Russ Wheeler  Biography
WORZ-AM   WHOO-AM   WKIS-AM   WFTV 

Now a voice over actor. Russ also appeared in movies such as "Harry and Son" (1984), "Cocoon" (1985), "D.A.R.Y.L." (1985) and "The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking" (1988) You will recognize Russ' voice on the WKMG-TV 6 "Captain Sunshine" holiday spots. Russ tells us about his time at WKIS. "...I arrived in Orlando in the fall of '66. By the way, I stayed for a short while, at the Tour-o-Tel Motel on the trail across from McNamara Pontiac. Now there's a piece of nostalgia! I worked with such notables as Joe Francis, with whom I had worked in Massachusetts and with whom I worked again at WLOQ-FM 103.1, Doris Ashwell, Tony Girard, Glen Smith (now deceased) and a guy who went on to become an enormously successful school photographer, Tom Marshall. There were many others who came and went but naming them would be far too taxing..nay, impossible!
The station was then owned by a prince of a man named Tom Cassel. In fact, if I were to name a half dozen people whom I've met in this business that I could describe as a "prince," he would be the first three! I believe he bought the station when it was on Orange Ave., just up from the old WDBO building. It was known then as WORZ-AM 740. I left the station about 3 and half years after signing on to try my hand at something else, which didn't work out (do they ever?), and went to work for about 6 months (don't ask) at WHOO-AM 990 which was then managed by Bob Hood.  After that I signed on at Channel 9 (WFTV) to do the Dialing For Dollars Movie where I remained for nearly six years. It was at an Ad Fed (Advertising Federation) function that the new owners of WKIS-AM 740 saw and heard me as the MC one hallowed evening and hired me to come back as morning man which I did and remained for another 3 or so years. At one time I was doing mornings at WKIS, the Dialing For Dollars Movie on (WFTV) 9, free-lance work and cocktail hour DJ at the infamous Why Not Lounge. I was making some money but had no time to spend it!  "Press on Regardless...."

  Press On Regardless button photo courtesy of Elliot Mitchell

  

  Gene Burns chats with WKIS-AM 740 friends during  his 40th anniversary as a talk show host on KGO-AM 810 in San Francisco. Voices include Russ Wheeler (as R.T. Rightwing), Bill Bauman and Richard King  8-14-07


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