Once upon a time, the call letters WHBO were used in the Tampa area on the AM dial (originally on 1050, then moved to 1040 when the signal shifted down the dial, to be specific), back before FM relegated AM to secondary status. This was pre-Home Box Office, and thus those particular call letters didn’t have the meaning that they would for a start-up station today.
With a movement toward nostalga (not the radio format) in Tampa in the summer of 2005 with the return of the Q105 name to the Oldies station located at 104.7 on the FM dial, Genesis Communications decided to get in on the act as well with its sports talker, ESPN Radio 1470 AM. As the second fiddle to Clear Channel’s sports AM powerhouse in the market (The Sports Animal), ESPN Radio 1470 (then WLVU) had call letters that didn’t particularly have anything to do with sports as it was, so the powers that be decided to make a change.
In early October 2005, with Tony Bruno from Sporting News Radio coming on board, 1470 dropped its ESPN Radio branding (though it did keep most of its ESPN programming) and it became Sports Radio 1470, with new call letters WHBO, which had been sitting vacant.
To be clear, the WHBO calls aren’t played up big in the branding, but they’re there and something new. And now they’re on here. Visit the Tampa page to give it a listen.
As for where I’ve been… I’ve been working like crazy toward the relaunch of the Bubba The Love Sponge show on Sirius Satellite Radio, since I’m a producer for the BTLS show. I hope many of you will join us on Sirius. It’s going to be a great time for all involved. No legal IDs, unfortunately, but if you like Hot Talk, you’ll love what we have in store for you.