Who's Who at WLAK

George's Co-Workers

Bert Arnold
Garland Burt
J.C. Davis
Grand Ole Opry
Charlotte Humphries
Bill Lee
Tal Murray
Jean Parrish
Earl Rahrer
Phyllis Roddenberry
D. A. Thomas
Uncle Bob & the Funnies
S.O. Ward
Mary Whistle

George Friend

 Polk County native “Your friend, George Friend” is remembered as the announcer who conducted the “Man On the Street” interviews for Lakeland NBC affiliate WLAK in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. In 1951, he joined Plant City’s WPLA as general manager and went on to become co-owner. During his years there, he also held a financial interest in Lake Wales radio station WIPC.

On Wednesday nights, it wasn’t unusual to see the avid ham radio operator (W4MTU) in his office, pecking away at his typewriter, writing commercials and recording them for the upcoming weekend. WPLA was a daytimer back then and, after sign-off, the control room doubled as a production room. He did remotes for area businesses, too, events like the annual new car show downtown each September when the new models rolled out and, at election time, the live political rally broadcast from Alderman’s Ford.

George suffered a heart attack and passed away in the summer of 1968.

Station History

1947 - 1951 WLAK (On Air Personality)

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