The History of WRBD Radio
In May 1963, WPOM became WRBD ("Radio Broward") with studios on Rock Island Road in Tamarac, Florida. Four months later, WRBD became the first radio station in Broward County oriented to the local Black community, featuring south Florida radio legends like Joe Fisher, "The Crown Prince" and "The Mad Hatter". WRBD's Radio Broward designation turned into "Rockin' Big Daddy" as the format changed. A similarly formatted FM sister station, the primarily automated WRBD -FM 102.7, launched in December 1969; it became WCKO in 1971 and remained Black-oriented throughout the 1970s. The pair were charter affiliates of the Mutual Black Network in 1972.
Rose Broadcasting acquired WRBD and WCKO for $2 million in 1978. The new owners flipped the disco-formatted FM to rock as "K-102" the next year, to reduce overlap between the two stations' target markets.
Rose owned the two stations until their acquisition by Sconnix Broadcasting in 1985, a $7 million deal. Sconnix replaced WCKO's rock format with adult contemporary as WMXJ that March. In 1986, an investor group led by John Ruffin, a Black supermarket executive, acquired the AM station from Sconnix for $2 million; the sellers retained WMXJ. WRBD thus became the first Black-owned radio station in South Florida. The split resolved a culture clash between the mostly Black AM staff and the white FM staff, much of which Sconnix had imported from other markets the year prior; Ruffin renovated the neglected studios. By 1991, however, facing financial difficulties and heavy competition from FM stations, WRBD had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
James Thomas ("James T") and Jerry Rushin purchased the station from Ruffin in 1992.
WRBD Radio went silent in April 1997. CEO Gary Palmer of Gary Palmer Enterprises, Inc. while researching WRBD Radio learned that the Trademark was abandoned and not refiled since 1986.
Gary Palmer petitioned the Trademark and was able to file for the Trademark and slogan for WRBD.
Gay Palmer completed the process for Trademark and was awarded WRBD and slogan.
WRBD Radio is now a digital station and it's format is Adult Contemporary R&B, Neo-Soul and Gospel.
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