WORJ-FM 107.7 
Mount Dora

Original Call Letters: WFAC (Construction Permit)

Originally Licensed: 1965 

Original City of License: Mount Dora  

Original Frequency: 107.7

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 100,000 watts

Original Location: 

Original Format: MOR


Network Affiliation(s):


Mutual Broadcasting System

  Associated Press
United Press International


Owner(s):


1965-Frasure Hull, Inc.
1969-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
1978-Sudbrink Broadcasting
1981-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.
1993-Paxson Communications ($5.6 million with WWZN-AM 1440)
1997-Clear Channel Communications


History Of Call Letters and Formats:


WFAC-1965-Construction Permit
WHIY-1966-MOR/Country Western
  WORJ-1969-Progressive Rock 
WORJ-1978-AOR  "Zeta 7"
WJYO-1981-Soft Adult Contemporary "Joy 108",  "Joy of Orlando"
WMGF-1990-Soft Adult Contemporary  "Magic 107.7"

                                                                


WORJ license plate courtesy of Dave Edwards

WORJ-FM History
From Greg Galloway;
WORJ-FM 107.7 had it's hard rock start in 1968. WORJ AM 1270 and WORJ-FM 107.7 would broadcast as a simulcast between the hours of 6AM and 6PM when the AM station would go off the air and the FM would start broadcasting hard rock music until 1 AM. We called it "UNDERGROUND ROCK." This was just before the Woodstock event. WORJ-FM 107.7 went full time in 1969. I started working full time at the FM station after the AM station went on it's own as well with "Middle Of the Road" music. I distinctly remember playing HARD ROCK, like Black Sabbath, and other bands that WLOF-AM 950 deemed too hard and stuck to their bubble gum rock until we "kicked their butts".


WORJ Trading Rock for Easy Listening Format

Noel Holston
The Orlando Sentinel
Orlando, Florida
Feb. 12, 1981
The radio station that pioneered "progressive," album-oriented rock in Central Florida a decade ago is hanging up its rock 'n' roll shoes. Zeta 7 (WORJ-FM) will change its music format to "easy  listening" at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, barring a snag in the station management's plans. Accompanying the format switch will be a change in the station's call letters to WJYO, for the "Joy of Orlando." WJYO's playlist will feature the softer sounds of such artists as Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Abba, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, Maureen McGovern and, according to general manager Harvey
Tate, "even old blue eyes, Frank Sinatra." "We've made intensive studies of the market," Tate explained Tuesday, "and we find that album-oriented rock as such has more or less plateaued. "We find that the people who were born in the baby boom are now 25 to 49 years of age and that, economically, more dollars are spent by persons in the 25 to 49 demographic group than by those in the 18 to 34. We found a so-called hole in the market for easy listening music. And we're very confident and excited about what we're about to offer." WJYO's music will be "preprogrammed" that is, provided by a syndicated service. The disc jockeys will still be live, but they won't play records; instead, they'll introduce and comment on what's coming up on the preprogrammed tapes. There will be some changes in personnel, but Tate said Sudbrink Broadcasting, which owns the station, is trying to find jobs for the rock DJs who'll be displaced by the format change. Tate is aware that some long-time WORJ listeners are not going to react favorably to the change. "We go into this new easy listening programming with mixed feelings," he said. "Zeta 7 is and was one of the finest album-oriented rock stations in the country. I'm sure that most Zeta 7 listeners and fans will be disappointed at having to give up this format which was more than a radio format, it was a lifestyle. "However, our surveys and testing in the market dictate that we sort of bite the bullet. "We know the new format is going to be extremely viable and we look forward to the challenge. And I'm sure that, somewhere along the line, another station in the market will step in to fill the void." Here's wishing WJYO the best of luck. With half a dozen Central Florida radio stations already playing some variety of easy listening music, it may need it. To the rock 'n roll fans this news may have sent into shock, I offer a quote from Bob Dylan's "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll": "Take the rag away from your face/Now ain't the time for your tears." There could be a bright side to this. Zeta 7 isn't what it used to be anyway. In the last couple of years the station has become less and less progressive, its playlist tighter and more predictable. Though this is arguably rock's most creative period since the mid-'60s, "new wave" bands, many of whom are playing catchy; classic rock n' roll; get short shrift from Zeta 7. Elvis Costello, one of the most gifted songwriters rock has yet produced, gets far less attention than unoriginal, chainsaw-guitar bands like Molly Hatchet and AC-DC. Important contemporary artists' whose new recordings do get airplay on Zeta are usually limited to only a couple of songs. For instance: When Bruce Springsteen's acclaimed double album "The River" was released a few months ago, Zeta initially played it all; within a week or so, however, Zeta had retreated to playing only "Hungry Heart," the Top 40 single, and a few other cuts. Nothing typifies Zeta's decline as a progressive station more, however, than its repetitive playing of long-established bands' most familiar songs. If Zeta plays the Rolling Stones (and it does, often), changes are it'll be one of three or four famous songs ("Brown Sugar," "Jumping Jack Flash," "Gimme Shelter," "Satisfaction") even though there are dozens of great cuts on the band's 20 or so albums. The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again or Who Are You get played repeatedly, but wonderful, if obscure, Who cuts such "I'm a Boy," "Rael" and "Tattoo" almost never. It's no wonder that many once-diehard Zeta fans have told me they've started listening to WHHL-AM, the golden-oldies station, for the greater variety and the chance of hearing stuff that's so old and forgotten it sounds new. Now that Zeta Is going easy listening, perhaps Central Florida's remaining album-oriented rock station, WDIZ-FM, will be inspired by the lessened direct competition to loosen up its similarly predictable playlist. With 30 years' worth of rock 'n' roll to choose from, there's no excuse for a station's playing Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" five or more times a week. WDIZ is in a perfect position to fill that void Zeta's Tate was talking' about.


