Here’s a story of someone who loved music, always wanted to be in radio, and found a way to put them together. As a teenager, Dave Day loved music and learned to play the guitar and drums. Not surprising, he was also in the school band (he says for an easy grade) but ended up playing clarinet because they had too many drummers already.
In 1973 Dave got his third class license and began working weekends at WHAN in Haines City with Polk County radio veteran Paul Hershey. The boss soon put him on the payroll full time and had him doing mornings from sign on until noon. High school buddy Dick Dermid, who had earlier worked along side him behind the grill at the old Burger Queen on Havendale Boulevard, held down the other half of the broadcast day - from noon until sign off. Like most young people just getting started in the business, they both hung around the station all day and did whatever was needed in addition to their air shift and production, even mowing the grass.
By 1975 Dave also had a part-time job at Winter Haven’s WSIR running the board for weekend Boston Red Sox games, and, on occasion, Night Talk, hosted by Harry Cupp and Randy Jeffrey. At night, he was spinning records at the Circus World Lounge and the Cypress Gardens ABC.
When WHAN was sold in the late 1970’s, Dave took a job at Greenleaf Golf Resort. That lasted about six minutes (he says) after a friend told him about an opening at WONN. He checked it out and was hired on the spot by Program Director George McGovern in March of 1978. Three years later, when McGovern left, he was appointed to take over as PD.
In 1985, WONN’s programming switched to The Music of Your Life and Dave turned over the Program Director’s reigns to Steve Howard and accepted an on-air position at country sister station WPCV, where he worked the night shift, and later overnights, and in promotions.
Dave retired from radio in 2018, saying he’s ridden circus elephants, flown in Lear jets and hot air balloons, dropped the puck at a hockey match, and was even a backstage announcer alongside TV’s Bob Barker for the Miss USA Contest in 1985. Although he hasn’t gotten rich in the radio business, he is quick to point out that he definitely had a good time!
1973 - 1978 Other Polk County Stations (On Air Personality)