WLBE-AM 790
Leesburg

Original Call Letters: WEUS

Originally Licensed: Aug 1947   

Original City of License: Leesburg 

Original Frequency: 790 

Origin of Call Letters: Location; LeesBurg/Eustis 

Original Power: 5,000 watts daytime/1,000 watts nighttime

Original Location: 1240 Floradell Ave.1240 

Original Format: Pop


Network Affiliation(s):


NBC
Mutual Broadcasting System
United Press International
Keystone
Fl Net
CBS
FOX

Owner(s):

1947-Lake County Broadcasters
1949-WLBE
1950-Eleanor Hunter
1951-Paul and Wendell Husebo
1956-WLBE, Inc
1962-Paul and Sally Husebo
1965-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
1975-WLBE Radio, Inc.
1978-Gene Smith
1983-WLBE 790, Inc.

History Of  Call Letters and Formats:

WEUS-1947-Block Programming
WLBE-1951-Pop  "Where Listening Brings Enjoyment"
WLBE-1988-MOR/Big Band
WLBE-2002-News/Talk/Information  "All American Talk Radio" 
WLBE-2013-50's, 60's, 70's  “Radio for You”


History Of WLBE
The Husebo brothers, Paul and Wendy, came to Lake County from Minneapolis in 1951. Wendy had worked in a major station there as the program director and chief announcer. When his brother, Paul Husebo, called him to say he was moving to Central Florida from their native Minnesota, Wendy Husebo told him if he found a radio station for sale, he would move, too. While Paul Husebo was scouting around for the right town, he arrived in Leesburg on the day of the Watermelon Festival. He liked the friendliness and the activity in the town, spotted a radio tower and stopped in a gas station to call the station. "He asked if the station was for sale, and the voice said, `Yes.' " WLBE, had been purchased by the former publisher of Liberty Magazine, who died within six months,  Husebo said. The man's wife was stuck trying to keep the station running. From 1951 to 1962, WLBE was a major news source to people in Lake County. Husebo remembered the first remote broadcast of a Leesburg High School football game in Palatka and a 37-hour stretch at the microphone during Hurricane Donna in 1960. "People depended on radio for local news," he said. "We didn't have television, and most of the papers were weekly. So, we tried to cover everything."  Lacking also were the services of an advertising and public relations agency. When area businesses wanted to stage a grand opening or plan a promotion, they went to Wendy Husebo. So did civic leaders in Leesburg, when, in a twist of fate, they named him chairman of the festival that helped bring him to Leesburg. In the 1950s, the Leesburg Watermelon Festival was important to the city. To promote it, the mayor and prominent residents formed a 30-car motorcade with a P.A. system and part of the high-school band and visited all the other towns in the area. "Our mayor would pop out and present their mayor with a watermelon," Husebo said. "The people in the cars would jump out and put posters in all the windows..." By 1962, he was so involved in promotion outside the radio business that he sold WLBE and formed Husebo Advertising & Public Relations. His son, Lanny Husebo, worked with him in the mid-1970s. "He has become known for his sayings, `How may I brighten your day?' and `Consider it done.'

1992-WLBE drops NBC news for CBS, and in the process lost the right to broadcast popular talk show host Bruce Williams. The syndicator of Williams' show is an NBC company. In Williams' place, WLBE aired Gil Gross from 8PM-11PM
 

WLBE_RADIO_RD.JPG (154255 bytes)
WLBE studios on Radio Road in Leesburg 

WLBE  Personalities    


Bob Andrews
-1947-1951-Lake County Broadcasters/1980-2009-Mornings-Gene Smith Ownership/WLBE 790, Inc.
Biography   In Memory

Pamela Clinton-1950-Program Director-Eleanor Hunter Ownership
Charles Castle-1950-Chief Announcer/Chief Engineer-Eleanor Hunter Ownership
Glenn Weber-1951-Program Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership

Dick Coleman-1951-1975-Program Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership/WLBE, Inc./Paul and Sally Husebo Ownership/Heard Broadcasting, Inc./WLBE Radio, Inc.

J. McCarthy Miller-1951-Sales Manager-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership
Larry Curran-1951-Promotions Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership
J. Allen  Brimmer-1951-Sports Director/Chief Engineer-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership
Pat Sulen-1951-Traffic Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership
T. Hoke McCallic-1952-General Manager/Sales Manager-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership

Wayne Scott-1952-News Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership

Bill Reedy-1952-Sports Director/Commercial Manager-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership

Jack Wilson-1953-1993-play-by-play broadcasts of Leesburg High's football games-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership/WLBE, Inc./Paul and Sally Husebo Ownership/Heard Broadcasting, Inc./WLBE Radio, Inc.

