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Hal Kneller

Hal started in radio as a board op in Connecticut when he was in high school and, later, did transmitter watch at a directional AM while at Emerson College in Boston. Although his degree was in Mass Communications, he always had a strong interest in the technical side of the business. His first full time job in the business was with WPAT AM/FM in Paterson, NJ (New York City) as an engineer; however, he also did production of music tapes and commercials, mostly dubbing agency spots to cart.  

His first job as full time chief engineer was at Greater Media’s WGSM/WCTO on Long Island, after which he moved over to the equipment side of the business as district sales manager for the Harris Corporation, Broadcast Products Division. After some years with Harris, he moved from Connecticut to Florida when he received an FCC Construction Permit in 1986 to build WKII-AM in Port Charlotte, along the way, purchasing competitor 100.1 WEEJ-FM.

Following the sale of these two stations, Hal acquired WZZS in Zolfo Springs from Ted Hite, who had built the station just a few years earlier next to the Bluff's Golf Course. WZZS’ studios, office, and transmitter were originally housed in a construction site trailer at the tower site on US 17 between Zolfo Springs and Arcadia. It was on that site that a 3500 square foot studio building was designed and built and fitted out with all new equipment.  

About the same time WZZS was purchased, a petition was filed with the FCC for a new FM on 105.3 in Nocatee, outside Arcadia, and Kneller decided to compete for it. Successful in winning the CP, La Zeta WZSP, the first Spanish FM in Florida outside the Miami market was placed in operation in 1998 and included in the new building. Shortly afterwards, he agreed to buy 1480 WKGF-AM in Arcadia from Lakeland’s Hall Communications.  When the deal was finalized, it moved into the WZZS/WZSP building, too, leaving only its transmitter in Arcadia. However, in 2004, the AM was sold to George Kalman (Integrity Broadcasting) who moved the studios back to the Arcadia transmitter site.


Station History

1996 - 2014 Other Central Florida Stations (Management)

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