WMEL-AM  920 
Melbourne

Original Call Letters: WMEG 

Originally Licensed: Jan 4, 1956 

Original City of  License: Melbourne/Eau Gallie 

Original Frequency: 920 

Origin of Call Letters: Location; Melbourne 

Original Power: 5,000 watts day/1,000 watts night

Original Location: 1800 Turtle Mound Road

Original Format: MOR


Network Affiliation(s):

ABC
ABC Information
CBS
Westwood One
S.E. Agrinet

Owner(s):

1956-Mel-Eau Broadcasting Co. c/o Victoria Martin
1957-Mel-Eau Broadcasting Corp.
1967-WMEG, Inc.
1973-Radio Melbourne, Inc.
1974-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
1992-Twin Towers Broadcasting ($350,00)
2005-David Ryder (Receiver)
2007-Divine Mercy Communications Inc  ($650,000)


History Of  Call Letters and Formats:


WMEG-1956-Full Service/MOR
WMEG-1971-MOR 
WMEL-1974-Rock
WMEL-1991-Licensed/Silent
WMEL-1992-News/Talk  "The Classic Talk 920"   "The Talk To Me Station"
WDMC-2007-Catholic  "Divine Mercy Radio"

Historical Note: The cities of Eau Gallie and Melbourne would consolidate as "Melbourne" in 1969.

History of WMEL
Mr. John Harper, Owner/President of WMEL was kind enough to supply us with the history. From Mr. Harpers email; "...WMEL Radio signed on the air New Years Day 1956. It actually started with the call letters of WMEG (for Melbourne/Eau Gallie) WMEG is the second oldest station in Brevard County. The station was a full service station in those days airing music programs during its day time operation. In the mid 60's the station changed call letters and became WMEL Radio. WMEL Radio was a rock and roll station and enjoyed a great reputation in the Space Coast as a station not only for music, but for news as well. The station earned an even bigger reputation by covering all of the Mercury and Apollo Space Rocket Launches from Cape Canaveral (later to become the Kennedy Space Center). WMEL continued through the seventies and eighties as a middle of the road station with a strong commitment to news. At one point the station employed eight people in its news staff alone. In the mid 80's and early 90's the station was owned by a company out of Elyria-Lorain, Ohio but found itself in difficult times due to the strong FM penetration into the market from Orlando. On October 31, 1991 the station signed off the air and went "dark" while awaiting a new owner to come and save the station. In April of 1993 John Harper bought the station and put it back on the air in August of 1993. John Harper's background was talk radio and he quickly filled a void in the market for local and national talk radio programming. WMEL Radio has enjoyed great success as a full service talk/news and sports radio station serving the space and treasure coasts since John put the station back on the air in the early 90's. WMEL Radio now airs a combination of local and national talk shows, local news and even sports making it truly a "local" station in the Space and Treasure Coasts. WMEL call itself the "Talk To Me Station" which is talking to you!

Financial losses close radio station
By Joyce Harris
Florida Today Oct 2, 1990
If you're late for work this morning, don't blame morning disc jockeys Ron Maher and Rob Stevens. Like much of Brevard County, Maher was surprised and saddened by the decision of WMEL-AM (920) to shut down Monday after 34 years. The Melbourne radio station went off the air at noon. The station's closing "was kind of a shock," Maher said. WMEL had been losing money for several months, but officials at Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. wanted to see if the station could make a comeback. Elyria-Lorain, based in Elyria, Ohio, has owned the station since 1974. "We bought new equipment and refurbished the building. We supported the operation although it was in a deficit," said Gary Kneisley, vice presi dent of Elyria-Lorain. But Kneisley said advertising fell to a level where the station no longer could endure the losses. He would not say how long nor how much money WMEL had losL The 5,000-watt station, which has been for sale for two months, could be back on the air as soon as a buyer is found, he said. The company is asking $750,000 for the station, which includes a tower and a 14-acre parcel of land on Turtle Mound Road in the Lake Washington area. Gary Hess, general manager of Melbourne stations WAOA-FM (107.1) and WTAI-AM (1560), said AM stations nationwide are hurting because FM technology is superior. AM stations that are surviving are either in major cities, have a sister FM station to generate advertising support, or have found a programming niche, he said. WMEL's format was considered adult contemporary but its programming consisted of local news, sports and talk shows as a CBS affiliate. Disc jockeys Maher and Stevens, known cut-ups on the morning show, say they will miss their morning listeners, but the two are confident they will find work elsewhere. "I'm going to work in radio or pick pockets, whatever I feel least guilty doing," Maher said. Kneisley said WMEL's 15 employees will receive two-week severance and vacation pay. But for sports fans looking forward to upcoming events, there is no compensation. WMEL regularly broadcast local football, major league baseball, Monday Night Football and Florida State University games.

