WQHL-FM 98.1
Live Oak

Original Call Letters: WQHL

Originally Licensed: Oct 1973

Original City of License: Live Oak

Original Frequency: 98.1

Origin of Call Letters:

Original Power: 50,000 watts

Original Location: 1305 E. Helvenston St.

Original Format: Drake-Chenault Beautiful Music


Network Affiliation(s):


ABC Information
ABC Entertainment

Owner(s):

1973-WNER Radio, Inc.
1988-Day Communications
2000-Southern Broadcast Group, Inc.
2001-RTG Radio, LLC. Debtor-In-Possession ($2.375 million with WQHL-AM 1250)

History Of  Call Letters and Formats:

WQHL-1973-Beautiful Music The World’s Most Beautiful Music" 
WQHL-1978-Country  Great American Country”
WQHL-2000-Country  "The Big 98"


History Of WQHL
Thanks to Marc Tyll for this history of WQHL
North Florida’s WQHL-FM Live Oak, began regular broadcast service on 98.1 MHz in October 1973 serving Live Oak, Lake City and the surrounding North Florida area. The 98.1 full class C frequency was originally assigned to Madison, Florida, but was re-assigned to Live Oak after WNER-AM 1250 Live Oak owner Norman Protsman petitioned the FCC to give Live Oak an FM station, citing Live Oak and the surrounding area was growing at a faster pace than Madison and was in need of an FM service. Although the 98.1 FM frequency was assigned as a full class C allowing 100kw with a maximum antenna height of 2,000 feet in 1973, due to the construction cost factor, WQHL, instead, began broadcasting with 31,000 watts from a side mounted FM antenna located atop the 175 foot WNER-AM tower located directly behind the studio, transmitter and office building at 1305 East Helvenston Street in Live Oak. The original WQHL format was automated beautiful music programmed by Drake-Chenault and was known as “The World’s Most Beautiful Music on Stereo 98” but switched to Drake-Chenault’s automated Great American Country in 1978; keeping "The World's Most Beautiful Music" on Sundays only. Following the 1983 FCC’s Docket 80-90, Protsman applied to increase the power to 60,000 watts from a new 500 foot tower constructed next to the older 175 foot AM tower to prevent the station form being downgraded past a class C1 and preserving its potential 100kw status. The year 1988 saw more changes at WQHL when Protsman sold WQHL and co-owned WNER-AM from WNER Radio, Inc. to Day Communications, Inc, headed and owned by WQHL general manager George R. “Puggy” Day for $1.5 million. The Sunday beautiful music was dropped with WQHL going full-time country. Following the acquisition, Day changed the AM call letters from WNER to WQHL and the FM call letters from WQHL to WQHL-FM. WQHL-FM was also voluntarily downgraded from a class C1 to a class C2 operating with 50,000 watts to avoid a short-spacing when the licensee of WUVU Saint Augustine paid Day to downgrade WQHL-FM so WUVU could upgrade from 97.7 class A to first adjacent 97.9 C2.  

Programming on WQHL-FM remained automated country until 2000 following the death of Day in 1999. Day’s son, Shannon, took over the day-to-day management of WQHL-AM-FM and eventually sold both stations to Southern Broadcast Group, Inc. in 2000 for an estimated $3 million. Programming changed from automated country to a live presentation with local live personalities in studio. The station moniker also changed from “Great American Country” to “The BIG 98.1”.

In 2001 Southern Broadcast Group, Inc. sold WQHL-AM-FM to RTG Radio, LLC, headed by former WNDD Ocala owner Robert T. Ganzak. RTG is a subsidiary of Daytona Beach based Black – Crow Broadcasting which acquired WQHL for $2.375 million. WQHL-AM/FM is co-owned with RTG stations WCJX-FM 106.5 Lake City, WXHT-FM 102.7 Madison, both Florida; and WVLD-AM 1450; WQPW-FM 95.7; WKAA-FM 99.5; WSTI-FM 105.3; WVGA-FM 105.9; WWRQ-FM 107.9; all Valdosta, Georgia.


Names In WQHL History
Norman Protsman-1973-President-WNER Radio, Inc.
George Day, Jr.-1973-Vice President/General Manager-WNER Radio, Inc./1988-President-Day Communications, Inc.
William Savatz-1973-Commercial Manager-WNER Radio, Inc.
Elaine Lea-1973-Music Director-WNER Radio, Inc.
Tan Fletcher-1973-News Director-WNER Radio, Inc.
Clarence Parker-1973-Chief Engineer-WNER Radio, Inc.
Linda Brown-1974-Traffic Director-WNER Radio, Inc.
N. Shannon Day-1988-General Manager/2000-Vice President/Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Promotions and Advertising-Day Communications, Inc.
Jack Hall-1988-General Sales Manager-Day Communications, Inc.
Dean Blackwell-1988-Promotions Vice President/2000-Promotions Manager-Day Communications, Inc./2001-Promotions Manager-RTG Radio, LLC. (Black Crow Broadcasting)
Wayne Latrell-1988-Program Director-Day Communications, Inc.
Marion Catalano-1988-Music Director-Day Communications, Inc.
John Koch-1988-News Director-Day Communications, Inc.
Mark Schmucker-1988-Chief Engineer-Day Communications, Inc.
Wayne Littrell-1998-6AM-10AM-Co-host of " Suwannee Valley Daybreak"


Kickin' Kevin Thomas-1998-6AM-10AM-Co-host of " Suwannee Valley Daybreak"
Shayne Morgan-1998-10AM-3PM-" Mid-Day Cruise"
Mark "The Shark"-1998-3PM-7PM
R.T. Ganzak-2001-Prrsident/News Director-RTG Radio, LLC. (Black Crow Broadcasting)
Gail Taylor-2004-General Sales Manager/Promotions Manager-RTG Radio, LLC. (Black Crow Broadcasting)
Kevin Thomas-Mornings/Sales


Dave Riggs
-Afternoons/Sales


"Shotgun" Charlie Walker


Lia Knight
John Wilder-Sales
Joel Turner-Sales


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