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Tony Downes

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About me: Radio Personality of almost 30 years and now owner of small FM Radio Station. At about age 3 I knew I wanted to be in radio as my mom would catch me in her car changing the radio station. Back then in Ocala radio consisted of a mere three AM stations: WMOP-AM 900, WTMC-AM 1290, and a black station; WKOS-AM 1370, which would later become WWKE-AM 1370 "Key Radio"." Constantly I would mimic the D.J. on the radio, and whenever on trips, I would log stations in my log book wondering and hoping one day to own a radio station. Through high school I would draw a studio with a house to mimic what my station would look like. In high school I envisioned WSSF-FM 101.3. I got my first taste of radio in 1979 when the late great Vernon Arnette trained me on weekends at WTMC. After high school I took my training to WFAM-FM 91.1 in Jacksonville, a part of Jones College, where my professor at the time expected no less than A scores on test. Often I was left with keys to lockup station. I was called the "jinx" at college station because while I was on the air President Ronald Reagan was shot and John Lennon had died during my shift. I also experimented with today's contemporary jazz by removing blues jazz from the play-list and just playing the hits. This often got me into trouble, but it sounded good in 1982, so I stuck with it. After graduating from Jones College with an Associates Degree in Broadcasting, WFAM-FM changed frequencies to its current position of 90.9 where it resides today as WKTZ-FM 90.9, a beautiful music station. I had a major influence on the frequency change which was due to a 100,000 watt station on the same frequency in Savannah, GA which was blasting all over WFAM’s 1,000 watt signal. WKTZ is now 50,000 watts on 90.9. It took a couple of years when a station in Crystal River Florida gave me my first big break. Owner Thad Lowrey and a young Dave Harrell gave me my first shot in commercial radio on WXCV-FM 95.3 "Citrus 95" where I was on air from 4PM t

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