WPUL - A History
WPUL-AM 1130 Bartow – In September 1969 the FCC granted Trans-Florida Radio, Inc. (Lloyd A. Scott, Sr., president) a license to operate radio station WPUL from sunrise to sunset with a power of 1,000 watts on clear channel frequency 1130. Studios, transmitter, and 190 foot tower were located along Highway 17 north of downtown Bartow.
The call letters stood for We Please U Longer, and later spawned the slogan, WPUL – The Station with Pull. The music format was MOR, but by the early/mid 70’s it had switched to country. A morning “Trading Post” buy-sell-trade call-in show was added, along with national news from the Mutual network. There were contests and special events, too, like The Gold Rush Contest, Silver Dollar Saloon, Turkey Contest, and the WPUL Ranch Party, a one-day event that pulled in as many as 5,000 area listeners.
WPUL changed hands a number of times during its years on the air. Other owners included Robert D. Morris in 1972, Mid-Florida Broadcasting (Eugene McMahon, president) in 1978, Deco Broadcasting (John Locke, president), Dave Hill, Radio Station WPUL, Inc., and Randolph A. and Robert L. Marsh. It was Locke who improved the station’s daytime facilities in 1982 by increasing the power to 2500 watts.
Tom and Susan Thornburg of WIPC in Lake Wales purchased WPUL in 1984, changed the call letters to WWBF, and switched to a light contemporary music format with heavy emphasis on local news and sports.
Other names from WPUL history include former general managers Lloyd A Scott, Jr., Leroy Bradley, Sandy Sanders, Reba Zoellner, and Haywood Henson; Other staffers: Margaret Scott (PD), Joe Trivette (sales manager), A.N. Campbell (chief engineer), Don Goolsby (PD), George Turner IV (chief engineer), Mike McCord, Roy Beymer (chief engineer), Dee Van Pelt (sales), Larry Love (news/host of “The Trading Post”), Kit Kitchens, Gene Mullins, B.J. Shores (mid-days), Bill Andrews (PD 1978-79 and host of “The Trading Post”), Ben Silver, Doc Holiday, Buck Williams, Joe Penny, Jerry Hughes (weekends), and Tommy Walker (mornings). Jackie Weeks was a receptionist who did traffic.
1969 - 1984 Other Polk County Stations (History)