WGVL-FM 105.5
Gainesville

Original Call Letters: WGVL

Originally Licensed: May 4, 1970

Original City of License: Gainesville

Original Frequency: 105.5

Origin of Call Letters: Location; abbreviation for GainesVilL

Original Power: 3,000 watts

Original Location:

Original Format: Country/Western


Network Affiliation(s):

Owner(s):

1970-Gerler Broadcasting Company  
1981-Sunshine Wireless Broadcasting
1987-Gillen Broadcasting Company

History of Call Letters and Formats:

WGVL-1970-Country/Western "Country 105"
WGVL-1971-Progressive AOR "Your FM Quadship WGVL"
WYKS-1981-Contemporary Hits "Kiss 105"
WYKS-1995-Contemporary Hits  "Kiss 105.3"


History Of WGVL
Thanks to Marc Tyll for this history of WGVL.
WGVL-FM began operations in 1970. The call letters GVL were an abbreviation for Gainesville. WGVLís original frequency was 105.5 and operated with 3,000 watts. The original format was country, but within a year the format was changed to progressive rock due to the success of WDVH-AM 980 which had switched from Top 40 to Country about a year earlier. WDVH dominated the country ratings in the market for many years. The station originally broadcast in Quadraphonic sound (which consisted of four channels, right front, left front, right rear, and left rear) and the WGVL on-air signature was "Your FM Quadship." In the WGVL lobby, station owner Irving Uram had placed a custom painted portrait of "The Quadship" which resembled the Starship Enterprise from the 1960s NBC Star Trek TV series. In the painting, the Quadship appeared to be flying away out into space, showing four rocket engines projecting the Quadship into flight.
WGVL was a huge success with the college crowd and dominated the adult male 18-49 demographic, often beating out WRUF-AM and WGGG-AM, both Top 40 stations in the market. There was only one other FM station in town, WRUF-FM, owned by the University of Florida which programmed a variety of beautiful music, classical, educational and college lectures. Between 1971 and 1982 WGVL was basically the only FM game in town.
In 1981 a new FM station began operations, WMFM-FM 100.9 and began programming a beautiful music format known as "Stereo 101". With a second beautiful music station in the market, the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida decided to make a bold move with WRUF-FM. The decision was made to switch "Stereo 104" from beautiful music to progressive rock as "Rock 104". Since WRUF-FM was a 100,000 watt station, it didnít take very long for the owners of WGVL to see the writing on the wall, so Uram decided to sell WGVL before it lost very much market share to WRUF-FM. WGVL was sold to Miami based Sunshine Wireless Company which owned WLQY-AM 1320 Hollywood and WKQS-FM 99.9 Boca Raton. Uram moved to Hawaii while Sunshine switched the WGVL format from progressive rock to contemporary hits with new call letters WYKS, and on Christmas day 1981, WYKS "Kiss 105" commenced broadcast operations. The first song played on "Kiss 105" was the Twelve Days of Christmas by Bob and Doug McKenzie, two characters from the Friday night sitcom Second City TV. At first there was much resistance from Gainesville listeners who wanted WGVL to return to the air-waves, but soon new listeners embraced the new sounds of "Kiss 105" while the former WGVL fans found the new "Rock 104". The new "Kiss 105" began to take hold on the market and gain acceptance. Soon Top 40 formatted WRUF-AM 850 and Top 40 formatted WGGG-AM 1230 began to explore format changes due to loss of listeners migrating over to WYKS. WRUF-AM switched from Top 40 to Toby Arnoldís "Unforgettable" Adult Standards format, while WGGG-AM was sold and the new owners switched programming from Top 40 to Adult Contemporary. In 1983, Sunshine Wireless wanted to add an AM station with WYKS and purchased adult contemporary formatted Adult Radio AM 14 WKGR-AM 1390 and switched to urban contemporary interspersed with a variety of select jazz tunes, known as "Magic 1390". The call letter became WMGI on AM 1390. Former WGGG assistant program director and University of Florida sociology student Jerry Banta was hired as the evening jock on "Kiss 105". Banta soon moved into afternoon drive before moving to mornings and taking over as program director. Under Bantaís programming style and philosophy, "Kiss 105" soared in the ratings, dominating the adult 18-34 demographics. Listeners would go back and forth between "Kiss 105" and "Rock 104", and this trend remains today. Sunshine Wireless Company sold WYKS in 1987 to Miami based Gillen Broadcasting Company for $1.9 million, and Doug Gillen took over as the stationís general manager. Gillen and Banta started switching the music play list from compact disc to all hard drive giving the station a superior clear sound. In 1995 another technological advance was implemented when the frequency was moved from 105.5 to 105.3 although the power remained at 3,000 watts, however the tower was raised slightly. This allowed a signal enhancement in Ocala in addition to the entire Gainesville-Ocala metro. The frequency move was due to WTBT-FM 105.5 New Port Richey upgrading from a 3,000 watt class A to a 100,000 watt class C-1 when Jacor Communications owned WTBT. Randy Michaels of Jacor paid Gillen an undisclosed amount of cash to change frequency so WTBT could upgrade to its 100,000 watt class. With the frequency move, another station in Saint Augustine, which broadcast on 105.5, was free to upgrade from a class A to a class C-3. 


Names In WGVL History

Irving Uram-1970-1981-President/General Manager/Program Director/News Director/Chief Engineer-Gerler Broadcasting Company

Sarah Uram-1970-1981-Commercial Manager-Gerler Broadcasting Company



Richard Rudolph-1970-1973-Weekends 6AM-10AM-Gerler Broadcasting Company
Richard is the father of Maya Rudolph and was married to Minnie Riperton.
Irene Richard-1974-1976-Weekends/Mornings (first female jock on WGVL)-Gerler Broadcasting Company
Irene would move on to WHYI-FM 100.7 in Miami and then "...Love94 where I worked for 20 years on shifts ranging from mornings, mid days and afternoon drive.



Lee Arnold-1976-1977-Gerler Broadcasting Company

David Reaves-1977-1978-Program Director/Chief Engineer-Gerler Broadcasting Company 

Lois Allen (Lois Allen Lilly)-1978-1980-Gerler Broadcasting Company

Mishel Michaels-(Shelley McElroy)-First female jock on WGVL/Production Director




Rich Fields
-you might know him as the announcer on TV's "The Price is Right"

Mark David Sawyer
Bill "Montana" Thacker
Jackson Whitehurst-Program Director

John Duncan

Cynthia Smith

Greg Stickland

David Hand

Greg Strickland

Cliff Walden-Sales Manager-Gerler Broadcasting Company

Gertrude Koppel-Business Manager-Gerler Broadcasting Company


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