WINT AM & FM - A History
WINT-AM 1360 & WINT-FM 97.5 Winter Haven – WINT-AM went on the air in 1958 with 1,000 watts of power from a studio and transmitter site on Dundee Road in Winter Haven. The daytimer played a mix of pop and country (and a little classical) and was owned by Angelo Fazzari (Winter Haven Broadcasting Co.) who selected the call letters to represent the city of license, WINTer Haven. He was also the station’s chief engineer.
Bruce Parker, later a Winter Haven mayor and a Polk County commissioner, was hired to do sales in 1960 and became Fazzari’s business partner. In 1963, they signed-on 97.5 WINT-FM, the city’s first FM (in stereo), which shared office and studio space with the AM at the Dundee Road location.
That same year, Fazzari and Parker sold WINT-AM to Winter Haven Broadcasting Co. (Doug Montgomery, president). In 1965, Parker bought out Fazzari’s interest in WINT-FM, changed the call letters to WXKL, and moved its offices and studios from Dundee Road to Avenue D N.W. downtown, next to Tip Top TV.
Other WINT-AM owners included Suwanee Broadcasting Co. (Norman O. Protsman, president/GM) in 1966 and Vantage Broadcasting (Dave and Diane Buerger) in 1972 who changed the calls and format to oldies WZNG.
Names from Winter Haven’s WINT years include Earl Sturgeon (sales manager-1958), Michael Savas (PD-1958), Robert Weiss (1962), Al Cash (PD-1958), Bernard B. “Bunny” Brown (farm director-1959; news director-1964; sales manager-1966), Joe Trivette (1959; PD-1960), Bob Wery (news director-1959), Ronald Brown (promotions-1960; GM-1968), James Duke (news director-1960), Woody Lester (1963), Jack Hufflefinger (chief engineer-1964), Don Lamerson (GM-1964), Michael Carrick (PD-1966), Bob Whitcomb (news director-1966), Jim Rinehart (sales manager-1967), Dave Farrington (PD-1967), Gayle Gauthier (promotions-1967), Fearon Hicks (news director-1967), Bill Crowe (sales manager-1968), Mike Helminski (PD Michael Jay-1968), Judith Blaze (promotions-1968), Ken Barfield (news director-1968), Chip Surber (GM-1971), Jim Greenfield (news), Jack Shaw, Daylon Rushing, Michael Hatfield (Tom E. Collins), Bill Gaskins (Paul McCartney), Glen Hill, and Mike Sharp (sales).
1958 - 1972 Other Polk County Stations (History)