WNBE-AM 1440
Winter Park

Original Call Letters: WABR 

Originally Licensed: Sep 1954 

Original City of License: Winter Park 

Original Frequency: 1440 

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 5,000 watts-Daytime

Original Location: 13 S. Ridgewood St., Orlando 

Original Format: All News

Network Affiliation(s):



1954-Orange County Broadcasting

1959-Contemporary Broadcasting Co.

1966-Norfolk Broadcasting Corp.

1971-Rounsaville Broadcasting, Atlanta (Co-owned with WBJW-FM 105.1)

1977-WSEC, Inc.

1982-Nationwide Communications  ($6.5 million with WBJW-FM 105.1 & WLOF-AM 950) 

1986-Alleluia Broadcasting Corp  

1987-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.

1993-Paxson Communications ($5.6 million with WMGF-FM 107.7)

1994-J & V Communications, Inc. ($300,000)

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WABR-1954-Top 40 


WBJW-1971-Oldies/Lite Rock "The Entertainer"

WBJW-1975-Easy Listening

WNBE-1976-NBC 24 Hour News

WAJL-1977-Easy Listening

WAJL-1987-Christian Ministry (Station sold. WAJL moves to 1190)

WPRD-1987-Classics of the '40s, '50s and '60s  "Pride-1440"

WPRD-1990-Children "The Imagination Station"  

WPRD-1991-CNN Headline News





WNBE studios 


NBC News Service logo

History of WNBE 
Dial WBJW For All-News 
Noel Holston
Orlando Sentinel Jun 5, 1975
All-news radio, a fixture in New York, Chicago and other major cities, is about to become a reality in Orlando. On June 18, NBC Radio is launching its new "round-the-clock, seven-day-a-week News and Information Service, and WBJW-AM will be the subscriber in this area. Currently featuring an announcer less "beautiful music" format, the AM station (1440 on the dial) will sign off Sunday, June 15. When it returns to the air the following Wednesday at 6AM, it will have new call letters (WNBE) and an all-news format. ORDINARILY, A station In a radio market the size of Orlando's could not go to an all-news format, even if the costs weren't prohibitive. "Orlando or Miami, for that matter doesn't generate enough news in a day," said Ron Hill, the station's news director. "There'd be too much repetition." And that's where NBC Radio's News and Information Service comes in. The News and Information Service (NIS) is a new broadcast entity not to be confused with the NBC Radio Network which feeds news and features to more than 200 affiliated stations across the country. The main man behind NIS is Jack Thayera veteran radio executive the National Broadcasting Co. put in charge of its radio division last year in hopes he could do something about the $4 million annual deficit. As President of that division, Thayer wasted little time before sinking the aged "Monitor", a rusty NBC Radio staple. Further paring down of the radio network was predicted early this year, but Thayer instead decided to retain the current network service and line up new subscribers for the full-time NIS. As NIS is set up, in return for a fee that varies with a radio market's size, a station can get up to 50 minutes per hour of national and international news, mini-documentaries, sports news and features, and a variety of features umbrella-titled "Information Center of the Mind." (Additionally, NIS will get income from six commercial minutes per hour; the subscribing station gets to keep the income from its 12 commercial minutes.) NIS, with broadcasts originated from New York,; will have a staff of more than 200. Here in Orlando, WNBE will be taking about 30 minutes of each hour's NIS feed and fill the rest of the time with local coverage. According to Ron Hill, his news staff, which is two "rip and read" announcers at present, will number 23 by the time the station goes on the air with its new call letters. That includes six full-time reporter-anchormen, five full-time producers, three contributing reporters and nine correspondents in various Florida cities. Except for the correspondents, Hill said, almost all the news staff will be from the Orlando area. That is how he believes it should be. Hill, who came here from Miami's WMYQ, said he was "really surprised at th amount of radio talent in the area, and we didn't have to pirate other stations, either." Over the phone. Hill sounded ebullient at the) prospect of working at a station at which music was not the money-maker and, thus, the top priority. "Our newsmen are newsmen," he said rather proudly. "We've hired people who want to do more than announce the news." When I talked to Hill Wednesday, he said carpenters were at work on new sound studios. He also said the station would have four fully-equipped mobile units; it has only one now. As Hill explained it, the hourly breakdown will go something like this: During the "drive periods" (6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.), the first seven minutes of each hour will be devoted to Orlando-area news, "as it happens"; the next eight minutes to sports and the stock market; then features (man-in-the-street, guest editorials, among them). The next 15 minutes will be NIS. At the half-hour, there'll be state and regional news, sports, and local news updates, then features. NIS reports will round out the hour. The basic difference during the non-"drive period" hours is that national features, provided by NIS, will replace local features.  

NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (NIS) in 1975.  According to Faded Signals, it allowed local radio stations to launch all-news formats, providing affiliates with up to 55 minutes of news per hour. NBC News & Information Service, which was a 24-hour-a-day news service, came to an end.

  Ann Taylor NBC News intro & outro

WNBE Personalities

Ron Hill-1975-News Director-Rounsaville Broadcasting, Atlanta
Tim Trott-1975-News-Rounsaville Broadcasting, Atlanta

Bill Thompson1975-News-Rounsaville Broadcasting, Atlanta  In Memory

Jay Frank-Rounsaville Broadcasting, Atlanta
Pat Flannagan-1975-News-Rounsaville Broadcasting, Atlanta

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Biographies In Memory Sounds
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Misc. Chronology What's News?