WTRR-AM 1400 

Original Call Letters: WTRR

Originally Licensed: May 20, 1947 

Original City of License: Sanford 

Original Frequency: 1400 

Origin of Call Letters: Named for first owners son; Tolliver R. Rivers                                                      

Original Power: 250 Watts                                                                                                                                                                                     

Original Location: Mayfair Inn, on Lake Monroe                                                                                                                                                                              logo courtesy of Rick Padilla

Original Format: Block Programming

Network Affiliation(s):

Keystone Broadcasting System
Associated Press Radio
Florida News Network
American Radio Network
Sun Radio Network
Westwood One


1947-Southeastern Broadcasting System 
1947-Radio Station WTRR  ($50,000)
1977-Seminole Radio Corp.  ($221,000)
1984-Emmett Broadcasting Co.
1986-Seminole-Orange Broadcasting ($325,000)
1987-Metro Orlando Broadcasters ($335,000)
1988-John Torrado     In Memory
1989-River Country Broadcasting
1989-Metro Orlando Broadcasters Inc. ($417,000)
1992-J&V Communications ($300,00)

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WTRR-1947-Block Programming
WTRR-1971-Top 40  "The Rock On The River" 
WTRR-1974-Adult Rock
WTRR-1978-MOR   "TR14"  
WTRR-1979-Modern Country   "1400 Radio"
WWJZ-1983-Oldies   "Happy Days Sound"
WUEZ-1984-Big Bands/Standards  " WUEZ - Easy 14"
WUEZ-1986- Adult Contemporary  "Z-14"
WKUS-1987-Adult Contemporary/MOR/Country
WNSI-1988-Adult Contemporary "News, Sports & Information"
WTRR-1991-Adult Standards  ABC "Stardust" format
WTRR-1994-Talk  "Power Talk"
WTRR-1998-Spanish  "Su Nuevo Amor"
History of WTRR

This is where WTRR first broadcast from,
when it was called the Mayfair Inn.

The New Tribes Mission today

The Tampa Tribune
Mar. 1, 1947

The Federal Communications Commission today authorized operation of this new radio station. James S. Rivers, trading as Southeastern Broadcasting Co., Sanford, Fla., 1400 kilocycles, 250 watts, unlimited time, conditional upon meeting engineering requirements.

FCC Authority To Sell Sanford Radio Asked
Washington, Dec 16, 1948
Miami News
Authority to sell radio station WTRR at Sanford, Fla., to Myron A. Reck has been asked of the communications commission by owner James S. Rivers. The price is fixed at $50,000. Reck has asked that the name of the station, which operates as the Southeastern Broadcasting system, be changed to radio station WTRR.

In June of 2003, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Bill Reck. He was a partner along with his father, Myron Reck in the ownership of WTRR. He gave me invaluable "first hand" information which you'll find here. 
The origin of the call letters: Named for first owner, Mr. Rivers son, Tolliver R. Rivers. Originally broadcast from the Mayfair Inn on 1st Street in Sanford.Now the New Tribes Mission. The station had "block programming", which meant blocks of time were set aside for a variety of programming that spanned the musical spectrum. There was a slot for popular music, a slot for easy listening, a slot for country, and, as a sound called rock 'n' roll percolated, a slot for rhythm and blues. 

There were also live broadcasts on election nights and "Sanforama,'' a three-day trade show for local merchants broadcast live from the Sanford Civic Center.

In the early 1950’s the station was moved from the Mayfair to a building  “across the side street” from the "old" Central Florida Regional Hospital,
which now is the Seminole County Services Bldg. In 1968 WTRR moved to Celery Ave. The first building built by Myron, then later a second building built by Bill Reck.

                     Station as it appears today on Celery Ave.

By 1977 Myron Reck would retire, Bill was in full partnership with his dad, and sold the station to Smith Broadcasting out of Wisconsin. Bill would move to Canton, North Carolina and open WPTL-AM 920, which he continues to own and operate. In 1981 Bill Reck moved back to Sanford and managed Sanford's WTRR for Bob Smith who wanted to move back to Wisconsin.

