WRUF-FM 103.7
Gainesville

Original Call Letters: WRUF

Originally Licensed: 1948

Original City of License: Gainesville

Original Frequency: 104.5

Origin of Call Letters: Radio University of Florida 

Original Power: 27,500 watts

Original Location:

Original Format: Beautiful Music/Classical music


Network Affiliation(s):


Mutual Broadcasting System 


Owner(s):


1948-Board of Regents for the University of Florida

History of Call Letters and Formats:

WRUF-1948-Simulcast of most WRUF-AM 850 programming
WRUF-1969-Beautiful Music/Classical/Educational     "Stereo 104"
WRUF-1982-AOR/Rock    "Rock 104"
WRUF-2001-Modern Active Rock/Alternative      "Rock 104"
WRUF-2010-Country      "Country 103.7-The Gator"


History Of WRUF
Thanks to Marc Tyll for this history of WRUF
WRUF-FM began operations in 1948 with 27,500 watts operating on 103.7 mHz as North Central Florida’s ONLY FM radio station. There were very few FM stations in 1948 with WDBO-FM 92.3 Orlando, being the next FM station, within 100 miles of Gainesville, which began in operation 1952. WRUF-FM was constructed and owned by the University of Florida. By the early to mid 60s, WRUF-FM began programming Beautiful Music combined with classical music, billed as "Fine Arts Radio". In the early '70s the format became totally beautiful music with special weekend classical music and other fine arts programming. As a beautiful music station, WRUF-FM became known as "Stereo 104" and was North Central Florida’s CBS Radio affiliate, broadcasting CBS World News and the popular CBS Mystery Theatre. Weekends consisted of the classical sounds of Mozart, Strauss, Beethoven, Chopin and many others. Sunday afternoons consisted of Fine Arts and cultural programming where you could hear your favorite Opera selections.
In 1979 at the height of the '70s disco era, WRUF-FM made a bold move when program director Harry Guslott hired Professor Chuck Woods to produce and host "Studio 104" heard Saturday evenings. "Studio 104" consisted of all the hottest disco tunes that were being played on Top 40 radio and also heard in all the dance clubs. "Studio 104" was quite a contrast from normal "Stereo 104" programming and became a huge hit among the University students and the general population.
By mid 1981, WRUF-FM constructed a new 1,000 foot tower and raised the power to 100,000 watts, greatly extending their coverage area into Ocala, Palatka, the Gulf Coast, and all of North Central Florida. The station could be heard from Ocala to Valdosta, Georgia, and soon after completing the power increase, WRUF-FM made another bold move when Progressive Rock station WGVL-FM 105.5 switched format to Contemporary Hits as "Kiss 105". WRUF-FM saw a void left by WGVL and made the jump to Progressive Rock, dropping all "Stereo 104" programming. Gone were all the cultural and fine arts programming. The CBS Radio Network was replaced with CBS Radio-Radio, a news network geared towards AOR radio listeners. However all was not lost for Fine Arts listeners. The University of Florida constructed a new 100,000 watt non-commercial FM station broadcasting on 89.1 known as "Classic 89". The call letters were WUFT-FM and, with he exception of the CBS Mystery Theatre, all former "Stereo 104" programming was placed on "Classic 89". "Rock 104", as it was called, started out as a hard rock Top 40 sounding station, but quickly eliminated all the Top 40 music and added only hard rock tunes to the play-list. "Rock 104" was widely accepted and embraced by the market as it filled a void left by the former "Quadship" WGVL-FM 105.5. "Rock 104" made a few music adjustments over the years going from hard rock, to classic rock, and back to mainstream AOR, but has always remained a highly rated radio station within the Ocala/Gainesville market. Soon Jacksonville based syndicated Lex and Terry were added to the line-up as the new "Rock 104" morning show. The rest of the broadcast day is hosted by communications students who receive college credit for interning on "Rock 104". In 2001, after 20 years as the market’s album rock station, Rock 104 completely revamped its programming to Active/Alternative rock, but remains known as "Rock 104". 
 
From Don Smith, who was with  WRUF-AM&FM between 1950 and 1954 adds to the history of WRUF-FM.
"...The management of WRUF -- which operated well beyond the 1950s as a separate component of the University of Florida and with no academic function whatsoever -- used the new FM facility mostly as a training ground for on-air talent who hoped to "graduate" to the AM side.  Typically, it separated its daily duplication each afternoon and broadcast its own schedule of mainly sustaining programs.  Some of these were parts of the MBS schedule disdained by AM; most were locally originated music shows that tilted toward an easy listening format.  And, from time to time, WRUF-FM aired University of Florida sporting events (baseball, basketball, track) as yet another means of giving young talent an opportunity to develop those skills.

