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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 (Pinellas Radio Co.) was awarded the initial CP for WFSO but, in July 1965, the FCC granted assignment of the CP to Pinellas Radio Corp. (owned by Mr. Mangold 51%, Dan L. Johnson 24%, and Elwynn Johnson 25%). Mangold 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. In June 1973, the Johnsons acquired Mangold’s 51% of Pinellas Radio Corp. for $30,000 to take sole ownership. Although the daytimer began rocking in 1969, it had evolved into a progressive rock/AOR station by the time it was granted fulltime status in 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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Station History

1966 - 1978 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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