Original Call Letters: WORZ 

Originally Licensed: Feb 8, 1947

courtesy of Pete Simonson

Original City of License: Orlando  

Original Frequency: 740

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 50,000 watts 

Original Location: 790 N. Orange Ave.

Original Format: Adult Contemporary

Network Affiliation(s):

Associated Press
Mutual Broadcasting System
Keystone Broadcasting


1947-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
1966-KIS, Inc.
1971-Susquehanna Broadcasting Co.
1988-Guy Gannett Broadcasting
1994-Paxson Broadcasting
1997-Clear Channel Communications 
2007-Aloha Station Trust, LLC, as Trustee
2008-Clear Channel Communications 

History Of  Call Letters and Formats:

WKIS-1958-Adult Contemporary
WKIS-1979-News/Talk  "NewsTalk 74"
WQTM-2001-Sports Talk formerly on 540
WQTM-2007-Mexican Oldies "La Preciosa"  ("The Precious One")
WQTM-2008-Modern Spanish Pop 

History of WKIS

WKIS took to the air as WORZ on Feb. 8, 1947, with 1,000 watts of power as another NBC affiliate at 740 on the AM dial. WORZ was the third Orlando radio station to take to the air. Offices and studios were located at 790 N. Orange Ave., and the station's transmitter was on Old Winter Garden Road. In those  days, NBC had two radio networks, called the red and the blue networks. In 1949, you could listen to the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis show on Friday evenings on WORZ. 
Martin & Lewis Show opening 

WKIS Personalities

Bob Andrews
-1959-Program Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co. Biography     In Memory
Happy Ison-1959-News Director/Special Events Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.   In Memory
Ray Olech-1959-Farm Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
Edith Entee-1959-Women's Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
Glenn Smith-1963-Program Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
Don McWhorter-1963-News Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.

Joe Francis-1965-News Director/1966-Program Director-KIS, Inc.
Biography       In Memory

Russ Wheeler-1966-1969-KIS, Inc./1972-1975-Mornings  Biography
Roy Scott-1966-News Director-KIS, Inc.
Steve Thompson-1968-News Director-KIS, Inc.
Bob Arel-1968-Sports Director-KIS, Inc.

Alan Spector-1970-News-KIS, Inc.   Biography
Pat Flynn-1970-1975-News-KIS, Inc. 
In an email from Pat he tells us about his time at WKIS. "...I did news at WKIS around 1970-1975 during the Gene Burns era. When I was in college at UCF, 69-73, I worked at WWQS (FM 105.1)  doing classical music during the week, then news on weekends at "KIS".  After a couple of years of that, I left QS" and worked fulltime at "KIS". I continued at "KIS", after college, until January 1975 at which time I moved" to Houston and went to law school. I have been practicing labor & employment law here in Houston since 1977

Doris Ashwell-1970-1976-Talk show host
-KIS, Inc.  

Doris with Larry Shannon (Roberts) and Larry King (Bessler) on the WKIS mid-day show.  

Buddy Pittman
-1971-Weekends-Susquehanna Radio Biography


Jim Boynton-1971-Program Director-KIS, Inc.     Jim in the production room  (courtesy of Pete Simonson)
Gene Burns-1971-1985-News Director-1971/1975-Assistant Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting/ Guy Gannett Broadcasting

     In Memory
Interview with Radio Phenomenon Gene Burns              Gene's last program in Orlando  2-22-85

1971 ad

Orlando Sentinel 1982

Jack Murphy-1971-Program Director/10AM-Noon-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Larry Shannon (Larry Roberts)-1971-1974-Afternoons/1973-Program Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting  Biography

Cal Rains-1971-News Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting


Jim Philips
-1972-1986-Susquehanna Broadcasting/Guy Gannett Broadcasting/Paxson Broadcasting  Biography  

Philips_Phile_Revolution.jpg (38411 bytes)

Frank Reed
-1972-Air Personality/1973-Music Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting Biography

