Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GAS BUYERS PUMP FOR JOY; Radio Station Fills Listeners' Tanks for $1.05 a Gallon

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GAS BUYERS PUMP FOR JOY; Radio Station Fills Listeners' Tanks for $1.05 a Gallon

Article excerpt

Byline: STEPHANIE WANG

Bill Ballard drove into the parking lot around 8 a.m. Wednesday, stocked with a portable DVD player and box set of Bonanza episodes. He didn't watch much of the show, though, putting it aside to listen to the car radio carefully tuned to classic rock.

The 49-year-old Jacksonville resident was soon joined by his daughter, nephew and dozens of others who flocked to a local gas station to fill their tanks for $1.05 per gallon.

"You might as well say 'free gas,'" Ballard said.

The promotion by WFYV-FM (Rock 105) followed in the spirit of car dealerships offering free gas with a lease signing and Web sites mapping gas stations with the lowest prices. The radio station paired with the Daily's at Baymeadows Road and Florida 9A, footing the $3 difference for up to 10 gallons of the discounted regular unleaded gas.

"With the price of gas, it's a very hot topic," said Liz Goshert, marketing and promotions director for Rock 105. "A lot of people can benefit from cheap gas."

The radio station began announcing the event three days before, cluing listeners in to the date and place but withholding the time. It wasn't until 3 p.m. Wednesday that drivers were given a 15-minute notice to head to the pumps.

But Ballard and many others, like David Joyner, were already waiting.

Joyner, 44, found out about the deal from a friend who works near the gas station and sent him a text message. He decided he wasn't going to miss out - even if it was going to cost him a little.

"I just paid $20 to get gas to get here to get cheaper gas," he said, laughing.

And those without advance warning soon figured it out because of the traffic. A Jacksonville police officer guided cars into the large shopping center parking lot, lining them up for their turn at one of three discounted pumps.

The other full-priced pumps at the station stood empty. …

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