WPRD-AM 1440                                                                                       "The Imagination Station"
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: 222 Hazard St., Orlando 

Original Format: Children


Network Affiliation(s):


Mutual Broadcasting System

ABC

Weekly Reader News Service

CNN

Unistar


Owner(s):


1954-Orange County Broadcasting

1959-Contemporary Broadcasting Co.

1966-Norfolk Broadcasting Corp.

1971-Rounsaville Of Tampa, Inc. (Co-owned with WBJW-FM 105.1)

1977-WSEC, Inc.

1982-Nationwide Communications  (Purchase WBJW-FM 105.1 and WLOF-AM 950, $6.5 million)

1986-Alleluia Broadcasting Corp  

1987-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc. ($1.1 million)

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 
WABR-1966-Country
WBJW-1975-Easy Listening
WNBE-1976-NBC 24 Hour News
WAJL-1977-Easy Listening
WAJL-1987-Christian Ministry (Station sold. WAJL moves to 1190)  "We Acclaim Jesus Lord"
WPRD-1987-Classics of the '40s, '50s and '60s  "Pride-1440"
WPRD-1990-Children "The Imagination Station"  
WPRD-1991-CNN Headline News
WWZN-1993-Talk  "Power Talk"
WWZN-1993-Sports
WPRD-1994-Talk
WPRD-1995-Spanish   "La Fantastica 1440"
WPRD-2014-Spanish    "La Voz 1440"   


WPRD ''The Imagination Station'' History

1990-Kids' Choice Broadcasting Network, an Orlando-based radio format geared to children under 12, hit the local airwaves in March. Investors raising an estimated $3 million to $4 million to launch the 24-hour satellite-delivered network hope to have 100 subscriber stations in the nation's top 20 markets. The staff of 10 personalities will play music, tell jokes and stories, preside over sing-alongs and present the news. The Kids' Choice Network will feature original music by Peter Yarrow of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Among those serving on the network's advisory board are singers Judy Collins, Harry Belafonte and Pete Seeger, as well as actors Fred Rogers ("Mr. Rogers Neighborhood"), Marlo Thomas ("That Girl") and Mike Farrell ("M*A*S*H"). Scott Stover became production director after working for weeks with Peter Yarrow on preparations for the launch of the station. 

1991-The Imagination Station Network signed off at 2 p.m., February 27, because it ran out of money. The Imagination Network, which began in March of 1990, was never able to expand beyond two affiliates: WPRD and a Salt Lake City radio station. The network was hoping to have 100 affiliates by the end of its first year of operation. Without affiliates it could not draw national advertising, and without advertising it had no money to approach affiliates.


Popular Kids Radio Runs Out Of Money 
The Orlando Sentinel
Mar. 7, 1992 

Kids Radio the St. Louis spinoff of the now defunct Orlando-based Imagination Station shut down last week, disappointing hundreds of children and parents. The problem? As it was in Orlando, money. WXJO-FM, the 6,000-watt FM station that aired the children's radio programming, went off the air after its major investors, disgruntled with delays in receiving a Federal Communications Commission license, backed out. The station, which had purchased rights to use The Imagination Station as a name, was on the air only 10 months. The station played songs and offered games and brainteasers for youngsters under age 12. For a while, it provided a home for Sam "Sam 'n' Eggs" Cooper and Brian "Brian-A-sarus" Epps, former on-air personalities at Orlando's Imagination Station, WPRD-AM (1440). The Imagination Station, which aspired to be a national radio network for children, failed in Orlando last March less than a year after its launch because it ran out of money and, despite its popularity, could not attract new investors. Locally, Bob McCarthy, president of the National Association for the Rights of Children, has been working with former principals of tne Imagination Station to rebuild the network. So far, he's been down only blind alleys with investors. The only kids radio station on the air today is Radio AAHS at WWTC-AM in Minneapolis. The station will have been broadcasting for two years in May and is still trying to find the financing to form a network. McCarthy, still patient, believes it is only a matter of time before he and perhaps others succeed in selling the viability of the kids' radio format to the business community. "The programming is very popular," he says. "The problem is it's risky for investors because it's new."


WPRD ''The Imagination Station'' Personalities

Scott Stover-"Skatin' Scott"-1987-1991-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.  Biography

Sam Cooper-"Sam 'n' Eggs"--1987-1991-6AM-10AM-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.

Brian A Saurus (Brian Douglas)-1987-1991-Evenings-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.
From Brian; "...I was one of the original air personalities on the network". "...After the network flipped, Sam and Eggs (morning guy, Sam Cooper) and I moved to St Louis station, WXJO (WFUN...which was one of our affiliates at the time) to continue the network there until it's demise not long after.  When in St Louis we still continued to feed our affiliate in Salt Lake City.  I stayed in St Louis to work for the Top 40 station, Q106.5 WKBQ, 'til I moved to Chicago to work for a Rock station, 103.5 The Blaze.  I continued my radio career working at Z-100 New York, WPST Trenton-Philadelphia, Power 92 Phoenix, Star 987 (KYSR) and Country 93.9 KZLA here in Los Angeles.  I'm currently working with Dial Global hosting "Hot Country Afternoons with Brian Douglas" on about 100 affiliates nationwide. 

Sunshine Suzy--1987-1991-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.



Jamminí Jo-Jo
--1987-1991-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.
Note: JoJo was known to WORL AM 1270 listeners as "JoJo Dancer"

Steve Streit aka Skipper Steve-1987-1991-Program Director-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.

Jungle John/Marty Monkey (John Simpson)-1987-1991-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.

Matt Gomez-"Mighty Matt"-1987-1991-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.  Biography


Other Names In WPRD ''The Imagination Station'' History

Barbara Peckett-1987-President/General Manager-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.

Katherine ''Tish'' Henslee-Vice President Of Programming-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.

Andrea Chervenak-1990-General Sales Manager-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.
Soozi Eichler-Promotions Manager-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.
Dennis Sloatman-Chief Engineer-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.
Judi Pearl-1990-Promotions Manager-Metroplex Communications of Orlando Inc.

Norman Wain-President-Kids' Choice 


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