Thursday, March 01, 2012

TPA to MIA

 The radio dial in Tampa was much as I left it last year. 88.5 WMNF remains the only interesting station on the dial. Btu they seem to have more talk programming every year and are beginning to lost my interest. Further down the coast in Sarasota  96.5 WSLR-LP is still a huge winner. When I tuned in I first heard a few minuted of latin jazz and then an interview with "Mike" of the Yes men, that delightful group of political pranksters. It was really a great piece since they were in the news lately. But reception crapped out just a few exists later leaving me with 90.9 WGCU which might as well be WUSF, they're both NPR zombies.

The AM dial was a bit more interesting down that stretch. "The Avenue" a standards station, broadcasts on 1660 WCNZ-AM and 1440 WWCL-AM. A bit further down the coast, "the Dove" a similar nostalgia station is simulcast on 1320 WDDV-AM, and WSDV-AM 1450 AM. The Dove distinguished itself by playing more show tunes, such as the abominable "Shrimp boats" by Jo Stafford. Also a novelty,  101.1 WAVV was loud and clear all the way into the everglades. They are one of the few remaining "beautiful music stations" and at 100,000 watts.. certainly the most powerful. I actually could hear 88.9 WDNA out of Miami at least intermittently before they faded out completely. Goldengate Florida is the last outpost beore _75 turns into alligator alley and cuts across the Everglades. I stopped for gas and heard a Cuban music pirate on 530 AM.  It might be Radio Rebelde out of Cuba, but it's just as likely a pirate repeating the signal on MW.more here.

Also notable in the glades was 98.7 WFLU-LP. While technically just another Florida Highway Advisory Station, it actually is airing the "Everglades network" a prerecorded set of programs about green tourism and their efforts in the everglades. The station simulcasts on 107.9 WFLU-LP, and the program originates at 90.1 WGCU in Ft. Myers. It was actually surprisingly good programming. More here. 1700-Am WJCC was spinning Latin dance for all the alligators,

In Miami the AM dial just about exploded with activity. Besides killer stations such as WDNA and 90.5 WVUM there were reams of Caribbean stations spinning rhumba, salsa, afro-cuban jazz.. and a myriad of sub-genres. In the rest of the nation Spanish radio inherently means norteno, regional Mexican, and tejano. It's rare the station is quite so selective. But in south Florida it's another bird entirely. WHSR-AM 980 is Radio Haiti, and WLQY-AM 1320 airs mostly creole, some great music. WSRF-AM 1580 has been billing itself as Haitian-American as well, though the station was all talk each time I tuned in.

But I also heard one unidentified oddity on 1590 AM, down in Pinecrest Florida. There was a station running a short loop of good honking saxophone rock n roll oldies and chamber of commerce announcements. It is not licensed. They have a dot gov website here, with the call letters WQFS, which they don't actually own. I am assuming they operate under part 15. I found a town newsletter from 2011 that explains the situation a bit. I quote below
"The Village already has a radio station, which no one knows about or uses. If you look for the signs, near our parks, you will see them promoting "Tune in to Pinecrest Radio 1590 AM." The investment of the equipment and band access by the Village about five years ago was never really maximized the way it could be, but that is about to change..."
This issue here of Florida DX news lists them as an unconfirmed Municipal Information Station operating under Part 15 since 2006, but also as unconfirmed. I hereby confirm it, good work gentlemen.

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