Ronny started his radio career in Auburndale at WTWB soon after the station came on the air in 1956. He wasn’t even old enough to drive yet and had to have his mom drop him off each day – quite a feat considering he lived in Bartow and attended high school there every day. He thought it was worth the effort though. Management gave him the last half-hour of the broadcast day on the air plus some other jobs around the station, too, like taking out and burning the trash every day and mopping and waxing the floors each month.
In addition to his live late afternoon show, Ronny was eventually given a daily 15-minute pre-recorded (because he was in school) show of top hits which ran in the noon hour from 12:15 to 12:30 PM. His late afternoon show expanded to start at the earlier time of 3:30 (“Ronny Brown’s Platter Party”) but was dropped when WTWB added more religious programming, forcing him to find other work time at WINT in Winter Haven.
In 1960, Ronny moved to Madison’s WMAF in north Florida to do combo work in sales and announcing. He was promoted to general manager in 1962 and continued in that position until 1965 when the owner, Norman Protsman of Suwanee Broadcasting, bought Winter Haven’s WINT and made him general manager there and a minor partner overseeing another company acquisition, WDCF-AM in Dade City.
Ronny left radio in 1970 and took a position as general manager of a cable TV operation in Port Charlotte. But after two and a half years there, he really missed his radio roots and left for a sales management job at WCCF AM/FM in Punta Gorda where he also hosted a call-in talk show for a few years.
In 1978 Ronny was offered television sales at WINK-TV, the Ft. Myers CBS affiliate, that turned out to be quite lucrative and he spent ten years there. He left in 1988 for the general sales manager position the Cape Coral Fox affiliate, WFTX-TV, but had to wait out a nearly one-year WINK non-compete clause. During that time he helped out some friends in Port Charlotte radio until he was able to take on the GSM job in early 1989.
Those years turned out to be the most successful and productive years of Ronny’s career. But as most good things seem to do, his almost twenty-five years in Ft. Myers area TV came to an end when WFTX was sold and the new company bought out his contract and brought in its own upper management team. At that point, he contracted out for a year and a half and set up from scratch a sales department for the Naples UPN affiliate.
In 2002 Ronny returned to radio and since then has been director of sales for Heartland Broadcasting which owns two FM stations, The Bull WZZS, covering Hardee, Highlands, and DeSoto counties, and La Zeta WZSP, a full-time Spanish language station covering Sarasota, Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto, and Charlotte counties.
1956 - 1961 Other Polk County Stations (On Air Personality)
1965 - 1970 Other Polk County Stations (Management)