Ted Covington was one of the three original owners of Lakeland’s WONN when the station signed on the air in 1949 and served as its vice-president and program director. The other two in the partnership were Duane F. McConnell and Robert S. Taylor.
Ted’s introduction to radio came in June 1940 when he was offered the sign-on shift at the University of Florida’s WRUF. Another of his duties was doing color commentary for the Gator football broadcasts with play-by-play announcer Otis Boggs. The pairing turned out to be a successful match-up because he and Otis went on to do the games for almost four decades over the college’s network of stations around the state.
With the onset of World War II, Ted left his studies and radio work behind and entered the service, but returned in 1945 after the war had drawn to a close. By 1947-48 while working at Orlando’s WHOO, he entered into a partnership with McConnell and Taylor to put WONN on the air. Normally it takes a certain amount of time for the usual FCC paperwork to go through but their application took almost two years for approval because of several challenges to the license. However, the three won out in the end and WONN went on the air in 1949.
When the partnership sold the station in 1957, Ted took a position with WGTO at Cypress Gardens while studying for what would become a successful career change to the insurance business. He made his home in Lakeland but kept his hand in broadcasting with the Gator games and as the radio/TV spokeman for Badcock Furniture stores in the late 70's and 80's.
Edmund D. 'Ted' Covington passed away January 25, 2017 at the age of 96.
1949 - 1957 WONN (Management)