For 13 years Cleveland Wheeler was Tampa Bay’s king of the airwaves and the genius behind Q105 WRBQ’s “Q Morning Zoo,” one of the most enduring and successful morning radio shows in the industry’s history. He still holds the record for the highest morning drive ARB numbers in Tampa Bay. However, his successful track record had humble beginnings in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he graduated from Brainerd High School.
After getting his start in the mid 1960’s at his hometown station, WMOC, Cleveland moved to Florida and got work at Daytona Beach’s WDAT (as Dave Randall when the station’s studios were in the Holly Hill Country Club) and WMFJ (where he was PD twice, the first time in 1966 when he was hired to do nights). He landed at Miami’s WQAM in 1969, again doing nights (as Paxton Quigley, a name given to him by PD Jim Dunlap).
In 1971, Cleveland began an almost five year run at The Mighty Ape, WAPE in Jacksonville, followed by KUPD Phoenix (music director), KROY Sacramento, a short stint at WMAK Nashville and stations in Denver and Houston. While in Music City he gained experience in the record business as a promotions manager for Mercury and Arista Records before accepting an offer from Bob McNeill to step into the morning slot at Tampa’s WRBQ in 1978.
During his first two years at Q105, Cleveland did mornings solo. Then Scott Shannon joined him in 1980 and the pair developed an AM show concept called “The Q Zoo.” When Shannon left in 1984, his new partner became former WLCY news man Terrence McKeever, and then Jack Harris (pre-Power Pig days).
In late 1991, Edens Broadcasting, then-parent company of Q105, elected not to renew Cleveland’s contract deal and he was replaced on the “Zoo” by Mike Elliott. He left Tampa Bay for awhile and then returned in 1994 to do mornings at Infinity’s country WQYK, followed by mornings at Entercom’s oldies outlet U92 WYUU two years later. In 1998, shortly before U92 was added to the Infinity roster, he left radio and began selling beach residential real estate. In 2000 he answered a call for help from Lee Abrams who wanted him to develop programming for XM Satellite Radio’s “Sixties on Six” channel.
Today (2007), Cleveland Wheeler has come full circle and is now back in his hometown, Chattanooga, working mornings on U97.3 and U99.3.
1978 - 1991 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1994 - 1998 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)