Charles Hasbrouck began his radio career working part-time for three separate radio stations at once in 1969, Lakeland’s beautiful music WVFM, Plant City’s WPLA, and WUSF at the University of South Florida in Tampa, all while still a student at the college. After adjusting his class schedule to enable him to work additional hours at the Plant City station, he dropped WVFM and WUSF and eventually went full time with WPLA using the on-air name Dave Ralston.
For a six-month period in 1971, he left WPLA to become program director for Lakeland’s new WQPD, but returned to his Plant City post for three more years before jumping to mornings at Tampa’s WQYK. In 1975, he began doing mornings at Lakeland’s WONN, owned at that time by NBC Sports personality Joe Garagiola.
In 1977, it was rumored that Cypress Gardens’ 50,000-watt WGTO was going to flip to a country music format and Charles was approached to do mornings and be the music director, but they also wanted him to change his on-air name from “Dave Ralston” to “Dave Campbell” because they thought it sounded more country. He agreed, and that name change would remain with him for the rest of his radio career.
When Hubbard Broadcasting, WGTO’s owner, announced in 1986 that they were selling the station and that the country music format was being dumped for religious programming, he started looking around to see if there were openings at any other area stations. As luck would have it, he landed mid-days back at WVFM, the Lakeland station where he had started his radio career almost 20 years earlier. After almost two years there, he returned to WPLA in 1988 and became an original on-air sports/talk host in 1990 when the station flipped to Sportsradio 910 WFNS, Tampa Bay’s first all-sports station. Four years later, he joined Lakeland’s Talk 1430 WLKF part-time as a talk-show host, then left the radio business altogether in 1996.
From 1994 until 2000, Charles worked for the USPS until having to take a medical retirement. He decided to return to school in 2004 and was admitted to the M.A. (Communications) at the University of Central Florida where he was awarded a degree in 2008. For the Fall 2008 semester, he was hired to teach one section of An Introduction to Public Speaking for Pasco-Hernando Community College (now Pasco-Hernando State College) in Dade City. In 2009, he joined Hillsborough Community College, serving at the Ruskin and Ybor City campuses, and taught through the end of 2017.
His son, Matt, had been encouraging him to write a book for many years and he finally did, published in late 2019 and titled, “Tight Board, No Drifter: My Life as a Radio Personality”.
1975 - 1977 WONN (On Air Personality)