WMFJ-AM 1450
Daytona Beach 

Original Call Letters: WMFJ

Originally Licensed: Apr. 16, 1935

Original City of License: Daytona Beach

Original Frequency: 1450

Origin of Call Letters:

Original Power: 250 watts

Original Location: Studio: 444 N. Beach St.  Transmitter: 126 1/2 Magnolia Ave.

Original Format: Block Programming

Network Affiliation(s):

Radio News Assoc.
NBC Blue Network
Transradio Press
Associated Press
United Press International

ABC Contemporary
Moody Bible Institute


1935-W. Wright Esch

1955-WMFJ, Inc.

1956-WMFJ, Inc. (New Ownership)
1965-Daytona Broadcasting Inc. 
1965-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting Company
1996-Cornerstone Broadcasting ($250,000)

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WMFJ-1935-Block Programming "The Tops In Programs At The Top Of Your Dial"
WMFJ-1956-Top 40
WMFJ-1981-Contemporary Christian  "Son Shine radio"

WMFJ History
1957 Plaza Hotel.jpg (81677 bytes)WMFJ took to the air in April of 1935 as Daytona Beach's first radio station by owner W. Wright Esch. The original studios were located at 750 Root Street. By 1956 the studios were moved to the basement of the Daytona Plaza Hotel at 600 N. Atlantic Ave. In the 1980's the offices and studios would be built on Beach Street near the Daytona Beach Marina. Thanks to Brian Douglas for the following information. "...WMFJ was Top 40 from the late 50s into the early 80s(?), but flipped to Contemporary Christian around 1981-83(?) Jim Walter owned the station in the early 60s.  It was originally 100 watts, later 250, later 1,000 with 250 at night, now 1,000 full-time (the FCC kept raising power limits on the six "local" frequencies, 1230, 1240, 1340, 1400, 1450 and 1490).  A few, like 1340, Clermont were held back for specific reasons. Originally, the owners requested the calls WMFB for "World's Most Famous Beach", but the calls were not available."

FCC Takes New Stand On Station
The Miami Herald
Nov. 2,  1956

WASHINGTON-The Federal Communications Commission has decided to permit the new owners of radio station WMFJ Daytona Beach Fla to continue its operation pending commission action on a protest which followed sale of the station in the summer of 1955. The decision announced Thursday reversed and canceled a previous commission order directing return of the station to the former owner W. Wright Esch pending consideration of the protest. Thursday was the deadline for the proposed return. The commission in June 1953 without a hearing authorized Esch to sell the station to a newly formed company WMFJ Inc. headed by Harold Kaya of New York City. Theodore Granik and William H Cook protested the sale contending they had a prior option to buy the station from Esch. The commission dismissed the protest but Granik and Cook obtained a federal court order here requiring the commission to consider their protest. Granik and Cook also took the matter into Florida state courts and the Volusia County Circuit Court recently held there was no contract under which Esch was required to sell WMFJ to Granik and Cook This decision has been appealed In canceling its order for return of the station to Esch the commission upheld. WMFJ's contentions that the public interest would suffer. The new owners set forth that programming would be adversely affected and "innocent third parties” such as employees and advertisers would be inconvenienced.

1961-The Federal Communications Commission granted increase daytime power from 250 watts to 1 kilowatt.

WMFJ Personalities
Ray Clancey-1937-Chief Announcer/1944-Station Manager/1951-News/Sports Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Jack Winfree-1943-Program Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Oliver Thornburg-1946-Program Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Mildred Mullins-1953-Program Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
William Hall-1955-1957-Program Director-WMFJ, Inc.
Harry Brown-1955-1958-News Director-WMFJ, Inc.
Richard Marcellan-1957-Program Director-WMFJ, Inc.

Dick Y. Clark-1957-1962-Mornings/Program Director/1958-General Manager/Program Director/1959-General Manager/ 1961-Station Manager/Program Director/1964-Commercial Manager-WMFJ, Inc./1966-Station Manager/Mornings-Daytona Broadcasting, Inc./1972-General Manager-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting Company

Milt Roth-1958-1962-News Director-WMFJ, Inc.
Kenny Mercer-1959-"The Kenny Mercer Show"-6AM-M-S aka "The Morning Mayor"/1962-1965-Program Director-WMFJ, Inc. 
George Allen-1962-1963-News Director-WMFJ, Inc.

Don Skylar
-1963-News Director-WMFJ, Inc./1964-Promotions Manager-WMFJ, Inc.  
In Memory

Bob Bacon-1964-Mornings
-WMFJ, Inc.

Bob Walters-1964-Program Director-WMFJ, Inc.
Frank Northrup-1964-News Director-WMFJ, Inc.
Dusty Miller-1964-While still a junior in high school and was the school reporter-WMFJ, Inc.

