FM Technical Profile: WTKE

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Station Name:
100.3 K-Rock


Classic Rock

Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] On James Lee Road, just south of Racetrack Road NW.

Power (ERP):
6 kW


Antenna HAAT:
252 feet

Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.

HD-2: Sports Talk
"The Ticket Sports Network"
// WTKE Milton, FL
// W232CF Fort Walton Beach, FL
// W246BN Pensacola, FL

HD-3: News/Talk
"News Talk Freedom 94.3"
// W232CF Fort Walton Beach, FL

More Information:
Omni Broadcasting
Early History

This station dates back to May 1993 when it came on the air with the WNCV (NiCeVille) calls, airing an Adult Contemporary format targeting the area's more affluent listeners.  It was put on the air by a company called Century 100 Broadcasting.  They sold the station to Dothan-based "Radio People" Holladay Broadcasting in 1996. 

Sales and Station Switches

By March of 2002 the station had been sold to Cumulus.  In March 2006, Cumulus sold the station to Ron Hale's Star Broadcasting.  Star Broadcasting, in turn, sold off WNCV and an AM in Milton to Cumulus.  In August 2006, the Adult Contemporary format and WNCV calls moved to Hale's "new" station at 93.3 MHz, where they reside today.  This station became Classic Rock "K-Rock 100.3" WRKN.   The format switch itself happened in the 6 pm hour of August 2nd, 2006.  In 2007, this station was sold off to R. Lee Hagen's Fort Walton Beach License Company.

The station flipped to in November 2009 to Sports Talk, taking that format and the WTKE-FM calls from the station on 98.1 MHz.  WTKE had originally been an Andalusia-licensed facility that moved closer and closer to the beaches in an attempt to make money.  It wasn't until 2009 that the station was finally able to move all the way into the Fort Walton Beach market.  When it did, it became WHWY and the sports came to this facility.  In the summer of 2010, AM 1490 in Milton (as WTKE) became simulcasting this station. It later began simulcasting on a station licensed to Port St. Joe, east of Panama City, WTKP.
Translator Issues

Due to financial hardships, the AM WTKE in Milton was off the air after just two years of relaying "The Ticket Sports Network" programming; it really wasn't necessary to help the network serve Pensacola.  By 2010 the station was being heard on translator W246BN in Pensacola, which serves the metro area a bit better than the AM did.  Of interest is that up until May 2016 this station was listed as being a translator for Pensacola's talk station WPNN; it never was.  In May 2016 the parent changed to WDWR, the Catholic religious AM whose tower the 97.1 translator was allegedly on.  It's unclear if the translator was ever really there, as it remained on the air and operational when WDWR's tower was taken down a few years prior!  A further bit of questionable legality has arisen as the translator has been noted to be carrying different programming from either WDWR, WPNN or WTKE-FM.  Translators are not allowed to originate programming, so the "true" source of this translator's programming was something of a mystery. 

In early February 2018, the FCC finally dismissed the application to cover for the Pensacola-based translator facility, citing unpaid debt or unacknowledged correspondence.  The translator, however, continued to operate from downtown Pensacola, despite the application being denied.  In late March 2018, the station filed for a silent STA to take the translator off the air, citing "red light issues" but the station never actually went off the air, continuing to broadcasting (probably) illegally.  A new license to cover was been filed for the Pensacola translator as of 23 March 2018, now being fed programming from Milton's WTKE AM again.  In September 2019, the FCC again dismissed a license to cover for the translator, citing power level violations of 47 CFR 74.1235. 

In August 2019, the translator's parent station was changed back to WTKE-FM.

Modern Times

Ownership of the station was to return to Ron Hale's Omni Broadcasting in March 2022, for $425,000 paid to R. Lee Hagen.  It's noted that the deals from 2003 and 2006 were tied up in legal issues until this point.  They eventually snared not just the two parties involved in this station, but also Cumulus, Qantum and even Clear Channel (now iHeart Radio).

In May 2022, the station dropped its longtime Sports Talk format for Classic Rock as "100.3 K-Rock".  The sports continues on WTKE (AM) in Milton and the translator in Pensacola, as well as on a recently-launched HD2 subchannel of this station. That same month, they applied to move the transmitter site to one owned by Omni, located on James Lee Road just south of Racetrack Road. That application was granted in late June 2022.  Although it has higher power than the previous facility, the coverage area will be mostly the same due to a lower antenna height.  The station filed a license to cover for that change in early September 2022.  That same month the station filed to move translator W232CF from a site off James Lee Road to the Hollywood Boulevard tower site currently used by several other stations.  The power will increase from 98 watts to 250 watts. At some point the station added an HD3 with the News/Talk format for "94.3 News Talk Freedom" WFDM. The HD3 became the primary feed for that translator in April 2023 when the AM signed off permanently.

The station WTKP licensed to Port St. Joe was dropped from the simulcast after the license was deleted by the FCC for failing to operate from a licensed site, failing to file a license to cover on a construction permit and other technical deficiencies.