courtesy of June Myers

At 10 PM on Friday, February 19,1981 "Zeta 7" changed from it's rock roots to easy listening. The disc jockeys cried, and loyal listeners turned their Zeta 7 license plates upside down in protest. That was the day WORJ became WJYO for the "Joy of Orlando". WORJ would move from rock to the sounds of Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, etc.
On his last morning show Thom Robinson asked listeners to memorialize "Zeta7" by turning their license plates upside down on their cars. Program director, David Sousa, rec
alls "Zeta 7"'s last hours. "It was probably the most terrible day of my life. That was my radio station ...my flesh and blood. It was my child and it had to be shot. We had one bad rating book and management pulled the plug on "Zeta 7". 
David Sousa named the station Zeta 7 after the constellation Zeta Reticuli.


WORJ Personalities



Greg Galloway-1968-1970-Frasure Hull, Inc./Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp  Biography
                                                                                                                                                                              
                                Greg sends along this "Underground" bumper sticker circa 1970 
click photo for full sized view   

WORJ__FM_Sticker_002.JPG (43616 bytes)
Bob Lyons-1969-News Director-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp



Wayne Trout-1969-On air personality/News Director-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp  Biography    In Memory

Pete Forman-1969-Program Director-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp

Steve Flesher-1971-Program Director-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp


Doug Van Allen (Doug Laby)-1972-1977-Operations Manager/Production Director/3PM-7PM-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp  



Lee Arnold-1972-1975-Program Director/7PM-Midnight-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp     



Chalender "Chal" Martina-1972
-1973-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp 
Michael Z (Ziegenbein)-1972-1973/1974-1977-In 1973 Michael headed to Lincoln, NE to hold an air-chair and staff engineer position at KFMQ.  In 1974, Michael returned to WORJ/WORL and worked as the Chief Engineer for a couple years, and presided over design and construction of their new *at the time* studios on mercy drive-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp

David Lipstein-1972-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp 



Steve Mack-1972-10AM-3PM
-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp 



Neal Mirsky
-1973-News Director/6AM-10AM-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp

Paul Yeskel-1973-Copywriter-Promotions Director-DJ-Chief booker for The Southern Progressive Radio Network at WORJ-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp. Paul would go on to become president of AIM Strategies, a New Jersey-based service that works with music companies to help promote and market records.  In Memory



Rick Namey
-1975-1976-Station Manager-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp  
In Memory
photo courtesy of worj.com



Bill McGathy
-1976-Program Director/Music Director-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp/1979-Music Director -Sudbrink Broadcasting
Steve McMahan-1976-News Director-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
Wayne Osley-1977-78/1979-1980-Sudbrink Broadcasting



Brock Whaley (B. Rock)-1978-Sudbrink Broadcasting



David Sousa-1978-1980-Program Director/Afternoon Drive-Sudbrink Broadcasting
Bill Mims-1978-1980-Evenings/Music Director-Sudbrink Broadcasting. Bill left with the format change to Joy 108.  He went to the sister station in Honolulu.

David Schulz-1978-1980-Midnight-6AM then 10PM-2AM-host of Feature Artist or Feature Album at Midnight as well as "A Space in Time" on Tuesday evenings-Sudbrink Broadcasting

Larry Besler-1979-1980-2AM-6AM-Sudbrink Broadcasting
Chris Wolf-1980-Production Manager-Sudbrink Broadcasting 



Thom Robinson



Frank Reed  Biography
  



Pat O'Day
(Jerry Thompson)


Mike Lyons
-1971-1972/1972-Music Director/Mid-days   In Memory
Mike would leave WORJ for a short stint at WLOF-AM 950 in 1972

