WMMO-FM 98.9
Orlando

 

Original Call Letters: WEZO 

Originally Licensed: Aug 19, 1990 

Original City of License: Orlando  

Original Frequency: 98.9

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 44,000 watts

Original Location: Sun Bank Center 

Original Format: Rock/Adult Contemporary


Network Affiliation(s):


Owner(s):

1990-Radio Orlando L.P.
1992-Granum Communications ($8.15 million)
1996-Infinity Broadcasting Corp.
1996-Cox Media Group

History Of Call Letters and Formats:

WURG
-1988-Construction Permit 
WEZO-1990-Variety  (intermittently while testing the transmitter before the actual  sign-on)
WMMO-1990-Rock/Adult Contemporary   "Soft Rock & Roll 98.9"


History Of WMMO 

This history comes from someone who was a very integral part of WMMO history,
Cary Pall. From Cary's email; "...I was WMMO's founding programmer and its chief engineer/operator for its first four years of operation..." "...The station's original power output was 38,000 watts..." "...This was due to the SunBank Center's short spacing to Ft. Pierce and the 98.7 frequency there. Originally, WMMO was to be located at the Pine Hills tower site of WHTQ(-FM 96.5), but, at the last moment, then-owner of  WHTQ, John Tenaglia reneged on the deal, forcing the company to build the indoor transmitter site at SunBank Center (pictured left). WMMO was just one of only two stations in the world to have a fully enclosed transmitter site. The antenna bays were inside the pyramid pylons  on top the building".
Today WMMO runs a full 50kw atop the original WHTQ tower which is now co-owned with WMMO.
WMMO was a brand new signal in Orlando when it debuted in 1990. A sense of mystery surrounded  "Radio Orlando," as it was first called. Transmitter testing during construction required that music be played, so an engineer's boom-box was jumpered in, and curious Orlando listeners heard music of widely varying formats, including Classical, used to adjust the equipment. The FCC had already announced that the call letters of the new station would be WEZO, which led many radio "experts" to conclude that the new station would play an "elevator" music format. What was really happening was unusual among radio station start-ups. When researchers survey a market to determine what format preference is underserved, the first question is usually, "What is your favorite radio station?" When the most common answer was, "I don't have one," researchers were intrigued, and the course of the study shifted. It was learned that Orlando's rock stations were too hard, the adult-contemporary stations were too soft or pop-oriented for many listeners. Researchers were also told that DJs in Orlando were only interested in their own egos, and that no station respected the music. The list of criticisms grew to include too much repetition, lack of title, artist and other information about songs, and too much time spent on silly contests. In a bold move, the owners of Radio Orlando decided to create a station that promised to take these concerns seriously. Ordinary off-the-shelf formats were rejected, and WMMO hit the air promising no contests or ego-driven DJs. Listeners would hear the title and artist of every song announced. The library would include album tracks, and be so big that no song would be played more than once per day. Music research showed a hunger for the album-based music once played by the Progressive FM stations of the early 70s, when Carole King and Chicago shared the air with their harder-rocking contemporaries. A great body of music that had been absent from the radio for years was back when WMMO debuted on August 19, 1990. Within a few months WMMO was number 1 among adults in Orlando.


WMMO Personalities

Tom Daniels-1990-1991-Tom was the first morning personality at WMMO-Radio Orlando L.P.
Tom was also co-programmer of the morning show. Both Tom and Cary Pall were both fans of "The Buzzard" WMMS, Cleveland, which is the station Tom was hired from to do mornings in Orlando. It was his suggestion that prompted, Cary Pall, to use the call letters WMMO

Justin Taylor-1991-1992-Mornings-Radio Orlando L.P.

Suzanne Hundley-(Suzanne Michaels)-1990-1991-Original midday personality-Radio Orlando L.P.



Paul Warren
-1990-1996-Middays/Assistant Program Director/1994-Program Director-Radio Orlando L.P./Granum Communications Biography

Brian Scott-1990-1998-Overnights (M-F)/Saturdays 5AM-1PM-Radio Orlando L.P./Granum Communications




John Summers-1990-1993-3PM-7PM-Radio Orlando L.P./Granum Communications

Lisa Miller-1990-1994-8PM-Midnight/Music Director/3PM-7PM-Radio Orlando L.P./Granum Communications



Paul Resnik
-1990-1994-WMMO's Original Overnight Host/Morning Drive-Radio Orlando L.P./Granum Communications  In Memory



Gary Van Allen (Gary Warne)-1990-Creative Advertising Manager/Air Talent-Radio Orlando L.P.



