Tom Anthony  Biography


Tom started in the Radio business while attending Winter Haven High School in 1974, trying hard to mask his thick New York City accent on the very country WBAR-AM 1460 in Bartow. During the next few years Tom worked as a personality on many Polk county stations including WZNG-AM 1360, Winter Haven, WSIR-AM 1490, Winter Haven, WGTO-AM 540, Cypress Gardens, and WIPC-AM 1280, Lake Wales. In 1976 Anthony took a job at WHAN-AM 930 in Haines City. Mainly a two person staff, Polk County Radio veteran Dave Efurd and Anthony usually split the day sometimes with owners Ed and Betty Shadburne of Louisville KY. WHAN was block format local radio. Playing AC music in the morning show, switching gears to a live “buy sell trade” call–in show and finishing the morning with “The Swinging Years” a syndicated big band music program. Anthony worked at the station until 1979 when David King & Robert (Bob) Yesbek purchased the station and changed the format and call letters to WFXI. In 1979 Tom landed the gig doing News at  WQPD-AM 1430 in Lakeland. Actually Anthony considered himself less of a journalist and more of a “Straight Man” to a succession of morning show hosts. His worst memory of the time is the day his morning show partner tragically committed suicide. Anthony and then WQPD Program Director John Jenkins discovered the body of air personality Roscoe P. Goodtyme (Paul Gilmore) at his apartment after he failed to show up for the morning show on the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 28, 1980. Anthony’s best memory was a new on-air partnership with Station Manager Jay Kuppers. Until June 4, 1982 (We found the air check) Tom and Jay provided old fashioned local home-spun humor in a radio world that was moving in a different direction. Tom took a break from Polk County Radio In 1982 and moved to Tampa Market, writing and producing the “Higby-Miller Report” morning news show on WWBA in Saint Petersburg. In 1983 he moved to WLCY/WRBQ in Tampa, as a staff reporter and weekend news anchor. Returning to Polk County, Anthony again took a position with WQPD during its transition to new owners and new call letters. WQPD switched formats from CHR to AC in April 1983 and changed Call letters to WLKF. Tom was news director during that time. From 1984-1986 Tom worked with owners Tom and Sue Thornburg at WWBF-AM 1130 in Bartow. Tom enjoyed his years in Bartow, but eventually moved back to Lakeland and also briefly returned to the old WQPD - WLKF studios – this time as overnight announcer and production director for WVFM-FM 94.1. Anthony moved to Long Island New York where he managed a night club between 1988 and 1992. Returning to Radio as a copy writer and eventually as production director at WMJC/WGSM Huntington, New York Tom won a BOLI (Best on Long Island) advertising award and was featured on the nationally distributed RAB great ideas reel radio commercials. Tom also won the Arbitron Great Radio Promotion award as part of the 1993 Mercury Awards. In 1993 Tom moved to Norfolk, Virginia as production director for WFOG. In 1996 Tom retired from Radio and opened a web development business. He is married, with one child and now lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


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