Thursday, December 13, 2012

Signing-off: WDBO’s Jim Turner Retires Friday In Orlando

From Jamie Duupree, Cox Media’s Radio News Director based inthe Washington Bureau:

Joe Kelley photo
One of my best friends in radio is signing off the air this week, as Jim Turner, host of the WDBO-FM morning show in Orlando is hanging up his radio cleats, more than ready to hop in his pickup truck and quickly drive his way into retirement. 
"I've been trying to retire for the last couple of years," Turner likes to say with a big smile. 
Jim will be missed by many in the Central Florida area who have been listening to him since he arrived at WDBO in 1972; Turner spent 13 years doing the afternoon drive show and then took over mornings in 1985, and has been there ever since. 
Our company, Cox Media Group, bought WDBO in 1996, and I have been on the air with Jim for the past 16 years, bringing news of Washington, D.C. and national politics and developing a great working relationship and friendship along the way. 
As Jim's last day on the air approaches, and as I read more and more about his life and career, the more I shake my head at some of the similarities in how we got into the radio business. 
Our affinity for radio developed in much the same manner - growing up in Pennsylvania, Jim got a short-wave radio at age 10 as a gift from his grandmother.  I bought my short-wave radio when I was 13 with money from my paper route in Detroit. That radio opened our eyes to the world - and to the world of radio beyond. 
"I was always fascinated by radio," Turner noted, saying something that I could also say.
Four years after getting his short-wave radio, Jim took the next step and got his amateur radio license. 
Oddly enough, it also only took me four years after that first short-wave radio purchase to get my ham radio license, too. 
The interest in radio led to the idea of pursuing a job in that business; Jim and I both dabbled some in television before ending up in radio.  He spun records at times, and so did I. 
About six years ago, we accidentally found out we shared that amateur radio hobby, though Jim had packed away his radios years earlier; after a bit of prodding by me, he finally opened those boxes and got himself back on the air, outside of WDBO.

Tom’s Take: After 40-years with WDBO, we wish Jim many happy years of retirement. Turner’s replacement is Joe Kelley from KRMG Tulsa.  He starts Monday.

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