Arthur J. Rowbotham
Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Art had no idea when he entered college that he would eventually end up with a second career – in radio broadcasting. His educational background includes: 1970 Westminster College B.A. cum laude (New Wilmington, Pennsylvania) and 1974 Case Western Reserve Law School J.D. (Cleveland, Ohio). It seemed definite. He was a lawyer – first an associate and then a partner with the firm of Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond from 1974 to 1982.
Funny how events can change things though. In 1970, Art married Bonnie Hall, the daughter of Robert Hall, President of Hall Communications. Even though her father was the head of a group of radio stations in the northeast, a career change for Art was not yet in sight. Then in 1977, while still a partner with his law firm, he became a Director for Hall Communications. In 1981 he was elected Vice-President. By 1983, Art had left the field of law and had also become General Manager of the Hall stations in Lakeland, WONN and WPCV. In 1988 he became a Certified Radio Marketing Consultant. Since 1991, Art has been President of Hall Communications which added WLKF in 1996 and WWRZ in 1997 to make Lakeland’s Big 4.
How he has had time to run four successful radio stations with all of his outside commitments is truly amazing. He is a Past President of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Lakeland YMCA, Lakeland South Rotary, Polk Advertising Federation, and Tampa Bay Broadcaster’s Association. Admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1974 and Florida Bar in 1983, Art continues to be a member of both and is also a member of the Lakeland Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
He was named Ad Man of the Year in 1986-87 and 1987-88 by the Polk Ad Federation and also won its Silver Medal Award in 1988. The Lakeland Chapter of Professional Secretaries International named Art its Executive of the Year in 1989-90 and he was awarded the John Cummins Legislative Award in 1989 and Jack Philipps Gold Medal Award in 1999 by the 4th District, American Advertising Federation. He is also a past director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Art is a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and past member of the All Saints’ Academy Board of Trustees. He and Bonnie raised three children, Erin, Benjamin, and Arthur and make their home in Lakeland.
1983 - 2005 WONN (Management)