WLCO-AM 1240 
Eustis

Original Call Letters: WLCO

Originally Licensed: Jun 1955

Original City of License: Eustis

Original Frequency: 1240

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 250 watts

Original Location: 1057 N. Palm Circle

Original Format: Variety


Network Affiliation(s):

Associated Press Radio
ABC Direction Network

Owner(s):

1955-Lake County Broadcasting Company
1956-Floyd W. Hess
1964-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.

1978-C-S Broadcasting Corp.
1982-Lake Media 
1988-WKLE, Inc.
1989-Starship Communications  ($2000,000)
1992-J & V Communications  ($75,000)
1996-Christianson Broadcasting Inc.
1998-McKenzie Broadcast Associates, Inc. ($210,000)
2003-Gateway Broadcasting and Internet, Inc
2004-Rama Communications ($180,000) with WQBQ-AM 1410
2005-Mary Banks Ministries Inc. (LMA)
2006-Glover Radio Network LLC (LMA)
2009-WE Properties/Central Florida Sports Marketing (LMA)
2010-Rama Communications

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WLCO-1955-Variety
WLCO-1965-Variety  "Radio Wilco!"
WLCO-1966-Country Western
WLCO-1973-Variety   "The Good Life"   "Good Life Radio"
WLCO-1977-Rock and Roll
WLCO-1979-Country Western
WEUS-1982-All American (Easy Listening)
WEUS-1985-Country
WLCF-1987-All American  (Easy Listening)
WWLB-1989-All American  (Easy Listening)
WKIQ-1989-All American  (Easy Listening)
WKIQ-1989-Country   "Classic Hit Country"
WKIQ-1992-MOR
WKIQ-1993-Talk/Music
WKIQ-1996-Music/Talk/News

WKIQ-1998-Classic Country
WKIQ-2004-Silent  
WKIQ-2005-Gospel
WKIQ-2004-Classic Country
WKIQ-2005-Spanish
WKIQ-2006-Gospel/R&B
WKIQ-2006-Religious "Where Tradition Meets Truth"
WKIQ-2008-News/Sports/Music  "Your Hometown Station"
WKIQ-2009-Urban Contemporary   "The New Q 1240"
WKIQ-2009-Silent    (9-2-09)
WKIQ-2009-Sports/Sporting News Radio (9-25-09) 
WKIQ-2010-Silent  (5-10)
WKIQ-2010-Regional Mexican Simulcast of WLAA-AM 1600
WKIQ-2010-Regional Mexican   "La Gigante"


History of WLCO
 
"Serving all of the Golden Triangle, from the Orange Capital of the World, this is Radio Wilco, 1240, WLCO, Eustis"


John Fuller supplies some the history of WLCO, "Radio Wilco" . "The original owner, who put the station on the air some years before I got there, was a local man named Bill Hess. He had sold out to old Mr. Barringer only months before I was hired. Bill was still around--I guess he had retired, because he seemed of that age to this 23 year-old--and on at least one occasion, he did play-by-play announcing for us during a high school football game." "...While I was there Mr. Barringer hired Harold McWhorter, a former radio station owner and program syndicator from WV who lived nearby in retirement (I think). Harold had had a 15-minute motivational series called "So You're Here Today."  "...I do not know when the Barringers sold out, but it may have been related to Mr. Barringer's death; he was quite old when I worked there, having retired from the fuel oil business in North Carolina at the time he bought the station in 1965. When I worked at WLCO-pronounced "Radio Wilco!"-we ran 1,000 watts daytime and 250 watts night but signed off at midnight. We had no network affiliation. The tower was down in a deep depression amidst thick trees behind the station; at night we could barely be heard beyond the city limits. The station was housed then in a prefab structure called a "Jim Walter Home." "...Our signal didn't go far, we didn't make much money (if any), and the station would have gone off the air from all of Dave Barringer's wires with alligator clips coming undone if you stomped your foot, but it was as good a ride as being in the "WKRP in Cincinnati" TV program."


