Who's Who at WONN

Ed'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
Dan Sanborn
Smoke House Serenade
Jim Stevenson
George Tuttle, Sr
Jacqueline Valentino
Phil Wayne
Mark Wheeler

Ed Pyle

After his Army discharge where he had done some TV work while stationed in Alaska, Ed accepted his first radio gig at Plant City’s WPLA in September 1960 – his first shift landing on the same night Hurricane Donna threatened Central Florida. After the storm, Ed settled into his regular hours playing country music from 5 to 7 AM and 5 PM to sign-off. It was a wide split shift for sure, one which would not suit everybody, but one that fit perfectly with his class schedule at the University of South Florida.

He stayed at his hometown station for two years, and then left in September 1962 for Lakeland’s WONN to do the 7 to midnight shift. A popular feature of the show was the half-hour "Smoke House Serenade" at 10:00, presented by the popular Lakeland BBQ restaurant that had sponsored the show on WONN since the early 50’s.

Ed put aside the station’s usual Top 40 format and eased the tempo down to easy listening from the likes of Sinatra, Bennett, Doris Day and Percy Faith. He included a couple live commercials (usually about his dining experience at the restaurant) and offered a free BBQ rib or chicken dinner to the listener calling in with the correct answer to the “Smoke House Quiz” question. Some nights he would be in an especially good mood and actually sing the lyrics to the Smoke House jingle over the air:

“Smoke House barbecue can’t be beat, so good, so good
Smoke House barbecue good to eat, barbecued the Smoke House way.
Try the Smoke House tonight, try the Smoke House today
Bet your money it’s the best in town, barbecued the Smoke House way.”

In the latter part of 1963 Ed moved across town to WLAK, then to Tampa in early 1965, leaving behind deejay work for news. His first stop was WFLA, then WSUN and WDAE (where he was asked to use the name Ned Pyle). In the summer of 1967 he moved to Los Angeles and joined Tijuana’s XTRA as a news anchor. After the station switched from news to music a year later, he returned to Florida for a morning news gig at WLCY. In 1969 it was back to L.A. – this time as a news anchor at the Westinghouse all-newser KFWB. He joined CBS’ KNX in 1985, starting as a general assignment reporter, and then moving to executive producer. In April 2002 he was named Director of News and Programming.

In Early 2006, after more than 45 years in the radio business, 37 of them in the Los Angeles market, Ed announced his retirement, moved back to Florida, and took up residence in Port St. Lucie.

Station History

1962 - 1963 WONN (On Air Personality)

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