Formats: Block programming. 1947-1967 "Pop" in the A.M., Easy listening mid days, and a Country/Western program called the “Bar None Ranch”. After school hours “pop” skewed toward a younger audience. “The Rhythm Hour” would be on the air from 5 to 6PM nightly. This was the first African American oriented program and would run from 1949 until the 1960’s. 1967 would see a more standard format of Adult contemporary, news and Seminole High School Football. 

WTRR Personalities

Bill Reck-1947-Co-Owner/General Manager/Program Manager-Radio Station WTRR/1974-Operating Partner-Communico Broadcasting 

Gilbert D. Brooks-1947-Program Director-Southern Broadcasting System  

Julian Stenstrom
-1947-Sports Director-Radio Station WTRR
In Memory
Marion Harmon-1950-Program Director-Radio Station WTRR
Jim Fields1951-Sports-Radio Station WTRR

Nick Pfeifauf
-1954-1964-News Director/Program Director-Radio Station WTRR  
In Memory
Samuel E. Poison and his wife, Arlene Poison-1954-"Music For Moderns" (Jazz)-Radio Station WTRR

Gil Luck-1959-1970-Radio Station WTRR  
From an email from Gil "... I worked every shift on the station at various times. Did Seminole Junior College and Seminole High School play-by-play..."
Harry Elwood (Harry Bierly)-1966-Air Personality/Chief Engineer In Memory 
Tim Trott-1970-1975-Program Director/Mornings/News Director-Radio Station WTRR

George Crossley-1970-1971-Air Personality/Sales-Radio Station WTRR 
Biography    In Memory
Jerry Allen (Terry Stuhr)-1974-1977-Afternoon Drive/Program Director/Music Director/Play-by-play announcer of the Friday night football games for the (Sanford) Seminole High School "Fighting Seminoles".  They were in contention for the state championship in those years. David Schulz ran the board during those broadcasts
Beau Taylor-1974-1976-Captain in the Seminole County Sheriff's Department-Communico Broadcasting
Chuck Thomas-1975-1977-Mornings-Radio Station WTRR
David Schulz-1976-1978-Evenings-Radio Station WTRR
Len Russell-1977-Program Director-Seminole Radio Corp. 
Jim Sandridge-1977-Music Director-Seminole Radio Corp. 
Mel Clark-1977-News Director/Program Director-Seminole Radio Corp.

Ken (KP) Manning-1979-1982-Program Director-Seminole Radio Corp
Biography    In Memory

Larry Edwards
-1979-1983-Seminole Radio Corp
Bob Anthony-1979-1983-Seminole Radio Corp

Patricia Madden-1980-Seminole Radio Corp. 

Rick Padilla-1982-Program Director-Seminole Radio Corp. 
Darren Chase (Bill Klinger)-1990-Talk Show Host-River Country Broadcasting
Jimmy V.-1992-6AM-9AM-Metro-Orlando Broadcasters Inc.
Homan Machuca-1992-News Director-J&V Communications Co.

Chuck Harder-1992-"For the People"-3PM-5PM weekdays
-J&V Communications Co.   In Memory
Cmdr. Bill Hasson (of The Sanford Police Department)-1993-Noon-1PM Fridays-J&V Communications 
Joe Episcopo-1994-1999-Air Personality/General Manager-J&V Communications 
Kathy Llamas-1995-1998-Sales Manager/Host of "Info Line"-4PM-5PM-J&V Communications 
Dominic Anthony-1995-2000-Host-"The Unexplained"-J&V Communications 
Kim Fisher-1996-Host-"For Women Only''-Mon-4PM-5PM-J&V Communications 

Connie Fishbaugh-1997-"Town Talk"-1PM-2PM Monday through Friday-J&V Communications  
Jim DeBerry-1999-2002-"The Unfunny Serious Show"-J&V Communications 
Robin Nathan Hood-1999-2002-"The Unfunny Serious Show"-J&V Communications 
Mickey Gold-2000-Co-host-"Ages of Rock"-9PM-Midnight Saturdays 
Tom Borkes-2000-Co-host-"Ages of Rock"-9PM-Midnight Saturdays

Lee Moss-"Night Train"-6:30PM-9PM-Pop Music/9PM-10PM-Easy Listening-Radio Station WTRR

