Like the Ted Baxter character on the old Mary Tyler Moore TV show, John Rowe’s career “started at a small thousand watt station…” The first time he got behind a microphone was in the summer of 1983 on KSAU-FM, the campus station at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He managed to land four air shifts a week, as opposed to only one or two, because they were the shifts that played classic MOR, music no one else wanted to play.
In September 1983 John got a paying job at KTBS-FM, the only Top 40 outlet in Nacogdoches, and its sister station KSFA-AM. In January 1985 he became PD at KTBC and remained there until March of 1986 when he left to take a similar post at KBST-AM in Big Spring, Texas. He says he was there for a truly unspectacular three months and that he was actually glad to be fired. Later that year, he moved to Florida.
After a two-year hiatus from radio, John joined WPAS in Zephyrhills in the summer of 1988 on a part-time basis. When full-time mid-day host Jane Friend was hired away by Plant City’s WPLA, he assumed her shift and then switched to mornings and became PD when Big Z Broadcasting acquired the station from Wister Communications.
From 1988 to 1990 John worked for WPAS in the morning and then part-time for Metro Traffic in the afternoons doing reports on several stations around Tampa Bay. In the summer of 1990, Chuck Faber hired him to work the sign-off shift at WLFF-AM 860. For awhile he signed on WPAS in the morning, did afternoon traffic for Metro, and then in the evening drove to the Koger Center in St. Pete to sign off WLFF.
John left the Zephyrhills station in 1990 and joined Bob Barnes full-time at Metro Traffic, remaining there until 2003 (although it became a part time position in 1995). During this period he was the weekend TV traffic reporter for Fox 13 WTVT (trading jokes on-air with anchor/host Bill Murphy), WFLA Channel 8 and Bay News 9. His last shift as a deejay was one night in 1992 when he played jazz on “The Wave” just-for-the-fun-of-it.
Since 1995 John has been studio director and voice talent for an on-hold company in Oldsmar. And he admits that every once in a while he still gets the itch to play deejay at some small town mom and pop station. Do they still exist anymore?!?!
1988 - 1990 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1988 - 1990 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Program Director)
1990 - 2003 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Traffic Reporter)