Buddy (Mel) Turner
-1957- Worked with Bill Hess and Wayne Moody, both retired from Mutual. Wayne put together the half-hour newscast we did every day at 6, and Bill would arrive at 5:59:30, in his Golf Shoes to co-anchor the News. At 16 years old, I was in awe of the two of them, as I "engineered" the cast. That was with NO Cart machines, just a couple of old tape transports, and at least a vinyl disc or two for spots during the cast. Bill could read at least a paragraph ahead, as he delivered the news. 
I was full time, that is, I worked from 4PM till Midnight, 6 days a week. I did the 4-6 show for the kids . . can you say Connie Francis, Bobby Vinton, Johnny Mathis, Fats Domino, the Crickets . . and that new guy, Elvis Presley? News at 6 . . Dinner music at 6:30. "Evening Music" at 8, and of course, the late night stuff at 10.  I signed the station off at Midnight, and did the janitor thing, before going home. I was surprised to find that Bill paid for what I did !! I think my checks were for about $60 a week. During Hurricane Donna in '60, Earl Hagar and I stayed at the station for the duration. Most of Central Florida lost power, but 1240 stayed on, with about 1200 watts. The old Gates was cranked, and humming. You may remember, the eye of the storm came right over Eustis, and I ran a mic cord out the front door, and broadcast from the eye. According to the weather people in Orlando, the peak winds just before the eye and right after it, were in the 94mph range. That old "house" was literally bouncing just before the eye arrived. There were people listening all over Central Florida, since most, if not all stations were off the air. As you might imagine, the City or County gave Bill Hess some kind of award for what Earl and I had done...


WLCO Personalities
Phil Conant-1955-Promotions Manager/News Director-Lake County Broadcasting Company
Nancy Cox-1955-Women's Director-Lake County Broadcasting Company
Don Tucker-1956-Program Director/News Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Barbara Ridlebaugh-1956-Women's Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Herbert Babb, Jr.1958-Program Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
A.M. Cleary-1958-Farm News Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Earl Hagar-1959-News Director/1962-Program Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Richard Smith-1960-Commercial Manager/Program Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Wayne Moody-1960-News Director/Chief Engineer-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Don Tucker-1963-Program Director/News Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Dave Barringer-1964-Co-owner/General Manager/Mid-days/Chief Engineer-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
John Fuller-1965-1966-Program Director/News Director-Barringer Broadcasting Corp. Biography
Keith Deister-1966-News Director-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
Victor Lent-1966-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.  Biography


Charles "Charlie" Northrup-1968-Program Director-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
Wiley Carpenter-1969-Program Director/Promotions Manager-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
Oliver Peters "Jolly Ollie"-1970-1972-Nights/Weekends/Fill-ins-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
From Ollie's email; "...The music started country with King Dave, shifted to MOR midday, Top 40 early evening and then I played harder Top 40 and album cuts (just about anything I wanted, really) at the end of the night."
Dennis Wilson (Snyder)-1973-1974 Biography Dennis gives us a bit of history and reminds us of some of the folks that passed through WLCO. In an email from Dennis; "...Now that was a real fun adventure for me.  And I even got paid a whopping $1.60 an hour. Occasionally I'd work my regular 9 hour shift at WLOQ(-FM 103.1) then dash the 50 miles to Eustis for 6 till midnight, then back in the next morning at WLOQ at 6AM. During that time the station was 1,000 watts daytime and 250 at night.  Although authorized for 24 hours, the station signed off at midnight. The music format was somewhat of a variety with country music in the morning and pop music at other times. Like many stations Sunday mornings often had some pre-recorded public service programs as well as religious programming and included a live feed of one of the local church services. 
Lee Williams-1973-Program Director-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
John Asp-1973-Music Director-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
C.W. Larsen-1973-Music Director-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.


Mark Logas-1977-Barringer Broadcasting Corp. Biography
Mike Holmes-1979-Program Director/Music Director/News Director-C-S Broadcasting Corp.


