WGNE-FM 98.1 Daytona Beach FL Secret Santa 1991

“98 Frog” was the “hoppin” Country station in Daytona Beach!  In all seriousness, this station and frequency have a most interesting history: It began on 98.3, with 3,000 watts in Titusville.  Several call letters and formats were tried throughout the years.  But with all the Orlando FMs putting city grade signals into Titusville, things were difficult for this small station.  In 1989, the FCC approved an upgrade to 50,000 watts, provided they move one channel down the dial to 98.1.  The calls were changed to WGNE, which stood for Great Ninety Eight.  Also at this time, the format was flipped to Country and the studios/target market were moved to Daytona Beach.  By 1991, the “Great Ninety Eight” moniker was dropped in favor of “98 Frog.” 

In 2000, the station was moved to Orlando to become the first Spanish FM in the market as WNUE.  At this exact same moment, the WGNE calls and Country format were adopted by Tony Renda’s 99.9, which was licensed to Palatka but targeted Daytona Beach with it’s monster signal from a tall tower near Bunnell.  The moniker was simply changed from “98 Frog” to “99 Frog.”  Are you confused yet?  Wait, there’s more!  In 2005, the *new* WGNE (99.9) moved to Jacksonville, downgraded to a smaller signal (licensed to Middleburg), and became “Froggy 99.9 – Jumpin’ Country.”  It remains so today.  Meanwhile, 98.1 remains Spanish WNUE, targeting Orlando but still licensed to Titusville.  It cannot move it’s transmitter closer to Orlando, due to 97.9/Clearwater and 98.3/Fort Meade.

This quick aircheck was made from my location, 6 miles south of Ocala.  I grabbed it as part of a routine dial scan, so the beginning is cut off.  Equipment used was a Realistic AM/FM/CD/Cassette portable stereo with Sony LN90 tape.  A medium sized TV antenna with “pruned” VHF-LO elements (cut to resonance on FM frequencies) was pointed east to bring in the Frog!

WGNE_Secret_Santa_Dec_1991

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