H. Edgar Cole grew up in Polk County and got his first look at the inside operation of a radio station during weekly Friday night visits to Lakeland’s WLAK. His parents bought groceries on that night and, while they were doing that, he spent a couple hours visiting the station.
When he was 14, young Ed typed a “certificate of appreciation” on an old Royal typewriter, glued it to some poster paper, and sent it to the station for their programming efforts, He was elated when Frank W. Nesbitt, then general manager of WLAK, sent him a return letter dated February 8, 1962 in which he closed by saying “We also hope that your interest in broadcasting will continue, and that someday you may join the ranks of broadcasters.”
That hope became a reality for Ed in June 1966 when he joined the staff of Winter Haven’s WSIR. He was there less than a decade when he was chosen to succeed the station’s longtime chief engineer Orden Craig in 1975.
As part of a renovation plan directed by new owner Randy Jeffery, he completely renovated the station’s control rooms and installed new consoles, turntables, tape decks, cart equipment, and processing gear. He also supervised the installation of a folded unipole antenna on WSIR’s tower which yielded an increase in the station’s primary service area as well as added additional protection from lightning strikes.
1966 - 1977 Other Polk County Stations (Engineering)