For a 10 year old boy growing up in rural Tennessee in 1937, it was a source of wonderment. No, Jim Kirk hopes to revive the wonder of radio for a generation more in tune with CNN and cyberspace. The radios that Kirk and his wife Biddie have so lovingly collected through the years, bought off dusty shelves in out-of-the-way antique stores, are now on display at WFSU.
Kirk’s professional radio days began at FSU, where he earned the university’s first degree in speech with a broadcasting emphasis. He worked as a staff announcer at WCNH-AM in Quincy where he and station owner Ben Letson began what eventually became the Seminole Sports Network. In 1953 Letson asked Kirk to manage WMOP, a new 1,000 watt station. Ten years later, he bought the station. And while running Florida’s oldest country and western music station, he also served as Ocala’s mayor for three terms. Kirk sold WMOP in 1993.