A One-Time ‘Genie’ Makes A Six-Pack On Florida Panhandle


An AM radio station serving Florida’s Panhandle Region, hit hard by Hurricane Michael, is being sold by a local institution of higher learning.

The Class D operation has a rich history and involves the founder of Magic Broadcasting.

Who’s the buyer? It’s an entity with five other stations in the region — including a silent FM with a tower just east of Lynn Haven and Panama City Beach.

Gulf Coast Community College is parting ways with WKGC-AM 1480, a Class D facility licensed for 5kw during daylight hours and 34 watts at night from a tower due west of Panama City Beach’s city center.

The Southport, Fla., facility has been a sibling to WKGC-FM, the region’s NPR member station, and the college acquired it in 1982 via a donation from Janus Broadcasting.

Now, it is selling it to Omni Broadcasting — a Florida corporation with stations across the Panhandle region led by Robert Hale.

WKGC-AM will be paired locally with presently dark WTKP-FM, licensed to Port St. Joe and serving Bay County, Fla. For Omni, the station will be a part of a family of stations that includes WFDM-AM in Fort Walton Beach, to the west of Panama City via U.S. 98; Fort Walton Beach translators W232CF and W259AN, and Pensacola-based translator W246BN.

A $5,000 cash payment, due at closing, is due to the school by Omni.

Howard Weiss of Fletcher Heald & Hildreth served as the legal counsel for Gulf Coast Community College.

WKGC-AM first signed on the air in 1957 under the WTHR-AM calls and went dark in 1962. In June 1965, Don McCoy resurrected the facility under the call letters WGNE-AM, branding the station “Genie Radio.” The station aired a Top 40 format through the early 1970s.