WSIR-AM 1490
Winter Haven

Original Call Letters: WSIR  
Originally Licensed: Feb.14, 1947
Original City of  License: Winter Haven
Original Frequency: 1490
Origin of Call Letters:
Original Power: 250 Watts        
Original Location: 132 Third St. SW
Original Format: Block Programming

Network Affiliation:

Mutual Broadcasting System
Associated Press
Florida News Network


1947-Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc.
1956-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting
1960-Larry Rollins, Mr.& Mrs. Arnold Silvert
1973-Cypress Central Communications
1983-Leopold Broadcasting Company
1984-WHF Associates ($500,000)
1987-CFL Ltd.
1990-Histed Media Group   ($230,000)
1998-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, LTD

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WSIR-1947-Block Programming  “The Information Station”
WSIR-1985-Big Bands/Nostalgia
WSIR-1992-Contemporary Hits
WSIR-2001-Gospel  "Mighty Gospel 1490"   "Rejoice 1490"
WSIR-2004-Gospel/Rhythm and Blues
WSIR-2006-Gospel/Urban  "Family Radio 1490"

WSIR History

WSIR is the second oldest station in Polk County. Put on the air in 1947 by Larry Rollins, Dach Brandstetter, and Frederick Allman. They formed Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc., and were granted a license in November of 1946. The studios were located on Third Street S.E. in Winter Haven in a building which would later be the home of Tyler Jewelers. The transmitter and tower were placed on the southwest shore of Lake Howard. In the first year of operation WSIR became an affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System. WSIR was very community oriented, as were most small local stations of the time, and they helped with over-the-air appeals for blood donors before area blood banks came into existence. WSIR also broadcast editorials on a regular basis and won many Associated Press Awards. WSIR revived plans to build a permanent  football stadium for Winter Haven High School. 1954 saw construction of  a new building at the transmitter site on Lake Howard Drive to house its offices and studios. And the FCC granted a power increase to 500 watts. In 1998, Florida's Entertainment & Information Network began as an effort by Anscombe Broadcasting Group to return WSIR, to the air as a Winter Haven-based news station. In 1987,WSIR continued its search for a buyer. In 1986, the station filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. Located about halfway between Orlando and Tampa, WSIR had felt the effect of the larger cities' FM stations, which had strong signals that easily covered Winter Haven. ''The owners of the station now just want to get out of the broadcasting business,'' said Roger Zinszer, the station's manager. The owners, WHFAssociates of Buffalo, N.Y., had purchased the station about two years ago, Zinszer said. The bankruptcy filing listed secured and unsecured debt of more than $354,000 and assets of nearly $495,000, according to a court clerk in Buffalo.
In 1998, Anscombe Broadcasting Group returned WSIR-AM 1490, to the air as a Winter Haven-based news station. Programming included Doug Stephan's "Good Day U.S.A.",  Debbie Nigro's "The Working Mom" and other shows featuring current events, social issues, entertainment, sports, gardening, fishing, hunting, golf, and personal, financial and medical advice. Sunday religious broadcasts are in English, Spanish and French.

Names In WSIR History

Frederick Allman-1947-President-Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc.

Larry Rollins-1947-General Manager-Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc./1956-General Manager-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting

John Brandstetter-1947-Commercial Manager/Promotions Manager-Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc.

Dick Eyrich-1947-Program Director-Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc.-Dick broke a marathon announcing record in a stunt to publicize a fund-raising campaign for improvements to Winter Haven’s hospital/1956-Program Director/News Director-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting

L. Orden Craig-1947-Chief Engineer-Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc./1956-Chief Engineer-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting   In Memory

WSIR's original downtown Winter Haven studio gives a good look at the technology in 1951. Longtime WSIR personality Dick Eyrich, left, a man identified only as "Craig" and Dick Munch honor a woman for thwarting a hostage situation at the studio.

courtesy of Winter Haven Museum of History via the Winter Haven News Chief

Jim Greenfield-1953-1977-Citrus Belt Broadcasters, Inc./1986 to 1990-News Director/Public Affairs Director-Larry Rollins, Mr.& Mrs. Arnold Silvert/Cypress Central Communications
H. Howard Cole, III-1956-Music Director-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting
Richard Eyrich-1956-Program Director-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting
Nellie Barber-1956-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting
Tom Moore-1956-President-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting
Earl Sturgcon-1956-Commercial Manager-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting

Bob Prescott-1958-2PM-10PM-Hundred Lakes Broadcasting  
 Bob tells us that his salary was $1.00 an hour. Bob was host of the "Polk County Express" from 8PM-10PM nightly. It was a "rock and roll" record show and Bob tells us " in the neighborhood  coming by, some times I would put them on the air, a local young person get together, happened almost every night, I was 24-25 (back) then..." He also talks about signing the station off at 10PM. "Had to walk around to the back and turn off the trans, next to the station was a canal, Alligators slept there, 22 rifle was at the door to carry, just in case, people lived next door had a nasty dog liked to catch  me..."

