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Glen Dill

Glen was a Cleveland native, born in 1910, who had worked as a theatre page, bellboy, room clerk, and hotel manager by the time he came to St. Petersburg in 1935 to help run the Concord Hotel. In 1943, with most hotels under government control, he walked into WTSP and read 20 minutes of copy (cold) and started work there the next day. With the song “Sunrise Serenade” as his theme, he hosted the station’s morning show, "SunDial," which, from time to time, drew celebrity guests like Charlie Chaplin and Lawrence Welk. But it was his outlandish gags that brought him local listeners day after day.

One of those gags in the 1940’s involved raising tadpoles in his bathtub. For eight months Glen took calls from listeners inquiring about his inventory. Later he said he released them into a local lake and then admitted that the entire tadpole episode was a made-up story. Another incident that he never lived down was the time Col. Tom Parker approached him in 1955 about investing $5,000 in a young new talent named Elvis Presley. He declined saying that he didn’t think that Elvis was worth quite that much and that he couldn’t play the guitar very well. While admitting that Elvis’ wiggling around on stage attracted the girls, he wondered how long that “gimmick” would last.

In 1957 Glen left WTSP and joined St. Pete Beach’s WILZ as Director of Public Relations. He became General Manager of St. Petersburg classical station WTCX in 1961 and then moved to New Port Richey in 1963 to become one of the first announcers (and work in sales) for a new station, WGUL. Later, he traveled around the state gathering historical information for his newspaper column, “Disa and Data by Dill,” which appeared in the Suncoast News. By 1986, Glen had written over a thousand columns, many of them published in a book titled “The Suncoast Past.”

Before he died in 1993 at the age of 83, Glen was honored as the 1990 recipient of the Eminent Pioneer Award presented by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce. A collection of his work is housed at the Poynter Library at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus.

Station History

1943 - 1966 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1961 - 1963 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Management)
1963 - 1975 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Sales)

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