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Bob Kelly

When Bob moved to Polk County in 1971 with his wife Eleanor and the kids, his first job was Station Manager of WGTO at Cypress Gardens. In 1973 Hugh Holder, who had bought the former WLAK two years earlier and changed it to Top 40, hired him as General Manager of WQPD. Bob stayed with Holder as GM until 1978 when he and a group of local investors bought the station. The group later sold WQPD to Root Communications of Daytona Beach in 1983.

During his years in Lakeland Bob was also known as the voice of the Florida Southern College Moccasins for his work as the school’s basketball play-by-play announcer. In his earlier years, he had handled basketball play-by-play for Loyola University for two years (1963-1964).

Before becoming an executive, Bob had held down disc jockey jobs in Boston, New Orleans, Roanoke, Portland (Maine), Shreveport and Knoxville to name a few. He was also involved in many local organizations including Big Brothers of Polk County, an organization he served as President.

Bob went on to form Kelly Communications and made his headquarters in Peoria, Illinois where he owned and operated WPMJ-FM 94.3 and WOAM AM-1350. In October 2008 he closed down both stations and put the blame on the economy. Both outlets had been on the block for several years but, according to Kelly, no deals could be made because would-be buyers weren’t able to get the necessary credit.

Station History

1971 - 1973 WGTO-AM 540 - Haines City (Management)

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