Arnold Silvert
-1960-1973-Partner/Station Manager/Sales-Larry Rollins, Mr.& Mrs. Arnold Silvert  In Memory

Jack Shaw-1964-Larry Rollins, Mr.& Mrs. Arnold Silvert

Bill Davis-1966-1967-8pm-Midnight  From Larry Vee; "Bill ran a Rock 'N Roll show from 8pm to midnight 6 days a week.    He was also a student at Polk Junior College in Bartow." "...he was given the college radio show on Winter Haven’s WSIR 1490,  based on his WONN 1230, experience. At the Winter Haven station, the evening host of “Nightbeat,” Gene Mullen, expressed his dislike of rock music and asked Davis if he would like to take over the show. When he agreed, WSIR, 1490 owner Larry Rollins hired him to run the show, which he did for a year and a half through 1966-1/68.  He then turned the “Nightbeat” over to his P(olk) J(unior) C(ollege) classmate Larry “Vee” Flegle.

Larry Vee
 (Larry Flegle)-1967-1968-8pm-Midnight-"Night beat with Larry Vee"   Biography     In Memory

Randy Jeffery-1973-President-Cypress Central Communications

Lori Edwards-1977-1985-Cypress Central Communications/Leopold Broadcasting Company

Mark Leopold-1983-1984-President/Station Manager-Leopold Broadcasting Company
Debra Anscombe-1984-General Manager-WHF Associates
William Histed-1990-President/News Director-Histed Media Group
Robert Cubero-1990-General Manager/Station Manager/1993-President/General Manager/Station Manager/Sales Director-Histed Media Group
W. Richard Bingaman-1990-Operations Manager/General Sales Manager/Program Director- Histed Media Group
Frank Clark-1990-Development Manager/Marketing Manager/Promotions Manager- Histed Media Group
Robert Histed, Sr.-1990-Music Director- Histed Media Group
Carole Histed-1990-Public Affairs Director- Histed Media Group
Jeff Thornburg-1990-Chief Engineer- Histed Media Group
Maribel Parectes-1993-Promotion Director- Histed Media Group
Esther Aza-1993-Program Director- Histed Media Group
Art Karmgard-1993-Chief Engineer- Histed Media Group
Jeff Parker-1994-Morning Co-host with brother Greg- Histed Media Group
Greg Parker-1994-Morning Co-host with brother Jeff- Histed Media Group
Stephen M. Gill-1998-Vice President-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd.  In Memory
Roger Ashworth-1999-President- Histed Media Group

Joe Fisher-1999-Genral Manager/Program Director-Histed Media Group/2001-Vice President/General Manager -Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd
T.C. Lewis-1999-Sales Director- Histed Media Group
Steve Reszka-2001-CEO/President-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, LTD
Chet Fleegal-2001-General Manager-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd
Irving Mahoney-2001-Sales Director-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd
Jeff McCall-2001-Program Director-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd
Deidra Patrickson-2004-Promotions Director/Music Director-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd
Jermaine Shepard-2004-Program Director-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd

Laura Robinson-2004-Public Affairs Director-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd
Lou Meuller-2004-Chief Engineer-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd

Tony Charles-2005-Music Director-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd

Pat Fisher
-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd

Jordan Anglin-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd

Hezekiah Walker-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd


Neicy Tribbett-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd

Liz Black-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, Ltd


Dave Day

D'Anthony Monet

Morgan Dukes
Larry Cox

Boris Mitchell

Roger Zinszer-Station Manager

Jim Knight

Ross McVicker

Steve Howard

Ken Copper

Craig Harper

Bob Stephenson-Program Director/Mornings

Dan Dermody-Station Manager

Tom Anthony

Keith Solis

Deitra Miles


Willie Mae McIver-11am-3pm

Scott West

Pam Gibson

Greg Scurry 

Roy Murray-Sat 5-9am, Sun 5 - 8am

KD Bowe-Co-host 9AM-10AM-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, LTD

Bill Daniels-Co-host 9AM-10AM-Anscombe Broadcasting Group, LTD
John Mullis-Station Manager


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