Bob Andrews-8AM-10AM weekdays  Biography    In Memory


Ralph Ricks
Dick Camnitz
Doug Laby 


Rob Newton-General Manager
Stan Rearden
Bruce Wayne
Bill Waller
Sam Sawyer
Tony Phillips (Jeff D'Aurora)
John Wilson
Harold McWhorter-Host of a 15-minute motivational series called "So You're Here Today"
Dave Ward “King Dave”-Mornings/Sales-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
Jim LaRoe-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
                                                                                                                              
Other Names in WLCO History
Reggie Martin-1955-President/General Manager/Commercial Manager-Lake County Broadcasting Company
W.R. Miller-1955-Chief Engineer-Lake County Broadcasting Company
Art Raynor-1955-Program Director/Farm News Director-Lake County Broadcasting Company
Floyd William ''Bill'' Hess-1956-Owner/General Manager In Memory
Morton Cook-1956-Station Manager/Commercial Manager-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Robert Donald Blynn-1956-Chief Engineer-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Lawrence Lyons-1956-Commercial Manager-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Thomas Ward-1958-Promotions Manager/1959-Program Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Duane Baker-1958-Chief Engineer-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Robert Hollenbeck-1958-Technical Director-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
James Wall-1959-Chief Engineer-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
George Rogers-1962-Commercial Manager-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
D.A. Newberry-1962-Chief Engineer-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
John Nixon-1964-Chief Engineer-Floyd W. Hess Ownership
Artimisa Barringer-1964-President/1973-Secretary/Treasurer-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
Carroll Barringer-1964-General Manager/Commercial Manager/Promotions Manager/Chief Engineer-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
Davis Barringer-1964-General Manager/Chief Engineer/1974-President/General Manager/Chief Engineer-Barringer Broadcasting Corp./1978-Vice President-C-S Broadcasting Corp.
Charles Robinson-1964-Commercial Manager-Barringer Broadcasting Corp.
Peter Clark-1978-President-C-S Broadcasting Corp.
Jack Rankin-1978-General Manager/Commercial Manager-C-S Broadcasting Corp.
Bruce Cox-1998-President-McKenzie Broadcast Associates, Inc.
Jan Hall-1998-General Manager-McKenzie Broadcast Associates, Inc.
Bruce Welker-1998-Operations Director/Operations Manager-McKenzie Broadcast Associates, Inc.
Sabatta Persaud-2004-President-Rama Communications, Inc.
George Tanner-Program Director
Peggy Beasley-Secretary 


John Fuller
supplies some photos of WLCO/WKIQ studios. John writes; "...(I) drove up to Eustis (Oct 2, 2004) . . ."and tracked down WKIQ (ex-WLCO) at 1057 N. Palm Circle, in a residential neighborhood, still in the same little building I remembered from 1966. Alas, it was off the air. Peeking through the windows it appeared most of the equipment had been removed, and the place abandoned. Weeds had taken over the property, even the parking spaces. The new owners apparently have put the station's revival on hold.


Click images to enlarge

1 WKIQ-WLCO Eustis FL.jpg (306911 bytes)  2 WKIQ-WLCO rear view.jpg (324357 bytes)

3 WKIQ-WLCO office door.jpg (424023 bytes)      4 WKIQ-WLCO tower.jpg (381995 bytes)
Exterior Photos courtesy of John Fuller 

   
Thanks to Dennis Snyder for these photos from WLCO in 1973  
Bill Waller wlco73.jpg (141876 bytes)            wlco73 Collins board.jpg (173006 bytes)
Bill Waller at the WLCO mic                  Collins board at WLCO


wlco production room 73.jpg (136905 bytes)          Collins 1000 w transmitter wlco73d.jpg (126322 bytes)
WLCO Production room            Collins 1000 watt transmitter


This group of photos courtesy of  Mark Logas
    



WLCO Playlist.jpg (91048 bytes)


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