Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) (Published as Sun-Sentinel) – December 26, 1996

The FCC deregulated the radio industry and Bud Paxson went on a buying spree. Paxson bought WSHE and WSRF for $56 million and WIOD for $13 million, boosting his share of South Florida stations to seven – one under the newly raised FCC limit.

— Neil Rogers marked his 20th anniversary in South Florida radio.

— Urban stations WEDR (99.1-FM) and Hot 105 (WHQT), and Spanish stations WRMA (106.7) and WAMR (107.5-FM) were consistent ratings leaders throughout the year.

— As of this past Sunday, the Miami Dolphins’ 30-year association with WIOD ended. The Dolphins will switch to all-sports WQAM (560-AM) in 1997 as part of a five-year, $35 million deal that includes broadcast rights to the Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers.

— Ron Bennington and Ron Diaz returned to South Florida airwaves on WIOD (610-AM), nearly two years after leaving Zeta (WZTA 94.9-FM). The Bad Boys will move their broadcast base from Tampa to South Florida this week.

— Public stations WLRN (91.3-FM) and WXEL (90.7-FM) formed a partnership to exchange local programming and to air much of National Public Radio’s schedule simultaneously from Palm Beach to Homestead.

— Longtime South Florida jock Sonny Fox was fired by Majic (WMJX 102.7-FM) in September. Two months later Fox and sidekick Ron Hersey were named Best Morning Drive Show at the first South Florida Achievement in Radio Awards.

— WCLB (95.5-FM) in West Palm Beach became the first country station in the United States to air Howard Stern.

— South Florida’s most-storied rock station WSHE (103.5-FM) became alternative light Planet Radio (WPLL) and began targeting a female audience.

— Satirical talk host Phil Hendrie killed off a few of his imaginary sidekicks, including his boss Bob Green, before leaving WIOD (610-AM) for KFI-AM in Los Angeles. Green was strangled with a phone cord by CNN’s Larry King. No charges were filed.

— This column appears every two weeks. Write to Jeff Rusnak, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.

Caption: PHOTORogers
Record: 9612240301Copyright: Copyright 1996, 1997 Sun-Sentinel Company

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