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 which became regionally syndicated.
Former PD Dom Theodore remembers there was a long stretch of #1 P 12+ ratings, then Wild 98.7 launched and made us a lot more competitive... we had a top of hour ID on cart that said "Arbitron rated #1"... when we went to #3 P 12+, he took that cart and locked it in a glass box in the studio. In an epic jock meeting, Dom told the staff that you'll have to stare at this every time you crack the mic until we get #1 back, then we will break open this box and play it. The day the numbers came out, sure enough we got #1 back, and he walked into the studio and had Brian Fink (who was filling in middays that day) play the drop in front of the whole staff. The staff really earned back that #1 by hitting the streets hard and taking it back.
Eventually the long-time midday host Jennifer Jordan, and afternoon host Jeff Thomas moved over to Star 95.7 for morning drive, and were replaced with Lisa Paige in midday, and Spyder Harrison in afternoon drive.
-Some highlights from this era include:
-When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2001, 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.
-On January 31, 2007, the station was fined $10,000 by the 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.
-The "Britney Spears incidents" 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 MJ and the slogans "Total Nut Jobs", "Shock Therapy" and "Certifiable". Evidently being notified about the billboards, Spears and her representatives were not pleased, and threatened to sue us if they were not removed immediately. We consented and they were removed the following day. The decision to have them removed had MJ 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 You Seek Amy." The title, when said quickly sounds like the singer is spelling out an obscenity followed by the word "me". The station broadcast an edited version, and even created a version with morning host MJ 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. Program Director Tommy Chuck had to go on CNN to defend the station.
-"The Hannah Monstrosity" with a 13 foot tall Hannah Montana statue that listeners kept hands on in order to win cash and tickets to Miley Cyrus concert. This event received national press coverage. After the contest was over, MJ got rid of the statue by dropping a city bus (from a crane) on top of it.
-The Turkey Fryer Fire - Due to legal reasons, it is best to let you Google it. After many hours of community service, we promised authorities we would not bring it up again.
-In 2011, it was named FMQB "CHR Station of the Year."
We know that there are amazing stories we haven't (yet) included and would LOVE to. We need your help! If you have stories, audio, video or photos that you would like to contribute, please send an email using the address below.
In 1989, the mission was simple, TAKE DOWN Q105 AT WHATEVER COST. Who would have guessed back when we were putting "QSux" bumper stickers on our car in 1990, that WFLZ was just beginning a 25 year run as Tampa Bay's Top 40 station - a run that still continues today?
This blog serves to preserve the audio and visual history of WFLZ's fun, innovative, entertaining, compelling, personality based Top 40/CHR radio from the last 25 years.
Thanks to Gabe Hobbs, Brian Holmes, Dom Theodore, Drew Hall and Marc Cerniglio for their work building this page.