Jim Brand   Biography


James Maitland Brand II better known as Jim Brand or JB,  started his radio career when he was in college, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Jim came to Florida in March, 1970. A close friend bought WDVH-AM 980 in Gainesville. JB orchestrated the change from top 40 to country. As a result the station had billing and rating increases for thirteen consecutive years. He stressed staff involvement in the community through his own actions, and supervised a staff of six on-air Djs and a news department of seven. He implemented the change to Big Band/Nostalgia on WLUS-AM 980 in 1986 at the direction of station owner/manager Larry Edwards. He prepared the station for sale in 1988 and was retained by the new owners as Program Director and on air talent. WDVH-AM 980 Gainesville, joined with WDJY-FM 101.7, Trenton now known as WDVH-FM 101.7. Following ownership and management changes, under Bill Morris, JB, stayed with WDVH for nearly 42 years until his retirement in 2012, due to failing health. There were two brief stints where he left Gainesville for Tampa. During his tenure with WDVH owner, Pamal Broadcasting, Jim commuted between Gainesville and WRZN-AM 720 in Hernando for three and a half years. He returned to WDVH in 2003. Over the years, one of his creations, WDVH "Swap Shop" had grown from a fifteen minute program to a four hour Saturday show and starting October 3, 2011, a 2 hour a day weekly show under the new owners, Marc Radio. Once Swap Shop began in 1971, Jim had answered over a half-million calls. Jim brought a wealth of information of N. Central Florida to a daily conversation show: news, ideas, views and information. A bright bouncy sound coming over the air waves of WDVH made listeners and advertisers alike recognize Jim Brand. Jimmy's day just began with his regular air shift. It may have ended over a conference table, in the production room at 2AM, or with the conclusion of a special WDVH promotion. It's hard to determine Jim's greatest attribute, but one that's not to be overlooked is the enthusiasm and drive that radiated from a bubbling personality. He had his own technique for instilling the same drive into his staff. Next to the transmitter, Jim Brand was WDVH's most important property. His humanity, integrity and compassion touched so many people's lives in such a positive way. Walter Lippmann said "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on." He will live in our hearts and minds forever. When you lived the life he lived, you'll leave a legacy. His awards and community service include Master of Ceremonies at Police Country Music Shows; Fraternal Order of Police Associates (Twice President 1984-1985); Eastside High School Advisory Board (1981-1984): Archer Community School-Master of Ceremonies at every event held at the school for ten years (1977-1987); Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Exalted Ruler 1983-1984 and 1986-1987; M.C. Univ. of FL Gator Growl-1980-1981-1982-1983; Moderator at Town Meetings for Congressman Buddy McKay (1985-1986); M.C. at Newberry Watermelon Festival (1970's and 1980's); Chief Judge, Florida Watermelon Assoc. Queen Contest (Clearwater, FL - 1985); Judge-Miss Alachua County Beauty Pageant-1985; M.C. at Newberry Miss America Preliminary Pageant (1982-1986); Chamber of Commerce's LEADERSHIP GAINESVILLE-Guest Speaker on media-1986; M.C.-Alachua County Sheriff's Small Fry Fishing Tournament (1984-1987); Grand Marshall Hawthorne, FL Christmas Parade; Alachua Co, School Board Annual Spelling Bee (pronouncer 13 years); Master of Ceremonies at 12 consecutive Eagle Scout Courts of Honor; Guest Speaker at Gainesville Boy Scout Council Annual Meeting (1984); Guest speaker at University of Florida College of Journalism 1982-1984-1986; Alachua County School Board-Pronouncer at City Wide Spelling Bee; Heart Assn.-M.C. at Heart Fund Ball-1984; Eloise Henderson Tribute-M.C. -1988; Farm Home Administration-Narrator for annual Meetings (1982-1985); Alachua County Adult Education Program-narrator of slide presentation; Public Television (Channel 5) Established and then broke all fund raising records for WUFT (1978-1983); Member, UF Touchdown Club; UF O'Connell Country Music Shows, M.C.: Hank Williams (2 times), Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis (2times), Brenda Lee, Barbara Mandrell, Alabama (3 times), Waylon Jennings, Jerry Clower (2 times), Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn; Official Voter Registrar-Alachua County, Moderator at Candidates Forum in Micanopy-1986; Moderator at Candidates Forum in Archer - 1986; Galloneer at Civitan Blood Center; City of Gainesville-Played Santa calling from the North Pole - (1983-1987); WLUS Dances, M.C. 1986-1987; Elk of the Year Award 2001-2002; Served on the House Committee and Trustee Committee for the Elks Lodge #990; Auditor to the District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, Fla. N.E. District 2005-2006; Exalted Ruler's Award-Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 2007-2008; State Chairman of the New Lodges Committee for the State Elks Assn. 2011/12; Coach of the Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 ritual team; N.E. District ritual contest coach winner (1st place) 2011-2012; State ritual contest coach winner (2nd place) 2012; Selected candidate for the Elks State Vice-President for the N.E. District of the Florida State Elks Association 2012.

Another Legend Passes     11-3-12
Jim Brand with over forty years in the Gainesville market died today. Williams Thomas Funeral Home will be handling arrangements. 
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