Aircheck: WRBQ, 1/21/1983

Aircheck time once again. This time, it’s another look at Q-105, but this time we’re going back a little further to January 21, 1983. Mason Dixon, Cat Sommers, and Tramonte Watts are the DJ’s on this Friday evening.

The Q-105 “Tookie Bird” was being heavily promoted that evening, probably to keep the listeners engaged on a busy night for many Tampa Bay residents before the weekend. If my childhood memories are correct, when the Tookie Bird sounder went off, (“Awk awk, eek eek, tookie tookie!”), whoever was the 3rd caller (or whatever caller was designated as the prize winning call) won some money. Usually it was $100, but there were occasions when the station would give away $1,000 or even $10,000 with their promotions.

Promotions like this you don’t see too often these days, mainly because interest in radio has declined in the last few decades. Radio stations have to make money through commercial advertising before they can give money away like that.

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Aircheck: WRBQ, 10/3/1986

Thought it was time for another aircheck, and this one goes back almost 30 years ago to the fall of 1986. Yours truly was a sophomore at Largo High in this point of time, and Q-105 (WRBQ) was the big top-40 station in the market at the time. A few years later in 1990 came the birth of a rival top-40 station at 93.3 FM, branded as the “Power Pig” which within a few years ended WRBQ’s over decade-long dominance of the market as the pop market powerhouse.

Mason Dixon is the afternoon drive-time DJ, and it must be a Friday afternoon, as “Friday Festivities” are underway. After moving on from Q-105, Dixon worked for a host of local stations in the Tampa Bay market until coming back to 104.7 in the 2000’s when it became an oldies station after going country music in 1993. In 2005, the station went back to it’s “Q-105” branding to go with the oldies format it’s had ever since.

And yes, they play many of the same hits now that they played back in the day. It’s a station somewhere in time.

Aircheck: WFLA, 8/27/1999

Today’s aircheck comes from WFLA and the late 1990’s. The host is the controversial Bob Lassiter, who is in open phones as this recording goes, taking calls in rapid style fashion. The language and sarcasm here is a bit raw and biting, as befits Bob’s style.

The big story in the Tampa Bay radio business, as Lassiter is fond of discussing on the air as part of his shtick, is that Mason Dixon got booted from another Clear Channel station, 95.7 FM, which then had the call letters on WMTX. WFLA is (currently) and was at the time also a Clear Channel station, which would put many other talk hosts in an uncomfortable position, but Lassiter seems to excel at talking shop regardless.

His last show on WFLA (or any station as a host) would air on December 1, 1999, passing away nearly seven years later in October of 2006. There hasn’t been anyone like him on the radio in this market since.