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.
1951 - 1968 WPLA (Management)
1951 - 1968 WPLA (On Air Personality)