Marion Lewis-1954-News Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership
Bill Jackson-1954-Farm News Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership
Aunt Judy-1954-1955-Women's Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership
J. P. Gray-1955-1957-Women's Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo Ownership/WLBE, Inc. 
Harold McWhorter-1965-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Victor Lent-1966-2PM-5PM/News 5PM-6PM weekdays. Leesburg Athletics Minor League Baseball Play-by-Play-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.  Biography


Clark Taylor-1966-"Clark Taylor Show"-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.  Biography



Charles (Charlie) Northrup-1966-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.

R. Hogsboro-1967-Chief Engineer-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.

Dutch Edwards-1971-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.

Lee Williams-1971-Program Director-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.

Wayne Coleman-1972-1974-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.

Allen Stevens-1973-Music Director-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.  
Cal Zethmyer-1973-News Director-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.  
John Tomlinson-1974-Music Director-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.



Dick Ravenhill-1975-Program Director-WLBE Radio, Inc.  In Memory

Tom Slusarchyk-1985-WLBE 790, Inc.

Scott Bickerstaff-1985-1987-Weekends-WLBE 790, Inc.  

Mike Konstan-1986-Host of "Rock n' Roll For The Big Kids"-WLBE 790, Inc.

Chris Sawyer-1994-Middays/Program Director-WLBE 790, Inc.

Connie Fishbaugh-1996-"Town Talk" -Saturdays 9AM-10AM-WLBE 790, Inc.



Teresa Watkins-1996-"In Your Backyard"
-WLBE 790, Inc.



Peter Rocchio-1998-1PM-4PM-Mondays-Thursdays-WLBE 790, Inc.



John Weyrick-1998-2000-"Johnny's Swingin' Sunday"-WLBE 790, Inc.

Doug Hoy and Matt Turse-2000-"Wise Guys Sports Football Handicapping"-WLBE 790, Inc.

Richard Ryan-2002-Host of "Comin' Home" -WLBE 790, Inc. 

Greg Sherlock-2007-2008-



Andrew Silanskas
-2007-2008-Creator, Producer & Host-"Powerline 790"

Fred Johnson-2008-Co-host "Lake County/Central Florida Roundtable"-WLBE 790, Inc.

Ralph Smith-2008-Co-host "Lake County/Central Florida Roundtable"-WLBE 790, Inc.



Will Pruitt-2009-"The Pulse of America"-Wed-Noon-1PM-WLBE 790, Inc.


Mel Robbins-2010-Syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


Mary Graham-2010-2012-General Manager/Host of "Party Line"-WLBE 790, Inc.


Nicole Reiner-2011-News
-WLBE 790, Inc.


Al Spry-2011-"The Spry Show"-WLBE 790, Inc.


John McCaslin-2011-Co-host-"America's Morning News"-6AM-8AM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


Dana Mills-2011-Co-host-"America's Morning News"-6AM-8AM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


Michael Smirconish
-2011-1PM-4PM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


Laura Ingraham-2011-4PM-7PM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


Dr. Ken Kronhaus
-2011-"Good Day Health"-Sat 7AM-9AM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


Lou Dobbs-2011-7PM-10PM-Mon-Fri/Best of; Sat 8PM-Midnight-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


Gary McNamara-2011-"Midnight Trucking Radio Network"-Mon-Fri-1AM-6AM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.
Eric Harley-2011-"Midnight Trucking Radio Network"-Mon-Fri-1AM-6AM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.


DJ Mo-2012-2012-2PM-4PM-WLBE 790, Inc.


Al Brady-2014-Sat 2PM-7PM-"The Rock 'N' Roll Palace"/Sun 6PM-9PM-"At The Hop"-WLBE 790, Inc.


Tom McCubbin-"Better lawns and Gardens"-Sat-8AM-9AM-syndicated-WLBE 790, Inc.
Joani McCubbin-"Better lawns and Gardens"-Sat-8AM-9AM-co-producer and call screener-syndicated -WLBE 790, Inc.

Lee Gillette-News Director  

Donald James Witt

Nancy Lee

Alan B. Walts

Michael Solt

Bill Gephart-News Director  In Memory

"Uncle Russie"-Russ Ross-Sat 2PM-5PM/4M-6PM  Biography

Chuck Stevens-Host of "Party Line"-WLBE 790, Inc.. 

Eve Martin-Host of "Eve the Mystic"-WLBE 790, Inc.

