WSKY-FM 97.3

Original Call Letters: WGGG 

Originally Licensed: Aug 1985  

Original City of License: Micanopy 

Original Frequency: 97.7

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 3,000 watts 

Original Location: SW 8th Ave, Gainesville  

Original Format: Light Adult Contemporary 

Network Affiliation(s):

Jones Radio Network


1985-American Television and Communications
1986-Rick Stacey (With WGGG-FM 97.7) ($1.45 million)
1987-Gator Broadcasting, Inc.  
1998-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC ($2.8 million)
2018-Entercom Operations, Inc.

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WGGG-1985-Adult Contemporary
WGVL-1985-Adult Contemporary "Gainesville's Love 98"
WGGG-1987-1970's Oldies  "The Legend is Back!"
WLCL-1989-Soft Adult Contemporary "Clear FM"
WGGO-1993-Oldies "Go 97.7"
WRRX-1994-Adult Album Alternative "97-X"
WSKY-1998-Moved to 97.3

History Of WSKY
Thanks to Marc Tyll for this history of WSKY.
WSKY-FM began broadcast operations as WGLV-FM in August of 1985 broadcasting with 3,000 watts on 97.7 mHz.  The station was licensed to Micanopy, Florida,  located about 9 miles South of Gainesville, but the studios were co-located and co-owned with WGGG-AM 1230 located on S.E. 6th Avenue in downtown Gainesville, about two blocks from the Gainesville Police Department.  The original owner was American Television and Communications headed by Gainesville broadcaster Harvey Budd.  Budd also owned WGFL-TV 53 High Springs/Gainesville and added WGLV as an FM compliment to his AM/TV combo.  The call letters WGLV were similar to WGVL which had been on 105.5 in the 70s. The call letters also represented Gainesville’s "Love 98", and as a part of Budd’s plan to establish "Love 98" as Gainesville’s FM,  longtime legendary WGGG-AM morning personality,  Sumner "Boomer" Hough was moved to "Love 98".  Boomer ran a promo liner on both stations for two weeks before he moved to "Love 98" which said "......if you like me on AM, you’ll LOVE me on FM,  coming soon,  mornings, on Love 98....."  Boomer did his morning show on WGLV for only a few months, and after 25 years as a Gainesville radio morning icon,  Boomer finally left town and moved to Jacksonville to start his "Sea It By Day, Sea It By Night" boat cruises.  Boomer had become a certified U.S. Coast Guard Captain while he was with WGGG-AM years earlier.
The WGLV format was adult contemporary, but changed to classic 70s as WGGG-FM about a year later under the direction of program director Jim Quinn.  The idea was to bring back the success of the legendary WGGG-AM on FM.  The on-air signature was "The Legend is Back, WGGG!"  The new WGGG-FM gained immediate attention, but was short lived.  After the short lived success of Classic 70s WGGG-FM,  Budd decided he wanted to concentrate on his TV station,  so he sold WGGG-AM/FM to former Orlando radio programmer, Rick Stacey, who owned the stations for only a few months. Stacey wanted to move to Atlanta to program Atlanta’s WNNX-FM so he sold WGGG to David Gregg of Gator Broadcasting. After Stacey sold the stations, Gregg switched the format to Soft Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening as "Clear 97.7 FM."  The "Clear" format didn’t last either, so the station was switched to classic rock.  The call letters became WRRX and the station was known as "97X".  At first "97X" had local announcers, playing mainstream rock, and, although 100,000 watt "Rock 104" was WRRX's main,  direct competitor, "97X" gained market share and became a success.
During the early 90s, a group of consulting engineers,  the Magrill brothers, conducted a frequency search and determined WRRX could upgrade to 50,000 watts by moving to 97.3.  The move involved swapping frequencies on a station in Citrus county and Holiday, Florida, near Tampa Bay.  The Magrills petitioned the FCC to make the changes,  and the FCC amended the FM table of allotments.  What was ironic is apparently WRRX owner David Gregg was completely unaware of the upgrade possibility for WRRX.  Therefore, when Ocala’s WWGO owner Robert Stoehr discovered that WRRX could upgrade to 50,000 watts,  he approached David Gregg and made an offer to buy the station.  Gregg accepted Stoehr's offer and Stoehr began reformatting WRRX under an "at will" verbal agreement.  Gregg, still apparently unaware of the FCC ruling,  allowed Stoehr to reprogram WRRX as Oldies station WGGO,  and the station became "Go 97.7 FM".  Stoehr took over the day-to-day operations of WGGO while the attorneys for both parties prepared a,  yet to be signed, contract for sale.
Soon after,  Gregg discovered his station could upgrade to 50,000 watts on 97.3 FM, and he decided to back out of the verbal Stoehr deal and keep the station.  Since Gregg and Stoehr had not yet signed a contract,  Gregg informed Stoehr he was no longer interested in selling the station and Gregg took back control of 97.7 FM.  The call letters WRRX returned to the station, and since the previous WRRX staff had been let go pending the format change to oldies, Satellite Music Network’s Mainstream rock format was added.  Soon after, a new program director was hired and the daytime programming once again went local, live, with an eclectic mix of alternative, punk, rock, even some classical music.  The format was modified AAA/Alternative and gained a huge following.  Often times the programming sounded unformatted Free Form.  Once I heard George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" following Ozzie Osborne’s "Flying High Again" followed by a Buck Owens tune. Although the programming was basically all over the road, it was new, fresh and gave listeners something other than "cookie cutter" radio which the market embraced.  WRRX had a real diverse format style which the market was ready for and had wanted for years.