Jerry Gordon-1972-1978-Middays/Afternoon Drive-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Jerry was also the voice of Disney for ten years.
Dave Arlington (David Swerdloff)-1972-1973-"KIS All Night Show"-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Richard King-1973-News Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Wayne Deschambeau-1972-1976-Midnight-6AM-Saturdays/producer/engineer for "Sports Wrap740"/1973-High school football/ 1974-Traveling producer with Stan Savran and Mick Andrews for the Blazers network 

Stan Savran (Stan Savransky)-1973-1976-Sports Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Stan did a Sports talk show on Sunday nights from 6PM-9PM/Sports and news on the morning show with Russ Wheeler. Stan also did play by play for the Florida Blazers of the World Football League the one season they were in existence in 1974.

Pete Forgione
-1973-Mid-days/1977-Program Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting Biography

Mark McKibben-1974-1977-Susquehanna Broadcasting   Biography
Steve Mitchell-1974-1975-Weekends/Fill-in-Susquehanna Broadcasting
  Steve Mitchell with Guests Shari Lewis and Kirby "Sky King" Grant-1974 
Courtesy of Steve Schiffman    
Buzz Lawrence-1974-Program Director. From Steve (Mitchell) Schiffman; "...His sign off was:  "Buzz Off, Kiss On". I heard that Buzz died sometime after leaving WKIS-radio ("Open the door, to '74, Orlando)
From Wayne Deschambeau "...Buzz left WKIS and passed away within a year after leaving the station, from melanoma.  He had developed a small growth on his face that appeared shortly before he left Orlando."

Rod Hemphill
-1974-1979-News Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting
David Carter-1974-1976-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Steve Kane-1977-Susquehanna Broadcasting 
Steve was a theater arts professor at Rollins College when he began as a fill-in host at WKIS in 1977. He eventually took over late nights. His program called "Talk About Life Klub" (T.A.L.K.) card carrying members would meet at the Golden Corral restaurant. He would leave WKIS and take his program to WLOF-AM 950. Today Steve Kane is heard on South Florida radio. 
Barbara Waters-1975-11PM-1AM-M-F/daytime weekends-Susquehanna Broadcasting-first woman to do a WKIS talk show
Pancho O'Hara-(Chico Ramos)-1977-1978, 1979-1984-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Pancho was a regular caller to local talk shows in Orlando. He was a gardener and painter by trade. WKIS
found him so entertaining (or obnoxious) they offered him a job. 
Part of an email from Pancho. "...I was hired by Gene Burns (one of the greatest talk hosts in the biz) in February of 1977. In July of 1978 I was fired for being " irresponsible" saying things  that offended "minority groups." All I said, was "some minority folks are too pushy" and I meant it. Then in Jan 1979, I was rehired. I lasted until 1984 or so, before Jim Philips was hired to replace Dick Norman a helluva nice guy who died  while trying to leave a convenience store in Tampa..."
Darrel Douglas-1977-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Clay Daniels-1977-9AM-Noon  In Memory

Roger Stallard-1978-1981-Midnight-6AM/Program Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting  Biography

Don Gould
-1979-Afternoon Drive News Anchor-Susquehanna Broadcasting Biography
Shelton Adams-1980-Susquehanna Broadcasting  Adams was an Orlando city councilman, who lost the 1980 Mayoral election to then Mayor, Bill Frederick  (Frederick was Orlando's Mayor from 1980 to 1992)

