WFSO - A History
WFSO-AM 570 Pinellas Park – WFSO (Five-Seven-O) went on the air March 12, 1966 as a 500-watt directional daytimer licensed to Pinellas Park with offices at 4930 Park Boulevard. Studios were located at the transmitter/tower site at 9661 82nd Avenue North, on the east side of Lake Seminole.
William D. Mangold, president of Pinellas Radio Corp., established the station's music format of all-time dance band hits, popular vocalists and instrumentalists, and served as its first GM and chief engineer. The daytimer began rocking in 1969 and evolved into a progressive rock/AOR station before becoming a fulltime operation February 1, 1976.
WFSO sponsored a basketball team (formed by midday jock Brother John Moore) called the 'Dynamite Ding-a-lings' from 1970 to 1972. The team played charity games against school faculty and other organizations as a fundraiser.
In 1978, WFSO was sold to International Broadcasters, Inc. (William Bungeroth, president, and two other investors – Paul Bilzerian and Dallas radio personality Michael Spears). The calls changed to WPLP and AM-570 became Pinellas County’s first talk station.
Other names in WFSO history include Jack Faulkner (sales manager-1966; GM, PD, news director 1967; promotions-1969), Dan Johnson (PD-1966; sales manager-1967; president of Pinellas Radio Corp./GM-1974), Lee Stern (sales manager 1969), Charles E. Alton, Jr. (news director-1969), Tedd Webb (1970-73; 1974-75; 1977-78), John Moore (middays/music director-1970), John O. Burke (PD/promotions-1970), Glen Scott (PD/promotions-1971; music director-1974), Pepper Lipsinx (James Wayman-late 60’s), Joseph F. Gingrich (sales manager-1972; marketing/promotions-1977), Art Williams (Art MacCammon- news director 1972; PD-1977), Keith Halladay (early/mid 70’s), Rick Riley (Rick Utt-mid 70’s), Brock Whaley (music director-1977), Robert Fischer (chief engineer-1977), Joe Ademy (sales manager-1977), Charlie Farley (Chuck Goding-news director 1977), Mike Cooper (music director-1978), Bob King, Johnny Diamond, and Mark McGee (news).
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1966 - 1978 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)