Wayne Trout
-News Director   Biography     In Memory
Arthur Beckwith-Clerk of the Seminole County Court
Sal Tee (Salvatore Taglireno)-"Solid  Gold Reunion"-weekdays, 10AM-2PM-see WDBO-AM 580 and  WHHL-AM 1190
Russ Ross  Biography
Nancy Ramsey who later went on to be "Lisa Young" at WWKA-FM 92.3
Jack Smith-Seminole Radio Corp
Bruce Schirard

Ken Dixon  
Dave Hammond
Mike Creiger

Bill Bauman-News Director 

Terry A. Stuhr-Program Director

Kimm Marie Gillem-Host-"For Women Only"

Tommy Roberts


Other Names IN WTRR History

James S. Rivers-1947-President/General Manager-Southern Broadcasting System 

Joseph Paris-1947-Commercial Manager-Southern Broadcasting System 

Bruce Smith-1947-Program Director-Southern Broadcasting System 

Emerson Browne-1947-Chief Engineer-Southern Broadcasting System 

J. Marion Harman, Sr.-1947-Station Manager/Commercial Manager-Southern Broadcasting System/1948-Program Director/News Director/Women's Director-Radio Station WTRR

Myron Reck-1947-Co-Owner/-Radio Station WTRR/1974-Operating Partner-Communico Broadcasting   

Edna "Mickie" Reck-1947-Assistant Manager/1948-Women's Director-Radio Station WTRR In Memory

Dick Aiken-1947-Commercial Manager-Radio Station WTRR

Ralph Spotts-1947-Farm Director/1962-Chief Engineer-Radio Station WTRR/1974-Chief Engineer-Communico Broadcasting

James Fields-1947-Sports Director-Radio Station WTRR 

Lonnie Padron-1948-Promotions Director-Radio Station WTRR

James Williamson, Jr.-1948-Chief Engineer-Radio Station WTRR

Bob Smith-1948-Farm News Director-Radio Station WTRR

J. Marion Harman Sr.-1954-Program Director-Radio Station WTRR

JT Almon-1974-Commercial Manager-Communico Broadcasting

Robert E. "Bob" Smith-1977-President/General Manager/Commercial Manager-Seminole Radio Corp

John Popp-1977-Chief Engineer-Seminole Radio Corp

Laurie Wontenay-1977-Promotion Manager-Seminole Radio Corp. 

Gladys "Shorty" Holzmann-1977-Station Manager/Sales-Seminole Radio Corp. 

Larry Hadley-1989-President/General Manager-River Country Broadcasting 

William Massi-1989-CEO/President-Metro Orlando Broadcasters Inc.

Frank Vaught
-1989-General Manager/Station Manager/Advertising Director/Program Director-Metro Orlando Broadcasters Inc.  
 In Memory

Jim Vinson-1989-General Sales Manager/Promotions Director/Public Affairs Director-Metro Orlando Broadcasters Inc.
Ron Sutton-1989-General Sales Manager-Metro-Orlando Broadcasters Inc.
April Hawkins-1989-Promotions Manager-Metro-Orlando Broadcasters Inc.
Ovie Loman-1989-Chief Engineer-Metro-Orlando Broadcasters Inc.
Tim Wade-1991-Chief Engineer-Metro-Orlando Broadcasters Inc.

John Torrado-1992-CEO/President/General Manager/Marketing Director/Program Manager/Program Director-J&V Communications Co.       In Memory

Virgen Torrado-1992-Co-owner-J&V Communications Co.

Jim Williamson-Chief Engineer

Jack Weible-Sales Manager

Bill Burgess  In Memory
Hank Elwood

Harry Bierly, Jr.-Chief Engineer-Radio Station WTRR 

Other Programs In WTRR History 

M4 Radio-1996 to 1998-(Indie Radio)-Lance Stinson and Stormy-Weeknights 7PM-10PM-J&V Communications Co.
PhilRadio International-1998-Kathy Llamas-J&V Communications Co.  

