Frank Reed Biography
WABR WFIV WVGT WABR WORJ WRKT WKIS WDAT WMFJ WOCL
Frank Reed has been gracious enough to take the time and tell us all about his career. Here is Frank's story. "I grew up in Pine Hills right under the WHOO(-AM 990) towers, and as kids we would camp out in the woods, then bribe the overnight guy with coffee or donuts to let us come in and watch him work. Our home phone number was 1 digit different from the WHOO request line, so we were always getting calls meant for them. WHOO was in a big battle with WLOF(-AM 950). WHOO ran a big promotion and was giving away "a Honda a day", WLOF won anyway. I used to hang out in high school with a guy named Mike Mazur, who ended up having a weekend shift at (WLOF) '95'. He doesn't remember me but I also used to "weasel" my way in to watch Dick (Camnitz) Shane at WLOF, who also lived just a few doors down from me. WLOF was a "monster" station in the 60s, absolutely huge! I went to a "quickie" broadcast school right out of high school, and learned enough to talk my way into WFIV(-AM 1080) in Kissimmee. The guy who hired me was called "Big Sarge", I think his name was Homer Rhoden. I made $1.40 an hour, I think. I worked at Burger Chef on South Orange Avenue at nights to make ends meet. Then on to WVGT(-AM 1580) in Mt. Dora. Things were so bad we would rotate who wasn't going to get paid from week to week. One day the three of us, (the fulltime employees), all resigned, cashed all of our back checks, and walked out. I was on the air, and driving away (from the station) with the radio on, the song ran out - dead air. Nobody to work! Then on to WABR(-AM 1440) with Bob Andrews and Gabriel Burton. At the same time I was doing mornings at "country" WABR, I was doing afternoons at "underground" WORJ(-FM 107.7). The studio was in the transmitter building in the middle of an orange grove in Winter Garden, right under the tower. About the only guy I remember was the engineer, Brantley Slaughter. Then WRKT(-AM 1300) Cocoa Beach, you would have to walk through a cow pasture, (with real cows!) with a flashlight at night and take the base current meter readings at the towers. Then on to WKIS(-AM 740) with Larry Shannon, Gene Burns, and a young, quiet news guy named Jim Philips! I had just gotten off the air when one of the towers fell in 1972. (That was a fun call, trying to explain to the chief engineer, John Loving, that the tower just fell over.) Then WDAT(-AM 1380) Daytona Beach. I was let go from there and went across the street to WMFJ(-AM 1450). I ended up getting hired along with Dave Edwards, by a guy named Ray Lynn and moved to WIVY, Jacksonville, (that was fun, since we eventually beat WAPE), from there I went to work for a very smart guy named Jerry Clifton at WMYQ, Miami. I was just about to come home to Orlando and do mornings at WLOF for Tom West in 1977, (always wanted to work at WLOF, since I grew up with it), but got a call "from out of the blue" from Bob Pittman, (MTV, AOL, etc) to fly up to NY and interview for WNBC. Tom had my only aircheck, I had to tell him I had to have it back! I got the job. Eventually ended up doing afternoons, then moved to middays to make room for a guy who I was told did something really "different"; yep, I got replaced by Howard - Howard Stern. I worked between Don Imus and Howard Stern for about 3 years, then I was replaced by Soupy Sales. I moved home to Orlando in '85` and had a home built on the Clermont chain, and went to work for a wonderful guy, Bill Gable, and helped launch WOCL(-FM 105.9), ( I think it was originally "country" WELE-FM), we were a "hot ac" before it went to "oldies". I re-found the Christian faith I grew up with, around 1982, so I was always open to Christian radio if the right situation came up. I left the lake in 1988 and went to program Christian WWDJ, New York, and moved to Dallas and KLTY in 1991. Now, 12 years later, and Christian music radio has really come into it's own here in Dallas. We were #1 in our target, 25-54 women in the summer (2003) Arbitron's. It's very neat to be able integrate faith and career, and also to be on a station that is competitive with the mainstream powerhouses. I miss central Florida terribly, but as most people in this business know, when it's going well, don't mess with it. I also voice track from my home for Sirius Satellite Radio, noon-6 eastern, on Sirius channel 12. I hope to somehow get back to Central Florida someday.