Denise Gainer   Biography

WHOO-AM  WMFE    WKIS    Florida Radio Network

I went to FTU (UCF) with Buddy PittmanScott Harris and several others who landed in the Orlando Broadcast Market upon graduation (1974). I started at Orange Cablevision, doing production and then when Helen Pekin stopped doing "Speakin' with Pekin", a local entertainment, community affairs show, I took over the "hostess" role, different show name that I no longer remember. I do remember two great shows one with Chubby Checker and the other a media retro-look with guests Doris Ashwell and Carole Nelson! Anyway, my "covering" Orlando City Council meetings with Orange Cablevision (when Carl Langford was Mayor) led to my working as a reporter at WHOO-AM 990Adrian Charles was News Director and he and Henry Johns "trained" me. Oh, yeah, Rod Hemphill, from WKIS-AM 740 was also a mentor!  Bill Bauman was News Director at WLOF(-AM 950)Wayne Trout, N(ews) D(irector) at WDBO(-AM 580) and Jim Philips took over from Rod as, ND at WKIS, when Rod went to the Farm Bureau. And, when Adrian left WHOO, I became News Director at WHOO.  Was a GREAT time, lots of good natured competition, sometimes long hours, but always fun! The daily outside news gathering routine started in the old Courthouse Pressroom with gossip and laughter, then our individual beats; back to the pressroom, file stories and bytes. And if we went "live" on the phone elsewhere, our portable phones were the size of a shoebox and as heavy as a bowling ball!  I usually worked afternoon and evening drive on air. Occasionally, however, Mike Burger and I would work early AM and growl through the mornings, drinking our coffee and then "SMILE" to our listeners when the mike was on! Also on the news team was Alan Spector and Paul Williamson. Great Guys! Max Rein came in as Station Manager (1979) and I went out pregnant --- now that didn't sound right!  I left and took a couple years off because baby number one was a darling little boy that simply required my attention!  But since he also required food and we were living in East Orlando, I applied for a radio news job at WMFE and got it. Did "Evening Edition" Anchor and reporter duty for some time and then covering some event, ran into Bob Poe (WKIS) where I soon found myself working, again with reporter, editor, and anchor duties until child number two decided to come early, much to Jim Philips' chagrin. I was ordered bed-stay immediately, just a few days before BIG election coverage (1982) --- "Sorry, Jim"--but, she turned out to be a smart, blonde, blue-eyed beauty! More time off and when I did come back it was with Florida Radio Network, and Larry Spilman, Dick Sollom, Alan McBride, Reagan Smith and in time, there was another election and I managed to get incoming Orange County Sheriff Walt Gallagher on the air first in exclusive coverage. Next thing, I know, I'm asked to be a PIO (Public Information Officer).  And that meant an end to a daily broadcast career. Solace was found in a sizable increase in salary. Then and now, I'm relegated to an occasional sound-byte or commercial or guest appearance. And guest appearance is how I met (at long last) Bob Andrews, at WLBE in Leesburg. Up until I left Florida (for two years) in 2006, I was a regular guest (as Public Education Specialist for the Lake County Department of Environmental Services) on Teresa Watkins' "In My Backyard" Radio Show. My passion is Earth Care and Communication my skill, so now I do marketing for one group of clients and Lifestyle Coaching for those wanting a simpler, eco-friendly lifestyle. I may not be on the airwaves much these days, but I am still "talking" for a living!            



Denise Interviews Redd Foxx at Orlando's "Stars Hall of Fame" in 1979 

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