Clive Thomas
-1980-1993-Susquehanna Broadcasting/Guy Gannett Broadcasting
Pat Flannagan-1980-Pioneer female talk host-Susquehanna Broadcasting     
Bob James -1982-"The Real Bob James"--Susquehanna Broadcasting
Bob came to Orlando from WGAR in Cleveland (where he left in 1979). Prior to his stop at WKIS he was involved in production work and wrote for TV's "Entertainment Tonight". He also did some acting with small roles in "The Deer Hunter" and "Those Lips, Those Eyes". Bob replaced Steve Cannon. Bob is currently a professor of broadcast journalism at Middle Tennessee State University.
Harry Cup (Michael Christian)-1982-7PM-11PM-Susquehanna Broadcasting  Biography   In Memory
Harry's program would go statewide in 1983 on the Florida Radio Network. FRN was owned by WKIS' parent company. Cup was heard from 7-11PM on;
WKIS, WIPC-AM 1280, Winter Haven, WEZY-AM 1350, Lakeland,  WNDB-AM 1150, Daytona Beach, and WWFL-AM 1340, Clermont  

Jeff Allen
(Cassell)-1982-1987  Biography

Wayne Trou
-1983-1990-News Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting Biography   In Memory
  Wayne on George W. Bush

Dick Norman-1984-9AM-Noon/3PM-6PM /Operations Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting Biography       In Memory

Dr. Marilyn Mason-1984-1985-"Practical Psychology"-Noon-2PM--Susquehanna Broadcasting
Dr. Mason began a similar radio-psychology in 1980 at KSTP-AM in Minneapolis. Her commitment to psychology stemmed from a tragedy. Mason's husband, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, was killed in 1966 by Charles Whitman, the student who climbed into the University of Texas tower and began a shooting rampage that killed 15 and wounded 31. 
Chris Russo-1984-1987-"Sports Talk"-6PM-8PM-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Chris graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park in 1982. Before Orlando he worked at WEXI and WOKV in Jacksonville. Chris would move to WMCA-AM 570 in New York in 1987. Now known as the "Mad Dog" on WFAN-AM 640 in New York City.  
8-14-08-After 19 years at WFAN-AM 660, New York, Chris leaves and joins Sirius/XM Satellite radio

Leslie Brewington
-1986-Producer for Clive Thomas-Susquehanna Broadcasting Biography

Gary Van Allen (Gary Warne)-1986-Production Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Steve Hall-1986-News Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Don Germaise-1986-News-Susquehanna Broadcasting

John Martin
-1986 to 1991-Writer/Reporter/Anchor/Producer/Co-host with Lynn Levine-Susquehanna Broadcasting  Biography

Craig Eicher-1987-1991-Overnights/Weekday Anchor/Reporter-Susquehanna Broadcasting  Craig became a news reporter/anchor at Channel 6, Orlando for ten years.

Marty Stebbins

Bob Barnes

Jeff Allen (Cassell) & Chris Russo 1984.jpg (170815 bytes)
Jeff Allen (Cassell) and Chris Russo 1991


Lynne Levine-1986 (Moira of the "Philips Phile" on WTKS-FM 104.1) News anchor and host of “At Your Service” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Lynn also co-hosted the Morning News on WWNZ-AM 740 with Wayne Trout in 1988.
 Program Director Kaye Barone made Lynn the host of "At Your Service". Lynn had been a "street  reporter".  

Bud Brewer

Don Smith

Carole Nelson
Hal Murray
Tony Gerard
Sandy Bernard-8PM-Midnight-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Tom Conlee-10PM-Midnight 

Frank Vaught-Sports  In Memory
Lon Wagner

Peter Rocchio-Peter is an attorney and gourmet chef
Larry (Bessler) King-Production In Memory     
Ken Presti-Reporter late 90's
Winifred King-News
Kathy Putnam
John Anthony-Morning sports 
Barbara McClure-Overnight News late 90s 
Harvey Doyle-Production
Dave Lawrence-Overnights  

Dan Tressler-News

Mike Schiano     Biography

Patricia Madden
Linda Coleman
Adrian Charles
Jay Jeffries (Jeff D'Aurora)-4PM-7PM

Tom Haley-Noon-4PM Biography
Sam Gilkey
Jim Boynton-Mid-days/Program Director 
Dave Elliott
Bev Smith

Al Dunaway-6AM-10AM
Al Dunaway
Tom McCloud (Tom Locke)-Pilot "Sky One" traffic plane

L-R; Al Dunaway, Clay Daniels; "Eye in the Sky" Traffic Reporter Tom Mc Cloud; General Manger of WKIS Bob Dempsey and 
Orange County Sheriff Mel Coleman. 

