WFLZ-FM (93.3 FM, "93-3 FLZ") is a Top 40 (CHR) station broadcasting in the Tampa Bay area, Florida, United States. The station has a class C signal operating at 100,000 watts effective radiated power, and is one of the most powerful FM radio stations in Florida, covering four of the state's radio markets. The station's studios are located in South Tampa and the transmitter site is in Riverview.
WFLZ currently broadcasts in HD format. 93.3 HD-1 simulcasts the analog WFLZ-FM 93.3 MHz ("93-3 FLZ HD-1 Hit music"), whereas 93.3 HD-2 exclusively broadcasts dance music ("Evolution 93.3 Tampa Bay").
The early years
The station began in 1948 as WFLA-FM, one of Tampa Bay's, and Florida's, first FM stations. For most of its early life, WFLA-FM carried a light, "beautiful music" format. The station was owned by The Tampa Tribune, which also owned WFLA and WFLA-TV in Tampa. In 1966, the Tribune and its three stations were sold to Richmond Newspapers, which became Media General in 1969.
In 1981, after spending most of its early life as a beautiful music station, it changed to a country format, as WOJC, "Orange Country 93". However, it was unable to compete against country powerhouses at the time, WSUN and WQYK-FM.
In the mid-1980s, it changed again to a more-conventional adult contemporary format, bringing back the WFLA-FM calls and using the name "93 FLA". While it was a little more successful, it still faced competition from WNLT and WIQI.
It was then reformatted into WPDS ("Paradise 93"), a soft adult contemporary formatted station, but this too was unsuccessful.
WFLA-FM and its AM sister, WFLA, were purchased by Jacor Broadcasting in 1988. It changed its calls to WFLZ and soon changed to oldies, as "Z93". Competing against WHBO, it lasted only a year. The Tampa Bay radio landscape change was influenced by a St. Petersburg Times "Favorite DJ" contest. WHBO won the mail-in voting contest. WRBQ cried foul, claiming ballot stuffing. Regardless, this episode suggested to Jacor that WFLZ had significant competition from a little AM station, and it suggested that longtime CHR WRBQ might not be insurmountable.
The birth of The Power Pig
During a week of stunting in September 1989, including an hour of an urban contemporary micro-format, Z93 DJs demanded that WRBQ-FM (known as "Q105") pay them up to $4 million if they wanted to remain the only Top 40 station in Tampa Bay market. Q105 didn’t budge, ignoring the demands and now parodies of the Q jocks airing on Z93. They also had to ignore the daily newspaper and TV news coverage the ransom request was receiving. Not one to be ignored, station manager Randy Michaels gave the go ahead for the change. Before the flip officially occurred, at 8:15 AM on the 25th, Z93 DJs Jack Harris & Dr. Don Carpenter called Q105’s owner, Gary Edens, at a private hotel room on the other coast (5:15am Gary’s time) waking him up to offer him one last chance to pay the now $4 million ransom to keep Z93 from switching to Top 40. Live on 93.3 then, Mr. Edens' response was simply: “Come on guys lookin' forward to it, let’s go have a happy day!” Mr. Edens had said the magic words that launched “Power 93, The Power Pig". The first song under the new format was "Cold Hearted" by Paula Abdul. The station aggressively targeted Q105 with promotions such as handing out "Screw The Q" T-shirts at various on the street events. Within 71 days of the format flip, The Power Pig had taken over first place in the Tampa market from Q105.
In March 1995, The Power Pig dropped its aggressive image and change to "93-3 FLZ". Its slogan was "The New Music Revolution". FLZ disc jockey Bubba the Love Sponge soon syndicated to WJBT in Jacksonville for 2 hours. For a few months, WFLZ simulcasted on KHTS-FM in San Diego as a CHR format was created for that market. In 1998, Jacor Broadcasting was acquired by Clear Channel, putting WFLZ under the same roof as its former competitor, WRBQ, until it was sold off to Infinity Broadcasting. This created an awkward situation, as the staff of WRBQ, who were subject to personal attacks from WFLZ, had moved to higher positions in Clear Channel that oversaw their old rivals at WFLZ.
In 2000, the station underwent a slight re-imaging, adopting a new logo and the slogan "The #1 Hit Music Channel" and long time morning man and operations manager BJ Harris left WFLZ for Cincinnati to do afternoons and PD work. MJ remained at mornings on WFLZ, turning it into The MJ Morning Show. The station was the flagship station for the MJ Morning Show hosted by Todd Schnitt, which was also played on other Clear Channel FM stations in Florida and Missouri.
