WKOS-AM 1370 

Original Call Letters: WHYS

Originally Licensed: May 1958 

Original City of License: Ocala 

Original Frequency: 1370 

Origin of Call Letters: Slogan: Kingdom Of The Sun

Original Power: 1,000 Watts

Original Location: 

Original Format: Rhythm and Blues

Network Affiliation(s):



1957-Marion County Broadcasting, Inc.
1959-Associated Broadcasters, Inc.
1957-Kingdom of the Sun Broadcasting
1961-WKOS, Inc.
1965-Greater Ocala Broadcasting Corporation
2000-Westshore Broadcasting Corporation

History of Call Letters and Formats:

WKOS-1962-Rhythm and Blues "Kingdom Of The Son"
WWKE-1965-Top 40  "Key Radio" "The Music and Prize Connection"
WOCA-1983-Adult Contemporary  "Ocala Radio - 1370 WOCA"
WOCA-1986-Oldies "Ocala Radio - 1370 WOCA"
WOCA-1988-All News  "Ocala Radio - 1370 WOCA"
WOCA-1989-News/Talk "Ocala Radio - 1370 WOCA"

History Of WKOS
Thanks to Marc Tyll for this history of WKOS.
WKOS began operations in 1957 as WHYS, a variety formatted station. Two years later the station switched to "Rhythm and Blues" under the calls letters WKOS until the FCC revoked the station license due to an incident that happened one afternoon.

This account comes from the Ocala Star-Banner
September 26, 1963. 
On September 16, 1963 the on air personality calling himself  "The Zodiac", made a statement over the air regarding then Marion County Sheriff Doug Willis in which he said;  "I got a message for the sheriff. Man, if you don't behave yourself I'm gonna cut you up, put you in a bag and lay you on the shelf." Sheriff Willis sued WKOS for $1 million and demanded a jury trial. In their filing, the attorney for the sheriff "pointed out that the station is advertised as a 100 percent Negro station and that its audience is primarily Negro." It was also alleged that the station "was well acquainted with the racial unrest that prevailed in Marion County commencing on or about June 1, 1963 and that said racial unrest did exist on the day of the publication".  It was charged that the radio station "was well aware of the arrests of numerous Negroes by the sheriff" during June and July and "was well aware of the defamatory remarks transmitted on the date aforesaid (Sept. 16) and the defamatory sense in which said remarks were transmitted."  The FCC happened to be in town that day, heard the comments, recorded them, and suspended WKOS’ operations. The station went silent for two years until a buyer could be found. Robert Hauck and his partners, who also owned WKKE-AM 1380 Asheville, North Carolina, formed the Greater Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, who purchased WKOS, changed the call letters to WWKE - to reflect the slogan "Key Radio" - and changed the format to top 40.

$1 Million In Libel Action
By Paul Ferguson
Sentinel Staff
Marion County Sheriff Doug Willis yesterday filed a $1 million libel suit against radio station WKOS of Ocala. The suit, filed in circuit court by E. G. (Gus) Musleh of the Ocala law firm of Musleh and Musleh, charges that on Sept. 16, an announcer said over the air, "I got a message for the sheriff. Man, if you don't behave yourself, I'm gonna cut you up( put you in a bag, and lay you on the shelf." The suit said the station was "well aware" that racial unrest was prevalent in the county, and that there had been numerous arrests of Negroes by the sheriff, and of the defamatory remarks and defamatory sense in which the remarks were transmitted. Charging the "said libel ... is actionable per se," the suit says the remarks "did tend to prejudice" the sheriff's reputation as an elected official and "did impute ... a course of conduct by . . . (the sheriff) . . . incompatible with the proper exercise of his lawful duties as sheriff . . ." The suit charges the broadcast was "made from malice . . ." and that the owners of the station failed to exercise due care to prevent the statements,. WKOS Inc. is wholly owned by Robert L. Gilliam of Ocala. The station advertises that it has a program format designed for a Negro listening audience, and the suit says the station is a "100 per cent Negro station." The remarks were allegedly made by a Negro announcer. Gilliam is white.

WKOS Personalities

Art Ross-1961-Program Director/Promotions Manager-WKOS, Inc.
Jack Swart-1961-News Director-WKOS, Inc.
Bill Mansfield-1963-News Director-WKOS, Inc.

Cosmo The Record Spinnin' Daddy-O

Jivin' Green

The Zodiac

Billy Costa

Other Names In WKOS History
Robert Gilliam-1961-President/1965-President/General Manager-WKOS, Inc.
R.L. "Bo" Bowles-1961-General Manager/Commercial Manager-WKOS, Inc.
Gene Turner-1961-Chief Engineer-WKOS, Inc.
Hal Wert-1961-Commercial Manager-WKOS, Inc.
A.E. "Gene" Turner-1961-Chief Engineer-WKOS, Inc.
Jacquelyn P. Gilliam-1961-WKOS, Inc.
C. Gordon Huey-1962-Chief Engineer-WKOS, Inc.
O.W. Myers-1965-President-Greater Ocala Broadcasting Corporation
Flem J. Evans-1965-Vice President-Greater Ocala Broadcasting Corporation
Robert M. “Bob” Hauck-1965-Vice President/General Manager-Greater Ocala Broadcasting Corporation
John E. Jenkins, Jr.-1965-Greater Ocala Broadcasting Corporation
Edward E. Gurney-1965-Greater Ocala Broadcasting Corporation

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