From Edison McIntyre
I worked for WRUF-FM in 1975-76 while attending the University of Florida as a broadcasting major.  I already had a degree in music and was primarily interested in the classical programming on the FM side of WRUF; unlike many of the student broadcasters who worked there, I never aspired to "graduate" to the AM side.  In 1975-76, we ran classical music programs M-F, 7pm-11pm.  The first three hours were produced by "Radio Center," a part of UF's College of Journalism and Communications, supervised by Dr. Mickie Edwardson and Dr. Sid Pactor of the broadcasting faculty.  Broadcasting students scripted the programs and did the announcing. Drs. Edwardson and Pactor did most of the music selection, and I was proud when they allowed me to assume that function for several months in 1975-76.  For a time, WRUF-FM's staff, for which I also worked, did the 10-11pm hour of classical music, but sometime late in 1975 or early in 1976, that last evening hour of classical music was eliminated and reverted to the "beautiful music" format that dominated the rest of the station's schedule at that time. 
On weekends, the WRUF-FM staff also did some classical music programming -- usually 7pm to 10 or 11pm Saturday and for a few hours on Sunday afternoon and evenings.  WRUF-FM also presented the live Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on Saturday afternoons (December through April) for many years, until they moved over to WUFT-FM.  And for a time in 1975 -- I'm not sure how long this went on -- there also was a two-hour folk music program on WRUF-FM on Saturday afternoons (4-6pm or in that neighborhood).  I don't recall that there was much jazz programming on WRUF-FM at that time, but there may have been in earlier years. In 1975-76, Radio Center did produce a short jazz program that was played on Friday nights, as well as a weekly program of Broadway scores and songs.  We were trying to be a "public" radio station in presenting a diverse array of musical programming.  I recall that neither Dr. Edwardson nor WRUF-FM station manager Bob Leach were very pleased when I programmed 20th-century, atonal compositions, especially back-to-back-to-back.  I learned that trying to "educate" listeners about modern music wasn't very productive if they had already tuned you out -- an important lesson for a young broadcaster.
Technically a commercial station, WRUF-FM was heavily subsidized by the university; even in the non-classical blocks, ad spots were rare, compared to the AM station. WRUF-FM's "beautiful music" format in that era was called "Stereo Montage," and it was roundly disliked by most of the (mostly student) announcers who ran the board and spun the LPs on the FM side. ("Stereo Garbage," "Stereo Garage," "Stereo Barrage," etc.)  We had about 600-800 LPs that we used -- divided among instrumentals, male vocals, and female vocals -- and we announcers would cycle through each group, one cut per album, according to a rigid format (mostly instrumental cuts, no more than two or three vocals per hour).  There was a slight element of creativity in this, because the announcer got to choose the cut played from each LP,  but I don't recall that we did much voicing, or back-announcing of the selections we played.  At the top of every hour, we ID'd, of course, and ran network news (CBS). I was very pleased when Bob Leach called me one day while I was on the air to commend me for my "Stereo Montage" selections. Alas, sometime in the fall of 1975 or thereabouts, Leach decided to abandon the announcer-selected LPs and started subscribing to an "easy listening" tape service. That significantly reduced interest among many students in working on the FM side, already considered the less challenging aspect of the WRUF operation.  "Everybody" wanted to do the rock jock thing on the AM side, of course.
Sid Pactor is still at UF in an emeritus status, but Bob Leach left us long ago, and just this past June 15, Mickie Edwardson passed away.  I worked for WRUF-FM for about fifteen months before leaving Gainesville to work for a couple of non-commercial classical stations in North Carolina. My experience at WRUF-FM and Radio Center was invaluable, and the people I worked with were great teachers.


Memories From Gregg Melton
As a Broadcasting Senior in 1979 I was interested in getting all the experience I could. With seeds of Dance music sprouting in my head, I was drawn to the weekend Disco program started by Chuck Woods at WRUF-FM. I began to "hang around" and I guess Chuck was ready to let the students take over, so I war hired. Bob Leach, the station manager at the time made it clear that I would have to work some Beautiful Music shifts also. Disco was on Friday and Saturday nights (starting around 9 PM) and very popular with both students and in the ratings. Chris Evans also rotated in and did a show every other Saturday night. Chuck must have gotten the word out because we were getting a lot of great promo vinyl releases weekly and supplementing them with local record store buys. Even a fellow student who was a night DJ at WGGG(-AM 1230) was calling and asking me what song he was hearing. I worked a lot of Sundays playing Beautiful Music. Songs were on about 50 reel-to-reel tapes and we would load two at a time and go back and forth between them. The log would list which reels to use, but I quickly learned that the higher numbered reels were more up to date and I always ignored the list went for them. Chuck Mangione's label had mistakenly sent out "Feels So Good" to Beautiful Music stations, and many along with WRUF-FM started playing it. We had it on a cart tape and were instructed to play it when "something went wrong" which hardly ever happened. However, I liked the song and played it about once a shift, and nobody objected. One Sunday morning in the Spring of 1980 I was doing a double shift under partly cloudy skies but by afternoon the Gainesville area and all of North Florida were under a tornado watch. WRUF has a large coverage area and I had to read the names of about 13 counties every time I announced it. Mr. Leach called in to inform me that he didn't like the way I was saying "Duval" (I think I was saying Du-Val). After that, the weather quickly went downhill. I had to interrupt CBS news to announce that Alachua County was under a tornado warning! The area suffered some damage, but mostly to the limbs of the old oak trees all over town. School was cancelled for Monday though, which was one of the few times (if at all) that had ever happened. WRUF-AM 850 had a two man Sunday evening sports talk show and in addition to doing the FM I had to answer their call-ins (which I hated). They instructed me to "tell the young kids, they were too young to be on the radio." So I did. How was I to know one nine-year-old boy's grandfather was one of the station's advertisers? Anyway, I seemed to somehow take the blame for that unfairly and not very long after, the Disco programs were history. After graduating and moving to Atlanta, that was the end of my Broadcasting career (although not by choice). TV and radio stations here were telling me to go to somewhere like Valdosta and get some experience. I was like, "Where do you think I've been for the past 4 years?" I think the problem was that Georgia folks had no idea how advanced the UF Broadcasting department was. Anyway, my fondness of Dance music continued and survives to this day via my website www.usa-dance.net  which is widely popular among fans of the Dance music genre. 


