Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Pasco broadcaster-publisher Ray Webb dies at 72

Ray Webb, a former Dade City newsman most remembered for challenging the town's power structure in the early 1970s, died April 15, 2008. He was 72.

Originally from Iowa, Mr. Webb moved to Dade City in 1969 and was a co-owner of WDCF radio until the early 1980s. He also co-owned and operated the Dade City Banner, expanding it from a weekly newspaper to one that published five days a week.

The newspaper's name was changed to Pasco East and later to Pasco News. Mr. Webb sold it in 1973 to an Ohio company. After changing hands several more times, it was shut down in 2006 after circulation dwindled.

"He always did what he felt was right," said Bill Dennis, a former Dade City commissioner who wrote a weekly column for the newspaper. Dennis recalled when he was a young schoolteacher (before assuming elected office), Mr. Webb sent him to check the minutes of the City Commission meeting.

"He sent me to see if there was any kind of coercion between commissioners," he said. "I didn't see any evidence of any. Back then, things were pretty decided before commission meetings."

Among the powerful few who ran the city, Mr. Webb was known as an outside agitator, Dennis said.

"He didn't owe anybody a thing," Dennis said.

When Mr. Webb's business partner, City Commissioner Duane Anderson, and Mayor J. Edward Starling, were accused of conspiring to force out City Manager William F. Pierce, Mr. Webb sided with the mayor and commissioner.

No evidence of wrongdoing was ever found. "It was really just a power struggle," Dennis said.

Later, Mr. Webb was charged with receiving stolen radio equipment in connection with the theft of two machines from a rival radio station. A judge dismissed the charges, saying the statute of limitations had expired.

Mr. Webb called the charges "a pack of lies" and blamed his arrest on his refusal to kowtow to the power structure.

"We're in the middle of a terrible political hassle in the Dade City area, and the status quo will go to any extreme to win," he told the St. Petersburg Times in 1973.

Mr. Webb also was involved in higher education, serving on the committee responsible for the establishment of Pasco-Hernando Community College.

He moved to California in the early 1990s, where he owned and operated an AM radio station and built the KHIZ television station in Victorville, Calif. He returned to Florida in the late 1990s and lived in Brooksville.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah Webb; son, Todd Webb; and daughter, RaeAnn "Dusty" Compton and her husband, Jeff; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His funeral was Monday at Whitfield Funeral Home in Zephyrhills.

Researcher Mary Mellstrom contributed to this report. Lisa Buie can be reached at buie@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4604.

Former Pasco broadcaster-publisher Ray Webb dies at 72 04/21/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2008 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]