More info from Jon Roberts (Apfeld); In 1985 the power was changed from 1Kw to 5Kw, which required a complete rebuild of the day and night directional signal.  After the station changed it's power and directionů.AM Stereo was added.  The station went dark in October 1991

In December of 2007, WMEL was purchased by Divine Mercy Communications Inc, headed by CEO/Treasurer Norman Benz. This is the first station for them. John Harper moved the "Talk To Me Station" to a new dial position at WMEL-AM 1300  

WMEL Personalities


Dave Edwards-1972-1973-Mornings-WMEG, Inc. Biography
Keith Allen-1973-Program Director/Music Director/Afternoon Drive-Radio Melbourne, Inc./1975-Music Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
John Wade-1973-News Director-Radio Melbourne, Inc.



Steve Scott (Steve Church)
-1973-1975-(Founder of Telos Systems)-Radio Melbourne, Inc.   In Memory
Bill Early-1974-Program Director-Radio Melbourne, Inc./1975-Program Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
Bill Harris-1974-News Director-Radio Melbourne, Inc./1975-News Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
Jon Roberts (Apfeld)-1974-6PM-Midnight-Radio Melbourne, Inc./1975-Program Director/Chief Engineer/1988 -1993-General Manager/Chief Engineer-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. 



Frank Lasko-1975-News Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. In Memory
Paul Gardner-1977-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.



Brian Wilkes-1978-1979-News Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.

78.ShuttleDelivery Brian Wilkes.jpg (101396 bytes)Here's Brian covering the return of the Space Shuttle

 

photos courtesy of Brian Wilkes

Brian_Wilkes_1979.jpg (103619 bytes)
Brian in studio 1979



Bob Clifton (
Bob Alfano)-1979-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. Biography
Dan Fiorucci-1980-1981-News Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
Bob Garrett-1981-News Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.


Chuck Deel
-1982
-Program Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.    In Memory


Susie Fennelli-1982-1986-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.

Chuck Stone (Joseph Roy Scott)-1982-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.



Mike Murillo
-1993-Chief Engineer/2002-Marketing Director-Twin Towers Broadcasting   Biography
Nina Gold-1996-"The Golden Hour"-10AM-11AM-Tues-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Pat Vernon, Jr.-1996-co-host-"The Golden Hour"-10AM-11AM-Tues-Twin Towers Broadcasting



Bill Mick-2000-2003-6AM-9AM/2002-Program Director-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Troy Ford-2002-News Director-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Holden Kriss-2003-Shooting sports show-Saturday from 10AM-11AM-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Adam Waltemire-2003-Producer/Host of "Pop Garden Radio"-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Damon Green-2004-"Damon Green Show"-9PM-10PM-weeknights-David Ryder (Receiver)
Gerald Lostutter-2005-2008-Co-host of "Pipeline with Dave Isnardi and Gerald Lostutter"-Sundays, 7PM-9PM-Twin Towers Broadcasting

Dave Inardi-Gerald Lostutter.jpg (95553 bytes)
Dave Isnardi (left) and Gerald Lostutter in the WMEL studio

courtesy of Gerald Lostutter

Dave Isnardi-2005-2008-Co-host of "Pipeline with Dave Isnardi and Gerald Lostutter"-Sundays, 7PM-9PM-Twin Towers Broadcasting