In 1998,  WKTK's Gary Granger prepared a proposal and submitted it to Entercom CEO Joe Field which involved acquiring WRRX,  moving frequency to 97.3,  upgrading to 50,000 watts and bringing traditional AM news-talk to FM.  Entercom made an offer to David Gregg and acquired WRRX.
On June 7 1998,  WSKY-FM "Sky King 97.3 FM" went on the air with 50,000 watts operating on 97.3 FM broadcasting the "Great Speeches" series including speeches from former President Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill and others.  One week later, "News-Talk on FM" commenced operations. The original News-Talk line up was "The Morning Edition" an all news block airing from 6 to 9:00AM;  "The Joe Young Show" a local call in program airing from 9AM to Noon;  nationally syndicated "Rush Limbaugh" from Noon till 3PM;  "Dr. Laura" from 3PM to 6PM;  "The John and Ken Show" aired from 6PM to 10PM;  CNN's "Farrell on the Bench" was on from 10PM till 1AM; overnights was "USA @ Night" with Chris Myers airing from 1 to 5AM;  and Bloomberg Business News aired from 5 to 6AM.  WSKY carried ABC/Information news at the top of each hour, with a one minute local news update airing each hour following each ABC newscast.
Six months after "Sky King" began its regular broadcast schedule,  the name "Sky King 97.3 FM" was changed to simply "The Sky 97.3 FM" after the producers and owners of the rights to the 60s television show "Sky King" claimed to own a copyright on the name and threatened to sue if WSKY continued to use the name "Sky King."  The change was made and all was forgotten. WSKY had the largest news staff of any radio station between Jacksonville and Orlando,  with 30 full-time news personnel.  The concept from General Manager Gary Granger, was "The Sky" would be known as the station providing "in your face" news reporting.  Former WRRX listeners protested the format change, but soon The Sky gained market acceptance and became the number one station during the Clinton scandal and for its in depth news coverage of the War in Iraq. The news department had two Volkswagen Beetles called "Sky Rovers." One Sky Rover was reserved for Ocala and the other for Gainesville. Reporters would take to Sky Rovers along with their tape recorders, pencil and note pad to a news scene whether it be a crime scene, traffic accident, fire, court reporting or wherever the latest breaking news story may happen to be. The Rovers were seen everywhere in and around Gainesville and Ocala. A partial list of The Sky’s news crew consisted Liz Simon, formerly with the Gainesville Sun newspaper, who was hired as The Sky’s assignment editor, Jim Sandler was News Director, WKTK news director John Boyer was the main news anchor while Tom Duff anchored the Ocala news desk during the three hour "Morning Edition" news block heard weekday mornings from 6AM to 9AM. Former WFEZ and WYOC general manager Marc Tyll was hired as a consultant. 
During the beginnings at WSKY,  Florida Rock Industries wanted to build a new concrete plant in nearby Newberry and had asked the Alachua County Commission for its approval to grant a construction permit to build the proposed plant.  Gary Granger spearheaded a controversial political move to block the construction of Florida Rock’s proposal.  Through a series of daily editorials heard on The Sky,  Granger would talk about the negative impact a cement plant would bring to Gainesville and Alachua county.  The editorials along with guest appearances from Florida Rock spokespersons heard on local radio,  news stories written in the Gainesville Sun and news coverage from WCJB-TV 20,  stirred quite a heated debate in the area regarding the pros and the cons of having a cement plant in Alachua County.  Those in favor of the plant talked about how Florida Rock would be creating new jobs for the citizens of Alachua county and how the plant would create a positive economic impact,  while opponents warned the citizens of the environmental hazards the same proposed plant would have on the community,  mainly citing pollution as a main concern.  After a few months of going back in forth with the public debate, the Alachua county commission approved Florida Rock’s proposal and the cement plant was constructed.  Granger never conceded to the loss of the debate, stating " was only a temporary setback..."  Eventually, in a cost cutting effort, the three hour "Morning Edition" news program was replaced with a local talk show.  Most of the news staff was let go in favor of concentrating on talk programming rather than news.  Gregg Knapp was the first morning talk host. Knapp was major market material and after a year hosting "The Gregg Knapp Show" weekday mornings on The Sky,  Gregg left for Dallas to host a morning talk program on local Dallas radio.  Bob Rose,  formerly with WHTQ-FM 96.5 and WDBO-AM 580 in Orlando was hired to replace Knapp.