Chuck Harder-"For The People"      In Memory

Orlando_Sentinel_Jun_1982.jpg (127919 bytes)                                                    

Orlando_Sentinel_Jun_1982_2.jpg (68739 bytes)

3. Popularly called the "Mayfair," this huge brick and stucco hotel was designed by Sanford architect Elton J. Moughton. The hotel was built in 1925 for Forrest Lake, the Mayor of Sanford, and was part of the waterfront beautification plans, which led to the construction of Seminole Boulevard. Like the boulevard, the hotel sits on reclaimed land in an area that once separated the city of Sanford from the town on Mellonville. In 1930 the failed hotel was purchased by the City and renamed the Mayfair Hotel. In 1948, the hotel was purchased by the New York Giants. From 1963 to 1977 the building housed the Sanford Naval Academy and the interior was significantly altered. The hotel is now the international headquarters of the New Tribes Mission. The exterior is largely original.

From F. Leslie Smith, PhD Professor Emeritus Department of Telecommunication University of Florida
I was born and reared in Central Florida and can remember listening to the network stations out of Orlando as a child in the 1940s.  My family moved from the Apopka area to Sanford in late 1949, and as a kid who loved radio, I discovered something new (at least for me):  an independent station!  I didn’t even know such existed until I came into the WTRR listening area.  When I was in Sanford Junior High School, some of the band parents got together to raise money for school band uniforms.  Mrs. Vihlen (Sid’s mother) and Mrs. Walker (Jack Thomas’ mother) decided to put on a student talent show in the junior high auditorium and charge admission, the money to go toward purchase of uniforms.  To publicize the talent show, they got Myron Reck, co-owner and manager of WTRR, to open a 15-minute time slot at 7 o’clock Thursdays on a weekly basis to showcase some of the performers who would be on the stage show.   They needed an announcer for this program, and I was asked to do it.  Naturally, I jumped at the chance.  Bottom line:  the talent show went off as planned, and enough money was raised to buy “SJHS Band” sweaters garrison-style caps.  The radio show had served its purpose, and the ladies who had started and produced it decided to give it up.  But they urged me, an eighth grader, to go ahead and continue with it.  I did—not very well, of course—and at one point Jim Williamson, WTRR’s chief engineer who also worked the Thursday night board shift, had to shut the off the mic, put on a record and come into the studio to tell us to shape up or ship out.  I had nothing but respect and liking for Jim.  He was definitely one of the good guys.  So I took his advice to heart, and from then on, the program was scripted and rehearsed.  I called it “The Student Club,” and we presented news, talent and features from Sanford’s Seminole High School, where I was now a student.  We would have(1) an interviewing.g., an insurance agent to explain how legislative changes in insurance requirements would impact teen drivers, the SHS football coach to talk about the upcoming season, etc.-then (2) student news and gossip, (3) a “record of the week” as selected by a poll of students, and finally (4) someone or some group who would perform-singers, harmonica players, instrumentalists, even the SHS Dance Band.  Mr. George Dabbs, SHS geometry teacher, helped with rehearsals, and eventually fellow students Henry Cason and Randall Robbins helped host the programs.  It was a lot of work, but somehow I kept The Student Club going until I was a senior. I finally gave it up in 1956.  The attachment is a picture scanned from the 1957 Salmagundi, the SHS yearbook, and it was taken at one of the very last Student Club programs.  The guy on the right with the suspenders, whistle and cap is yours truly.  The others were participants on the show. However, I did not give up broadcasting.  I worked in several stations around Central Florida.  Luckily, the University of Florida had one of the best radio-TV programs in country.  I went there, majored in broadcasting and worked at the school’s commercial radio station and its educational TV station.  Graduated in 1957, and as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, was stationed at the Army’s motion picture studio in Long Island City.  Got an MA at Ohio University where my assistantship was directing programs on their ETV station.  Worked three years as producer director and instructor in the extensive CCTV facility at St. Petersburg Junior College then another three years as producer director and assistant professor at the University of West Florida.  Earned a PhD in communication at FSU, taught Radio/TV/Film for 10 years at the University of North Texas, then returned to UF as professor in the Department of Telecommunication in 1982.  Retired at the end of 2005 with a bunch of books and articles to my credit. It’s been a great ride, and lot of it is due to Myron Reck consenting to “write off” 15 minutes of WTRR time each week for four years.
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