Jack Swift’s first Tampa Bay radio job was as chief announcer for St. Pete Mutual affiliate WTSP in the early 1940’s. After graduating from the University of Florida he moved to Pittsburg where he spent ten years as chief news editor for KDKA. During his time there, he also taught radio news writing for three years at the University of Pittsburg.
Once World War II broke out, he left to serve two years in the Navy, assigned to the radio division of the public relations department. When the war ended, he returned to Pittsburg and resumed his position at KDKA.
In 1953, Jack moved back to St. Petersburg and joined WSUN and its new sister station, WSUN-TV Channel 38, which signed on the air that year. In addition to being heard on the radio, he was seen on TV in commercials and as host of numerous local programs, including “Mystery Theater,” “Moonlight Playhouse,” and a variety show called “Jack Swift Presents.” He also reported the ball scores and was a commentator on Sunday night’s “Newscope.”
His early work included network pickups for numerous national events, many heard locally on Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA. He covered the famed “baseball strike” by the Pittsburg Pirates at Forbes Field for NBC’s H.V. Kaltenborn, and once interviewed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had just returned from Europe and V.E. Day to his hometown in Abilene, KS.
Efforts to track Jack’s career after he left WSUN in the late 50’s have been unsuccessful.
1941 - 1941 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1953 - 1956 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)