|Broadcast area||Jacksonville area|
|Branding||AM 600 & FM 101.1 The Answer|
|Translator(s)||101.1 W266CX (Fruit Cove)|
|First air date||December 9, 1933|
|Power||50,000 watts day|
9,700 watts night
|Callsign meaning||We're Bob|
|Former callsigns||WPDQ (1960s & early 1970s)|
|Affiliations||Salem Radio Network|
|Owner||Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation|
WBOB (600 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in Jacksonville, Florida. The station airs a talk radio format and is owned by Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation. Weekdays begin with a local news and information show, followed by mostly syndicated programming, including shows from Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxas, Jay Sekulow and Red Eye Radio. Most hours begin with Townhall News. Some hours are paid brokered programming. The station calls itself "AM 600 & FM 101.1 The Answer," a slogan often used on Salem Radio Network talk stations.
By day, WBOB is powered at 50,000 watts, the maximum power permitted for commercial AM stations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But at night, to protect other stations on AM 600, it reduces power to 9,700 watts. A directional antenna, located off Lenox Avenue in Jacksonville, is used at all times. Listeners in Jacksonville and adjacent communities can also hear WBOB on FM translator station W266CX at 101.1 in Fruit Cove, Florida.
On December 9, 1933, the station signed on as WMBR, at 1270 kilocycles. It was owned by the Florida Broadcasting Company and was powered at only 100 watts. In the 1940s, WMBR moved first to 1400 khz, powered at 250 watts. Then it switched to 1460 kHz and increased its power to 5,000 watts. WMBR was a CBS Radio Network affiliate and carried its schedule of dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the Golden Age of Radio.
In 1948, it added an FM station, 96.1 WMBR-FM (now WEJZ), and in 1949, it put a TV station on the air, Channel 4 WMBR-TV (now WJXT). WMBR-TV was the first TV station in Jacksonville and carried programming from all the major networks initially.
Meanwhile, in 1942, another AM station went on the air in Jacksonville, WJDC at 1270 kHz. It was owned by the Jacksonville Broadcasting Company and was powered at 5,000 watts. In a few years, it had moved to 600 kHz. It changed its call sign to WPDQ and was an ABC affiliate. Henderson Belk, a North Carolina businessman, purchased WPDQ in 1964 from Brush-Moore Newspapers,
Moving to AM 600
In the 1960s and early 1970s, WPDQ carried a Top 40 format, while WMBR stayed with its full service middle of the road (MOR) format. In 1975, after Belk sold the station to Robert Rounsaville of Atlanta, the two stations made a switch. WMBR took the better frequency at 600 kHz, describing its format as "Bright MOR Personality." WPDQ moved higher up the dial to WMBR's old frequency, 1460 kHz, continuing its Top 40 sound.
In 1978, AM 600 switched its call letters to WSNY, calling itself "Sunny 60," although the format remained Bright MOR Personality. Then in 1980, the call letters were changed to WAIV. AM 600 began simulcasting Top 40 programming from its FM sister station 96.9 WAIV-FM, known as The Big Wave.
From Country to Talk
Pop Country became the new format in 1981 with a call letter change to WOKV, known as "OK 60 The Unrock." Music continued on WOKV with various adjustments from pop country to adult contemporary to oldies. Then in the 1986, the station was bought by EZ Communications. AM 600 became WOKV, featuring a news/talk format, and was Jacksonville's original home of the syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show.
In 1994, Prism Radio Partners acquired the former WAPE/690, "The Big Ape." WAPE had Jacksonville's best AM signal, powered at 50,000 watts by day non-directional, 10,000 watts at night with a directional signal. The WOKV callsign and news/talk programming was moved to 690 AM. The WPDQ callsign was again returned to AM 600 with an adult standards format.
Sports and Children's Programming
In 1996, Prism changed the AM 600 call letters again, this time to WBWL. The station became known as "The Ball" with a format change to sports radio.
Children's radio programming lasted until December 2010 when Radio Disney sold WBWL to Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation. The call letters were changed to WBOB with a conservative talk format. It featured Bill Bennett's Morning in America, Laura Ingraham and Glenn Beck along with a variety of local news and talk programming.
As of the 2014 season, WBOB broadcasts games from the Jacksonville Sharks Arena Football League. Also in the mid-2010s, WBOB got a power boost, going from 5,000 watts day and night, to 50,000 watts in the daytime and 9,700 watts at night.
- "WBOB Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1935 page 28
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 112
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1942 page 116
- WPDQ Jacksonville sold for $750,000, Broadcasting, Volume 66, pp. 9, 96 (May 18, 1964)
- Jacksonville stations undergo four-way juggle, Television/Radio Age, Volume 23, p.11 (1975)
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1976 page C-39
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1990 page B-67