Upon the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' victory at the Super Bowl, WFLZ changed its branding to 93.3 B-U-C temporarily. In 2004, it earned the "CHR Station of the Year" and "CHR Personality of the Year" (for Kane) awards in the Radio Music Awards. In 2011, it was named FMQB "CHR Station of the Year".
On January 19, 2012, Clear Channel announced that after 18 years, the MJ Morning Show would be discontinued. The final broadcast was on February 17, 2012. Clear Channel announced that the Kane Show would take over the morning spot.
On April 4, 2014, radio DJs Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, also known as Ratboy and Staypuff, announced they would be moving to Philadelphia to host an afternoon-drive slot from 3 to 7 pm at WIOQ. They thanked fans for listening for many years. Radio DJ Nathan "Brody" Halegua took over the slot from 7 pm to midnight on April 7.
On October 30, 2015, at 3:00 PM Eastern Time, WFLZ temporarily changed its name to Taylor 93.3 with a Halloween-themed logo, as the name change fell on Halloween and Taylor Swift's last concert in her 1989 World Tour in the U.S. was in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium.
Today, 93.3 FLZ remains the number 1 top-40 radio station in Tampa Bay with an audience of over 800,000 tuning in each week.
- Mornings: The Kane Show (Kane, Danni, John, Rose, Erick)
- Middays: Katie Sommers
- Afternoons: Scotty Davis
- Nights: Nathan "Brody" Halegua
- Overnights: Brian Fink
- Other personalities: Jaime Ferreira, Kidd Leow, Pa$$ Tha Mic, Rainbow Ricky, Lauren Sessions, Toby Brees, DJ Goofywhitekid, Romeo (from Z100), Ryan Seacrest (from 102.7 KIIS FM)
Meet Ball concerts
In 2009, the station conducted its first "Meet Ball" concert on Valentine's Weekend. In 2009 the performing artist was Gavin DeGraw, in 2010 it was Kris Allen and in 2011 it was Paper Tongues. While this event highlights a national recording artist/group, it is also a popular singles mingle event which draws over 1,000 people.
Jingle Ball concerts
In 2009, the station conducted its first "" concert which is now held annually in December. Artists that have performed during this event include: Justin Bieber, Pitbull, The Fray, Jordin Sparks, Sean Kingston, Boys Like Girls, We The Kings, Kesha, Jason Derulo, Adam Lambert, 3OH!3, Iyaz, Maroon 5, B.o.B, Enrique Iglesias, Bruno Mars, Train, Shontelle, Dev, Mike Posner, The Ready Set, Austin Mahone, Ed Sheeran, One Republic, Bridgit Mendler, OneRepublic, Zedd and others.
A new music leader
93.3 FLZ is known for being a leader on popular new music. The station was the first place in the world where listeners got the opportunity to hear Lady Gaga "Born This Way" as well as other new releases from Kelly Clarkson and other popular artists. Today, 93.3 FLZ often participates in iHeartRadio World Premieres along with other iHeartMedia radio stations across the country.
In 2006, 93.3 FLZ created a social networking site called "The Pig Pen". The station promoted the Pig Pen as the "local" version of MySpace. The name "Pig Pen" was probably taken from WFLZ's previous station image "." In 2009 this social networking site was discontinued.
Nicollette Sheridan incident
On January 31, 2007, the station was fined $10,000 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a purported prank phone call to Nicollette Sheridan in the middle of the night made by MJ that took place in November 2004.
Controversy with Britney Spears
When it comes to poking fun at celebrities at a Top 40 station, WFLZ is famous for it. One of the celebrities the station has targeted is Britney Spears.
The first incident began on June 18, 2007, when the station made headlines after the MJ Morning Show placed at least three outdoor advertisements (2 in the Tampa Bay area, one in Jacksonville) featuring Internet photos of Spears with her shaved head, along with the face of Kelli and the slogans "Total Nut Jobs", "Shock Therapy" and "Certifiable". The advertisements were placed on billboards owned by WFLZ's sister company Clear Channel Outdoor. Evidently being notified about the billboards, Spears and her representatives were not pleased, and threatened to sue Clear Channel if they were not removed immediately. Clear Channel consented and they were removed the following day. The decision to have them removed had Kelli upset that his employers caved in to legal pressure from Spears' representatives.
The second flack would flare up again in January 2009, when the station made headlines by being one of the first to play Spears' controversial single "If U Seek Amy". The title, when said quickly sounds like the singer is spelling out an obscenity, f-u-c-k, followed by the word "me". The station broadcast an edited version, and even created a version with morning host MJ Kelli saying "MJ" in place of "Amy"; however, due to the intended nature of the song, groups such as the Parents Television Council still went through and filed complaints.