WRWB-AM 1220

Original Call Letters: WRWB

Originally Licensed: 1954

Original City of License: Kissimmee

Original Frequency: 1220

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 250 watts daytime

Original Location: Arcade Theater Building

Original Format: MOR

Network Affiliation(s):

Keystone Broadcasting Service
Southeastern Key Market Network
Associated Press
United Press International


1954-Osceola Broadcasting Company, Inc.
1956-Frank Taylor
1959-Mid-Florida Broadcasting Corp.
1963-Osceola Broadcasting Company, Inc.
1964-Beacom Broadcasting Enterprises
1964-B & M Broadcasting Corporation
1968-Opportunity Broadcasters ($72,000)
1976-Magic Box Media
1980-Central Florida Spanish Broadcasting ($335,000)
1986-Cawley Broadcasting Corporation
1991-Kissimmee Broadcasting Corporation, Inc ($500,000)
1994-Winfield Broadcasting
1999-J & V Communications ($450,000)

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WACY-1968-MOR  "1220 On Your Dial"
WACY-1974-Progressive Rock
WMJK-1988-Hits of the 50s and '60s "Your hometown radio station''
WMJK-1991-Adult Contemporary/Full Service  "Magic 1220"
WMJK-1992-Travelers Information
WOTS-1994-Travelers Information  "The Vacation Station"
WOTS-2001-Spanish  "Magica"

History of WRWB
Jim La Follette adds some history of WRWB.
"The first transmitter site was a trailer.  The studio was downtown".  "...A building was built which was modeled  from a home design  and was built on the site, I do not know when. This was the transmitter site and studio/office for WRWB, WKBX, WOSL and WJPB. The building sat on a raised patch of ground off Neptune Rd, with the tower next to the building and  the ground radials in a pasture, that flooded a lot. WOSL used the Gates 250GY transmitter as a standby (old WRWB/WKBX main).  The main  WOSL/WJPB  transmitter was a Gates BC1J, 1000 Watt. I think the building might still exist. The building sits on a kind of island  jammed up against a subdivision of nice homes and surrounded on three sides by water. Looks out of place". 

Station Ready To Launch New $50,000 Broadcasting Facility In Kissimmee Area 
The Orlando Sentinel  Aug 01, 1956
Formal dedication ceremonies of radio station WRWB's new $50,000 studios and transmitter on the old St. Cloud Hwy. will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug 5, 1956). The station, which formerly operated from the Arcade Theater Bldg., has been using its new quarters since March, but the finishing touches are just now being made. For Frank Taylor, station owner, the station's new home represents the biggest step taken to date in his attempts to bring Kissimmee and its marketing area an adequate radio voice. Taylor, long the Prudential Insurance Co.'s Kissimmee agent, bought the station from its founder, Emerson Browne, in December 1955. Browne started WRWB in September 1954. The new studio stands at the base of the 250-watt station's 219-ft. transmitting tower. It is a modern all-masonry structure with an attractive exterior and grounds. Taylor hopes to landscape the grounds in the future and make the station lot into a small park. The Studio's interior decor is tasteful and business-like. A reception room and three offices take up about a third of the building, the rest of it being devoted to control rooms and studios. The latter are all well equipped and sound-proofed. Physically the whole plant is a far cry from the cramped and scrambled quarters that formerly housed WRWB. Every effort has been made by Taylor and his station crew to bring the program schedule up to the same high level as the physical equipment. Assigned to a frequency of 1,220-kilocycles and licensed to operate between sunup and sundown (6 a.m. to 7 p.m. during August), the station serves an area that cover's from Sanford on the north, Holopaw on the south, Bartow on the west and Melbourne on the east. According to surveys, this area includes well over 200,000 persons with an annual income of better than $300 million and about 3,000 retail businesses with yearly sales of over $250 million. The station signs on in the morning with what is probably one of the few preaching disc jockeys in existence the Rev. D. D. Debault, pastor of the First Christian Church. Following Debault to the microphone are Donald Leedy, mid-morning to noon operator; Mrs. Mattie Van Laughlin, women's world and local news reporter; Armand Hillburger program director,
commercial manager and news reporter and Felix Henderson afternoon operator. On weekends this announcing crew is assisted by Milt Sutton and Danny Wilcox, Negro disc-jockey-announcers. A special Saturday afternoon show features Buddy Turner, station general maintenance man, who is the director of the Gospel Rangers. The station crew is rounded out by Hugh E. Carroll, chief engineer; John Carpenter, assistant engineer; Ed Newton, bookkeeper comptroller; and Miss Cynthia Hunter, office secretary. In September, Miss Hunter, who is entering a school of nursing in Cleveland, Ohio, will be replaced by Mrs. Ruth Perry. Felix Henderson, who is entering Stetson University next month, will be replaced by Donald Martin, a senior in Osceola High School. Both Miss Hunter and Henderson expect to be on the staff of the radio stations where they are attending school. The Public is invited to inspect the new studios at their open house which will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Ivey's King Sun Orange Juice will be served to visitors all afternoon, Sunday. At 2:30 p.m., the Kissimmee JayCees will present a special program at the studios. Several local speakers will be heard at this time. In addition to its own staff coverage of local news, the station carries United Press wire service reports on all state, national and world news.

