For a radio station that has called St Augustine home for eighty-years, its time step up the pace; as WFOY, and its sister station WAOC, prepare to simulcast their programs on the FM dial in 2013 according to an announcement received by Historic City News today.
WFOY 1240-AM will also be heard on 102.3 FM, and, WAOC 1420-AM will also be heard on 96.5 FM; within the first few months of 2013 pending final license approvals from the Federal Communications Commission.
“I think that being on FM will make us a stronger competitor,” Kris Phillips, president of Phillips Broadcasting, told reporters. “More and more people listen to FM; so, I think we have a greater potential to have a bigger audience.”
After the purchase of two FM translators, needed to accomplish the simulcast, and remodeling of the studios on Lewis Point Road Extension, near Old Moultrie Road, Phillips says she will add about $175,000 to her total investment in the community since purchasing the two stations from Doug Shull with Shull Broadcasting in 2006.
According to Phillips, the simulcast will not be accompanied with a format change. Each station will retain its current format; news-talk for WFOY and sports for WAOC. Down the road, it is possible that Phillips will look at ways to grow the WAOC audience.
When WAOC was operated by original owner, Wayne Sims, its format was country-western and WFOY had been an affiliate of CBS Radio from 1940 until 2006.
This is not the first experience for WFOY on FM. Programming from the local radio station, originally located on property adjacent to the Fountain of Youth, for which it is named, was first simulcast on the higher frequency FM band in August of 1965.
“The area has grown well beyond the original 1240 AM signal design, which dates back to the 1930s when St Augustine was a much smaller community,” Phillips noted. “With 102.3 FM, we will deliver a clear, strong signal even during severe weather when local news alerts are so vitally important.”