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WMMO
City of license Orlando, Florida
Broadcast area Greater Orlando
Branding 98-9 WMMO
Slogan Soft Rock and Roll of Yesterday and Today
Frequency 98.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1990
Format Adult Hits/Rock AC
ERP 44,000 watts
HAAT 159 meters
Class C2
Facility ID 23444
Callsign meaning May mean More Music for Orlando, though the station took similar call signs from WMMS in Cleveland
Owner Cox Communications
Sister stations WCFB, WDBO, WHTQ, WPYO, WWKA
part of Cox cluster with TV station WFTV
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.wmmo.com

WMMO is a Cox Radio station in Orlando, Florida, broadcasting at 98.9 FM with an Adult Hits format. The station signed on as WEZO in 1990 before taking its current callsign. Previous owners of this station include Infinity Broadcasting, Granum Communications, and Radio Orlando L.P., a partnership controlled by Jim Martin.

History

WMMO signed on August 19, 1990 as one of only two radio stations in the world broadcasting from a fully-enclosed transmit antenna. The station broadcast from the top of Orlando's SunBank Center, a skyscraper with a pyramid-like spire atop the building. When Cox Communications purchased WMMO and WHTQ, the station moved to WHTQ's former tower in Pine Hills for better coverage. This was the original planned location for WMMO's transmitter, but a breakdown in negotiations with WHTQ's former owner, John Tenaglia, forced the change of location to SunBank Center. The station was said to derive its call letters from WMMS in Cleveland, Ohio, but, in reality, they were chosen for their ability to be easily pronounced. The founding programmer and chief engineer, Cary Pall, was reported to have been a fan of WMMS, and secured the call letters to honor the longtime Cleveland rock station. While Pall was, indeed, a fan of WMMS, the call sign similarity is coincidental. A former employee of WMMO who also worked at WMMS made this observation in error. [1] WMMS and WMMO are owned by different companies, and have been owned by different companies throughout their histories despite several ownership changes for each station. The two stations also feature different radio formats.

WMMO is known for its pioneering format, Rock AC, that blended elements of adult contemporary, adult alternative and album rock radio. Its creators sought to bring back a listening experience similar to early FM rock stations of the late 60s and 70s, focusing on music rather than contests and promotions. A popular slogan in its early days was, "if you want to win money, play the lottery." WMMO used a wide ranging playlist of songs from many genres, and its library stretched from the mid 60s to the present day, unlike many stations of its time that focused on small slices of music from specific genres. WMMO also made a promise to always identify songs by title and artist frequently, and to never talk over the music as it played, as many Top 40 stations and DJs like to do. "We love the music as much as you do" was another slogan pioneered by WMMO that has been copied widely in the radio industry ever since.

90 days after signing on, WMMO was ranked number one in adult listeners in the Orlando market, and was among the ratings leaders in Orlando for its first four years. In the mid 90s, management changed and the station shifted to a more aggressive playlist of new "progressive" music. Ratings fell dramatically until, in 1996, Cox Radio took over and, for the most part, returned the format to its original Rock AC roots. WMMO has regained its leading position in the market ever since.

In 2008, longtime personalities Jerry Steffen and Jay Francisco were let go. Steffen was at WMMO for 18 years and Francisco for 14 years.

References

  1. ^ WMMO page on Central Florida Radio. Accessed 24 February 2007.

External links

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