WRBA
CitySpringfield, Florida
Broadcast areaPanama City, Florida
Frequency95.9 MHz
BrandingB95.9
Programming
FormatClassic rock
Ownership
OwnerAaron S. Lee
(Great American Media, L.L.C.)
WASJ, WKNK
History
First air date
1986; 36 years ago (1986) (as WVBM)
Former call signs
WVBM (1986-1987)
Call sign meaning
We aRe BAy 96
Technical information
Facility ID63584
ClassC2
ERP50,000 watts
HAAT86 meters (282 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
30°12′12.00″N 85°36′57.00″W / 30.2033333°N 85.6158333°W / 30.2033333; -85.6158333
Links
WebcastListen live
Websitemyb959.com

WRBA (95.9 FM, "B95.9") is a radio station licensed to Springfield, Florida. Owned by Great American Media, it broadcasts a classic rock format serving the Panama City market.

History

The station began broadcast in 1986 as WVBM, which was the area's first and only African-American-owned radio station.

At noon on November 14, 1987, after the call sign was changed to WRBA, the station's format shifted to easy listening and oldies under the name "Bay 96 FM". In a News-Herald interview, then-owner Peter Michael Bardach described its format as being "halfway between WGNE (AM) and Sunny 98 (FM)" and that it was targeted toward adults between 25 and 54. Over time, the format changed to a mix of modern rock and adult contemporary.

In October 1994, WRBA did away with the adult contemporary, and "Arrow 95.9" debuted. The "Arrow" originally stood for "All Rock & Roll Oldies", and to begin with, solely played rock from the seventies. Over its 18-year history, Arrow 95.9 kept its classic rock format, but expanded it to other decades (namely the 1960s through 1990s).

In 2012, the station was renamed "Classic Rock 95.9", but kept the same format.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, Powell Broadcasting announced that it would cease operation of its Panama City stations, leaving the future of its licenses in the market in limbo.[1]

On February 18, 2019, the station returned to the air under the operation of Gulf Coast Broadcasting.[2] For around two weeks, the station simulcast WCCN-FM, but soon had its own original identity starting in mid-March. Gulf Coast Broadcasting completed the acquisition of WRBA, along with sister stations WASJ and WKNK, effective April 30, 2019 at a price of $325,000.

On July 3, 2019, Gulf Coast broadcasting sold WRBA, WASJ, and WKNK to Great American Media for $700,000.[3] The sale closed on September 26, 2019.

In June 2020, the station rebranded as B95.9, maintaining its classic rock format (despite using the branding "Classic Hits"), but dropping most music from the 1990s to focus exclusively on the 1970s and 1980s.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Powell Broadcasting Pulling Plug On Panama City Cluster After Storm", All Access Music Group. October 15, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  2. ^ "Powell Sells Silent Panama City Trio". RadioInsight. 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  3. ^ Jacobson, Adam (2019-07-03). "Former Powell Cluster Flipped, At A Big Premium". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved 2020-06-24.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "WRBA Rebrands As B95.9". RadioInsight. 2020-06-24. Retrieved 2020-06-24.

Coordinates: 30°12′14″N 85°36′58″W / 30.204°N 85.616°W / 30.204; -85.616