Bill Bauman  Biography

Alan Spector   Biography
  70's Bumper sticker Courtesy of  Pete Simonson
Terry Deck-News
Michael Cooper-Sports
Rita Reutter

Joe Finger-News

L to R; Pat Beale, Wolfman Jack and Dan  Robertson
   courtesy of Dan Robertson

WKIS beer
thanks to Dick Camnitz

 WKIS First Class Club Card

Pat Beale
Mike Ruble-Producer
Myron Stein-"The Auto Doctor"-Saturdays-10AM-Noon
Peter Lane-"Wine Line"-Saturdays-2PM- 3PM

Greg Galloway
-1974-1975 Biography

Gina Jordan Biography

George Hampton

Lee Moss "The Country Hoss"
Lee Hillyard-News
Pat Beall-News
Roger Williams-News
Michelle Simos-News
Sal Tamburo-Gardening expert. Regular guest on the Doris Ashwell show.

Tom McCubbin-Gardening expert. Regular guest on the Doris Ashwell show.
Win Pendleton-Author and lecturer known as "The Sage of Windermere". Regular guest on the Doris Ashwell show
Steve Biro-News
Carolyn Devonshire-News

Max Johnson-News (Metro and City Hall reporter)
Mike Cooper-Tallahassee Capital correspondent

Ken Courtright
-News In Memory

Wolfman Jack and Pancho share a laugh
courtesy of Dan Robertson


Other Names in WKIS History          

Mrs. Naomi Murell-1959-President/General Manager-Central Florida Broadcasting Co. 

William O. Murell, Jr.-1959-Secretary-Treasurer/Assistant Manager/1960-Station Manager-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
William Forsythe, Jr.-1959-Commercial Manager-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
Stephen Wesley-1959-Promotions Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
W.R. Miller-1959-Chief Engineer-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
Ray Olech, Jr.-1960-Program Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
Jack Collingsworth-1960-Chief Engineer-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
Lou Bennett-1963-Promotions Manager-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.

Ernie Legge
-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
In Memory

Jim Long-1965-Program Director-Central Florida Broadcasting Co.
T.K. "Tom" Cassel-1966-President-KIS, Inc.
R.B. Smith-1966-General Manager-KIS, Inc.
Sam Booth-1966-KIS, Inc.

Bob Keith-1966-Sales Manager-KIS, Inc. 
Biography    In Memory

John Loving-1966-Chief Engineer-KIS, Inc./1971-Chief Engineer-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Bo Mitchell-1968-Executive Vice President-KIS, Inc./1969-Partner in Susquehanna Broadcasting

Tom Marshall-1968
In Memory

Jack Murphy in programming

R. Brockway "Bocky" Smith
-1969-General Manager-KIS, Inc.
Tom Cassell-1969-Partner in Susquehanna Broadcasting

A. W. Carlson-1971-1981-Vice President-Susquehanna Broadcasting

H. M. Levin-1971-1981-Executive Vice President-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Phil Eberly-1971-Interim General Manager
-Susquehanna Broadcasting (Author of "Susquehanna Radio: The First 50 years.")  In Memory

Jack Murphy-1971-Program Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Paul Knepper-1971-Commercial Manager-KIS, Inc.

