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Beryl Beckett

(Beryl was originally from Detroit. Here’s how   she remembers working in Tampa Bay radio)


"When I was at WHBO in 1962, the weekend man for the station was Bruce McWilliams, a student at USF.  While there, I had a 5-minute program with Bob Ross in the mornings and also did copy and traffic until probably around 1964, then went to WINQ in a like position.  

At WINQ, Al Kinney and Stan Wineman were in sales, as was Joe Caranante, Mort Funkhouser, and Gordon Solie.  The program director was Bob Stone.  At some point, he left for WDAE and later called me one day to say the copy position was open there, so I applied and got the job. Gordon Solie’s wife Smokey took over for me when I left. 

At WDAE, Carl Glicken was manager. Burl McCarty was there in news along with Bob Mackey and Bob Stone. After Bob and Bob left for WALT, which was still a rocker and newly owned, I got another call from Stone, "Come on over to WALT. We need someone for traffic and copy.  I went!  Others there were Stella Valenti (bookkeeper), the two Bobs who did news (“The Mackey-Stone Report") and, in sales, Don Hibbitts, Russ Altizer and Tony Nicholson.  

Marshall Rowland from Jacksonville bought WALT in late 1969, changed the call letters to WQYK and, in 1970, flipped the format to country.  Around 1974, he purchased property off 4th Street North in St. Petersburg, close to Gandy Boulevard, built a studio building and moved the operation there, which by that time, was an AM & FM facility.

Stella Valenti didn’t like commuting from Tampa so she left and was replaced by Shirley Buss as bookkeeper. Don Hibbits became manager and the only other sales person I remember was Russ Altizer. Don Beckman was on-air and Public Service Director. It was during this time that 'Johnny Rebel' (Herb Hunt) had left WLCY and came over to WQYK for a brief stint to do news and a weekend air shift as ‘Dutch Schultz’. In 1976, Rowland moved WQYK to the Koger Office Complex further south on 4th Street. 

I left WQYK around 1978. Don't remember why, guess it just wasn't the fun place it used to be.  That's when I went into advertising, first with Bob Ross Advertising and after Bob died, Studenberg Wood as Advertising Director for Shadrack Advertising, the in-house agency. When the Tampa offices closed down in April 1986, I took the opportunity to retire.” 

Station History

1962 - 1978 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Office Staff)

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