WPBB
WPBB.PNG
Broadcast areaTampa Bay Area
Frequency98.7 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding98.7 The Shark
Programming
FormatClassic rock
Ownership
Owner
WHFS, WLLD, WQYK-FM, WRBQ-FM, WYUU
History
First air date
1989 (as WAYP)
Former call signs
WAYP (12/7/1989-4/2/1992)
WISP (4/2/1992-6/1/1998)
WLLD (6/1/1998-8/19/2009)
WSJT (8/19/2009-8/2/2012)
WHFS (8/2/2012-8/9/2012)
WHFS-FM (8/9/2012-2/4/2015)
WBRN-FM (2/4/2015-2/1/2017)
Technical information
Facility ID18527
ClassC2
ERP47,000 watts
HAAT141 meters (463 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
27°50′35″N 82°48′50″W / 27.843°N 82.814°W / 27.843; -82.814Coordinates: 27°50′35″N 82°48′50″W / 27.843°N 82.814°W / 27.843; -82.814
Links
WebcastListen live
Website987theshark.com

WPBB (98.7 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Holmes Beach, Florida and serving the Tampa Bay media market. It is owned by the Beasley Broadcast Group, and airs a classic rock radio format, branded as "98.7 The Shark." The playlist concentrates on mostly harder-edged active rock titles from the 1980s and 1990s, billed as "Classic Rock That Really Rocks."

WPBB's studios are on Executive Center Drive in St. Petersburg and the transmitter is off Park Boulevard North in Seminole.[1]

History

WAYP/WISP/WLLD/WSJT

The station signed on the air on December 7, 1989 under the call sign WAYP. The call letters changed to WISP on April 2, 1992. As both WAYP and WISP, the station played mostly easy listening and soft adult contemporary music. On May 15, 1998, after stunting with a loop of "Wild Thing" by Tone Loc, the rhythmic contemporary format of "WiLD 98.7" debuted under new call letters WLLD.[2] (See the WLLD page for the history of "WiLD").

On August 19, 2009, at 5 p.m., "WiLD 98.7" and "Smooth Jazz 94.1 WSJT" switched frequencies, with 94.1 becoming "WiLD 94.1" and 98.7 becoming "Smooth Jazz 98.7 WSJT." Under the ownership of CBS Radio, the smooth jazz format evolved into a format known as Smooth AC, a mix of Urban AC and Soft AC with a few instrumental jazz songs included.

Play 98.7/The Fan

On August 31, 2010, at 3 p.m., the station dropped Smooth AC in favor of Adult Top 40/CHR as "Play 98.7."[3] The first song on "Play" was "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon. The smooth jazz format was subsequently moved to HD Radio frequency 98.7-HD2. This would change on December 18, 2013, when the sports talk format from WFAN New York City 94.1-HD3 moved to 98.7-HD2, while the smooth jazz format was relocated to 94.1-HD2.

Due to low ratings with "Play", CBS Radio announced on June 20, 2012 that WSJT would flip to sports talk in August, branded as "The Fan".[4] On July 25, 2012, CBS said it would debut the new format on August 2.

On that day, at 11 a.m., "Play" signed off with "Closing Time" by Semisonic, followed by an hour of stunting with songs usually played at sports games, as well as a history of sports teams in the Tampa Bay area, with the actual launch of "The Fan" at Noon.[5] At the same time as the format flip, WSJT changed call letters to WHFS-FM. The WHFS call letters were held by former sister station WUUB in West Palm Beach and were heritage call letters for a long-time alternative rock station in the Washington, DC/Baltimore, Maryland area. The station simulcasted on sister station WHFS (AM) until January 3, 2013, when the AM became a 24/7 affiliate of the new CBS Sports Radio network. WHFS-FM held the rights to carry University of South Florida sports in the Tampa Bay area.