Jerry Steffen-1990-2008-Radio Orlando L.P./Granum Communications/Infinity Broadcasting Corp./Cox Broadcasting Biography

Jerry was let go after 18 years in 2008

Maria Morgan-1994-1995-7PM-Midnight-Granum Communications



Bill Gable-1994-1999-
<Mornings-Granum Communications


Jay Francisco-1994-2008
-7PM-midnight then 9PM to 5AM-Granum Communications/Infinity Broadcasting Corp./Cox Broadcasting
Jay was let go after 14 years in 2008
2011-Jay returns to WMMO-
Cox Broadcasting



Carren Sheldon-1996-News Director/Morning Show co-host-Cox Broadcasting



Fleetwood Gruver-Program Director/1996-Operations Manager-Cox Broadcasting




Al Spry-1998-2003-Weekends/Fill-in/Promotions Assistant-Cox Broadcasting   Biography



Shawn Burke-1999-2011-5AM-10AM
-Cox Broadcasting 
9-12-11-After 12 years Shawn is let go.



Elise Rossi-Mid-days/2011-2013-Mornings-Cox Broadcasting 
Elise was let go in Aug of 2013



Hildi-2011-Assistant Program Director/Music Director/3PM-8PM/2012-Program Director-Cox Broadcasting



Denise Ryan-2013
-Weekdays 7PM-Midnight, Sat-5AM-Noon, Sun-Noon-5PM-
Cox Media Group



Billy Brown-2013
-Mornings-Cox Media Group

Beth Perrell-Public Affairs Producer



Jessie Scott-Music Director



Deborah Roberts
-News Anchor-5AM-10AM

Andrea Lively-Morning News Anchor/News Director




Annie Sommers
(Mari Ann Sollom)-1997-1999-Assistant Program Director/Midday's/Music Director-Cox Broadcasting  
                                
In Memory



Jim Grant-Weekends/Traffic/
Weeknights-8PM-11PM



Kevin Baldinger-Traffic
Biography

Justin Taylor

Winifred King



Warren Lee-Overnights 11PM-5AM


Other Names in WMMO History

James E.  Martin, Jr.-1990-Managing Partner



Cary Pall
-1990-1994
-Founding Programmer/Chief Engineer/Operator Biography 



Tanya Heath
-1994-Sales-Granum Communications



Debbie Morel-1996
-Vice President/General Manager-Cox Broadcasting



Pete DeSimone-1998-2007-General Sales Manager-Cox Broadcasting
Shane Reeve-2006-2008-Sales Manager-Cox Broadcasting



Susan Larkin-2006
-Vice President/General Manager/2010-Vice President/Market Manager for Cox's 6 station cluster



Laura Lee-2008-
Account Manager-Cox Media Group


Heather Stricker-2013-
General Sales Manager
-Cox Media Group


Bob Poe
-General Manager-Cox Broadcasting
Tim Robisch-General Sales Manager-Cox Broadcasting


Steve Fluker
-Chief Engineer
Chris Ganoudis-General Sales Manager-Cox Broadcasting

Wes Halliwell-Promotions Director-Cox Broadcasting

“KShay” (Kirsten Benfield)-Marketing & Promotions Coordinator-Cox Broadcasting

“ZIM” (Jason Zimmermann)
-Promotions-Cox Broadcasting

“The Breeze” (Jerrica Schwartz)-Promotions-Cox Broadcasting

“Molls” (Molly Hall)-Promotions-Cox Broadcasting 
Winston-Promotions-Cox Broadcasting
Jill Weinberger-Web Producer-Cox Broadcasting
Jim Stout-Promotion Director 

Photos courtesy of Jerry Steffen
click photos for full sized view

Elise Rossi-WMMO-2008.jpg (121346 bytes)

June 2004 Bobby Mitchell K92 Jerry Steffen WMMO Levi 'Surf Cruiser' May WDBO  Jay Francisco WMMO..jpg (100916 bytes)

Elise Rossi

L-R Bobby Mitchell (K92), JerryLevi May (WDBO
and Jay Francisco   

WMMO staff-2005-Elise Rossi-mid-days,Deborah Roberts-news,Shawn Burke-mornings, Jay Francisco-evenings, Jerry Steffen-afternoons, Fleetwood Gruver-programming.jpg (110540 bytes)
WMMO Staff 2005
Elise Rossi, Deborah Roberts
Shawn Burke, Jay Francisco, Jerry Steffen and Fleetwood Gruver


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