Who's Who at WONN

Mark's Co-Workers

Willie Anderson, Sr.
Rev. James Berry
Ed Cain
Bert Christopher
Bob Crews
Tom Dell
Larry DeVore
Al Dohany
Jack Eilertsen
Howard Ellis
Florida Citrus Mutual Calling
John Gilman
Rich Halten
Mike Helminski
Alex Houston
Bob Jones
Ernie Legge
Jim Maloy
Duane McConnell
Yvonne McDaniel
June Pastore
Buddy Penn
Jonnie Pinkston
Ed Pyle
Dan Sanborn
Smoke House Serenade
Jim Stevenson
George Tuttle, Sr
Jacqueline Valentino
Phil Wayne

Mark Wheeler

Mark got his start in radio at the age of 14 at a station in Rock City, South Carolina. Moving to Florida in the late 1950's, he landed a job as Program Director at Lakeland’s Top 40 WYSE. In the summer of 1962 he joined the staff of the market’s #1 station, WONN, as Program Director and mid-morning air personality.

In the spring of 1963, Mark unexpectedly announced that he was leaving to return to WYSE where the plan was to transform the Top 40 daytimer into a personality-oriented middle-of-the-road operation complete with new call letters, WWAB. The shocker though was that he was taking with him popular morning man and sales rep Buddy Penn and Sales Manager Tom Dell, two long-time WONN employees. Everything went as planned except that they could not know that WYSE’s (now WWAB’s) owners would sell the station within two years. When new management took over, they scrapped the MOR format almost immediately, eventually settling on country music.

In 1965, Mark moved to WINQ in Tampa, and later became Operations Director for Tampa Bay’s WLCY. An extraordinary talent and extremely smooth on the air, he was  a creative genius when it came to commercial production, so it came as no surprise that, in the early 1970’s, Mark opened Wheeler Productions in St. Petersburg. He also syndicated to other radio markets his “Kidz Kuts” package of voiced one-liners recorded years earlier by his own kids when they were pre-schoolers.

Mark continued to head up Wheeler Productions and make St. Petersburg his home through the decades of the 80’s and 90’s. He died in 2001 following a massive heart attack leaving behind four children - Tanya, Mark, Jr., Todd and Vince.

Station History

1962 - 1963 WONN (On Air Personality)
1962 - 1963 WONN (Program Director)

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