From “Wonderful Days And Evenings” to “Why Stay Up North”: Call Letters and their Slogans

Since the early days of broadcasting, stations have been known by slogans associated with their call letters.

Bryan Norcross is known across the nation for his work as an award-winning meteorologist (Hurricane Andrew and many more, on Florida stations, national networks NBC and CBS, The Weather Channel), but what you may not know is that he got his start in broadcasting as a rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey in Melbourne and Tallahassee. You can learn more about his career in my book.

Bryan is also a broadcasting history buff, and that led to a conversation one day about call letters and their slogans. “A misnomer is that very early stations’ call letters meant anything,” Bryan explained. “When they first went to 4-letter call signs as the number of stations increased in 1922, the format east of the Mississippi started with W_A_. So WDAE and WQAM were simply in sequence – as were WCAN and WDAL. Sometime in the mid-1920s apparently call letters could be requested. This made WIOD possible.”

Bryan has done a lot more research into this, but the bottom line is most stations’ call letters were simply assigned. That didn’t stop promotionally oriented managers from crafting their own meaning to the call letters. Sometimes they asked listeners and viewers to come up with their own suggestions.

Here is a partial list of call letters and slogans I came across during my twelve years of work on Towers in the Sand. Remember, stations changed call letters often, so the cities are my best guesses. I thought this might be fun. I’m going to put the list on the book’s Facebook page, @towersinthesand. I hope you will add to it.

Station City of License Slogan
WAUC (Wachula) WACHula
WBFS (Miami) Broadcasting from Florida’s South
WBIL (Leesburg) We’re Big In Leesburg
WBUS (Miami Beach) Magic BUS
WCKR (Miami) Cox-Knight Radio (newspaper companies)
WCMQ (Miami) CMQ (call sign for popular Havana station)
WCOA (Pensacola) Wonderful City of Advantages
WCVU (Naples) CVU = Sea View
WDAE (Tampa) Wonderful Days And Evenings (during The Great Depression changed by announcers to We Don’t Always Eat)
WDBO (Orlando) Originally Daytona Beach Orlando, but later Way Down By Orlando
WDLP (Panama City) John Perry’s wife Dorthea Lindstrom Perry. AKA by the locals, “We Drink Liquor Publicly”
WDSR (Lake City) Deep South Radio
WDVH (Gainesville) Partners Toby Dowdy, Buster Vaughn, Tom Hanssen
WFBO (Flagler Beach) Flagler’s Blizzard of Oldies
WFFG (Marathon) World’s Finest Fishing Grounds
WFHH (Tampa) Fort Harrison Hotel
WFLA (Tampa) West FLoridA
WFLX (West Palm Beach) FLX = flicks (as in movies)
WFOY (St. Augustine) Wonderful Fountain Of Youth
WFTM (Fort Myers) FT. Myers
WFTV (Orlando) Wonderful Florida TeleVision
WGBS (Miami) George B. Storer (Storer Broadcasting)
WGGG (Gainesville) Watch Greater Gainesville Grow (also, from the boys who worked at the station, “Where Good Girls Grow”)
WGTO (Cypress Gardens) Gulf To Ocean, later Good Times Oldies
WHLG (Stuart) Harvey L Glascock
WIOD (Miami) Wonderful Isle Of Dreams
WIPC (Lake Wales) Imperial Polk County
WIZD (Fort Pierce) WIZard
WJAX (Jacksonville) JAX = Jacksonville
WJBS (DeLand) Stetson University founder John B. Stetson
WJXR (Maclenny) JaXonville Radio
WKAT (Miami) Frank L. KATzentine
WKKO (Cocoa Beach) KKO = Cocoa
WKMG (Orlando) Katharine M. Graham
WKTK (Crystal River) Koast To Koast
WLBE (Eustis) LeesBurg Eustis
WLBF (Leesburg) LeesBurg Florida
WLIZ (Lake Worth) eLIZabeth Taylor
WLOD (Pompano Beach) Wonderful Land of Dreams
WLOF (Orlando) We Love Orlando Florida, later Wonderful Land Of Fun
WLVS (Lake Worth) LVS = Elvis – named by station owner Sam Phillips who first recorded Elvis
WMEG (Melbourne) Melbourne-Eau Gallie
WMUM (West Palm Beach) Mother Radio
WNTM (Orlando) Naomi T. Murrell (pres of Central Fla Broadcasting)
WNTO (Orlando) News-Talk Orlando
WNWS (Miami) NeWS
WOCN (Miami) OCN = ocean
WPBF (West Palm Beach) West Palm Beach Florida
WPBR (Palm Beach) Palm Beach Radio
WPBT (Miami) We’re Public Broadcast Television
WPEC (West Palm Beach) Photo Electronics Corporation
WPIO (Titusville) We Pass It On
WPLG (Miami) Phillip L. Graham
WPOM (Riviera Beach) POM = Palm (as in Palm Beach)
WPTV (West Palm Beach) West Palm TeleVision
WQAM (Miami) World’s Quickest Ascending Metropolis
WQBA (Miami) QBA = Cuba
WQOP (Jacksonville) Queen of Peace (licensee name)
WRBD (Pompano Beach) Rockin’ Big Daddy
WRBQ (Tampa) Ralph Beavers (chief engineer)
WRKT (Cocoa Beach) RKT = rocket (Cape Canaveral)
WRMF (West Palm Beach) Richard M. Fairbanks (owner)
WRUF (Gainesville) Radio University of Florida
WSBB (New Smyrna) World’s Safest Bathing Beach
WSEC (Miami) Second Educational Channel
WSFR (Sanford) Sanford Florida Radio
WSHE (Fort Lauderdale) SHEs only rock ‘n’ roll
WSLC (Clermont) W-South Lake County
WSRF (Fort Lauderdale) SuRF
WSRQ (Sarasota) SRQ = airline code for Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
WSUN (Tampa) Why Stay Up North?
WTHS (Miami) Technical High School
WTIR (Winter Garden) Traveller Information Radiotime, later Traffic and Information Radio
WTLN (Orlando) Named for owner’s family Tom, Linda, Nancy Moffit
WTLV (Jacksonville) TeLeVision
WTMC (Ocala) Welcome To Marion County, later The Music Connection
WTRL (Bradenton) TRaiL Broadcasting (near the Tamiami Trail)
WTRR (Sanford) First owner, James Rivers son, Tolliver R. Rivers
WTSP (St. Petersburg) Welcome To Saint Petersburg
WTVT (Tampa) Walter Tison Virginia Tison (founder and wife)
WVCG (Coral Gables) Winning Voice of Coral Gables
WVGT (Bithlo) Voice of the Golden Triangle
WVOJ (Jacksonville) Voice of Jacksonville, Wonderful Voice Of Jesus
WVUM (Coral Gables) Voice of the University of Miami
WWOS (West Palm Beach) Wonderful World Of Stereo
WWPF (Palatka) Welcome to Palatka Florida
WWSB (Sarasota) Wide Water touches Sarasota and Bradenton
WXLT (Sarasota) XL Television (40 in Roman numerals)
WYNF (Tampa) You Now Found (and) Ninety Five
WZST (Leesburg) Zest Radio, The Cleanest Spot On The Dial

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