Paul Delaney-2005-Host of "Daybreak"/News Director-Twin Towers Broadcasting Biography


Liz Litterello-2006-2008-6AM-7AM-"Daybreak with Liz Litterello" and "Coffee Talk" at 8AM Sundays-David Ryder (Receiver)


Carole Nelson-2006-David Ryder (Receiver)
Biography


Together again. 
Carole Nelson and Danny Treanor on WMEL in 2007

John Meissner-2006-Host of "Daybreak"/Board Operator-David Ryder (Receiver)


Kirk Agius-2007-"The Sports Addiction"/
Account Executive-David Ryder (Receiver)

Dave Randall-2007-Co-host "The Hustle" a local sports talk show-David Ryder (Receiver)

Jimmy Bonenberger-2007-Co-host "The Hustle" a local sports talk show-David Ryder 
Terry Henderson-2007-Co-host "The Hustle" a local sports talk show-David Ryder (Receiver) 
Jim Martin-2007-Producer of "The Hustle" a local sports talk show-David Ryder (Receiver)
Dennis Forsyth-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.


Mark Pence-Overnights/Public Service Director
        ,                     
Ed Dean and Brent Mack-produced a live, political "Weekend Show". In 1998, the show added Gerald Lostutter (aka "The Lost Man") and switched to WAMT-AM 1060


Andrea Shea King
Ed Dean-Morning Co-Host
Gerald Lostutter-Morning Co-Host  


Michelle Murillo-News Director/Anchor-now a News Anchor/Reporter for Florida's Radio Network 
Jeff Marshall-News
Mark Vance-6PM-8PM-Saturdays
"Rocking Ron" Maher   In Memory
Rob Stevens
Joe Scott
Gary Sands
Craig Benedict
Pete Kerasotis-Fridays 8:45AM-9AM                                                                                 


Kevin Baldinger
-Sports
Biography
Rob Selkow
Don Germaise-News

 

WMEL studio shot 2.jpg (38781 bytes) WMEL antenna array.jpg (48726 bytes)

Other Names in WMEL History
Jack Siegel-1973-President/General Manager/1974-President/General Manager/Chief Engineer-Radio Melbourne, Inc.
Joe Matthews-1973-Commercial Manager/Promotions Manager-Radio Melbourne, Inc.
Pat Yatauro-1973-Chief Engineer/1974-Commercial Manager-Radio Melbourne, Inc./1975-Commercial Manager-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
Charles Weiler-1974-Promotions Manager-Radio Melbourne, Inc.
Otto Schoepfle-1974-President-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. 
William Humphries-1975-General Manager-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
Paul Nakel-1974-Vice President-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
T.C. Weberling-1979-General Manager-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.



Frank Lasko--1979-News Director-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.   In Memory



Ernie Legge
-1979-Commercial Manager-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.
In Memory
Jon Roberts-1982-Chief Engineer/1990-General Manager-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co.


John Harper-1993-CEO/Chairman/General Manager/Sales Manager/Promotions Manager/Program Manager /News Director/General Sales Manager-Twin Towers Broadcasting


Vernon Harper-1993-President/Sales and Marketing Vice President Manager-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Diana Lynn-1993-Public affairs Director-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Johana Hall-2000-General Manager/Advertising Manager/Public Affairs Director-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Steve Seiler-2000-Chief Engineer-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Gary Duglin-2002-Operations Manager-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Scott Embry-2002-Developmental Director-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Nancy Gee-2002-Promotions Manager-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Ginny Baker-2002-Advertising Manager-Twin Towers Broadcasting
Tim Shoemaker-2002-Chief Engineer-Twin Towers Broadcasting 
Peter Kerasotis-2005-General Manager-David Ryder (Receiver)
Matthew Bronson-2006-General Manager-David Ryder (Receiver) 
Larry Kessler-Operations Manager                                                                               
John St. James-News Director                                                                         
Larry Weiss-Sales Manager 
Chris Lanza-Sales 

    
                                            WMEL production room


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