Michael St John (Jerry L. Reed)-1964-1965-Midnight-6AM/10PM-3PM-WMFJ, Inc.

Dave Randall
-(Cleveland Wheeler)-1965-Nights-Daytona Broadcasting, Inc./1968-Program Director- Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
“Skinny” Don Green-1965-Daytona Broadcasting Inc. 
Jim Shirah-1965-Nights-Daytona Broadcasting Inc. 
George Barber-1966-Program Director-Daytona Broadcasting Inc.
Jack Armstrong-1966-News Director-Daytona Broadcasting Inc.
Brad Cowell-1966-Chief Engineer/Nights-Daytona Broadcasting Inc. Brad's daughter, Martha, writes about  "My Daddy the DJ"
Bruce Bower-1966-General Manager/Nights-Daytona Broadcasting Inc.
"Honest John" Feree-1966-Music Director-Daytona Broadcasting Inc.
Corky Dee-1966-Nights-Daytona Broadcasting Inc.

John Holiday (Clyde Thodey)-1967-Program Director/2PM-6PM -Daytona Broadcasting, Inc. In Memory

Dan Hogan
-1967-Overnights-"The Night People Program"-Daytona Broadcasting Inc.

Dan_Hogan_card.jpg (44293 bytes)

Brent Alberts-1968-1969 Biography

Kris Earl Phillips
-1970-1972-6PM-Midnight-Daytona Broadcasting Inc.
  Biography     In Memory

  Kris Earl Phillips 1970 at WMFJ
Al Connors-1971-Daytona Broadcasting Inc. 

Bobby Mitchell-1973-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Dain Eric-1973-6AM-10AM/1976-Program Director-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting

Doug Saint Carter (Gale Allen Ellsworth)-1973-1976-10AM-3PM-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting 
Eddie Beacon-1973-7PM-Midnight-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Mike Nelson-1973-Midnight-6AM-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Jack Stevens-1973-Weekends-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Russ Morley-1975-Promotions/Music Director-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
John Scott-1978-Program Director/Music Director-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Charles Neald-1978-News Director-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Rick Stone-1978-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Rick Taylor (Rick Morgan)-1979-1980-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Bob Stephenson-1979-1981-Program Director-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Bulldog Hesters (Terry Wayne)-1979-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting     Terry was killed in a car accident in 1983 at the age of 25.
Mike Tes (Michael Tesmacher)-1981-1984-Overnights/Fill-in-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting 
Dean O'Neal-1987-Weeks Broadcasting-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Larry King-Noon-3PM-WMFJ, Inc.
Dave Preston
Charlie Neald-News-Walter-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Steve Craig
Chris Dana
Chris Connors
Bob Neimeyer
Art Andrews

Bill Andrews Biography

Paul Delaney Biography 
Mike Jay-6AM-10AM
Doug James-10AM-2PM
Gerry Peterson (Gerry Cagle) "The Mississippi Hippie" -2PM-6PM 
Rob Thomas-Midnight-6AM
Doug Montgomery
Bobby Holiday-Weekends
Johnny Donovan
Don Shoe
Rick Wagner-Weekends
"Long John" Wade
Jack McCoy
George McGovern-Afternoons
"Good Guy Gordie" (Gordy McNeill)-Played progressive music in overnights in the very late 60s
Joanne Ares
Mayor John-Overnights
Mark Scott (Jeff CampbellBiography
Stan Barrett -Program Director
Scott Owens
Reed On The Radio-3PM-7PM
Michael Jay (Mike Helminski)
Steve Hayes
Bob Mitchell-Weekends

WMFJ.jpg (160484 bytes)
1966 WMFJ Survey 
from Phil Beckman

Click for a full sized view

1973 WMFJ Survey from Jack Stevens via 
Kris Earl Phillips

 WMFJ Survey.jpg (65735 bytes)  WMFJ survey2.jpg (86467 bytes)
Click for a full sized view

From Dan Hogan:

WMFJ had a contest around 1960, asking "what I remember most about WMFJ". The prize was a transistor radio! 
Here is the winning entry:

by Arlene Langer

I thought that I would try and say
What I remember most about WMFJ
But when I tried to pin it down
To any one broadcast in this great town

Too many incidents crossed my vision
Of all the times I sat to listen

To news reports and music each day
All sent over the airwaves of WMFJ

They broadcast from beaches, shopping centers and filling stations
They fill you in to events from all of the nations

They cover hurricanes, wrecks and fires
Faster than they are sent over the wires

Their ads are clever and sometimes funny
Their announcers--clear and bright and sunny

