WDUV, known as "The Dove", is a soft adult contemporary music radio station broadcasting on 105.5 FM, serving the Tampa Bay media market in Florida. Owned by Cox Radio, its studios are located in St. Petersburg, and the transmitter site is in Holiday.
Initially signing on in October 1963, with a beautiful music format, WDUV was formerly licensed to Bradenton in Manatee County and formerly broadcast at 103.3 FM. The station originally shared the same studio facilities on Tamiami Trail in Bradenton with WBRD AM 1420, and the Bradenton news bureau of WXLT-TV. At the time, all three stations were owned by the same family.
In the early-1990s, WDUV relocated its frequency to 103.5 FM, to improve its coverage area in the Tampa Bay area. By the mid-1990s, WDUV would be acquired by Jacor Broadcasting (since absorbed by Clear Channel Communications), who relocated its studios to St. Petersburg. As recently as 1997, WDUV continued to play about 50 percent instrumental music.
On April 5, 1999, WDUV swapped its frequency with Classic rock station WTBT, moving from 103.5 to the 105.5 signal (WTBT is now WFUS). However, both frequencies would retain their transmitting locations and cities of license. After the swap, WDUV became licensed in New Port Richey with transmitting facilities in Holiday, while WTBT, whose transmitter was located in Riverview, became licensed in Bradenton. (WTBT, now WFUS, has since been relicensed to Gulfport.) While the 105.5 transmitter is more powerful, it is also further away from the population center of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater market than 103.5's transmitter. So this gave WTBT better coverage. Because WDUV is aimed at an older audience, Cox saw more potential gain with WTBT at 103.5.
Shortly after the swap, Clear Channel sold WDUV to its present owner, Cox Radio.
Current programming and format evolution
Currently, the station specializes in playing a so-called "super-soft" and oldies-based soft adult contemporary format, described on the air as "Continuous Lite Favorites." Since the early 2000s, the station's music mix has evolved from an "easy listening" format featuring a sprinkling of "adult standards" artists such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Nat "King" Cole to its current direction of softer hits from chiefly the 1970s to the 1990s. Artists frequently heard on the station include Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, Hall & Oates, Michael Jackson, and The Eagles.
The station formerly featured one or two smooth jazz instrumentals each hour, as a reminder of its past instrumental "beautiful music" format. With the purge of the "adult standards" artists from the station's playlist and addition of some more recent and more upbeat songs, the smooth jazz instrumentals were also dropped. The station rarely plays any song recorded after 1990, to avoid overlapping with co-owned Adult contemporary music station 94.9 WWRM, whose format is more current.
WDUV is owned by Cox Radio, and is one of the highest-rated radio stations in a large United States market. WDUV is consistently number one in Tampa Bay, often with double the listeners of the number two station, according to Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron), a noted radio ratings firm. WDUV's success prompted owner Cox Radio to put the same format on one of its FM stations in Miami, "Easy 93" WFEZ.
WDUV's popular morning show, which airs from 6 to 10 am, was hosted by radio personality Dick Ring until he left the station on April 27, 2012. The following Monday, Ring, who retired to North Carolina, was replaced by Ann Kelly, also the afternoon drive host for WWRM. The remainder of the broadcasting day is generally automated and without disk jockeys, which was how WDUV operated during its history as an Easy Listening station. Pre-recorded announcements simply tell listeners that they are hearing 105.5 The Dove, WDUV, with little other dialogue.
A sample hours of music on WDUV in June, 2012, included songs such as the following:
- "Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe" - Barry White
- "Giving You the Best That I Got" - Anita Baker
- "Baby Come Back" - Player
- "Because You Loved Me" - Celine Dion
- "Imagine" - John Lennon
- "The Living Years" - Mike & The Mechanics
- "Your Song" - Elton John
- "Still" - The Commodores
- "Wind Beneath My Wings" - Bette Midler
- "How Deep Is Your Love" - The Bee Gees
- "Rainy Days and Mondays" - Carpenters