K.P. Manning  Biography

K.P. got into CB radio, which was "the thing" in the late '60s and early '70s, and he knew then that he wanted to be a Disc Jockey like the ones he heard in New York City . When he was 12, he hung out at the Fire Dept. in West Hempstead , NY in Nassau County . He had a fire and police radio and would ride his bike and usually be on scene before the officials got there. He was always interested in what was going on in the community and this lead him into Radio and Television as a career. At the age of 13, K.P. began his radio career doing traffic reports for WGBB in Freeport , N.Y. , on Long Island , and then at 14 he became a weekend DJ there. At the age of 16, K.P. moved from West Hempstead , New York to Ormond Beach , FL. and started working at WDAT-AM 1380 weekends, while he was a junior at Seabreeze High School.  At WDAT, he worked with Gabe Burton, Frank Reed, "The Janitor", and other Central Florida names. "Going to Seabreeze High School and being a disc jockey was cool", as he remembers. After WDAT, K.P. went to WROD-AM 1340 in Daytona Beach for a short stint, in ’75 to ’76. As we all move in radio, K.P. was hired by a local radio legend Jim King, (The Kingbird), now at WKRO-FM 93.1 doing mornings, when Kingbird was Program Director at WELE-AM 1380 and WELE-FM 105.9 in 1976. K.P. was moved from the AM to the FM side for a larger audience, still part time, because he was attending the University of Central Florida. In February of 1979, K.P. was hired at WTRR-AM 1400 in Sanford as the Program Director and afternoon drive personality. As P.D. he changed the format from MOR to Country. Keep in mind he was still full time at UCF, working at the TV department in school. Talk about burning the candle at both ends! K.P. also produced, directed, shot, wrote, edited, and read the Crimewatch TV spots being produced at UCF in 1978-79 with Orlando Police Department Officer Jim Bishop. He also directed  the cable TV show "Quest" seen on campus and Orlando cable as well. Marla Weech was a co-host on the show before she started at WFTV, Channel 9, now at CFNews13. After graduation from UCF with a B.A. Degree in Radio, Television, and Advertising in 1979, he was hired full time at WELE-FM 105.9 and did the 7PM-Midnight shift, where during one rating period he had a 50%+ share of the audience at night. After his Dad died that year, he moved back to Ormond Beach to be with his mother to comfort and live with her to help her through her rough times. His Mom passed one day shy of her 81st Birthday in 2002 the same day of his son’s graduation. A bittersweet day for family and many friends to say the least. He left WELE-FM and was hired by Dave Laing, at WNDB 1150 AM working the 6p-Midnight slot, from 1980 until 1982. "I remember doing those traffic reports almost daily for WNDB, flying in a two-seater Grumman American 1000, which was great! He was concurrently worked at WWLV-FM 94.5 when they were "beautiful music". In fact, they ran a program called "Symphony Hall" from 8pm until 10pm that he had to tape and edit. It was all automated and right across the room from WNDB's studios, so you could keep an eye on the tapes, (which were on) 4 reel to reel and cart carousel automation. K.P. went back to WELE-FM in 1982, and that same year quit radio to enter teaching for Volusia County Schools where he taught Journalism and Speech for a bit over a year. K.P. married Christine in 1984 and bought a laundry and linen service they ran for 9 years. He owned an independent television news service, working part and full time from 1985 till 2002, which served the Orlando and Jacksonville markets as well as selling to National networks. The radio bug bit him once again in 2002. He joined WFBO-LP 93.3, Flagler Beach/Palm Coast. K.P. was the General Manager/Program Director/Production Director and Morning Air Talent until he decided to leave in July 2007. He was added to the WELE-AM-1380 staff as Program Director/Systems Manager as of January 2009 only to resign less than a month seeing the station was not going anywhere. K.P. has two children, Clinton , 25 who served in the U.S. Army as a Sgt. and intelligence analyst. He was named Soldier of the Year 2009 for his Battalion while in Iraq . Clinton is presently living in our nation’s capitol and attends George Washington University . Daughter Leeza, 23,  is studying at the University of Phoenix to become involved in the Mortuary Sciences, as well as a 'huge' Barbra Streisand fan. Leeza says, “People who embalm people are the luckiest people in the world”. Wonder if she gets that sense of humor from K.P.? 

K.P. Manning Passes      1-6-14
It's with sadness that we report the passing of KP Manning. Ken, as I knew him, was a talented guy with a wild sense of humor and loving dad to two youngsters he was so proud of. Our condolences go to his family and friends. We'll have more as it becomes available.

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