Raised in the Cincinnati area, John Rutledge got his start in the entertainment business as a cast member of Harry Blackstone, Sr’s magic show while still in high school. After graduation he entered the military and served in the Navy during World War II aboard the USS Saugus. After the war he attended Evansville College in Evansville, IN and later became sales manager for WVJS in Owensboro, KY.
In 1958 John joined Bluegrass Broadcasting to manage Orlando twins WHOO AM & FM, and sister station WFFG in Marathon. In 1965, he surprised everyone when he and a business associate bought WLOF, sparking one of the fiercest radio rivalries ever in central Florida. He also put Winter Park’s WLOF-FM 103.1 (which later became WLOQ-FM) on the air in 1966. In the early 1970’s, he sold his interest in the Orlando stations to buy into the Tampa Bay (WQXM-FM), Miami, and Louisville (WQHI-FM) markets.
John continued to reside in Orlando until 1986. After moving to the Ocala area, he became a consultant for Asterisk Communications’ Ocala/Gainesville cluster (WTRS, WMFQ, WBXY, and WXJZ). He was 80 when he passed away in January 2005.
1972 - 1978 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Management)