WMEL’s John Harper Acquires 50,000 Watt 1060 AM, Will Add New Talent, Programing
By Kathy Reakes // August 17, 2015
radio veteran celebrated 50 years in 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: One of Brevard’s favorite talk radio stations, WMEL 1300 AM, “The Talk to Me Station,” has new dial numbers and is taking over a large part of the state with its recent acquisition of Genesis radio’s 1060 AM. (SpaceCoastDaily Video)
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – One of Brevard’s favorite talk radio stations, WMEL 1300 AM, “The Talk to Me Station,” has new dial numbers and is taking over a large part of the state with its recent acquisition of Genesis radio’s 1060 AM.
Now known as WMEL 1060 AM, the station features 50,000 mega watts of power instead of its original 5,000 watts, allowing it to broadcast from its old stomping grounds of Cocoa and Melbourne to a new reach from Daytona Beach south to the Palm Beaches, said owner and operator John Harper, who celebrated his 50th year in the radio business in 2014.
Local fans will still be able to listen to their favorites talk show hosts, Harper said, but the addition of mega watts will allow them to add new talent as well as reach a larger audience.
WMEL, the second oldest station in the county, has been a fixture in Brevard since 1956 when it operated as WMEG (named after the Melbourne and Eau Gallie areas where it was located).
The station was a full service operation in those days airing music and news programs. In the mid-60s it changed call letters to WMEL and became one of Brevard’s hot spots on the radio dial known for its rock and roll as well as news.
During that time one of its most popular broadcast was the coverage of all of the Mercury and Apollo rocket launches from Cape Canaveral.
“Everyone tuned in for the launches,” Harper said. “It was an exciting time.”
The station continued it popularity through the 70s and 80s, but found itself floundering during the early 90s with the strong penetration of FM radio coming out of Orlando, Harper said.
“The group that owned the station made the decision to sell the station and it signed off and went dark on Oct. 31, 1991,” he said.
But Harper, a man with radio in his heart, was able to buy the station himself in 1993 and quickly filled a void in the county with the launch of his new station featuring great talk/news and sports coverage when he re-signed on the air in August of 1993.
He has dedicated his life to providing his listening audience a reliable and highly credible source of honest, accurate information and a forum for open expression of listener’s perspectives and opinions.
Today, Harper’s smooth and inquisitive voice can be heard every Friday from noon to 2 p.m. on his “Information Overload,” show featuring local politicians, residents and even Sheriff Wayne Ivey once a month.
“It’s so important to be a truly local station and keep the residents informed of what’s happening in their community,” Harper said.
“My topics can range from crime to upcoming special events to what going on in our listeners communities.”
Sheriff Ivey said: “John Harper and WMEL Radio have worked for years to be a voice for Brevard County. From news and sports to the latest on local topics, John talks about what he loves, Brevard County and issues that are important to Brevard County.
“I always enjoy being on John’s “Information Overload” segment and having the opportunity to talk about Crime Prevention issues and our agency. John and his team are great partners with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and community!”
Harper is very excited to explore what’s happening in the rest of the state and bring it back to Brevard with his expanded reach.
“We will still have all of our residents favorites and sports coverage, but this increase opens the door to all kinds of opportunity to bring on not only a huge audience, but news and happenings from across the state,” said Harper.
A longtime Brevard County philanthropic dynamo, Harper is one of the founders of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in South Florida and current president of The Yellow Umbrella, a not for profit to prevent child abuse.
He is also a past board member of the Brevard Museum, a current board member of Seniors Helping Seniors of Brevard and patron of the Cancer Care Centers Of Brevard Foundation.
For additional information and daily programming visit www.1060WMEL.com