Bubba 98.7/No Rules Rock

Logo as "98.7 No Rules Rock", used from December 9, 2015 to December 12, 2016
Logo as "98.7 No Rules Rock", used from December 9, 2015 to December 12, 2016

On October 2, 2014, CBS Radio announced that it would trade its stations in Charlotte and Tampa (including WHFS-FM), as well as WIP (AM) in Philadelphia, to the Beasley Broadcast Group in exchange for five stations in Miami and Philadelphia.[6] The swap was completed on December 1, 2014.[7]

On December 4, 2014, Beasley released the entire "Fan" airstaff, and at 3 p.m. that day, following The Jim Rome Show, the station dropped the sports format and began stunting with Christmas music as "The New 98.7." On December 26, the station shifted its stunting to a broad mix of music from different genres.[8][9][10]

After months of speculation, longtime local morning personality Bubba the Love Sponge returned to the Tampa airwaves on 98.7 FM on January 5, the same day his non-compete with Cox Radio ended. Bubba's show aired live from 6 to 10 a.m. After Bubba's return show on the 5th, the station began airing repeats of the program the rest of the day, while the station built a permanent format outside of his show. On February 2, at 10 a.m., the station debuted a Rock-leaning Variety Hits format billed as "Bubba 98.7," which featured a mix of current and recent rock songs, along with selections of older music personally picked by Bubba himself. The first song played under the new format was AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)". The station's call sign changed to WBRN-FM on February 4.[11][12]

On December 9, 2015, WBRN-FM rebranded as "98.7 No Rules Rock."[13]

B98.7

Former logo as "B98.7", used from January 5, 2017 to December 25, 2018
Former logo as "B98.7", used from January 5, 2017 to December 25, 2018

Due to low ratings, on December 12, 2016, at Midnight, WBRN-FM dropped Bubba's show, along with the rock format, and began stunting with Christmas music again, this time as "Santa 98.7." (Bubba's syndicated show would be picked up by WWBA in February 2017.) At Midnight on December 26, the station shifted its stunting to a mix of songs from various genres related to money, power, and/or authority, branded as "98.7 Donald FM".[14][15]

On January 5, 2017, at 5:45 p.m., WBRN-FM officially flipped to adult contemporary as "B98.7", with "Hello" by Adele being the first song played.[16][17] Chadd and Kristi Thomas, long-time morning hosts on new rival WWRM, resigned the week prior from that station, and began hosting mornings on "B" beginning February 6, and voice-tracked the station's 10,000 songs in a row launch until that date.

On February 1, 2017, WBRN-FM changed call letters to WPBB to match their new branding, though the station had been identifying itself as WPBB since late January.[18]

98.7 The Shark

On December 26, 2018, at Midnight, the station flipped again, this time to classic rock as "98.7 The Shark", using the slogan "The Next Generation Of Classic Rock." The first song played on "The Shark" was AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)."[19]

References

  1. ^ "Radio Station Coverage Map". radio-locator.com.
  2. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1998/RR-1998-05-22.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ "CBS Radio drops former smooth jazz station WSJT-FM to create Play 98.7". Tampa Bay Times.
  4. ^ "98.7 The Fan Tampa Debuts - RadioInsight". 2 August 2012.
  5. ^ "98.7 The Fan Debuts - Format Change Archive". 2 August 2012.
  6. ^ CBS and Beasley Swap Philadelphia/Miami for Charlotte/Tampa from Radio Insight (October 2, 2014)
  7. ^ Venta, Lance (December 1, 2014). "CBS Beasley Deal Closes". RadioInsight. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Farewell to the Fan; 98.7 drops Sports format, Tampa Bay Times, December 5, 2014
  9. ^ 98.7 The Fan Signs Off from Format Change Archive December 4, 2014
  10. ^ "Bubba The Love Sponge Announces Bubba 98.7 Launch - RadioInsight". 2 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Bubba the Love Sponge morning show returns to local radio". Tampa Bay Times.
  12. ^ "Bubba 98.7 Debuts - Format Change Archive". 2 February 2015.
  13. ^ WBRN-FM Drops Bubba 98.7 Branding Radioinsight - December 9, 2015
  14. ^ 98.7 Tampa Drops Bubba the Love Sponge For Santa Radioinsight - December 12, 2016
  15. ^ Griffin, Justine (February 8, 2017). "'Bubba the Love Sponge Show' to air on WWBA-AM 820 in Tampa Bay". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Beasley Launches AC "B98.7" Tampa - RadioInsight". 5 January 2017.
  17. ^ "WBRN-FM Becomes AC B98.7 - Format Change Archive". 5 January 2017.
  18. ^ Staff, FCC Internet Services. "Call Sign History". licensing.fcc.gov.
  19. ^ 98.7 the Shark Attacks Tampa Bay with Classic Rock