Names In WRWB History
Emerson Browne-1954-President/General Manager/Chief Engineer/News Director-Mid Florida Broadcasting
Howard King-1954-Co-owner-Mid Florida Broadcasting
Rodney Walker-1954-Co-owner-Mid Florida Broadcasting
Sarah Browne-1954-Women's Director-Mid Florida Broadcasting
Frank Taylor-1954-Commercial Manager-Mid Florida Broadcasting/1956-Owner/General Manager/1959-Owner/Chief Engineer
Gerald "Jerry" Schweikart-1954-Program Director/Promotions Manager/Sports Director-Mid Florida Broadcasting
Mrs. Mattie Van Laughlin-1954-"Women's World"/local news-Mid Florida Broadcasting/1956-Women's Director-Frank Taylor Ownership
Armand Hillburger-1954-Program Director/Commercial Manager/News-Mid Florida Broadcasting/1956-Program Director/Commercial Manager/Station Manager-Frank Taylor Ownership
Rev. D. D. Debault-1956-6AM-10AM-Frank Taylor Ownership
Don Leedy-1956-10-AM-Noon-Frank Taylor Ownership
Felix Henderson-1956-Afternoons-Frank Taylor Ownership
Milt Sutton-1956-Weekends-Frank Taylor Ownership
Danny Wilcox-1956-Weekends-Frank Taylor Ownership
Buddy Turner-1956-Weekends-Frank Taylor Ownership
Hugh Carroll-1954-Chief Engineer-Mid Florida Broadcasting/1956-Chief Engineer-Frank Taylor Ownership
John Carpenter-1956-Assistant Engineer-Frank Taylor Ownership
Ed Newton-1956-Bookkeeper/Comptroller-Frank Taylor Ownership
Cynthia Hunter-1956-Office Secretary-Frank Taylor Ownership
Ruth Perry-1956-Office Secretary-Frank Taylor Ownership
Donald Martin-1956-Afternoons-Frank Taylor Ownership
Buster Kenton-1956-Farm Director-Frank Taylor Ownership
Robert W. Bennett-1959-Station Manager-Frank Taylor Ownership
Allen B. Shaw-1959-Afternoons-Frank Taylor Ownership
Allen B. Shaw.jpg (20142 bytes)Allen's first job in radio at the age of 15. "I did a one hour "Top Hits" show every afternoon after school. This was a remote studio in Haines City for WRWB. Kissimmee is about 20 miles northeast of Haines City. This studio was the original WGTO studio before it moved to Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven."

click photos for full sized view    photos courtesy of Allen Shaw
Allen Shaw & Terri Maxwell.jpg (29901 bytes)
Photo from Haines City High School 1961 senior class yearbook. Terri Maxwell and I were voted "Most Likely To Succeed". We're in the WHAN on air studio where I did a Top 40 music show each day, after school. The board was a Gates "Yard". Commercials were played on 2 Magnacorders at the right of the board. The Gates 500 watt transmitter was on the left side of the board.
Lee Moss
Howard R. King-President/Co-owner/Chief Engineer-WOSL Osceola Broadcasting
Rodney B. Walker-Vice President/General Manager-WOSL Osceola Broadcasting
Ray Smith-Went to WLOF/WFTV as a camera man/field reporter
Al Cash-Program Director
Ken Lawrence-Sales Manager

The Arcade Theater in Kissimmee
The original home of WRWB
(photo taken in 1956)

The Arcade Theater 1988

Gospel Rangers.jpg (74786 bytes)Nancy Turner was kind enough to send along info on her dad and mom.  "...My dad, Buddy Turner, had a gospel music band, The Gospel Rangers, he played with many in Kissimmee including Curtis Andrews at Ready Records in Kissimmee. 
"...This is the old studios at WRWB on Lake Toho in Kissimmee. My dad "Buddy Turner" had a radio program on the station when it was there and also when the studios were downtown Kissimmee. It was either above Goolds Dept Store or above Tress Book Store."
In this photo: l to R: Buddy Turner (deceased), Evangeline (?), Ruth Turner (deceased) and an unknown sailor.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Turner


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