WCOA (AM)

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WCOA
WCOA-logo-RGB.jpg
CityPensacola, Florida
Broadcast areaPensacola and Vicinity
BrandingWCOA News/Talk 1370
Frequency1370 kHz
First air date1926
FormatNews/Talk
Power5,000 watts
ClassB
Facility ID12142
Callsign meaningWonderful City Of Advantages
AffiliationsABC News
OwnerCumulus Media
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
Sister stationsWJTQ, WRRX
WebcastListen Live
Websitewcoapensacola.com

WCOA (1370 AM, "News/Talk 1370") is an American radio station serving the Pensacola, Florida, area with a News/Talk format. This station is under ownership of Cumulus Media. Its studios are in Pensacola, and its transmitter is in Brent, Florida.

History[edit]

On February 3, 1926, hundreds of people gathered in Plaza Ferdinand in downtown Pensacola to hear the first sounds of radio in Northwest Florida. At precisely 8:30 p.m. WCOA went on the air, and the broadcast was piped over a large horn on top of City Hall. Locals who owned receivers could tune into the 250-watt signal that was broadcast from two 100-foot towers located behind City Hall.

City Clerk John E. Frenkel Sr., who used the moniker Breezy Boy from the Gulf,[citation needed] hosted the first program.[1] It featured local talent, city officials and representatives of area military bases. The grand finale was a rendition of a song called "Down Pensacola Way" that was composed especially for the big unveiling. According to letters and calls, over 700 people listened to the first broadcast.

When the city government changed form in 1931, WCOA was purchased by John C. Pace[1] for $6,500. When he purchased the station on December 1, 1931, he indicated he would spend $20,000 in modernizing the station. The studios were moved to the San Carlos Hotel where they remained until 1949. Pace eventually sold the station to the company that owned the Pensacola News Journal newspaper, which sold it in 1957.[1]

The station increased its power to 5,000 watts September 8, 1947.[2]

WCOA operated for many years as an affiliate of NBC. The programming featured middle of the road music, news and sports. The station's popularity grew. In 1956 when WCOA celebrated 30 years on the air, congratulatory telegrams were received from musicians such as Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

The station changed ownership, location and network affiliation several more times over the years. In 1991, the programming switched to a news-talk format.

WCOA also has a place in the Congressional Record, recognizing the 80th anniversary of WCOA.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Barker, Eddie (February 3, 1968). "Eddie Barker". Pensacola News Journal. Florida, Pensacola. p. 1. Retrieved May 14, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  2. ^ "WCOA ad" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 22, 1947. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  3. ^ "RECOGNIZING THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF NEWSTALK RADIO 1370 WCOA", Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 21 (Friday, February 17, 2006). From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]. Retrieved on October 13, 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°26′57″N 87°15′46″W / 30.44917°N 87.26278°W / 30.44917; -87.26278