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Dan Johnson

Originally from Wisconsin, Dan moved to Tampa when he was still a youngster and got his start in radio at some of the top stations in town, including WFLA in the mid 50’s, where he hosted the morning show, Gulf Coast Serenade. By the late 1960’s, he and his dad, Elwyn, had acquired Pinellas Park’s 570 frequency and named it WFSO. The studios and transmitter site were built in Seminole on the east side of Seminole Lake. At the onset, the station programmed an MOR format but eventually moved to hard rock.

In 1978, Johnson sold WFSO and went on to build Tampa Bay classical station WXCR-FM in 1982 and Lakeland’s first TV station, V32 WTMV (“The Station It Pays to Watch.”) in 1986. The TV station’s offices and studios were originally on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland. But in order to be more competitive in the market, the operation moved to Tampa and into the former TelePrompter Cable TV building at the corner of East Hillsborough Avenue and Orient Road.

Never really successful with the video format, Dan transformed WTMV into a regular independent TV station, picking up college and professional sports and what syndicated programming he could, and limiting the music videos to overnights on the weekends. It became a charter affiliate of the WB Network and was the only locally-owned TV station in the Tampa Bay area until 1995 when the Hearst Corporation bought it for nearly $30 million. The calls changed to WWWB and then to WMOR. 

Johnson also dabbled in politics and served as a commissioner and mayor of St. Petersburg Beach in the 1980’s. After selling Channel 32, he and his wife, Jo, moved to Georgia where, with investor friend Robert Keelean, they started yet another TV station in Savannah.

Station History

1956 - 1967 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1967 - 1984 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Management)

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