Local FM radio returns with a new format


On May 24th, Cortona Media, LLC, located in St. Augustine Beach, was granted a call sign change from WSJF to WYRE according to notification received by Historic City News from the media bureau of the Federal Communications Commission.

The station went live and local during the end of May and they follow a format targeting music listeners of songs from the “80’s, 90’s and now”. The studios and offices are at the former WSOS studio; located at 253 Zygmont Court in St. Augustine; off SR-16.

Industry insiders are saying that the revamped station “is supposed to be a takeoff of the Annapolis station WRNR”. The buzz is that if you think about it the format you hear on WRNR, the new WYRE is “likely to be the permanent format in St. Augustine”.

To those who know him, veteran programmer and station owner Steve Kingston is considered “a smart guy”. It’s not known if he has his sights on rock lovers just 25 miles up the road in Jacksonville, but, the focus, at least initially, is St. Johns and Flagler counties.

Perhaps one of the larger challenges for WYRE will be the fact that they are only licensed for 25,000 watts; and in radio, people have to be able to hear you. Today, it’s more common than ever for people to listen to out-of-market radio stations, according to others in the radio business. They are saying that references to St. Augustine won’t matter – the music is the draw.

Although the WYRE website is still “under construction”, we took a peek at their recent playlist during the lunch hour and found:

Can’t Help Falling in Love UB40 12:36pm
Good Life One Republic 12:33pm
Sober Pink 12:28pm
She Will Be Loved Maroon 5 12:24pm
Breathe Faith Hill 12:20pm
Small Town John Mellencamp 12:16pm
Firework Katy Perry 12:12pm
Collide Howie Day 12:08pm
You Get What You Give New Radicals 12:03pm
Rolling In the Deep ADELE 12:00pm

The WYRE 105.5 in St. Augustine is available over the Internet; streamed at USTREAM http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-wyre-105-5-st-augustine

Around the net, people are saying that the WYRE has “the tempo and sizzle of a classic Mainstream Top 40”. The legal ID is “serving the First Coast from the beaches to the riverfront.” There’s also a promise of “no hard rap, no sap, no crap.” The music is predominantly up-tempo. The morning show is Elvis Duran with three local breaks an hour from Patty Steele.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph

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