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John W. Gilman

John was born in Ft. Madison, Iowa and moved to Lake Wales while still in his teens. Following graduation from Lake Wales High School, he attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and Georgia Tech in Atlanta before beginning a radio career in sales at WIPC in Lake Wales where he was named Sales Manager in 1959.  He moved to Lakeland and joined WONN in 1962, was appointed Sales Manager a year later, and became co-owner and vice-president in 1965.

When WONN was sold in 1971 to NBC sports personality Joe Garagiola, John stayed with the station as General Manager and, in 1973, put WPCV-FM on the air in Winter Haven. In 1974 he left the area to manage WMMB-AM & WYRL-FM in Melbourne but returned a few years later to become Advertising Director for all divisions of the Lakeland Ledger before establishing his own real estate firm in 1982.

John passed away in Lake Wales on October 14, 2012 from heart failure at the age of 79.

Station History

1951 - 1962 Other Polk County Stations (Sales)

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