WGNE-FM 98.1 Daytona Beach FL Secret Santa 1991

98 Frog was the “hoppin” Country station in Daytona Beach!  In all seriousness, this station and frequency have a most interesting history. It all began in Titusville with 3,000 watts on 98.3.  Several call letters and formats were tried throughout the years.  With all the Orlando FMs putting city grade signals into Titusville, things were difficult for this small station.  In 1989, the FCC approved an upgrade to 50,000 watts, provided they move one channel down the dial to 98.1.  The calls were changed to WGNE, which stood for Great Ninety Eight.  Also at this time, their format flipped to Country. The studios were moved to WGNE’s new target market of Daytona Beach.  By 1991, that “Great Ninety Eight” identifier was dropped in favor of “98 Frog.” 

In 2000, this station moved to Orlando to become the first Spanish FM in the market as WNUE.  At that exact same moment, the WGNE calls and Country format were adopted by Tony Renda’s WFKS-FM 99.9. WFKS was licensed to Palatka, but targeted Daytona Beach with it’s monster signal from a tall tower near Bunnell.  The moniker was simply changed from “98 Frog” to “99 Frog.”  Are you confused yet?  Wait, there’s more! 

In 2005, the new WGNE on 99.9 moved to Jacksonville, downgraded to a smaller signal (licensed to Middleburg), and became “Froggy 99.9: Jumpin’ Country.”  Today, they are known as “99.9 Gator Country.”  Meanwhile, WNUE has become “Salsa 98.1”, targeting Orlando but still licensed to Titusville.  It cannot move it’s transmitter closer to Orlando, due to 97.9/Clearwater and 98.3/Fort Meade.

This quick aircheck was made from my location, 6 miles south of Ocala.  I grabbed it as part of a routine dial scan, so the beginning is cut off.  Equipment used was a Realistic AM/FM/CD/Cassette portable stereo with Sony LN90 tape.  A medium sized TV antenna with “pruned” VHF-LO elements (cut to resonance on FM frequencies) was pointed east to bring in The Frog!