Al Martin-WLBE 790, Inc.



Mark Logas
-WLBE 790, Inc. Biography                  

Ronald V. Regan-Host of "Veterans Cafe"-WLBE 790, Inc.

Wes Unold  In Memory
Edna Lucille Aldrich

Allan Konstan-Engineer/Announcer

Roger Cleary  In Memory

Tommy Roberts-Program Director



Bill Sayer-Host of "Party Line"

   WLBE-AM QSL-1972-Larry Flegle.jpg (186195 bytes)
Courtesy of Larry Flegle


Bob Andrews in the WLBE studios in 2004


Other Names in WLBE History
Paul Hunter-1949-President-WLBE
Robert Clnton-1949-General Manager/Commercial Manager-WLBE
Eleanor Hunter-1950-General Manager-WLBE
T. Hooke McCauley-1951-General Manager
Paul Husebo-1952-1975-President                                                               


Wendell "Wendy" Huesbo-1952-1962-Co-owner/General Manager
Husebo is also credited with establishing the first Lutheran church in Leesburg.
Sally Husebo-1952-1962-"Mr. Sunshine" 
Esther White-1952-1994-Hired as bookkeeper by the station's first general manager, T. Hooke McCauley, in 1951. She became office manager, business manager, with sales and public relations responsibilities and would even do an occasional commercial for Edenfield Jewelers and Grays' Orange Barn/1958-Women’s Director-Paul and Wendell Husebo/Heard Broadcasting, Inc./WLBE Radio, Inc./Gene Smith/WLBE 790, Inc.  In Memory
J. A. Brimmer-1952-1975-Chief Engineer
Martin Kirkland-1954-Chief Engineer
H. James Sharp-1965-Vice President/General Manager-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Charles Grant-1965-Commercial Manager/Sales Manager-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Dennis Sheppard-1965-Program Director/News Director-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Richard Hogsboro-1965-Chief Engineer-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Alan Huckleberry-1965-Chief Engineer-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
William G. Jones-1971-Chief Engineer-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Dr. Donald Manuel-1973-President-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
E. B. Meade-1973-Board Chairman-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Ray Glover-1973-Program Director-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Erik Miller-1973-Chief Engineer-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
William Babcock-1973-General Manager-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Sherman Clapeman-1973-Chief Engineer-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
William N. Babcock-1974-General Manager-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
James W. Moore-1974-Chief Engineer-Heard Broadcasting, Inc.
Harry Reiner-1975-President-WLBE Radio, Inc.
Ronald Polaczala-1975-Chief Engineer-WLBE Radio, Inc.
Gene Smith-1975-General Manager/Commercial Manager-WLBE Radio, Inc./1978-1993-Owner/General Manager  In Memory
Ronald Potaczala-1979-Chief Engineer-Gene Smith Ownership
Merrill Isaacson-1993-General Manager-WLBE 790, Inc.


E.J. "Mac" McNair-1997-2010-General Manager/Partner-WLBE 790, Inc.
Tammy Locke-2010-Office Manager-WLBE 790, Inc.


O.K. Walters-2012-2014-General Manager-WLBE 790, Inc.
Brian Maher-WLBE 790, Inc.
John Fennessy-General Manager
Betty Jean Bressette
Jim White-Sales Manager
James Moore  In Memory


Ken Cordes-Marketing/Webmaster-WLBE 790, Inc.


Steve Kennedy  Biography


Paul Harvey-Syndicated

frank_reed_bob_andrews_ gabe_burton_dave_edwards_wlbe_2007.jpg (58416 bytes)

frank_reed_bob_andrews_ gabe_burton_mac_mcnair-2007_wlbe.jpg (75210 bytes)

          
l to r  Frank Reed, Bob Andrews, Abe Burton and Dave Edwards  
      (photos courtesy of Dave Edwards 2007)
     
 l to r  Frank Reed, Bob AndrewsGabe Burton and Mac McNair
     

      

 

Reception Report 1972-Larry Flegle.jpg (100268 bytes)
         
          WLBE 1970's License Plate_2.jpg (498450 bytes)               
WLBE 1980's License Plate_2.jpg (325281 bytes)
1970's license plate 1980's license plate

click photos for full sized view    
courtesy of Mark Logas

                     
          WLBE 1982  Logo.jpg (82303 bytes)

WLBE 1981 Playlist.jpg (475933 bytes)        
click photos for full sized view    


WLBE Rate Card.jpg (325127 bytes)


                 courtesy of  Mark Logas          

  WLBE-Mark Logas Newspaper Ad.jpg (270900 bytes)                


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