Tampa & WFLA Radio Legend Tedd Webb Passes at 72

TAMPA -- A radio legend is gone.

Tedd Webb, who worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than half a century and at WFLA for more than thirty years, passed away peacefully at 12:45 Tuesday afternoon, according to a Facebook post by his son.

Lee Ruiz says his father was surrounded by family when he passed.

Webb had announced last week that he was going into hospice and off dialysis.

He was born Henry Ruiz in Tampa in 1949, the son of Cuban immigrants. He got into radio at the tender age of 14, saying that it was a way to support his musical ambitions. His starting place was WALT, the Tampa Bay area's first Top 40 hit radio station.

Over the next five decades, interrupted only by a stint in the Air Force mostly stationed at Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, Webb would work all around the market, at call letters that included WLCY, WFSO, Y95, WNSI, Q105 and finally WFLA, where he spent fully half of his life as co-host of AM Tampa Bay alongside Jack Harris.

He spent the first 15 years of his radio career as a music jock, switching to talk when WFSO changed to WPLP and began a talk format. Webb was sacked but talked his way back on the air as host of a sports talk program... one of a handful of pioneering shows in the Tampa Bay area, which didn't have an all-sports station until 1990.

Webb then moved over to WNSI... the successor to his former home WLCY... and co-hosted a show with Nanci Donnellan, later to become famous as "The Fabulous Sports Babe." Their show often irritated Buccaneers management with its jabs at former Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse.

After WNSI folded, Webb continued doing sports updates on Q105 before joining WFLA, then evolving from a music station to talk, in 1983. At first he hosted the "Sports Huddle" program, then segued into a political talk format. He became a personality on Gardner and Company, then the WFLA morning show, before teaming up with Jack Harris in 1994.

Last week, people who knew Webb in person or from his radio work flooded the phone lines on WFLA for an hour remembering his life and work.

Lee Ruiz says the family is finalizing a "time and place" to pay tribute and will announce those plans when ready.

Here's a link to Webb's own nostalgia and remembrance site, with photos and other memorabilia from his career:

Photo: Tedd Webb receiving an award from Market President Chris Soechtig upon his retirement, by Gordon Byrd, or photo from Tedd Webb's Facebook page

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