Legendary shortwave station WYFR in Okeechobee, Florida, which ceased transmissions on June 30, 2013, will resume broadcasting in December as a result of an agreement between Family Stations, Inc, and Radio Miami International, Inc.
According to the agreement, Family Radio will sell the WYFR facility to Radio Miami International. Family Radio programming for the Caribbean and South America will return to shortwave via the Okeechobee site, and Radio Miami's programming currently aired on WRMI in Miami will switch over to the Okeechobee facility. The station will also carry programs for other international broadcasters, including Pan American Broadcasting's Radio Africa network. A target date of December 1, 2013 has been set for the resumption of broadcasts. The current WRMI transmission site in Miami will be closed, and the WRMI call letters will be transferred to Okeechobee.
"We are very grateful to Family Radio for entrusting us with this magnificent station," said Jeff White, WRMI General Manager. "WYFR is an important part of the heritage of shortwave broadcasting, and we are very happy that it will continue to serve shortwave listeners around the world." The station first went on the air from Okeechobee in 1977, although the origins of the station and its predecessors go back to 1927. WYFR/WRMI is the largest shortwave station in the United States in number of transmitters and antennas. The facility is comprised of 13 transmitters -- twelve 100-kilowatt and one 50-kilowatt -- and 23 antennas beamed to all of the Americas, Europe and Africa.
White, who is also Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB), said that "Many people made this transition a reality, not the least of whom was our former Secretary-Treasurer and current board member, Dan Elyea, who had been the WYFR Station Manager from the time it was built in the late 1970's until his recent retirement. Dan presented us to Family Radio Vice President Tom Evans. Tom and the Family Radio Board have given us their confidence, and we will do our best to keep this station going for many years to come."