WBGG-FM, branded as Big 105.9, is a classic rock radio station licensed to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and serving the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., the station is licensed for HD Radio and carries WIOD 610 AM on HD2.[3] Its studios are located in Miramar and the transmitter site is in Hallandale Beach.

History

The station signed on the air on February 15, 1960 and was initially WFLM, Broward's first all-stereo station, with an easy listening format. They were sold to the owners of then WIXX (1520), continuing their easy format with the new calls WIXX-FM, while the AM was country. The WAXY calls came on line before RKO's purchase of the station; the combo was WEXY-WAXY after the AM switched to a more contemporary format. WAXY was later sold to RKO, and the AM switched to gospel.

Under the callsign WAXY, the radio station was owned by RKO General. In the early 1970s, the station had a rock format, but flipped to automated oldies in 1975.[4][5] In 1990 RKO sold WAXY-FM and the station was owned and operated by Ackerley Communications, an outdoor advertising company, who later sold the station to Clear Channel after deregulation began.

Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) acquired Metroplex in March 1996[6] and the callsign was changed from WAXY-FM to WBGG-FM on September 1.[8] The final quarter-hour of music was delivered by and consisted of "It's the Same Old Song" by the Four Tops, "The End" by The Doors and "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles which was an inside gag and reference to Stuart Elliott and his signing off of 96X (WPOW) years earlier. The station went dark for 1 minute and was signed back on the air at 12:01 as The New Big 106. (The WAXY callsign is now used by an unrelated AM station in the Miami market.)

Initially, BIG 106 started out as a '70s station. By mid-1995, it was calling itself a Classic Hits station while still playing mostly 70s music but by mid-1996, it evolved to the current Classic rock format.

In April 2004, the Federal Communications Commission fined Clear Channel Communications $495,000 for broadcasting allegedly indecent material on The Howard Stern Show. Subsequently, Clear Channel dropped the Stern show from WBGG and five other stations.[9]

To fill the morning talk slot, in May 2004, Clear Channel moved Paul & Young Ron from WZTA.[10] (Lex and Terry took over the morning show at WZTA, but lost that outlet for their syndicated program when it abruptly switched formats to Hispanic Urban in February 2005, changing its callsign to WMGE.) Since the switch, has continued to be a popular program in South Florida.

It was in 2005 that the station changed its branding from "BIG 106" to BIG 105.9"

Format and market share

By April 2006, South Florida had only two major rock radio stations, WBGG and WHDR (the latter of which had a mainstream rock format). WBGG-FM ranked 14 in market share.[11] The top four stations had either a Spanish, urban or urban AC format. As WHDR flipped to Soft AC and became WFEZ, WBGG-FM is the only rock station in the Miami market.

The National Football League's Miami Dolphins announced on March 1, 2010, that it had entered an agreement with Clear Channel that would make WBGG and WINZ flagship stations of the Dolphins Radio Network for the next six years.[12]

Airstaffed by Paulie Castronovo & Ronald Brewer Aly 10-2, Doc Reno afternoons and Mud Evenings. Weekend staff includes Joe Rose, Jimmy Cefalo & Bob Greise doing Dolphins games. Mud and Doc are voice tracked during other times.