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WSLC - A History

WSLC-AM 1340 Clermont – WONN/Lakeland owner Duane F. McConnell and his son, Pat, built WSLC (South Lake County) and launched the station on Monday, Sept. 19th, 1962 to serve the central Florida’s growing Clermont/Groveland communities. After work was done for the day at WONN and on weekends, the father/son duo would head north to Clermont and put in many hours working on and installing the sometimes homebuilt and/or very-used broadcast equipment.

Former staffers from those early days agree that WSLC was very primitive, even by 1962 standards. The studio building consisted of a small lobby area at the entrance, a control room, manager’s office, and live studio. News was “rip-and-read” from the AP. There were no cart machines, just a few commercials recorded on small 3-inch reels of tape to play off a couple Magnecorders (not that there were very many spots to play). Many of the commercials were simply read live from a copy book at the console.

WSLC broadcasted with a power of 250 watts unlimited from studios at the tower site on Highway 50 between Clermont and Groveland in what today (2006) is Emerald Mobile Home Park. The music format was middle of the road, with a little country added to get the day started each morning between sign on at 5:45 A.M. and 7:00 A.M.

Even though WSLC was permitted to operate at night, McConnell chose to operate days only, except for Friday night’s Clermont or Groveland high school football games. In addition to Saturday afternoon University of Florida Gator football games, it also carried any night games that happened to be on the college’s fall gridiron schedule.

WSLC didn’t have a program director and, while the music was basically MOR, each jock played what he wanted from records that were in-house – or what he brought from home – in no particular order. The station’s inaugural staff included station manager Chuck Grant and deejays Jim Maloy, Alex Houston, Rich Halten, Howard Ellis, and Tom Allan (Tom Talcott). All also worked for McConnell at his Lakeland station except for Grant who was hired from WWJB in Brooksville.

McConnell sold WSLC in 1965 to Fidelity Broadcasting Corp. (Ben B. Moss, president). Lake County Broadcasting Corp. (J.O. Tice, Sr., president) acquired the station in 1971 and changed the calls to WWFL. Today (2006) the Clermont station is owned by timeshare magnate David Siegel and his headquartered near Orlando.

Other names from WSLC history include Jim Miller (chief engineer-1964), Mal Hayes (sales manager-1967), Spencer Ivey (chief engineer-1967), Paul Tichenal, Jr. (chief engineer-1968), Cal Thornton (chief engineer-1971), Dennis Winslow, and Larry Havill.

Station History

1962 - 1971 Other Central Florida Stations (History)

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