Randy Molnar-2AM-7AM

Tom Webb

Marian Van Atta

Hanna Skrobko

Lee Hallock

Dave Murray

Connie Denson



Bob Church   In Memory

Jack Curran-General Manager/Sales Manager

Shirley Christmas

Toy Patterson

Vince Ziggenbein

Paul Weiss

Gay Bean Arnold

John Cyr

Al Carroll

Jackie Sanderson

Jimmy Silverman

Bobby Dennis

Diane Silky

Sheila McConnell

Peter David Kaufman



Scott Harris Biography   In Memory



Jim Kerr
photo by Art Vuolo



Johnny Sutton

Donna

Bill Herrington

Geri

Carol Winkler

Charles Odom

Gary Brown

Andy Warden

Lee Morris

Mike Cooper

Rachel

Rob Word

Liesel Glaser

Pam Lap

Jerri Hanna

Rudy Markowitz

John Averill

Shirley Jensen

Craig Michaels



Dennis Winslow  Biography

Larry Cox

Dave Matthews (David Hesselink)   In Memory

Zaida Zoller

John Averill

Paul Gerardi
Andy Preston


Elliot Cobbs Mitchell
Michael Fry

                   Zeta 7 bumper sticker courtesy of Kevin Coldiron

Zeta 7 window sticker courtesy of Kevin Coldiron


Other Names In WORJ History

Walter Beinecke, Jr.-1969-President-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp

Vernon Arnette-1969-General Manager-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp

Tom Doyle-1969-Operations Manager-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp

Brantley Slaughter-1969-Chief Engineer-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp   In Memory

S.W. "Happy" Ison-1966-Commercial Manager/1967-Vice President of Sales-Orlando Radio & Television Broadcasting Corp.  In Memory
Emil Corona-1972-President/1979-President/General Manager-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
Jim Moore-1972-Chief Engineer-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
John Curran-1973-Vice President/General Manager/Sales Manager-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
Don Welsh-1973-Sales Manager-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
Vincent Ziegenbein-1973-Chief Engineer-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp

Woody Sudbrink-1978-1981-President-Sudbrink Broadcasting

Al Baker-1979-Commercial Manager-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
Don Hildesheim-1979-Chief Engineer-Orlando Radio and TV Broadcasting Corp
Vince Ziegenbein-Chief Engineer 
Lise Ruby-Sales


photos courtesy of Thom Robinson
   

         
    ZetaAirStaffinStudio.JPG (101469 bytes) 
                         The WORJ staff                       

DavidSousa&ThomRobinson.JPG (105874 bytes)
David Sousa (L) unidentified girl and Thom Robinson

Photos courtesy of Lee Arnold

Kathy McDonald with the  WORJ crew Lee Arnold and Megan McDonough Lee Arnold, Mike Lyons & Doug Van Allen

"...We were also on the air with tributes and open phone lines the day John Lennon was shot. We organized a candlelight vigil at the Lake Eola Bandshell and broadcast a 2-hour live special that evening in his honor. All the deejays gathered in the control room that night, each one contributing a bit to the show..."

ThomRobinsonScript4LennonRembranceShow_Page_2.jpg (164417 bytes)   ThomRobinsonScript4LennonRembranceShow_Page_1.jpg (140869 bytes)

Here's "...a memo that was actually posted on the studio wall from Harvey Tate, the Zeta7 G.M. at the time who praised the staff for how we handled the Lennon tragedy..."  courtesy of Thom Robinson


GMsLetterToStaffOnLennonVigilatLakeEola.jpg (154019 bytes)

Orl_Sentinel_1973.jpg (111007 bytes)
Orlando Sentinel 1973

click photos for full sized view


ZetaFestArticleInRocksOff!zine_Page_1.jpg (141215 bytes)
  ZetaFestArticleInRocksOff!zine_Page_2.jpg (168384 bytes)  ZetaFestArticleInRocksOff!zine_Page_3.jpg (204212 bytes)
Here's "...an article about ZetaFest '80 we staged and produced near Lakeland that summer."
courtesy of Thom Robinson


St. Petersburg Times article 2-23-1981
ZETA7 Club Card
courtesy of Kevin Coldiron 
WORJ_Historical_Poster.jpg (74375 bytes)

WORJ roundtable.jpg (267204 bytes)
O
n August 20, 2015,  The Orange County Regional History Center presented “WORJ: Town Hall for the Counterculture,” A panel discussion featuring radio personalities from the station.
 

Long Way To The Top Poster 2.jpg (93167 bytes)


 

         ZETA7 Rocks Orlando Commercial   2007
watch it on


107.7_WORJ_FM_FIRST GOLD RECORD.jpg (51404 bytes)
  


  WORJ’s First Gold Record.
 
The first Phoebe Snow Album 1974



107.7_WORJ_FM_FIRST_GOLD_RECORD_2.jpg (69019 bytes)

L to R Lee Arnold (PD), Curtis Jones from Shelter Records, Mike Lyons (MD) and Doug Van Allen 1974


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