I give up--I can't settle for just one--
There's been too much broadcast in the land of the sun

But one thing I will always say 

You hear it first and best on WMFJ

1936 QSL Card

courtesy of Larry Flegle

Other Names In WMFJ History
W. Wright Esch-1935-1955-Owner/Station Manager
Mrs. Billie B. Esch-1935-General Manager-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Jackie Seymour-1935-Traffic Manager-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Larry Roller-1935-News Editor-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Floyd Dillingham-1935-Publicity Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Skeets Wolfe-1935-Chief Announcer-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Ed Oversby-1935-Musical Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
John S. Pitts-1935-Commercial Manager/1944-Sales Manager-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Mary Josephine Bledsoe-1935-Program Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Webster Ellenwood-1935-Chief Engineer-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Ed Sims-1937-Commercial Manager-W. Wright Esch Ownership
W.K. Ellenwood-1937-Chief Engineer-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Ray Clancy-1942-General Manager/Chief Engineer-W. Wright Esch Ownership
John Pitts-1942-Commercial Manager-W. Wright Esch Ownership
William M. Johns-1942-Program Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
William Shelton-1943-Chief Engineer-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Crystal Palmer-1944-Promotions Manager-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Walter Strouse-1951-Traffic Manager/Promotions Manager-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Mildred Mullins-1953-Program Director-W. Wright Esch Ownership
W. K. Ellenwood-1953-Chief Engineer-W. Wright Esch Ownership
Harold Kaye-1955-President-WMFJ, Inc.
Joseph Matthews-1955-General Manager/Sales Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Saul Kay-1955-Promotions Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Jack Siegel-1955-Chief Engineer-WMFJ, Inc./1958-Secretary/Treasurer-WMFJ, Inc./1961-General Manager/Chief Engineer-WMFJ Inc. /1963- General Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Emil J. Arnold-1956-President-WMFJ, Inc.
Jack Seigel-1956-General Manager/Chief Engineer-WMFJ, Inc/1959-Vice President-WMFJ, Inc.
Lee Menard-1956-Station Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Carl Abel-1956-Commercial Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Ben Taylor-1956-Sales/Program Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Richard Marcellen-1956-Program Director-WMFJ, Inc.
Ben W. Taylor-1956-Promotions Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Dale Phares-1957-General Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
L. L. McGrath-1957-CommercialManager-WMFJ, Inc.
Sari Smith-1957-Promotions Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
John Creutz-1958-President-WMFJ, Inc.
L.L. McGrath-1958-Sales Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Jay Caldwell-1958-Commercial Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Jerry Norman-1958-Chief Engineer-WMFJ, Inc.
Robert Neimeyer-1962-Promotions Manager-WMFJ, Inc.
Charles Weiler-1962-Chief Engineer-WMFJ, Inc.
George Weiler-1963-Chief Engineer-WMFJ, Inc.
Robert Council-1964-Chief Engineer-WMFJ, Inc.

Robert Weeks
-1965-President/General Manager-Daytona Broadcasting, Inc. /1972 -President - Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
In Memory
Al Setzer-1965-Commercial Manager-Daytona Broadcasting, Inc./1972-Commercial Manager-Walter- Weeks Broadcasting
Roy Gallagher-1965-Chief Engineer-Daytona Broadcasting, Inc./1972-Chief Engineer-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting
Jack Hayward-1967-Station Manager-Daytona Broadcasting, Inc.
William Martin-1967-Chief Engineer-Daytona Broadcasting, Inc.
Jim Walter-1972-Partner-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting Company                     
Bill Kirk-1975-General Manager-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting Company 
Jim Palmer-Vice President/General Manager-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting Company
Bob Stevenson-1979-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting Company
William Powell-1996-General Manager-Cornerstone Broadcasting

Frank Stevens (
Frank J. Vela, Jr.)  In Memory  

Joel Hollander-Sales Manager-Walter-Weeks Broadcasting Company

Daylon Rushing   
In Memory
Mary Jo Bledsoe
Ron Samuels-Sales
Jack McClure-Chief Engineer    In Memory

Photos Courtesy of Bruce Bower

Miss WMFJ and Dave Randall

Dave Randall, Eric Burdon of The Animals, Cheryl Delaughter &
         Gordie McNeal

Gordy McNeal, Dave Randall, Bruce Bower
& Corky Davis

Bruce Bower on the board


WMFJ Scrapbook
Courtesy of Robert Weeks, the son of Robert Weeks from (Walter-Weeks Broadcasting)

1967 WMFJ DJs Dan Hogan and Clyde Thodey aka John Holiday reminisce about their Daytona Beach radio days while meeting for dinner in Tampa August 31, 2015.

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