It's Official: Rock 104 Goes Country     10-11-10
Thanks to William Watson for the following info. The University of Florida’s 100,000-watt commercial radio station, WRUF-FM 103.7 known today as "Rock 104" will become Gainesville’s only country radio station beginning this weekend, officials from UF’s College of Journalism and Communications announced today. Under its new name,Country 103.7-The Gator, the station will broadcast country music to attract a broader audience and help ensure the economic viability of the media properties for decades to come, said Randy Wright, executive director of the college’s multimedia properties. "Rock104" will live on as Rock104.com, continuing to target the 18-34 demographic with the active rock format the station has programmed plus local information and entertainment of value to North Central Florida.
Source: University of Florida News Randy Wright, rwright@jou.ufl.edu, 352-392-5551 ext. 1114

Names In WRUF History
Don Smith-1950-1954-Board of Regents for the University of Florida

Dan Hogan-1965-1966-Host of "Golden Notes", an afternoon big band and classical music show-Board of Regents for the University of Florida  Biography
Robert W. "Bob" Leach-1974 to 1986-General Manager-Board of Regents for the University of Florida  
Edison McIntyre-1975-1976-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Professor Chuck Woods-1979-Host of "Studio 104"-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Gregg Melton-1979-1980-Co-host of "Studio 104" Friday & Saturday-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Chris Evans-1979-1980-Co-host of "Studio 104" Friday & Saturday-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Robert Clark-1985-General Manager-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Howard Scott-1993-1996-Mid-day/Evening Request Show/Assistant Program Director-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Tony Tyler (Tony Simon)-1996-1998-Second to last host of the "Seventies At Seven" on Saturday mornings/Hosted other dayparts/1997-1998- Assistant Program Director-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Matt Adams-Middays/1997-Music Director-University of Florida
Harry Guscott-Program and Operations Manager-Board of Regents for the University of Florida
Lex and Terry-(Syndicated Mornings from "Rock 105" WFYV Jacksonville)-University of Florida
Todd Louis-Morning co-host-University of Florida
Chad Cruz-Morning co-host-University of Florida
Rick Miles-University of Florida
D. Nail-University of Florida
Grant Stone-University of Florida
Dave Warren-University of Florida
Duane F. McConnell-Chief Engineer-University of Florida 
Mike Killabrew-Music Director-University of Florida 
Jason Burns-Afternoons/Assistant Program Director-University of Florida  
Dan O'Malley-Assistant Program Director-University of Florida
Chip Thomas-Assistant Program Director-University of Florida 
Steve Street-University of Florida


Kyle Devlin-10AM-Noon-University of Florida


Kristen-Noon-3PM-University of Florida


Jimmy D-3PM-7PM-University of Florida


Chris Coleman-7PM-11PM/3PM-7PM/Music Director-University of Florida
Ben Markus-Weekdays 10AM–Noon/Sat 2PM-6PM-University of Florida


Glen Richards-Weekdays Noon-3PM-University of Florida
Rich Stehli-Weekdays 7PM-11PM-University of Florida
Kyle Baldry-Asst. Program Director- University of Florida
Tom Krynski-News Director-University of Florida
Forrest Smith-Asst. News Director- University of Florida
Steve Russell-Sports Director- University of Florida
Larry Dankner-General Manager/General Sales Manager-University of Florida
Lawanna Duncan-Business Manager-University of Florida
Jake Wilkinson-Promotions Director-University of Florida
Rose Sierra-Account Executive-University of Florida
Tom Collett-Account Executive-University of Florida
Jack Wich-Music Director-University of Florida
B.J. Rust-Business Manager-University of Florida
Dee Washington-Accountant-University of Florida
Jon Ruhff-Creative Services Director-University of Florida
Mel Clark-Senior Account Executive-University of Florida
Brian Walker-Account Executive-University of Florida
Lauren Dukes-Account Executive-University of Florida
Cathy Ferguson-Traffic Manager-University of Florida
Dr. Sid Pactor-Board of Regents for the University of Florida


Dr. Mickie Edwardson
-Board of Regents for the University of Florida  In Memory


What's New
  


Biographies
 


In Memory


Sounds


Misc.


Links
 


Chronology


What's News?