its ability to attract any meaningful advertising revenues, only billing approximately $2,500 per month with operational expenses exceeding $6,000 monthly with a bare skeleton crew. The monthly power bill alone was over $1,500. Smith decided he needed to do something fast, so Jacksonville radio executive Marc Tyll was hired as the stationís general manager and given the responsibility of turning WFEZ around. Tyll had worked in Ocala and Gainesville years earlier and was most recently the General Sales Manager at Jacksonvilleís WJAX-AM 690 and WAPE-FM 95.1. Tyll ascertained the situation and determined a complete station overhaul was due. It was determined the previous success 92.1 had experienced as a country station was impossible to repeat since the market now had three FM country stations and it didnít make since to compete directly against the big FM stations. Tyll determined there was a void in the market for Churban contemporary, and quickly changed the format to hot adult contemporary during the day and Churban during the night and weekends. Tony Downes, WFEZ mid-day on-air personality, who had a long history with urban contemporary and dance formats, was promoted to Programming Director and Operations Manager and the format overhaul planning and implementation began. After about three weeks into the new format, Downes approached Tyll and asked to go full time Churban, stating early research was showing a strong following for the Churban/dance music instead of the adult contemporary which was played during weekdays. Tyll thought it over and consulted with Smith about the proposed format adjustment and it was decided to go along with Downes proposal, so WFEZ became full-time Churban as "Hot 92.1". The ratings soared and quickly gained listeners from Gainesville in the 18-49 adult demographic. "Hot 92.1" was even taking away listeners from long time CHR legend WYKS-FM "Kiss 105". Former WRUF-FM Gainesville "Studio 104" producer and radio host, Professor Chuck Woods, joined "Hot 92.1" as a programming consultant and host of the "Saturday Hot Mix." As "Hot 92.1" ratings climbed and billing progressed to an all time high, Smith promoted Tyll to Vice-President in addition to being the stationís general manager and general sales manager. In 1990, in an effort to enhance the stationís coverage, Tyll began conducting research to determine how a power increase could be accomplished. Since 92.1 was too close to co-channel 92.1 WJXR-FM, Mcclenney, a frequency move was determined to be the best alternative. Plans went onto place to move from 92.1 to 101.3. This allowed a power increase from 1,700 watts to 19,300 watts, greatly enhancing coverage in Gainesville and Ocala. Soon after the frequency move, Smith decided to sell WFEZ to Atlanta broadcaster, Moe Negrin who bought and sold stations through his company Bogi Broadcasting Company. Bogi owned the station for less than a year before selling to Gainesville Broadcasting of Connecticut, Inc., owned by Ken Dawson. Tyll left WFEZ to take over management of News-Talk WTMC-AM 1290  in Ocala, and Dawson hired Eric Jewell as WFEZ' s new general manager. Jewell transformed WFEZ from Churban Contemporary to Urban/Hip Hop. The call letters were changed to WTMG and the signature "Hot" phrase was replaced with "Magic." The new "Magic 101.3" became a cult classic in the Gainesville/Ocala market. Dawson sold WTMG "Magic 101.3" to Albany, New York based Pamal Broadcasting in 2001 for just over $4 million cash.

Names in WJRQ History

James E. Johnson-1983-1984-Co-owner-Jim Johnson Enterprises, Inc.

Roberta Johnson-1983-1984-Co-owner-Jim Johnson Enterprises, Inc.

Bill Elliotte-1983-1984-Chief Engineer/Operations Manager-Jim Johnson Enterprises, Inc.

Ed Carter-1985-1986-General Manager/Program Director/Afternoon Drive/Promotions//Music Director/Production
-WJRQ Broadcasting, Inc.

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