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|Broadcast area||South Florida|
|Frequency||101.5 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Branding||101.5 Lite FM|
|Slogan||Real Music Variety for Your Workday|
HD2: Soft adult contemporary
(Entercom License, LLC)
|WAXY, WKIS, WMXJ, WPOW, WQAM, WSFS|
First air date
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Sounds like "life"|
|HAAT||248 meters (814 ft)|
WLYF (101.5 MHz, "101.5 Lite FM") is a commercial FM radio station in Miami, Florida. Owned by Entercom, it broadcasts an adult contemporary radio format. From mid-November until December 25, it switches to all-Christmas music. WLYF's studios and offices are co-located with its Entercom sister stations on NW 2nd Avenue (U.S. Route 441) in Miami.
WLYF has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100,000 watts, the maximum for non-grandfathered FM stations. The transmitter is off NW 210th Street in Miami Gardens. WLYF broadcasts in the HD Radio hybrid format, with a second subchannel carrying a soft adult contemporary format, known as "Today's Life."
In April 1948, the station signed on the air as WWPB-FM, owned and operated by Paul Brake (with his initials reflected in the call sign). It was the FM counterpart to AM 1450 WWPB (now WKAT) and ran at 8,500 watts, a fraction of its current power. It was one of only three FM stations on the air in Miami in the post-war years and it mostly simulcast WWPB.
In the late 1950s, WWPB-FM became a classical music station, affiliating with WQXR in New York City, which had a network of classical programming for FM stations. When that service ended, WWPB-FM continued on its own as a classical outlet. In the 1960s, the station boosted its power to 31,000 watts but on a tower of 285 feet, so the station's coverage was only for Miami and its closer suburbs.
Beautiful music WLYF
In April 1970, Sudbrink Broadcasting acquired the station. It was paired with AM 1550 WRIZ (now WRHC) in Coral Gables, which Sudbrink had bought the year before. In December 1970, the call letters were changed to WLYF. The city of license was switched to Coral Gables to match WRIZ. WLYF adopted a beautiful music format produced and distributed by Stereo Radio Productions. WLYF was known promotionally for many years as "Life," until the current "Lite FM" name was adopted.
Sudbrink relocated WLYF to the WLBW television tower and increased its effective radiated power to 100,000 watts, allowing it to be easily heard in Fort Lauderdale and even picked up in West Palm Beach. The beautiful music format proved a hit, especially among Miami's large retired community. WLYF became the first FM radio station in a Top 25 radio market to achieve a number one audience rating.
Switch to adult contemporary
By the late 1980s, the audience for easy listening stations was getting older. WLYF gradually added more soft rock vocals and decreased the instrumental tunes. By the early 1990s, WLYF had made the transition to a soft adult contemporary format, now known as "101.5 LITE-FM." Radio programming vet Rob Sidney replaced Larry Travers who had supervised the Easy Listening format. Sidney guided the station to an all-vocal sound with a more upbeat delivery. By the early 2000s, Sidney moved the station to a mainstream AC format.
On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced that it was purchasing Lincoln Financial Group's entire 15-station lineup (including WLYF) in a $106.5 million deal. It would operate the outlets under a local marketing agreement (LMA) until the sale was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The sale was consummated on July 17, 2015. In 2016 and 2017 Iconic Radio DJ and Promotions Legend Danger Dan Elm was an integral part of Lite FM's success.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, many AC stations around the U.S. and Canada began following a practice to devote the weeks from mid-November until December 25 to all-Christmas music. But until 2018, WLYF was a rare AC station that did not switch its format. During the holiday season, WLYF would usually play Christmas music during the evening hours and weekends.
That all changed on November 21, 2018, when WLYF announced that it would play Christmas music full-time for the holiday season. Unlike most markets in the United States and Canada, full-time Christmas music stations have been inconsistent and rare in Miami. The last station to go all-Christmas was active rock 93.1 WHDR, doing it for one season as it made the transition in 2010 to soft adult contemporary WFEZ. In 2019, WLYF made the switch to all-Christmas tunes on the Monday before Thanksgiving, November 25.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1952 page 108
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1963 page B-40
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1974 page B-41
- "Closed Circuit" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. December 27, 1971.
- "Approved" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. April 17, 1978.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1982 page C-50
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2003 page D-101
- "Entercom Acquires Lincoln Financial Media" from Radio Insight (December 8, 2014)
- "WLYF (101.5 Lite FM)/Miami Flipping To Christmas Tunes". All Access. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
- "The Last Big Christmas Music Holdout Market Surrenders". RadioInsight. 2018-11-20. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
- Official website
- WLYF in the FCC's FM station database
- WLYF on Radio-Locator
- WLYF in Nielsen Audio's FM station database