From Kyle Magrill; "...I was not directly involved in the FCC process to upgrade 97.7 to 97.3.   My brother, Barry, was the contract engineer for the station and he had been looking over microfiches of the FCC database and thought that an upgrade might be possible. I had a computer program that could do spacing studies, so I ran a few jobs for Barry at his request.  The results confirmed his suspicion that it was possible to upgrade, but there was a catch.  The upgrade would have to be part of a complex daisy chain involving several other stations, one of which (Holiday) was in the application stage.  Barry supplied the engineering exhibits supporting the request to amend the table of allotments and upgrade 97.7.  The actual upgrade petition was filed by the station's DC attorney, Mark Lipp, who was a former FCC chairman.  Contrary to the statement in the written history, David Gregg was definitely aware of the upgrade request because he paid for its filing.  The upgrade was opposed by some of the Holiday applicants and the entire process became bogged down in endless red tape.  At times, it looked like the upgrade would not happen.  In the years that followed the initial petition, the station languished under Gregg. He ran out of money and Barry eventually had to sue the station to collect for almost a year's worth of unpaid engineering work.  Gregg claimed poverty and the station kept a near zero balance in its accounts so it seemed impossible to collect the judgment, but Barry's lawyer suggested checking the balance on payday.  Sure enough, lots of money appeared in the account on the morning of the next payday and Barry and his lawyer went down to the bank and presented the judgment and collected the entire amount on the spot.  Around the same period, Barry was also contract engineering for Bob Stoehr and mentioned that Gregg might want to divest 97.7.   Barry also discussed the long stalled possible upgrade, but Bob saw 97.7's potential as it sat.  Combined with 95.5 in Ocala, Bob saw that he could cover Gainesville and Ocala much less expensively than buying a class C station.  So, Bob approached Gregg basically with what amounted to a rent-to-own proposal which Gregg accepted since the station was bleeding red ink.  When Holiday resolved itself and the upgrade finally started to look possible, Gregg decided to hold on to the station for a while.  Barry was, at the time, the contract engineer for WKTK and mentioned the increasingly likely upgrade prospects to the KTK general manager, Gary Grainger, because he knew that Stoehr was now out of the picture and because Entercom had the cash to buy the station and to finish the upgrade.

Names in WSKY-FM History
Harvey Budd-1985-Presdident-American Television and Communications
Mark Goldstein-1985-American Television and Communications
Sumner "Boomer" Hough-1985-Mornings-American Television and Communications

Rick Stacey
David Gregg III-1987-President-Gator Broadcasting, Inc.
Jim Quinn-1987-Program Director-Gator Broadcasting, Inc.   
Gary Granger-1998-Vice President/General Manager-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC
Joe Field-1998-President-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC

Mike Taylor-Mornings-1998-Program Director-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC 
Mark Leopold-2001-Vice President/General Manager/General Sales Manager-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC
David Field-2007-CEO/President/Program Director-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC
Dick O'Neil-2007-General Sales Manager/2008-Vice President/General Manager-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC
Nancy Parish-2007-Promotion Director-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC
T. J. Hart-2007-Program Director/News Director-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC

Kevin "Crash" Davis-2012-Programming/Imaging/Production-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC

Laura Ingram-2013-2018-10AM-Noon
-JVC Broadcasting

Rush Limbaugh-2013-Noon-3PM
-JVC Broadcasting

Sean Hannity-2013
-3PM-6PMJVC Broadcasting

Michael Savage-2013-2020-
"The Savage Nation"-9PM-11PM-JVC Broadcasting

Joe Pags-2013-2014-"America Now"
-6PM-9PM-JVC Broadcasting

Mark Levin-2014-6PM-9PM
-JVC Broadcasting

Peter Rothfuss-2016-General Sales Manager-Entecom

Brian Kilmeade-2019-10AM-Noon-Entercom Operations, Inc.
Ben Shapiro-2019-11PM-Midnight-Entercom Operations, Inc. Michael Savage now airs 9-11pm.

Chad Benson-2021-"The Chad Benson Show" (Syndicated)-Entercom Operations, Inc.

Chip Morris-Host-"The Drive Time Happy Hour"-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC

Ce Ce Taylor
Jon Wier-Producer-"The Drive Time Happy Hour"-Entercom Gainesville License, LLC
Nick Allen-Program Director 
Chuck Jackson
John Starr
Marianne Kelly
Gregg Knapp-Morning Talk Host

Bob Rose
Chip Morris
Liz Simon-Assignment Editor

Marc Tyll
Jim Sandler-News Director
Lisa Meadows
John Boyer
Tom Duff

Doug Clifford-Afternoon News Anchor/Assistant News Director/Weekend Talk Host
Joe Young
Andrew Lee-Program Director

Jerry Doyle

Herman Cain

Kim Komando-"The Kim Komando Show"-Sat-8PM-Midnight-JVC Broadcasting

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