Bill Kirk-1971-Sales Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting

H.M. (Herb) Levin-1972-Executive Vice President-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Dale Moudy-1973-General Manager/1975-Vice President/General Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Bob Nocero-1973-1980-Susquehanna Broadcasting  

Jim Tillery-1975-Sales Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Bob Dempsey-1975-1979-General Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Steve Wein-1976-Board operator for Gene Burns-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Lynne Breidenbach-1977-1978-Producer for Gene Burns-Susquehanna Broadcasting 
In Memory

Dan Robertson-1978-1980-"...was Gene Burns engineer for a while at WKIS, along with Clay (Daniels) and Al (Dunaway)  

Chuck Agostinelli-1978-1980-Producer for Gene Burns-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Robert Dempsey-1979-Vice President/General Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Larry Kindel-1979-Sales Manager/1983-Station Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting
Dorothy Kuhlman-1979-Promotions Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Mike Cooper-1980-Producer for Gene Burns-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Steve Fluker-1983-Assistant Engineer-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Steve Johnston-1984-1985-Assistant Chief Engineer-WKIS/Florida Network-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Bob Poe-1985-Producer of "
Gene Burns Program"/1986-General Manager-Susquehanna Broadcasting                       

Kay Barone (Stelling)-1986-1988-Program Director/News Director-Susquehanna Broadcasting

Jack Nelson
-1986-"Dollars and Sense" -Susquehanna Broadcasting In Memory

Tom Olson-1988-"Olson on the Law" -Susquehanna Broadcasting

John Long-Sales Manger/Account Executive for The Florida Radio Network.  

Pete Simonson           

George Crossley  Biography    In Memory

Larry Freeman-Program Director

Herb Craft                                                          

Steve Craig (Steve Biddle)

Mike Gaier-General manager                                                                             

Sandie Biddle
Copywriter/Production Director. Was the voice behind "Mrs. Roger Holler" spots for Holler Chevrolet. In Memory

Scott Santos-Producer

Jim Casey-Program  Director

Steve Kane

Randy Molnar-Production Director

Doug Freeman

Don Grider

Tranny Jackson

Lawrence Kahn-Producer for Gene Burns

Bob Christoper

Bob Bierkentoll-Fill-in Producer

Pete Raymondetta-Engineer for Steve Kane 

Robin Reiger-Producer for Steve Kane

Other Programs in WKIS History

NBC's Monitor    listen to the Monitor beacon

Ray Durkee's-1972- "Sunday at the Memories"  In Memory

 "CBS Radio Mystery Theater"-1982
Chuck Harder-"For The People" 

Sally Jesse-Raphael (NBC TalkNet)                                                                             

Jim Bohannon

Robert Vincent Sims-"The Garden Rebel"

"When Radio Was"
Dining Around-Saturdays-Noon-2Pm-Hosted by Gene Burns and alternately, Peter Rocchio 

reedshannon11.jpg (177967 bytes) 
Pete Simonson sends along this photo of 
Frank Reed
and Larry Shannon at Disney's Grad night
Click for full sized view   


Russ Wheeler1.jpg (146517 bytes)

A promo for the Russ Wheeler morning show
Click for full sized view

30th Anniversary-1978.JPG (269962 bytes)

This full page ad appeared in the Orlando Sentinel Star on April 14, 1978 celebrating the 30th anniversary. It was more the anniversary of the frequency because the call letters WKIS were new to the station in the 1960's. The party was held at the "Rainbow Ranch". 
Thanks to Jeff D'Aurora for the photo

Click photo for full sized view

WORZ-WKIS Winter Garden studios_2-Jeff D'Aurora.jpg (126562 bytes)

This building on Winter Garden Road was built to house WORZ-AM 740, WORZ-FM 100.3 as well as  a planned TV studio as WORZ was granted a license to transmit on channel 9. Seems they ran out of money and channel 9 became WLOF TV.  The area in the back of the station which housed the Sales dept. was to be the TV studio. Thanks to Jeff D'Aurora for the photo
                                                 Click photo for full sized view

WKIS QSL Card-Larry Fleegle.jpg (36163 bytes) Larry Flegle sends along a QSL card from WKIS in 1972    Click photo for full sized view

Susquehanna Radio The First Fifty Years
 © 1992 Susquehanna Radio Corp. 
Researched and written by Philip K. Eberly

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