Spotlight on Sheffield Lake

Gary and Renee Tollett

Resident Gary Tollett believes, “Sheffield Lake is a cool little town and great place to raise your family.” He wants more people to know that so he and his wife Renee, owners of radio stations WOBL and WDLW are highlighting Sheffield Lake during March in the station’s first-ever “Spotlight City of the Month” promotion.

In addition to on-air personalities sharing interesting tidbits about the city throughout the month, WOBL’s Michelle Lee, who also lives in Sheffield Lake, will broadcast live with the Smoked Country Jam Monday, Mar. 21, 7-11 a.m. at The Joyce Hanks Community Center, 4575 Lake Road. Residents are welcome to attend.

On Friday, Mar. 25, from 2-6 p.m., WDLW’s will broadcast Denny Sanders’ Good Time Oldies show at Amber Oaks Restaurant, 4798 Lake Road. Gary hopes community members will show up for the show and stay for dinner.

The Tolletts assumed ownership of Lorain County’s only radio stations last year from Lori and Doug Wilber. Doug’s dad started the stations in 1971.

Gary, who started as an intern with the stations 18 years ago, said being community-based is a hallmark of the stations. Now that COVID is waning, he wants to “Get back to being the hometown, local radio stations that we are.”

He said they’ve implemented some changes since taking over but described them as small enhancements because they believed what was in place was working well. He likened the changes to a new coat of paint, as opposed to a reno. He noted that in the past 14 months, listenership on the stations’ live stream has tripled to 158,000.

Mayor Dennis Bring is appreciative of the Tolletts’ effort. “We’ve come a long way,” he said about the community where he was raised and where he and his wife raised their own family, adding, “We have invested $20 million on improvements to infrastructure and parks as well as improving service from police, fire and service departments.” The vast majority of those expenditures came from state and federal grants and not local taxes, he emphasized.

“We’re safe, have good school system and people who moved away are coming back because they realize it’s a nice place. I appreciate having the chance to highlight some of those accomplishments through WOBL and WDLW.”

WOBL, featuring classic country, can be found at 1320 AM and 107.7 FM and WDLW, featuring rock ‘n’ roll oldies, is 1380 AM and 98.9 FM.